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  1. #121
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,972

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    Wind blew apart a farmstead about 25 miles from one of my wintering yards. Took down a big newer machine shop and part of the roof off the home. The recorded wind velocity was 117 mph in Choteau Mt the nearby town. Wind was gusting to 60 mph all night long here. The wind had been blowing hard most days for weeks. It gets crazy making.

  2. #122
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    526

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    I am guessing the the "DC" referred to above is Dawson Creek BC, not the one just north of Virginia USA.
    Um, ya, the place in the location field of the one I quoted, DC = Dawson Creek.

  3. #123
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Fruitland ,Idaho
    Posts
    420

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Quiney WI View Post
    It made me wonder if those wintering bees indoors, particularly you Ian, have a back up generator as ventilation is so important?
    We put an on demand propane generator in. It automatically turns on 5 minutes after it sense's no power. These are similar to what a hospital would have. Cheap insurance.

  4. #124
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    international falls, Mn
    Posts
    220

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    Just read through this thread and saw some discussion on the accuracy of the RH meters that
    were available...I used to be a heat-cooling tech in a factory situation, and had to monitor the
    RH often and I used a "sling psychrometer" which is simply 2 thermometers that you swing ar-
    round your head--one has a wick on the buld with either water or alcahol on the wick--
    This gives you tthe dry bulb temp (air temp) and also the wet bulb temp (dew point) the
    temperature that water condenses at....There is a chart that will give you the RH depending
    on the dry buld vs wet bulb temp....
    --It simply is what it is---there is no error....less than $100 on ebay.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-taylor-sli...item23344403da

    ==McBee7==

  5. #125
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    international falls, Mn
    Posts
    220

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    I also saw that there was mention of condensation on a plug in the top of the hive(??)
    I'm not sure of what the plug does but if it is wet from condensation that isn't a good thing..
    To me it is saying the RH inside the hive is extremely high...High enough to condense on the
    top, like your mirrior does in the bathroom when you take a shower...for sure the surface that
    had the condensation on it was below the dew point, or put another way , it had 100%
    humidity,,,if the surface would have been below freezing it would have frosted or iced..
    which took out 3 of my hives this year.....you need ventalation through the hives...i would
    take the plug out.....

    early in this discussion there is a link to this pdf which address's lots of the issues mentioned
    here---Post #6 by Forest bee--

    http://www.backyardbees.ca/files/win...eaverlodge.pdf

    most of these issues are addressed in the first page....

    This is just my take on a situation I hope to be involved in this year but on a smaller scale..


    ==McBee7==

  6. #126
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,824

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    Curious, I'm planning on setting up indoor wintering this year. What % of winter losses are you that winter indoors experiencing? Please PM me if you don't want to post this on the forum. Thanks

  7. #127
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,936

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    There are many factors involved with wintering losses. You have to assess your losses and determine if weather was part of the problem.
    If you put weak hives into winter, the chance of losses is greater. In my area the weather is extreme cold and wind, those weak die outside where as they may survive indoors. That is until you put them back out into the variability of spring weather. Some years the spring evens out the difference between indoor and outdoor.
    More and more it seems as our bees are entering winter under more stress than before, and it seems we are having trouble relieving that problem. Why? Pesticide exposure, v mites, virus , nosema, queen vigour, beekeeper overworked....

    The question is, why winter indoors?

    For me it's because;
    #1, I hate wrapping. Mostly because of the mice.
    #2, moving hives indoors is quick and easy with my set up
    #3, I feel I'm able to shelter my hives from the extreme weather we get here in manitoba
    #4, it allows me to winter in singles which increases my honey production and allows me to target pests more efficiently
    # 5, sheltered yards are becoming harder to find. Cold and wind combined kills hives. We had three weeks of -30 degree weather with wind... If those hives are not in shelter, that cold wind will kill hives
    #6, this consistent cold Manitoba weather gives us an advantage in being able to manage the shed at a consistent regulated temp. Over heating of the shed an issue only on occasion.

    If you notice, 4 out if the 6 reasons I listed for my reasons to winter indoors is directly related to cold.
    Last edited by Ian; 01-25-2014 at 07:35 AM.

  8. #128
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    I am Looking forward to next years indoor wintering already. How often will I need to exchange the air with 50 single in 640 cubic feet of air space? Looking into what kind of ventilation system I will need to install. At this amount of bees I could probably set an exhaust fan on a thermostat instead of a timer?

  9. #129
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,936

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    Hi Josh
    When I first started playing around with indoor wintering I wintered 30 hives in my 15 by 10 hot room. I had a ceiling fan set up and installed a bathroom fan to exhaust through out the day set on a car timer.
    If your looking for a higher volume air exchange consider a forced air furnace fan. They are cheap and available

    Arnt you glad you have your hives tucked away in your shed this winter? It's been so cold and windy I can't see outdoor hives fairing very well. Rheal was saying that package orders are up already with outdoor guys expecting the worst already....

  10. #130
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    Ian, I am very happy that my hives are inside! I did leave one hive outside, It did not make it through that first cold snap, the polar vortex as they call it, I call it regular winter weather.

    My hydro Bill is taking a bit of a punch in the gut the past 2 months, because my hives are not throwing off enough heat in this frigid weather. More hives next winter should help with that problem. Winter shed was steady at 0 C last night with the space heater running full blast.

  11. #131
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,936

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    >>hydro Bill is taking a bit of a punch in the gut the past 2 months, because my hives are not throwing off enough heat in this frigid weather.<<

    My wintering room is 45 by 50 by 12' (27000 cubic feet) with nearly 900 hives in it right now with a continuos idle air exchange ( about what a table fan set on low to medium ) and without any supplement heat the hives are maintaining 5 degrees.

  12. #132
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,864

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    Ian, was curious when your bees start rearing brood in the winter when they are in the shed? Supposedly its the increased day length that stimulates them to start brood rearing, but if they are in a dark shed all winter, do they start later than hives wintered outdoors?

  13. #133
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,936

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    That's debatable but I have never seen brooding hives leaving the shed. Perhaps very small patches at times. It makes me wonder how a cluster from Sept Oct makes it till April.

  14. #134
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Dawson Creek, BC, Canada
    Posts
    185

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    I just checked the weight of the 4 hives I have on the scale. Starting weight Nov 1st was 286lbs, today's weight 242lbs. Average 11lbs loss per hive. I don't know if its good or bad. I lifted 2 of the lids on the scale, one was a large cluster wall to wall, the other was just smaller than a basketball.

    Luke

  15. #135
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,936

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    Cool, keep us posted

  16. #136
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Dawson Creek, BC, Canada
    Posts
    185

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    Quote Originally Posted by sharpdog View Post
    I just checked the weight of the 4 hives I have on the scale. Starting weight Nov 1st was 286lbs, today's weight 242lbs. Average 11lbs loss per hive. I don't know if its good or bad. I lifted 2 of the lids on the scale, one was a large cluster wall to wall, the other was just smaller than a basketball.

    Luke
    Looks like weight loss is accelerating. Weighed them again today, and the are down to 232lbs total. That's 13.5lbs per hive of loss so far. Assuming 180 days of indoor winter, now prorating for 24lb/hive loss for the winter.

    Luke

  17. #137
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Arras, British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    I took the kids out to the bee shed and gave the bees a little sip of water. I just couldn't resist to open one up and have a look. It appears to be similar to last year. I had capped brood in the only hive I looked in. About the size of a baseball, both sides of the frame. (See pictures) You can kind of make out the queen in the image. I can only assume that the others are similar. Although it would be just my luck that I picked the 1 out of 98 that had brood. My biggest concern now is that it appeared that they had eaten through about 20lbs of their stores. This hive went in at 73.9lbs. I will weigh it the next time I go in for a look. It's important to note that this hive was not particularly strong, it had about 5 frames of bees. They have been indoors since the first week of November. I am hoping to hold them in till mid to late April. So I still have 1.5-2 months to go.

    6-7 degrees C and no idea on RH.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  18. #138
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Arras, British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    Forgot to say it is either a Kona or Arataki Carniolon Queen.

  19. #139
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,936

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    Im hoping to find weather at the end of March to set my hives out into. Just over a month before we start beekeeping again!

    Cool seeing inside an indoor wintered hive. I have never broken into a hive after its been confined. They sure get runny.
    And I will take note on the patch of brood
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  20. #140
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    434

    Default Re: Indoor wintering

    Ian you are very optimistic given the temperature trends this winter. Hope you are right.

    JT that small patch of brood is a good reason to keep the temperature at 6-7 C. Smallish hives can starve on the brood if temperatures are lower, even if feed is only a couple of frames away.

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