hydrating in winter
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Ballinger, Texas, USA
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    Default hydrating in winter

    OK this is probably a stupid question. How do bees stay hydrated when it's really cold and, even if they could reach them, their usual water sources are frozen? I assume they hydrate from honey.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Red Bud, IL, USA
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    Default Re: hydrating in winter

    They will visit their water source during warmer days but they will also utilize any condensation in the hive when they can break cluster.
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Ballinger, Texas, USA
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    Default Re: hydrating in winter

    Didn't know how long they could go without water. Won't be above 50 until Friday if then. BTW I've taken steps to prevent condensation, at least in the amount and position where it could drip into the cluster. Thanks for your reply.

  5. #4
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    Oct 2011
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    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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    Default Re: hydrating in winter

    Bees do not fly for some 4-5 months in colder climates and water sources are frozen over on the odd day they may get a cleansing flight in. They survive on water from honey, sugar syrup and condensation inside the hive. A few days of not flying and being able to forage for water is not a problem.
    Zone 3b. If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Vauxhall, Alberta, Canada
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    Default Re: hydrating in winter

    Conchoreb,

    Never a stupid question, just stupid answers and I add some. If you in sonny Texas worry, what should we north of the iceberg meridian say? -22F for a while now already, warm, 39F coming Friday, (we hope, mgolden has to wait a while longer) and the little girls survive. I have seen them come out after a cold spell like this on a sunny day around 50F, and dive straight in to the snow and die. Around 60-65 they fly and probably find water from melting snow in a warm spot, but most of the time they need to live with what is in the hive and they doing it for millions of years. Don't question to much, they will survive, at least a 50/50 chance I think.

    All the best, Joerg
    Summ Summ Bienchen summ herum

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Miami, Manitoba, Canada
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    Default Re: hydrating in winter

    Don’t forget honey has at least 1/3 if a pound water per pound of honey

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Ballinger, Texas, USA
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    Default Re: hydrating in winter

    Thanks to all!

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Vauxhall, Alberta, Canada
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    174

    Default Re: hydrating in winter

    Ian

    Don’t forget honey has at least 1/3 if a pound water per pound of honey
    , my calculation is different: if honey has 17% moisture, it contains 77 gram water, that is about 1/6th, but still it contains water, I agree.

    Happy New Year, Joerg
    Summ Summ Bienchen summ herum

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    DuPage County Illinois
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    Default Re: hydrating in winter

    Quote Originally Posted by Biermann View Post
    Ian

    , my calculation is different: if honey has 17% moisture, it contains 77 gram water, that is about 1/6th, but still it contains water, I agree.

    Happy New Year, Joerg
    There is also metabolic water from sugar.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    West Jordan, UT, USA
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    885

    Default Re: hydrating in winter

    I would also presume that winter bees' water needs are far less than the what summer bees need, for a variety of reasons. Different seasonal work roles, for instance.

  12. #11
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    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: hydrating in winter

    After the bees consume the honey, counting the approx 18% water in honey to start with, and adding the H2O product of the bees 'burning' the sugars, about 2/3rds of the initial honey weight ends up as 'water', per this Bee Culture article ...
    http://www.beeculture.com/wait-much-water/
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Miami, Manitoba, Canada
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    Default Re: hydrating in winter

    Quote Originally Posted by Biermann View Post
    Ian

    , my calculation is different: if honey has 17% moisture, it contains 77 gram water, that is about 1/6th, but still it contains water, I agree.

    Happy New Year, Joerg
    Your math looks better than mine
    My head was in between metric and imperial

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Windsor, ON
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    8

    Default Re: hydrating in winter

    To add a few pennies you need to start with the national honey show https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bb5cowu-NZI&t=151s
    and it depends on where you live and your bees. Washington state and BC in the winter is quite wet. For sure Albert, because I was there in the winter a few days, really dry air. Also Jan mentioned that in Manitoba 50% humidity, that is very low.
    During winter, bees take little food and water, and until they start rearing a new generation. And February and March is a time of great demand for water in the hive. And the humidity in the hive falls below 50%. This is where it begins to complicate. Well, that's why bees need you.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    Default Re: hydrating in winter

    Tom Seeley's lecture on this is very interesting. In fact, I am enjoying all of the lectures at the National Honey Show and encourage folks to check them out. J

  16. #15
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    Jun 2015
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    Rib Lake WI
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    Default Re: hydrating in winter

    Quote Originally Posted by Fivej View Post
    Tom Seeley's lecture on this is very interesting. In fact, I am enjoying all of the lectures at the National Honey Show and encourage folks to check them out. J
    The latest ones are very Good!!

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