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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    2,817

    Default Re: How cold can they stand it?

    NewbeeInNH, I just came in from putting a piece of 2" foamboard on my south hive faces, I already had 2" foam on the other three sides and 4" on top of the outer cover. I figured with this brutal cold coming in tonight it can't hurt. I usually like to keep the southside uncovered for solar gain in the winter, but for the next few days its more important to conserve heat I think. Its supposed to warm up quite a bit towards the end of this week and into the next, hooray for that!

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,751

    Default Re: How cold can they stand it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Burrup View Post
    We wrap our hives, but I think the greatest gain from wrapping is in late winter when they are brooding up. With the looser clusters the wraps hold in the heat better and allow the bees more time to move around. Also the micro climate, from the black wrapping material, allows the more time for cleansing flights.
    Dave
    Yes I agree completely. Most beekeepers get fooled by that ambient air temperature within the hive, as being the same as the outdoor temp. THat ambient temp may well be the same as the outdoor temp but the conservation of heat within that wrap allows that hive to hold a looser cluster. The bees are translating that increase of heat retention directly into their winter cluster size. There was a studdy bouncing around 10 years ago that showed that effect directly. Cnat find it, it was called something like "thermo dynamics of a wintering honey beehive" ,,? It compared three different hive setups. Perhaps our Beesource Librarian has it on the tips of fingers..

    Nice looking hives Harry!
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,751

    Default Re: How cold can they stand it?

    The other thing,
    when hives are clustered tight in the cold, one of the best things to do is not disturb the nest
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    557

    Default Re: How cold can they stand it?

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    NewbeeInNH, I just came in from putting a piece of 2" foamboard on my south hive faces, I already had 2" foam on the other three sides and 4" on top of the outer cover. I figured with this brutal cold coming in tonight it can't hurt. I usually like to keep the southside uncovered for solar gain in the winter, but for the next few days its more important to conserve heat I think. Its supposed to warm up quite a bit towards the end of this week and into the next, hooray for that!
    I think that's a great idea.

    Fortunately for us, I don't think we are getting the brunt of this next arctic system like you are in Michigan. Unless I'm just in denial.

    It's hard to believe, but one day we will be sweltering in the heat again.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,817

    Default Re: How cold can they stand it?

    I thought you were in the deep freeze already, Mike Palmer was saying just the other day that temps were way below zero during the day, or are you generally milder than where he is?

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    557

    Default Re: How cold can they stand it?

    jmgi, if you're talking to me, we were -10F night before last, but not negatives for daytime highs. Is Mike Palmer in Nebraska? I forget. I don't see any more negatives in our 10 day forecast, altho a couple nights in the single digits.

    (maybe you were talking to Ian)

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Pottstown, Pennyslvania, USA
    Posts
    329

    Default Re: How cold can they stand it?

    Quote Originally Posted by NewbeeInNH View Post
    Is Mike Palmer in Nebraska? I forget.
    Mike's in St. Albans, Vermont.
    Dan Boylan, At it since 2007 in Pa Zone 6B, 13 hives, 6 nucs, treat when needed.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,817

    Default Re: How cold can they stand it?

    Yes I was talking about Mike Palmer in Vermont.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Pleasant Shade, TN
    Posts
    428

    Default Re: How cold can they stand it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Yes I agree completely. Most beekeepers get fooled by that ambient air temperature within the hive, as being the same as the outdoor temp. THat ambient temp may well be the same as the outdoor temp but the conservation of heat within that wrap allows that hive to hold a looser cluster. The bees are translating that increase of heat retention directly into their winter cluster size. There was a studdy bouncing around 10 years ago that showed that effect directly. Cnat find it, it was called something like "thermo dynamics of a wintering honey beehive" ,,? It compared three different hive setups. Perhaps our Beesource Librarian has it on the tips of fingers..

    Nice looking hives Harry!
    http://www.beesource.com/resources/u...-bee-colonies/
    This might be what you're talking about.
    A man is worth just as much as the things about which he busies himself- Marcus Aurelius

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    557

    Default Re: How cold can they stand it?

    Aha! Figured it out, had Mike Palmer confused with Michael Bush. It looks like Mike Palmer is up near the Canadian border, while I am in southern NH, closer to the Mass. line, so that would be the difference in climate.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,751

    Default Re: How cold can they stand it?

    Quote Originally Posted by TalonRedding View Post
    http://www.beesource.com/resources/u...-bee-colonies/
    This might be what you're talking about.
    There it is! I milled over that one for about a week 10 years or so ago.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Pleasant Shade, TN
    Posts
    428

    Default Re: How cold can they stand it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    There it is! I milled over that one for about a week 10 years or so ago.
    I'm milling over it right now!
    A man is worth just as much as the things about which he busies himself- Marcus Aurelius

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,751

    Default Re: How cold can they stand it?

    I actually printed out the graghs and set them up in a side by side comparatively manner ( before I had kids, and this machine of a farm)
    what I had determined from that, and glenning conclusions from the authour, caused a lot of disagreement from others. I guess from what I gathered from the graphs was differing from what others gathered.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Pleasant Shade, TN
    Posts
    428

    Default Re: How cold can they stand it?

    So far, from what I understand from what I've read, is that there is really not a huge difference between insulated and uninsulated colonies. Granted, insulated colonies have a less dense cluster and begin brood increase a little earlier. However, uninsulated colonies maintain the same temperature with a denser cluster and will catch up brood rearing by the time nectar flow peaks. One of the biggest points I found in the literature, which differers from a few posts I've read, is that the bees are not concerned with the domicile outside the cluster (empty space around the cluster), and that the outside edge of the cluster remained around 44 F during cold weather. One advantage that insulated colonies MIGHT have is that with a loose cluster, they will be able to relocate food stores with less difficulty. Another big point is that solar radiation or the lack thereof had more of an effect on cluster movements than temperatures. The bottom line I take away from it is that bees are rugged critters and they will do just fine out in the open in cold climates with proper sun exposure and ventilation.
    A man is worth just as much as the things about which he busies himself- Marcus Aurelius

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,751

    Default Re: How cold can they stand it?

    >>they will do just fine out in the open in cold climates with proper sun exposure and ventilation.<<

    Experience from around here suggests that shelter plays a huge role in winter survival , not a question about it

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Pleasant Shade, TN
    Posts
    428

    Default Re: How cold can they stand it?

    It is location specific, no doubt about it. Manitoba IS farther north than Madison, Wisconsin which is where this study took place. I would probably take a few precautions myself if I lived that far north. However, some folks get hyped up over the cold, but that's just part of the experience. It's no different than running cattle, horses, sheep, goats, crop farming......well, you get the picture I'm sure. There is no sense in letting the weather eat your nerves when the weather is the driving force behind agriculture/beekeeping. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best, that is all you can do. It comes with the territory of being a producer. Btw...stay warm up there in Manitoba. It's going to be a balmy 9 F here in Tennessee tomorrow!
    A man is worth just as much as the things about which he busies himself- Marcus Aurelius

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    938

    Default Re: How cold can they stand it?

    Quote Originally Posted by TalonRedding View Post
    One of the biggest points I found in the literature, which differers from a few posts I've read, is that the bees are not concerned with the domicile outside the cluster
    WOW!!
    Now you have really peaked my interest!
    How did you find out what the bees are concerned with from the data on the graphs?
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Pleasant Shade, TN
    Posts
    428

    Default Re: How cold can they stand it?

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryVanderpool View Post
    WOW!!
    Now you have really peaked my interest!
    How did you find out what the bees are concerned with from the data on the graphs?
    (17) Honey bees make no attempt to maintain the temperature in the domicile outside the winter cluster.

    That is summarization #17 in the article above. It wasn't derived from the graphs, it was stated by the author.
    As to how I know what the bees are "concerned" with, that's easy! I am ONE with the bees! Lol...just kidding. Maybe "concerned" wasn't the best choice of wording there. More like bees use their energy to warm the cluster and not the space around them, which makes perfect sense.
    A man is worth just as much as the things about which he busies himself- Marcus Aurelius

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,304

    Default Re: How cold can they stand it?

    Quote Originally Posted by TalonRedding View Post
    As to how I know what the bees are "concerned" with, that's easy! I am ONE with the bees!
    So am I, and what they need to survive winters is the same as what I need:

    Regards, Barry

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,649

    Default Re: How cold can they stand it?

    You feed bees orange juice?


    Would that be No Pulp or Lots of Pulp?
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

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