Today in the Apiary - Page 98
Page 98 of 98 FirstFirst ... 4888969798
Results 1,941 to 1,951 of 1951
  1. #1941
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Delhi, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,006

    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    So far it seems as though all 13 hives were flying a few days ago, it was unusually warm. Not too sure about one, it might have been the neighboring hives bees checking it out. Still a good 2 months to go before pollen comes available from skunk cabbage and early crocus etc. Now it will be -5 tonight, not too bad.
    Bee Thankful Raw Honey, Western Catskill Mountains
    Proverbs 16:24

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #1942
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Amsterdam, NY, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Took a walk out back to check on 6 colonies. Have 3 nucs and 3 full size. Have a couple more full size closer to the house, one being a late swarm that moved in near Labor Day which I fed for several weeks. Temperatures here have been very cold since before Christmas with a number of days getting down to -25f and never rising above zero. But there also have been a couple of short warm spells with one spiking up into the 50's for a day.

    I've put 1" polystyrene insulation board on the outside of each of the colonies. I cut the pieces to fit and screwed them to the wood with a couple screws and flat washers. I also pulled the inner covers and set a quilt box on top. The quilt boxes are simply a hive box that has a piece of burlap stapled to the bottom, which I then fill with dry pine wood shavings. I have about 6 inches of shavings on top of the full size colonies and about 12 inches on the little ones. My theory is that I don't need to stop condensation inside the hive, but I do need to control where it happens.

    The insulation doesn't make the inside of the hive warm, but it does buffer the temperature swings so the temperature outside the cluster is more stable. Insulating the walls of the hive less than the top of the hive causes condensation to occur on the walls instead of the ceiling. And the porous burlap wood shavings quilt pack allows very gentle ventilation between inside and outside environments. Interestingly, I found when I looked at the colonies, a couple of the shavings packs were frosted near the top, which demonstrates that air movement is occurring and that condensation is happening inside the quilt where I expected it to be. For those colonies I simply scooped out the shavings and replaced with fresh and did not have to disturb the bees. Before next year I will recalculate the heat transfer rates through the hive and see if changing the insulation and quilt thicknesses will allow better utilization of the heat leaking from the cluster to further stabilize the inside temperature.

    I use a stethoscope to check my hives. It's quick and easy to put the stethoscope next to the opening and listen for the buzzing of the cluster. I can also wriggle the stethoscope down through the shavings to near the burlap bottom and hear the cluster buzzing. Once you figure out how to do it you can even tell about where in the hive the cluster is located, and if you hear very loud buzzing you know the bees are near the top and it's time to think about feeding.

    Knock wood, so far so good as all 8 colonies sounded healthy. I noticed some frost in two of the wood shavings packs so I replaced the shavings with fresh. The rest of the colonies were all fairly dry so I left those alone.

    Two of the full size colonies were from Italian packages I got from BetterBee in early 2017. Both seem strong, but one of them had noticeably more dead bees than the other.
    I have some suspicions that the one with fewer dead bees swarmed during the summer and so the queen probably bred with some of the local drones and that's making a difference in how they're wintering.

    I'm certainly not an expert with bees and have only been working with them for a few years, but I've been applying some basic thermodynamic principles towards wintering for the past couple years and I think that's been helpful. Time will tell!

    Thanks

  4. #1943
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    733

    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    lobottomee,

    I like your approach to the thermodynamics of a wintering honey bee hive. What you describe is very similar to my approach to winterizing. The one suggestion that I have is that you drill one inch diameter holes on the sides of your "quilt box" (QB) to allow the accumulated moisture (solid, liquid, or gas) to escape when conditions allow. In my case I build four inch high QB's with #8 screened bottoms, filled with wood shavings, and ten one inch diameter holes (3 on the long sides, and 2 on the short sides) half way up. The insides of the holes are covered with scraps of #8 screen wire to contain the shavings and keep other bugs out. I also insulate with two inch rigid foam on all four sides and the outside top. I also do quickie, winter time, pop-the-top inspections and only found moisture once in eight years with 10+ colonies. I also built my own house with structural insulated panel (SIP) type construction. And my winters are mild compared to yours.

    Steve

  5. #1944
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    North Florida
    Posts
    313

    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Mid 60's here today. Opened 2 ten frame boxes and a NUC in my back yard. They all still have plenty or stores, even found an unmarked queen in one. Caught and marked her, she was busy laying. One frame was full of eggs. It has been very cold here for several weeks, if it stays warm they will be brooding up real soon. Will go up to my farm (45 mins away) Monday and check the other 26 hives.

  6. #1945
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Amsterdam, NY, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Thank you Steve, you make an important point that I omitted. There definitely needs to be ventilation and communication between the outside air and top of the shavings in the quilt box.

    I at one point considered using metal mesh to contain the wood chips as you are doing, but decided against it. I was concerned that the metal mesh, being a good conductor of heat relative to the rest of the hive, would form a surface where condensation could form. However, your experience indicates that's not a problem.

    A couple of details for others if they decide to use burlap is that you need to ensure it isn't treated with insecticides or fire retardants for obvious reasons. Over time, the burlap will stretch and can even sag down to and lay on top of the frames in the hive body below the quilt. I solved this problem by drilling a few small holes through the sides of the quilt box near the bottom. I then thread some electric fence wire through the holes and pull it tight, forming a support under the burlap so it won't sag.

    I'm glad to learn that you seldom find moisture to be a problem with your method which hints that I'm on the right track with the similar one I'm using. I am considering going to a 2 inch extruded polystyrene (XPS) next year which has an R value around 10 so would be the equivalent of tree cavity with walls 10 inches thick like you already are using.

    I'm an incessant tinkerer so have some other ideas about the shape of a winter cover that passively takes advantage of water's adhesion properties, or taking advantage of capillary action by orienting the grain of the wood in a hive body vertically versus the typical horizontal.

    Thank you!

  7. #1946
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    690

    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    We finally got some warm weather here in the Richmond area (high of 62 today) so I did my first check of the hives in about a month. Very happy to see that all three of the home hives were flying. Filled their feeders with 1:1. Tomorrow I will refill and throw on the pollen subs. Unfortunately, the remaining nuc I had at my work died. Cluster was very small and surrounded by capped honey, but the area they were clustered on had no stores. I think the cluster was just to small to deal with the the sub zero temps we had recently. This nuc's survival was iffy going into winter. The nuc next to it mite crashed earlier this year and I was too late with the Apivar on this one so no big fat winter bees. I always thought that was just a saying but the bees at the home yard are noticably larger.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  8. #1947
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    st anne illinios usa
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Replace 6 candy boards on 6 of my 7 hives. All six were alive made it thru the sub zero temps a week or so ago, Will check the 7th hive Sunday as have to make another candy board.

  9. #1948
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Dade county, Mo.
    Posts
    151

    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Holy cow there's a bunch of bees flyin today.

  10. #1949
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Dade county, Mo.
    Posts
    151

    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    The bees invaded the sawdust and lumber piles today.

    IMG_20180121_152132091.jpg

    They were bringing it back to the hives so i assume they get something of benefit out of it???

    IMG_20180121_153743229.jpg

  11. #1950
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    690

    Default Re: Today in the Apiary

    Got up to 67įF here today. Decided to suit up and do hive inspections. Hive 2, which is my feral hive, still had around 50# of honey in the upper brood box. I added a full patty of Dadant Brood Builder to the top of the frame and added a feeding shim. Hive 3 had about 30# between the medium upper box and the bottom box. Also found a 6" diameter circle of capped brood, larvae, and eggs on both sides of one frame. Way more of the eggs so she is ramping up. Only one frame had pollen stores and not much at that but the girls were bringing in something that looked like pollen and something else that looked like my neighbor's chicken feed. Oh well. Subject of another thread. Added a feeding shim and patty on this hive too.I didn't go into the nuc, just picked the whole thing up to check weight. It still feels like 10# of honey, give or take a few. Overall I am suprised how little of their stores have been consumed so far. I was really expecting a lot of empty comb. Now the concern is if they can get it emptied before the flow starts. Otherwise I will end up pulling this comb which is a mixture of honey and sugar syrup and saving it until this summer once the supers come off. I know that a lot will get used in brood rearing so we shall see. After inspections I sat and watched the bees for a while. You would have thought the flow was on by the amount of activity at the two full sized hives. Even the nuc had a lot more activity than I am accustomed to. No robbing, just a lot of foraging.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  12. #1951
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Emporia, Kansas, USA
    Posts
    78

    Default

    Took advantage of the 60 degree day today to check the bees. I didnít open them up, but I could see undertakers hauling out the dead, and an ear to the hive revealed all 4 hives buzzing. Two hives are from swarms trapped last year, 2 are from a caught swarm from 2016 that I split last year.
    USDA zone 6a

Page 98 of 98 FirstFirst ... 4888969798

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •