It got better (they lived)
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Hall, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    205

    Default It got better (they lived)

    I've been afraid to report until the worst of the cold weather passed down here. I had 3 hives alive at Christmas, and then we had two weeks of cold weather like Georgia never sees (single digits F on a couple of mornings).

    Today, back to 60F, and all 3 hives are flying like crazy. So, I'm calling this year's survival rate 100%, and I could not be happier. (That sure beats my first year 33%; I was pretty miserable then and was ready to start stamp collecting or origami or something).

    Credit to the bees and not to me; I let them do their own thing pretty much this year, and kept my suggestions to a minimum. I mostly watched and learned, with a bare minimum of moving resources to equalize the hives as winter approached. Even my puny little fist-sized caught swarm from August made it, against all odds. (There were never 3 combs of bees in that hive... they were like a small nuc all winter).

    So: maybe I'll keep doing this for a little while longer.

    This year's plan: double up to 6 hives, and try hard to catch some wild bees up on the Hall/Habersham border (where the hills start turning into mountains).

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    8,331

    Default Re: It got better (they lived)

    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Craig County, Oklahoma, USA
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: It got better (they lived)

    Congrats. Hope they are off to a good start.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    DuPage County Illinois
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: It got better (they lived)

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarDad View Post
    I've been afraid to report until the worst of the cold weather passed down here. I had 3 hives alive at Christmas, and then we had two weeks of cold weather like Georgia never sees (single digits F on a couple of mornings).
    That isn't cold. Single digit Fahrenheit were our highs the last two weeks and one day we never got above zero. Now we have 35 and its sunbathing time!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Ball Ground, GA
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: It got better (they lived)

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarDad View Post
    I've been afraid to report until the worst of the cold weather passed down here. I had 3 hives alive at Christmas, and then we had two weeks of cold weather like Georgia never sees (single digits F on a couple of mornings).

    Today, back to 60F, and all 3 hives are flying like crazy. So, I'm calling this year's survival rate 100%, and I could not be happier. (That sure beats my first year 33%; I was pretty miserable then and was ready to start stamp collecting or origami or something).

    Credit to the bees and not to me; I let them do their own thing pretty much this year, and kept my suggestions to a minimum. I mostly watched and learned, with a bare minimum of moving resources to equalize the hives as winter approached. Even my puny little fist-sized caught swarm from August made it, against all odds. (There were never 3 combs of bees in that hive... they were like a small nuc all winter).

    So: maybe I'll keep doing this for a little while longer.

    This year's plan: double up to 6 hives, and try hard to catch some wild bees up on the Hall/Habersham border (where the hills start turning into mountains).
    Congratulations!
    Remember though - Winter is far from done.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Hall, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    205

    Default Re: It got better (they lived)

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz-kill View Post
    That isn't cold. Single digit Fahrenheit were our highs the last two weeks and one day we never got above zero. Now we have 35 and its sunbathing time!
    I actually had to buy a coat this winter! We were really suffering!

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Craig County, Oklahoma, USA
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: It got better (they lived)

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz-kill View Post
    That isn't cold. Single digit Fahrenheit were our highs the last two weeks and one day we never got above zero. Now we have 35 and its sunbathing time!
    That's why I don't live in IL. lol I'm even working 600mls south of my house right now and not liking the cold.
    Usually I'm in IA, NE, IL MI, MN in the winter this year south of ol' San Anton.
    Quit a job in Michigan Last (2016) Dec to go to south TX for 6wks and A LOT more $. The job didn't go through and I'm still making up the lost $ of being unemployed. Such is life.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: It got better (they lived)

    Well, calling it 100% in mid January is a bit too early.
    Just adding a pinch of reality. :0)
    (10 + 2) years. Dad's "smoker boy". Now I am the Dad. Classic 12 frame Dadants >> Ukranian frame horizontals.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: It got better (they lived)

    Really, in beekeeping the year should go spring to spring (April to April, give or take, depending the area).
    This is because the start of the spring flow is about the best time to count your surviving hives and start the new baseline going forward.
    Until this period, counting survival rates makes little sense.
    (10 + 2) years. Dad's "smoker boy". Now I am the Dad. Classic 12 frame Dadants >> Ukranian frame horizontals.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Sawyer County,WI USA
    Posts
    297

    Default Re: It got better (they lived)

    A beekeepers year is completely dependent on location. We start getting ready for Winter in August.

    When the temperature is minus 25F and I can see frost forming at the top entrances of the hives and the bottoms are covered with snow (that I've purposely shoveled around), I'm happy/thrilled to know my bees are alive, as evidenced by the frost.

    All beekeeping is Local my friends, and local bees rule IMHO. What one person/Beek experiences in Central Alabama, Georgia (or even Northern Illinois) should not be considered informative enough to example or present the same experience as in Northern Wisconsin or Ontario.

    Bees, like humans acclimate to their environments. My friends in the South often tell me that 50F takes their breath away. I then tell them that 35F is just a long sleeve day...

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Germany, BW
    Posts
    1,835

    Default Re: It got better (they lived)

    Quote Originally Posted by drummerboy View Post
    We start getting ready for Winter in August.
    The bees get ready for winter in august. Im 8a but mine do. If the beekeeper follows he listened to the bees. Do we? No.
    zone 8a, sc, dadant square, wax comb, tf, 4 years beekeeping
    www.vivabiene.de

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: It got better (they lived)

    Bees maybe getting for winter in the fall.
    You maybe having all kinds of hopes and projections in the fall.
    You may have taken every foreseeable measure in the fall to have success.

    However, the end result (measured in annual survival ratio) is only known in spring.
    All it is to it.

    PS: spring being April or March or October, or whatever dates work for you in your particular village.
    (10 + 2) years. Dad's "smoker boy". Now I am the Dad. Classic 12 frame Dadants >> Ukranian frame horizontals.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    NW Florida
    Posts
    165

    Default Re: It got better (they lived)

    Avatar Dad, I'm a zone or two south of you. Swarming here is late Feb., early March. We are close to the end of winter, but not there yet. In fact, there is another cold front coming through. You can call winter over when the blooms start in your area. You are off to a good start.

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