prepping for the big chill - Page 3
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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Aberdeen,MS 39730
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    8

    Default Re: prepping for the big chill

    I too am worried about my one hive that was started with a package May 28, 2013. They had a very good first year and actually had a super that I harvested last month. I'm not worried about long term because only 2 very cold days and nights are predicted, but I would not want to lose thousands of bees just because they were not prepared for this drastic, rapid change in the weather they are use to. I'm gonna wrap with moving blankets which will shield them from the wind and help maintain the temp in the hive. What am I overlooking here?

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  3. #42
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Aberdeen, Idaho
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    1,148

    Default Re: prepping for the big chill

    Do not wrap them tight enough to close off the ventilation. Regardless of the temperature hives need ventilation.
    Dave

  4. #43
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    1,425

    Default Re: prepping for the big chill

    I've draped moving pads over the hives leaving the fronts open, creates dead air around the hive, worked out pretty good.
    Rod

  5. #44
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    2,941

    Default Re: prepping for the big chill

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post

    Lauri, I'm not sure I understand why you go to the lengths you go for wintering. You're in such a moderate climate.

    That photo if the thickly insulated hive is just an experiment. Someone posted something about some insulating bag they were buying and I remembered I had that scrap piece from when we built out barn.
    For winterization in my area, I just push my hives together with foam in between. More for a wind break on two sides than anything.

    You have to remember, I am still somewhat new. Every year I figure out what I can and can't get away with. Trust me, I'd rather not do all the work. But would rather be safe than sorry when it comes to protecting my investment.
    Very few folks around here over winter there hives successfully. Most likely due to purchased contaminated comb, mites and antibiotic dependent stock not genetically suitable for our long wet winters tho...Nothing to do with exposure.

    Lauri Miller.
    Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn, Latshaw & Wild lines.

  6. #45
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Marietta, OH
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: prepping for the big chill



    Well, I did what I could; leaves in bags behind the nucs and foam sheets on their windward side. Son' s archery target on one end of the nucs. The big hives have a sheet or two of foam on top. My big hive that seems to stay on top of the frames with the candy and on both sides of the inner cover got a wrap and extra foam on top. Maybe overkill but I feel like I have done what I could

  7. #46
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    12,001

    Default Re: prepping for the big chill

    Lauri, for comparison, figure out a way to winter a hive, colder! Not sure how you can do it, but if you can slow down the bees activity, you just might find they deal with your long wet climate better.
    Regards, Barry

  8. #47
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,758

    Default Re: prepping for the big chill

    You could try moving them into a shed. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Arrow-Dak...0114563?N=btz2 Make sure no light gets in. It will help keep the temp steady. I find keeping them at 40 is the best temp to have them make it through the winter.

  9. #48
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    34,541

    Default Re: prepping for the big chill

    Quote Originally Posted by drtoddh View Post
    Must be pretty darned cold there. Everything is shivering.
    Mark Berninghausen

  10. #49
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Marietta, OH
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: prepping for the big chill



    Sorry, I originally had uploaded the wrong photo. Here is a non shivering photo

  11. #50
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk Co, NY, USA
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    3,625

    Default Re: prepping for the big chill

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Repeat this! Prepping for a big chill would have been done two to three months ago in the midwest. At this point, I doubt anything you do will make a difference to their survival. I don't insulate my hives in anyway. Just have a wind break to the north and west is all.
    I don't follow your train of thought here.
    Prepping for normal winter conditions would have been 2 or 3 months ago.
    The weather expected is anything but normal and is breaking 20+ year old records.
    Alterations to normal wintering practices being made by some now is a reaction to abnormal conditions.
    Don't livestock managers adjust to present conditions on a regular basis for the benefit of their stock, or just let it ride no matter what?
    Are you suggesting that normal practices are fine in abnormal conditions and any effort now is a waste of time ?

  12. #51
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    12,001

    Default Re: prepping for the big chill

    Bees have been living through winters far longer than 20 years. "Normal" takes into account that there will be times when it gets real cold. Most of us are going to experience this cold for just a few days. There are bees that live through winters that have this sort of cold for weeks on end. If your bees were healthy with full stores in the hive going into winter, for the most part, the bees will manage the rest. I think we tend to overly worry in this regard.
    Regards, Barry

  13. #52
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Bayfield, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: prepping for the big chill

    I know this doesn't have a lot to do with this exact thread but....our high temps here have been in the low thirty's in the afternoons and my carniolans are out and about! If anyone ever asks about bees for a cold climate these girls get my vote!
    "Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever."
    www.southerncoloradobeekeepers.com

  14. #53
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk Co, NY, USA
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    3,625

    Default Re: prepping for the big chill

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Bees have been living through winters far longer than 20 years. "Normal" takes into account that there will be times when it gets real cold. Most of us are going to experience this cold for just a few days. There are bees that live through winters that have this sort of cold for weeks on end. If your bees were healthy with full stores in the hive going into winter, for the most part, the bees will manage the rest. I think we tend to overly worry in this regard.
    Our opinions are polar opposites on this one. keep warm.

  15. #54
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Miami, Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    9,340

    Default Re: prepping for the big chill

    >>The weather expected is anything but normal and is breaking 20+ year old records.<<

    Normal? Farming is managing both ends of extremes, which works out to normal conditions when looked back on

    An old beekeeper once told me
    "prepare your hives in the fall, open them up in the spring"
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  16. #55
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,569

    Default Re: prepping for the big chill

    Adjusting the packing on the outside makes sense to me if you're worried - you may sleep better irrespective of the benefit to the bees. What does bother me is the looking inside, because I think there is uneccessary disturbance to the cluster, disruption to the propolis seal, loss of some heat, and the possibility that the queen gets smushed in the process.

  17. #56
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    34,541

    Default Re: prepping for the big chill

    Quote Originally Posted by clyderoad View Post
    I don't follow your train of thought here.
    Prepping for normal winter conditions would have been 2 or 3 months ago.
    The weather expected is anything but normal and is breaking 20+ year old records.
    Alterations to normal wintering practices being made by some now is a reaction to abnormal conditions.
    Don't livestock managers adjust to present conditions on a regular basis for the benefit of their stock, or just let it ride no matter what?
    Are you suggesting that normal practices are fine in abnormal conditions and any effort now is a waste of time ?
    You are over concerned about something at this time you can have very little effect on.

    I have seen hives laying on their sides, no bottom board, covers off, partly covered w/ snow come thru Winter just fine. Cold does not kill an otherwise healthy/in good shape colony of bees. Perhaps hard to take, anything that doesn't survive this spat of cold weather probably wasn't going to survive anyway or if it did it wouldn't have been much like a good colony in the Spring.

    Let your bees be bees.
    Mark Berninghausen

  18. #57
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    153

    Default Re: prepping for the big chill

    weather.PNG

    All things considered I am looking forward to Friday! minus 46 (that's -51 for the americans) is just a little too cold. Glad my bees are in the shed at 5 degrees. Try telling me that weather will not kill an unprotected hive and I will tell you to shake your head, and keep shaking till that thought leaves your mind.

  19. #58
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Hillsboro, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    1,688

    Default Re: prepping for the big chill

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    You are over concerned about something at this time you can have very little effect on.

    I have seen hives laying on their sides, no bottom board, covers off, partly covered w/ snow come thru Winter just fine. Cold does not kill an otherwise healthy/in good shape colony of bees. Perhaps hard to take, anything that doesn't survive this spat of cold weather probably wasn't going to survive anyway or if it did it wouldn't have been much like a good colony in the Spring.

    Let your bees be bees.
    Good words, Mark. I don't wrap if my hives are in good shape, because they can handle it just fine. Let them be bees. It was -13 last night.

  20. #59
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    carney, maryland, USA
    Posts
    1,262

    Default Re: prepping for the big chill

    Quote Originally Posted by drtoddh View Post


    Sorry, I originally had uploaded the wrong photo. Here is a non shivering photo
    Doc, on the 4 nuc(?) sized hives, is that flashing on top? If so is that on top of plywood covers?

    Phil

  21. #60
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA UNITED STATES
    Posts
    241

    Default Re: prepping for the big chill

    Cold doesn't kill a hive. A week of cold, and a week of warm, repeated over and over can kill a hive. We had that last year. Lost many very healthy hives with tons of stores. The queen started laying in January after 2 weeks of warm weather, and the bees wouldn't leave the larva to move to the next frame full of honey, and starved out during a solid cold week.

    I'm really curious about the quilted top like the Warre hive. I think that's a brilliant idea. Hardware cloth, some cedar shavings and pop the top back on. For those that do that, do you remove the inner cover completely? Put it below the quilt, above the quilt? If below, do you need a air hole for ventillation, or is that not an issue as the quilting removes the condensation issue. I'm building those this weekend!

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