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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Larimer County, CO
    Posts
    501

    Default Mid-January and still have bees living.

    Have to say that with all the doom and gloom of past years, I didn't know what to expect going into my first winter as a beekeeper. Realize that winter is far from over, but I'm happy that they've made it this long. Two of them seem to be busting at the seems and look to have a lot of honey left. The third one I'm not sure what's left in there. There are bees in the hive, but I'm not sure how many and didn't want to completely break down the hive to find out. Did lose one hive sometime in the last couple of weeks. This one never did well at building up numbers all last summer/fall, and I honestly didn't expect them to make it, so I wasn't too surprised when I opened that one to find nothing.

    Added some sugar for insurance and closed them all back up. Hopefully they'll continue doing well until pollen starts showing up in 6 to 8 weeks.

    How's everyone's winter going so far?
    I'm the dude, so that's what you call me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    southwest colorado
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Mid-January and still have bees living.

    Well I am down in the southwest corner and until today was not feeling real positive about survival of my hives. It got real cold here early in the year. I had heard that to check in winter time you just knock on the side of the hive and could hear them buzz a bit , tried that last weekend and heard nothing on any of them . Today was exceptionally nice though so went out to the bee yard , and what do I see but flying bees. I know its early yet but I was glad to see this . They went into winter fairly heavy on 3 of the hives and marginal on the 4th.I did put 2 frames of honey in the 4th so I am hoping come april I have nice healthy colonies .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    976

    Default Re: Mid-January and still have bees living.

    Quote Originally Posted by jim81147 View Post
    I had heard that to check in winter time you just knock on the side of the hive and could hear them buzz a bit , tried that last weekend and heard nothing on any of them .
    FWIW,

    In the winter, my bees do not respond to a knock on the hive. You can pretty much pound on my hives in cold weather, and not a sound. I have been told that if they don't respond with the "buzz", they are surely dead. That does not hold true for my bees.

    If it is around 40 degrees, some colonies will respond with a buzz to a knock, some will not.

    Shane

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,588

    Default Re: Mid-January and still have bees living.

    85% are alive and well.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,639

    Default Re: Mid-January and still have bees living.

    Quote Originally Posted by jim81147 View Post
    I had heard that to check in winter time you just knock on the side of the hive and could hear them buzz a bit.
    it's much easier to hear them with a stethoscope, even a cheap one will do.

    i found that even when it's cold the cluster roar will get a little louder when you knock, but just for a couple of seconds.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,588

    Default Re: Mid-January and still have bees living.

    were my hives in NY I probably wouldn't pop covers off and look, but that's what I do when they are in SC.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,333

    Default Re: Mid-January and still have bees living.

    Quote Originally Posted by tsmullins View Post
    FWIW,

    In the winter, my bees do not respond to a knock on the hive. You can pretty much pound on my hives in cold weather, and not a sound. I have been told that if they don't respond with the "buzz", they are surely dead. That does not hold true for my bees.

    If it is around 40 degrees, some colonies will respond with a buzz to a knock, some will not.

    Shane
    Two weeks ago we literally had a look at the hives. Most had a few bees coming and going. Some did not. I listened to the quiet hives and heard nothing. I then got a stethoscope and listened. I put it against an inactive hive and heard nothing! But I then moved it about and found buzzing sounds localized to small area of one box. I recalled the tapping the hive trick. I did that and woke a dragon! Out they came and stung me...now I listen but don't tap
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Auburntown, TN USA
    Posts
    239

    Default Re: Mid-January and still have bees living.

    6 of 6 alive right now, but after reviewing last year's notes, my die of here occurred at the beginning of March. I lost 2 of 5. Happy for now and hoping for the best! Good luck to you all! :-)

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