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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
    Posts
    224

    Default Let me run my understanding by you please...

    My understanding about bees feeding in winter is shaky at best; I wrote this in order to organize my thoughts. Would you please look it over and comment if I'm wrong? Thanks in advance.

    In a TBH, bees cluster in the cold, consuming the honey they can move to without uncovering their brood. During periods where the temperature rises and they are able, some will break the cluster and collect honey from cells previously just outside the reach of the cluster and relocate it within the cluster's reach.

    The problem occurs if there are long cold snaps, forcing the bee to remain in cluster and away from stores.

    Assume we are still talking TBH, what are the options if we sense this occuring? Can we swap full combs from the back of the hive? At the extreme, we read of Dr. Mangum refilling comb with syrup, but can we do something less intrusive? Is there something else bees do to stay fed in cold conditions?

    Regards, Mike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    618

    Default Re: Let me run my understanding by you please...

    Can we swap full combs from the back of the hive?

    Yes, and you can also moves frames of honey closer to the brood nest in conventional equipment also.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,481

    Default Re: Let me run my understanding by you please...

    >In a TBH, bees cluster in the cold, consuming the honey they can move to without uncovering their brood. During periods where the temperature rises and they are able, some will break the cluster and collect honey from cells previously just outside the reach of the cluster and relocate it within the cluster's reach.

    In a Langstroth as well...

    >The problem occurs if there are long cold snaps, forcing the bee to remain in cluster and away from stores.

    Sometimes it happens with a very short cold snap, where they started rearing brood, the cluster was expanded, due to warmer weather, and suddenly had to contract because of a cold snap and now is not in contact with stores and is stuck on brood that they refuse to leave.

    >Assume we are still talking TBH, what are the options if we sense this occuring?

    It's winter. You should not sense anything. Leave them alone until spring...

    > Can we swap full combs from the back of the hive? At the extreme, we read of Dr. Mangum refilling comb with syrup, but can we do something less intrusive? Is there something else bees do to stay fed in cold conditions?

    If you are in them (which I don't think you should be) and if you see that they are isolated from stores (a very good indication it's too cold to be bothering them) you could move some capped stores up against the cluster...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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