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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,862

    Default Its been a cold windy winter

    Since the beginning of December old man winter has had a terrible hold on our part of the country. We have had a grand total of 4 mild days over the last three months with the remainder being cold and windy. Hoping March shows us some mercy and longing for a spring filled April which we missed out on last year...

    The wind is howling against the house again tonight, -25degreesC with the next week looking colder... How anything lives in weather like this I don't know...

    Glad my bees are inside!

    http://s1277.photobucket.com/user/Ia...e4925.jpg.html
    http://s1277.photobucket.com/user/Ia...tml?sort=3&o=1
    http://s1277.photobucket.com/user/Ia...tml?sort=3&o=2
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    2,982

    Default Re: Its been a cold windy winter

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post

    The wind is howling against the house again tonight, -25degreesC with the next week looking colder... How anything lives in weather like this I don't know...
    Ian, I am curious, can anything be done outside this time of year? Or are you guys basically holed up inside. Although I am a southerner I have fed cattle in open pasture in Vermont and saw temp of -10F with 25 MPH winds and was quite convinced that something as simple as a broken leg could cause one to die out in that weather. Are those pretty white cows inside?
    Last edited by Barry Digman; 02-25-2014 at 09:24 PM. Reason: bracket
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,185

    Default Re: Its been a cold windy winter

    I think this winter is affirming your choice of indoor wintering, and reading about it has been very interesting. I think I am about 8 hours south of you and we are supposed to get that cold wind tomorrow. It seems like this next week or so will be crunch time for those of us wintering outside with brood-rearing coinciding with another polar vortex.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,862

    Default Re: Its been a cold windy winter

    Quote Originally Posted by hpm08161947 View Post
    Ian, I am curious, can anything be done outside this time of year? Or are you guys basically holed up inside. ... Are those pretty white cows inside?
    We have lots of wind shelter and shedding for the cattle , and right now are over 3/4 done calving with about 325 calves which we calve out in an insulated barn. The cattle feed consumption has been consistently 25-30% higher this winter over our normal winter feed consumption. It makes me wonder if it holds the same for the outdoor wintering hives. I imagine so. There has been many outdoor wintering beekeepers switch to single hive winter management. With those large hives entering winter, I wonder if one box is going to be enough for them? Especially if this weather continues well into March!

    Time will tell.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Peace River, AB Canada
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Its been a cold windy winter

    Nice pictures. -31 last four mornings here and calling for same for another week. Can't complain too much though as we had almost two straight weeks of above 0C highs in January. So far this winter has been better than last year and already one month shorter!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,862

    Default Re: Its been a cold windy winter

    oh boy, I bet the bees had a chance to stretch their wings a bit,?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,862

    Default Re: Its been a cold windy winter

    http://s1277.photobucket.com/user/Ia...tml?sort=3&o=1

    That picture of the sun dogs, was taken on a -32 degreeC morning as I was driving my youngest kid down to school, as she missed the bus...

    We only tend to see those sun dogs when she is good and cold. We have been seeing them almost daily this winter and some days its the whole ring!!!
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,307

    Default Re: Its been a cold windy winter

    Having grown up in Winnipeg, that shot of those sun dogs is a good reminder of why I moved. I can attest that sun dogs show up when "she is good and cold". Nice picture, almost got me shivering looking at it.

    Jean-Marc

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    groveton tx
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: Its been a cold windy winter

    We have had snow and ice 3 times down here in east Texas. Which is insane! My question to you Canadians is what would you do if this is a start of a new ice age?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    1,880

    Default Re: Its been a cold windy winter

    Quote Originally Posted by babybee View Post
    We have had snow and ice 3 times down here in east Texas. Which is insane! My question to you Canadians is what would you do if this is a start of a new ice age?
    I don't know about the canadians, but me and my bees are heading for the great state of Texas.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,862

    Default Re: Its been a cold windy winter

    Quote Originally Posted by babybee View Post
    We have had snow and ice 3 times down here in east Texas. Which is insane! My question to you Canadians is what would you do if this is a start of a new ice age?
    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    I don't know about the canadians, but me and my bees are heading for the great state of Texas.
    I was actually planning California ! All that beekeeping talk coming from Cali land has almost gotten me convinced!
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Posts
    249

    Default Re: Its been a cold windy winter

    Forecast for Saturday shows -39. We will not have to worry about mosquitos on that day.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Posts
    249

    Default Re: Its been a cold windy winter

    I do not think the bees use as much feed when it gets cold. All activity in the hive slows right down. To me it seems they use the most when it warms to where there is more activity in the hive. We winter in two deeps and I have never seen these without a good carry over of honey in the spring. I have thought of trying a few singles as a test sometime but as of yet have not done it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    We have lots of wind shelter and shedding for the cattle , and right now are over 3/4 done calving with about 325 calves which we calve out in an insulated barn. The cattle feed consumption has been consistently 25-30% higher this winter over our normal winter feed consumption. It makes me wonder if it holds the same for the outdoor wintering hives. I imagine so. There has been many outdoor wintering beekeepers switch to single hive winter management. With those large hives entering winter, I wonder if one box is going to be enough for them? Especially if this weather continues well into March!

    Time will tell.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Jamestown, North Dakota, USA
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Its been a cold windy winter

    Quote Originally Posted by babybee View Post
    We have had snow and ice 3 times down here in east Texas. Which is insane! My question to you Canadians is what would you do if this is a start of a new ice age?
    The last ice age sent Canadian 'soil fixings' (glacial till) all the way to Iowa. Maybe the US border would head way south too!!!!

    Been cold and windy in North Dakota too. I read in the local paper yesterday that this was one of the 20 coldest winters on record. Weather guys are predicting a late spring due to the depth of the frost seal followed by hot and dry. I hope they're wrong!!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,862

    Default Re: Its been a cold windy winter

    Quote Originally Posted by dgl1948 View Post
    I do not think the bees use as much feed when it gets cold. All activity in the hive slows right down. To me it seems they use the most when it warms to where there is more activity in the hive.


    ya you might be right, but follow the basic laws of "**** load of cold requires a **** load of feed" , feed is going to be a valuable asset by mid to late March
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,834

    Default Re: Its been a cold windy winter

    Ian, what month do you put the bees in the shed and take them out?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Woodstock, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: Its been a cold windy winter

    I feel for you Ian! Here in Ontario I am hearing reports of anything from 30-100% die outs. Im currently at 75%. As far as the comment of using more food, I read a study that -5% they use the least food, and higher or lower temps they will consume more. I know a few people who decided to "cellar" their bees (mostly nucs) this year and they are all doing great. Maybe a practice for us Ontario beeks to adopt!
    TF - Year Two, Eight Colonies
    http://www.honeydrunk.ca

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,862

    Default Re: Its been a cold windy winter

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    Ian, what month do you put the bees in the shed and take them out?
    I put them in beginning of Nov, take them out end of March I hope
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,834

    Default Re: Its been a cold windy winter

    Ian, in the picture it looks like they are wintering in a single medium box, or am I wrong?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    520

    Default Re: Its been a cold windy winter

    On Friday, we had 9C with bees flying, all checking out the hazelnut tree that's on the verge of starting. Then old man winter came for a visit Saturday afternoon, and by Monday morning, everything was buried under 12 inches of fresh wet snow. I had to forego the traditional vancouver island method of snow removal on monday, and actually get a machine to clear a path on the driveway so the wife could go to work. It just kept dumping after that was done, got another 4 inches or so on top of my freshly cleaned out driveway. For the second dump, we are clearing the traditional vancouver island method, sit back and wait for the rain, it will arrive later today.

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