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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Brownsburg, IN
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Horizontal Hive Overwintering Fools Challenge 2013/2014

    BTW, we had a cold snap here that brought temps dow to -19 degrees! we had to warm days last week around 48 degrees and I was thrilled to see bees moving about in the hive and tossing out their dead comrades! Still alive in there!

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Horizontal Hive Overwintering Fools Challenge 2013/2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilted Beekeeper View Post
    I thought I had back in November. I have not been on the board too much this winter. I entered my info on the spreadsheet.
    Great! I'm sorry if you had to put your information on twice. I have started saving backup versions to insure against data loss.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,836

    Default Re: Horizontal Hive Overwintering Fools Challenge 2013/2014

    Just a note to others. If you actually make gains you can enter them in the losses file with a - sign in front of them they appear as additions to your total that way and your percentage of survival will go above 100%. I increased my apiary by two hives today and had to figure out how to record it.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Horizontal Hive Overwintering Fools Challenge 2013/2014

    Daniel, I did put a column in for increase but set it up to not play into the overwintered total. If everyone wants it to factor in I can change the formulas.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    813

    Default Re: Horizontal Hive Overwintering Fools Challenge 2013/2014

    Oh good I was wondering about that. I have 2 new nuk with the possiblity of a 3rd. I wanted to enter them on spreadsheet. Thanks.
    "Rule Three of beekeeping...Never cease to feel wonder" Laurie R. King--
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,836

    Default Re: Horizontal Hive Overwintering Fools Challenge 2013/2014

    Colleen, I don't think the results can be considered all that accurate if it only records losses. Adding hives is part of beekeeping. Considering I could be adding quite a few hives in March I think the idea that you will end with far more hives than you started is very real. Sort of gives a false impression of what can be done if only losses count.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Horizontal Hive Overwintering Fools Challenge 2013/2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    Colleen, I don't think the results can be considered all that accurate if it only records losses. Adding hives is part of beekeeping. Considering I could be adding quite a few hives in March I think the idea that you will end with far more hives than you started is very real. Sort of gives a false impression of what can be done if only losses count.
    Okay, that sounds reasonable as long as the additions are from splits or swarms from your existing colonies (as of November 1st) and not elsewhere. I'll get in and update the spreadsheet and transfer the numbers sometime this weekend.

    Just an FYI for those who follow this thread and not the one on the Bee forum, when we start reporting final results I plan to report them there so I can do it just once.

    I hope everyone's bees are doing well!

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,837

    Default Re: Horizontal Hive Overwintering Fools Challenge 2013/2014

    I thought it was about winter losses? Why not a three year average and a mulligan if you feel you need one to save face.

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Horizontal Hive Overwintering Fools Challenge 2013/2014

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    I thought it was about winter losses? Why not a three year average and a mulligan if you feel you need one to save face.
    LOL!

    I interpreted the request to be more that beekeepers in the more temperate zones may have to make splits because their bees aren't really shutting down for winter. I really didn't know where to draw the line for temperature zones and didn't want to be exclusive. Certainly Maine has a different winter than we have in Saint Louis. Should I take the question to the bee forum and see what the consensus is?

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Horizontal Hive Overwintering Fools Challenge 2013/2014

    I posted a poll on the bee forum as to the question of whether increase should be counted into the overwintering challenge totals. Be sure to go over there and vote so your opinion can be counted! Poll is open for four days.
    3rd yr - 1 KTBH & 4 KTBH nucs - TF - USDA Zn 6b

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Horizontal Hive Overwintering Fools Challenge 2013/2014

    Saw grayish pollen coming in on one of my two remaining colonies today (silver maple?). The other was bringing in some (not much) but it was bright orange. I could also tell by the fat bellies coming in/skinny going out that they were bringing in nectar too. I also saw scouts out flying so hopefully they will find what they need.

    I'm starting to believe they made it. Not quite doing a happy dance yet but I am hopeful!
    3rd yr - 1 KTBH & 4 KTBH nucs - TF - USDA Zn 6b

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,836

    Default Re: Horizontal Hive Overwintering Fools Challenge 2013/2014

    In my area pollen starts of a whitish or light grey goes to yellow and then to orange. I have watched it for two years now. Last year when orange showed up swarming soon followed. Yesterday I saw orange for the first time this year. I see Cherry and Plumb trees in full bloom. I assume there is some nectar available and drones are in production. We saw drones in at least one hive last Saturday. Drone cells are in everything.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Grand Junction, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    231

    Default Re: Horizontal Hive Overwintering Fools Challenge 2013/2014

    Of the two 22 frame Long hives I experimented with this last bee season I can safely admit both survived our normal bitter cold and beat my losses from standard Lang equipment. One has come through bursting at the seams with bees and the other I thought had succumb has risen from the dead and is at 5 frame Nuc strength. Like Daniel, my area pollen starts out a whitish or light grey goes to light yellow and then to orange, also there is some nectar available and drones are in production.
    Jack Moore ~ Sticky Bear Apiary
    Zone 7a ~ Elev: 4840ft. ~ https://www.facebook.com/StickyBearApiary

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Josephine County,Oregon,USA
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Horizontal Hive Overwintering Fools Challenge 2013/2014

    Zone 7-8 here Early flowers blooming now;no fruit trees yet....having 60 degree days but nights still in the 30s.

    I can relate to "risen from the dead" !All winter I was "sure" my small cluster was on the brink of dying off and every time they pulled through. My bees ....like one fist size in January ....have tripled or more the last month and have larvae they are feeding now.They are out collecting several colors of pollen and sound almost as "happy" as last summer when the sun is out. I am truly amazed. I harvested 7 lbs total of honey from partial combs in the back of my Golden Mean TB and moved better combs up by the cluster. They haven't touched syrup yet ( offered because I "robbed" the back half of the 90% empty hive) and are currently content "doing their thing".

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Rogue River, OR
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Horizontal Hive Overwintering Fools Challenge 2013/2014

    Our hive didn't make it. We had our suspicions in late fall that the queen was gone and as far as we can tell. We're not sure why; there WAS a queen who had been laying and a lot of bees and lots and lots of capped honey. We even carefully rearranged the honey so that they could easily move to it before we closed things up for winter.

    When we looked in late Feb, just a handful of bees were left and they were dead and not on honey stores. There was one fairly cold snap this winter so I guess they froze before they could move but without a queen they were doomed anyway. There was a smattering of capped drones as well along with nectar and pollen. Other than mold that had formed on the dead bees, everything looks fine. We didn't find mites on the bottom board.

    We're not sure whether to take some of the honey (we're talking about 16 mostly full combs worth) or to just use it to help out replacement bees.

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: Horizontal Hive Overwintering Fools Challenge 2013/2014

    Dixieswife, sorry to hear they didn't make it. Were the bees clustered together or were there patches of bees here and there? If they weren't all in one group that would be further confirmation that the queen was gone as her phermones are needed to hold them together and organize the group.

  17. #57
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Rogue River, OR
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Horizontal Hive Overwintering Fools Challenge 2013/2014

    They were "mostly" together. Maybe two smallish groups with a smattering of singles here. I don't think that even together, they would have been enough to live through the cold snap. The amount that were left in the hive (dead) was much much MUCH smaller than what we'd seen in there in the fall.

    The hive had been booming with bees, and a laying queen in the fall. During our last few inspections, we noticed there were no eggs being laid (still tons of bees) and were a little suspicious, but we knew that sometimes the queen shut down for a bit before winter. We tried not to fuss -- every time we'd worried about queens in this hive, they'd taken care of matters without any help from us. We're not great at spotting queens, but we looked and looked and looked for her, then closed up the hive for winter and hoped for the best. (But kinda expected this)

    We're gonna try to give it another shot this spring and start out with more than one hive. We've got the (now empty) TBH and a Lang. Just have to get some bees!

  18. #58
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Horizontal Hive Overwintering Fools Challenge 2013/2014

    Happy April 1st! Today is the day to get your reporting completed. I added a spot to put an X in to show you have done that. As a reminder, I will post the "winners" in the thread on the bee forum. Thanks again to all who participated.

    I have been working on a summer version of this called "Harvest Bee Fun - Bees, Products, & Services". I will try to post a link for it in a new thread tonight. I plan to leave the overwinter totals and configuration information on it from the participants who complete their reporting by then. If you have completed reporting but don't wish to be automatically included just let me know and I will take you off.
    3rd yr - 1 KTBH & 4 KTBH nucs - TF - USDA Zn 6b

  19. #59
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Missoula, Montana
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Horizontal Hive Overwintering Fools Challenge 2013/2014

    i updated.

    thanks again Colleen o
    Zone4A
    “We can love completely what we cannot completely understand.” -Maclean

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