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  1. #141
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,612

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    I see it this way Allen, weather runs in cycles. Warm follows cold, right
    Lets just hope March comes in like a Lion...
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  2. #142
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Arras, British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    197

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    Well I just had my first deadout for the year. You might say death by pollen. I had ~15lbs of pollen under cappings so I assumed there was more honey. It went in a 63lbs (I think it was the lightest.) It weighed 41.4lbs at mortality. (lots of weight in pollen) I weighed a few others and it looks like I might have to feed in the shed. We still have 45 days minimum before they are outside. 22lbs over 4 months is 5.5lbs a month. So I need another 11lbs to make it through just till I can feed outside. Is this similar to what anyone else is seeing?

  3. #143
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,612

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    better get that pollen filled box outside to freeze out or in a dry place so that you dont loose it all to mold.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  4. #144
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Posts
    265

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    I see it this way Allen, weather runs in cycles. Warm follows cold, right
    Lets just hope March comes in like a Lion...
    You got your wish!

  5. #145
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,612

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    long range looks like our weather will return back to normals,
    that is if anyone puts any weight on long range, but the trend is encouraging
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  6. #146
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Jamestown, North Dakota, USA
    Posts
    148

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    Same forecast here Ian--I'm hopeful but my glass is always half full. Just remember, weather forecasts are always 100% guaranteed. If you're not satisfied, just bring it back and the weatherman will give you a new one!

  7. #147
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    I recently poked holes in the bottom of water bottles to water the bees. Humidity was at 15% in the shed and I was concerned. They have taken down about 250 ml each in 2 days, and now the shed is at 62%. I dont have an exhaust fan just vents and a floor fan to circulate. Temp is at 5 degrees.

    I cranked up the floor fan. Should I put in the de humidifier set to 40% or do the bees want it at 60 if that is where they have it?

  8. #148
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    I put in the dehumidifier I am going to keep it under 40%. If the bees want the inside of the hive higher they can drink up. Bottled water is cheap

  9. #149
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    473

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    I've never paid too much attention to the low RH - probably should. High RH I know is really bad. 40% is a good target IMO.

  10. #150
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    I guess I just thought if the humidity was low they would bring it up to the level they preferred. Over 60 seems a little to high to me. Mind you I didn't think the small amount of water they took in would make such a drastic change.

  11. #151
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,612

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    15% RH inside a non ventilated shed with bees stacked in it does not make sense to me. The main reason I was having trouble with low RH was because of the dry cold air exchange. My shed got down to 25% RH at times but with the humidifier running through these cold cold weeks I was able to get the shed to a constant 45%.

    you will know if your humidity is too high if you start seeing water dripping out of the frounts of the hives. Condensation will form on the roof and run down the sides and out the frount.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  12. #152
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    473

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    you will know if your humidity is too high if you start seeing water dripping out of the frounts of the hives. Condensation will form on the roof and run down the sides and out the frount.
    That is what I have always used for for too much RH in the hive. Pop some lids and see if there is condensation. If you don't see any, you are fine. If it is running down the sides and front you are in big trouble.

    I seem to have very little bee drop this year. I scraped the floor for bees yesterday for the first time in a month and ended up with four 5 US gallon pail fulls. Its been that way all winter. From looking in the front and popping lids, bees look strong. What I would have considered a big hive last year is a small hive this year. I'm needing an incredible amount of exhausting to keep the temperature down. Going to have to work hard this year to keep them out of the trees it looks like.

  13. #153
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,612

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    its amazing how much heat kicks off a bee hive. I run my main ventilation fan down to a low idle speed ( about what a table fan would blow on medium) and I have not had to restrict the ventilation ducts. One of the reason why I have had low RH in my shed as it has been consistently cold this winter,
    my bee drop has not been as high as other years also. So far to date I have swept 5 wheel barrels full. Im starting to find dead hives as I walk the isles but I need to search for them.

    Allen you missed a good convention!
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  14. #154
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    There is a lot of open air space and I have to do supplemental heating as the hives do not throw off enough heat to keep the temps steady. I think that contributed to the original low RH.

  15. #155
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,612

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    you must be having more air exchange than you realize. Because without air exchange and with the hives kicking off moisture, your shed should of been maintaining a higher RH. The consumption of the water would of kicked off a higher humidity which you immediately seen in your sheds RH. Im thinking providing them with water was a good thing to do.
    I was toying with the idea , fed about a dozen of my hives just to see how they would react. But I decided not to feed water because of all the work involved and I have been experimenting with trying to find the optimum RH level in the shed which would provide enough condensation within the nest to satisfy their needs.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  16. #156
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    If the humidity was at the optimum level within the shed would the hives not leave the water alone? I know there are many factors within the hive that require more or less moisture with them. But on average, if one were to give water and very few hives were to take it, would the optimum humidity level not have been reached at that point?

  17. #157
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    473

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    If the bees are wintering on syrup, low humidity levels don't seem to be a problem. If bees are wintering on crystallized honey, higher humidity is needed to utilize the honey. That's why I mostly ignore the honey present in the hives when I feed in fall and feed as though no honey is present. Alfalfa honey is a different story.

    Ian, the convention doesn't work well for me. In my other life I teach mornings. Sounds like a lot of interesting topics. The Lyme's one would have been a good one to attend. Deer ticks are becoming much more common in the southeast and I will need to watch for them much more closely.

  18. #158
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,612

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshW View Post
    If the humidity was at the optimum level within the shed would the hives not leave the water alone?
    I would think so. If they are thirsty, they will drink it down.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  19. #159
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,612

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Martens View Post
    The Lyme's one would have been a good one to attend. Deer ticks are becoming much more common in the southeast and I will need to watch for them much more closely.
    It was one of the topics I did not really go for, but in actual fact it was the topic that I found the most useful. Excellent job by the presenters and guest pannel speakers. I am going to be implementing more attention towards decreasing our exposure to this disease, not just for me but for my guys
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  20. #160
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Arras, British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    197

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    Updated data points for weight loss indoor wintering: (Sorry the format sucks)

    98 hives (1 dead)

    Average weight going in: 74.95lbs
    Average weight now: 57.1lbs
    Average weight loss: 17.84lbs
    Average percent loss: 23.79%
    Time in barn: 4 months so far


    Hive # Weight Nov 1 Weight May 5 Weight Loss Percent Loss
    1 72.1 53.6 18.5 25.65880721
    2 70 47.7 22.3 31.85714286
    3 71 56 15 21.12676056
    4 66.4 47 19.4 29.21686747
    5 70.9 46.4 24.5 34.55571227
    6 74.1 57.2 16.9 22.80701754
    7 74.8 59.5 15.3 20.45454545
    8 78.2 53 25.2 32.22506394
    9 71.5 59.7 11.8 16.5034965
    10 73.2 58.7 14.5 19.80874317
    11 79.2 65.1 14.1 17.8030303
    12 75 54.9 20.1 26.8
    13 77.9 56.7 21.2 27.21437741
    14 63.3 41.4 21.9 34.5971564
    15 79.2 49.4 29.8 37.62626263
    16 78.7 52.7 26 33.03684879
    17 71.8 61.3 10.5 14.62395543
    18 79.4 67.7 11.7 14.73551637
    19 67.8 53.2 14.6 21.5339233
    20 77.2 62 15.2 19.68911917
    21 68.1 49.4 18.7 27.45961821
    22 81.6 52.7 28.9 35.41666667
    23 79.2 57.2 22 27.77777778
    24 73.2 56.5 16.7 22.81420765
    25 66.7 50.9 15.8 23.68815592
    26 83.7 64.5 19.2 22.9390681
    27 73.4 53.2 20.2 27.52043597
    28 67.1 50.1 17 25.33532042
    29 73.1 63.4 9.7 13.26949384
    30 74 65 9 12.16216216
    31 88.8 67.3 21.5 24.21171171
    32 77.7 61.7 16 20.59202059
    33 80.1 63.1 17 21.22347066
    34 80.1 54.5 25.6 31.96004994
    35 74.5 65.1 9.4 12.61744966
    36 84.6 63.9 20.7 24.46808511
    37 82.6 62.5 20.1 24.33414044
    38 67.9 50.8 17.1 25.18409426
    39 77.9 61.2 16.7 21.43774069
    40 72.9 54.1 18.8 25.78875171
    41 73 56.1 16.9 23.15068493
    42 71.1 54.2 16.9 23.76933896
    43 78.2 58 20.2 25.83120205
    44 76.2 54.8 21.4 28.0839895
    45 70.2 57.5 12.7 18.09116809
    46 70.2 57.5 12.7 18.09116809
    47 72.3 57 15.3 21.16182573
    48 82 56.2 25.8 31.46341463
    49 78.1 55.6 22.5 28.80921895
    50 69.3 53.7 15.6 22.51082251
    51 79.6 63.2 16.4 20.60301508
    52 69.9 52.5 17.4 24.89270386
    53 79.2 61.4 17.8 22.47474747
    54 71.8 54 17.8 24.79108635
    55 79.6 67.9 11.7 14.69849246
    56 72 60.6 11.4 15.83333333
    57 75.4 60.4 15 19.8938992
    58 71.2 53.7 17.5 24.57865169
    59 71.4 55.4 16 22.40896359
    60 81 62.1 18.9 23.33333333
    61 69.3 56.1 13.2 19.04761905
    62 73.8 58.7 15.1 20.46070461
    63 72 52.6 19.4 26.94444444
    64 69.2 49.1 20.1 29.04624277
    65 77.9 56.1 21.8 27.98459564
    66 77.2 63.3 13.9 18.00518135
    67 75.3 54.7 20.6 27.35723772
    68 66.6 54.9 11.7 17.56756757
    69 68 51.5 16.5 24.26470588
    70 76.9 62.8 14.1 18.33550065
    71 74.6 59.3 15.3 20.50938338
    72 66 45.7 20.3 30.75757576
    73 71.3 53.8 17.5 24.54417952
    74 74.3 64.1 10.2 13.72812921
    75 63.2 50.4 12.8 20.25316456
    76 80.1 61.1 19 23.72034956
    77 71.3 51.4 19.9 27.91023843
    78 83.4 60.7 22.7 27.21822542
    79 77.9 52.8 25.1 32.22079589
    80 75.3 56.4 18.9 25.09960159
    81 81.7 55.4 26.3 32.19094247
    82 81.6 69.9 11.7 14.33823529
    83 74.8 55.8 19 25.40106952
    84 73.8 53.3 20.5 27.77777778
    85 73.3 59.3 14 19.09959072
    86 81.4 63.8 17.6 21.62162162
    87 71.9 56.4 15.5 21.55771905
    88 76.2 60.3 15.9 20.86614173
    89 77.5 54.3 23.2 29.93548387
    90 78.2 63.1 15.1 19.30946292
    91 85.3 68.1 17.2 20.16412661
    92 71.6 50.5 21.1 29.46927374
    93 74.4 58.3 16.1 21.63978495
    94 87 64.3 22.7 26.09195402
    95 79.2 61.4 17.8 22.47474747
    96 72 52.6 19.4 26.94444444
    97 78.2 58 20.2 25.83120205
    98 72.9 54.3 18.6 25.51440329
    Totals 74.95102041 57.10918367 17.84183673 23.79335972

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