How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter? - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Loganville, GA
    Posts
    180

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    First year, 2 hives and a nuc. 55 degrees here and they are flying like its spring time. I am still feeding 2-1 once a week when I am able to offset their activity. I did not go into the hives but judging by activity, the queens have decided its warm enough to brood up. I am just wondering if I should move the nuc into full size mediums or wait. We do have a week of sub 50 weather coming up, followed by 50-60 weather with some rain mixed in. I am just hoping to avoid very early swarming. I may go into them next week and see whats what when its in warmer air.

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    West Seneca , NY
    Posts
    151

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    Have 6 hives , all were active and packed with bees
    A couple hives were very light when they were heavy
    In the late fall. Hope there not raising a lot of brood
    Now , suppose to get lows around 9 here tonight &
    Tommarrow

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    MONEE, ILLINOIS, USA
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    Just waiting for weather to break enough so I can get more feed on them. I know they're going to need it. The last 2 winters here (Illinois) have just about driven me out of beekeeping after almost 30 years in. Everytime I have a chance to put feed on the weather's just to cold to open hives.

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    4,130

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    So far only one loss, they just don't know it yet. I sort of expected it when they swarmed in NOVEMBER queen failed to mate I'm sure of it. I have a couple more I'm suspicious about because they started rearing brood already. One of them quite heavily I pulled honey of the soon to be dead hive and stuck it on the one burning through stores raising brood. if they make it, she'll get pinched this spring, no need for that crap. Most though are just chilling hanging out being conservative with their stores.

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Sawyer County,WI USA
    Posts
    364

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michbeekeeper View Post
    Should I be feeding dry sugar instead of sugar bricks?

    If you have any left over honey from last season....We set aside a good portion of our honey (2-4 gal) for each colony going into winter, then we mix up that honey equally with dry sugar, making 'honey' balls or 'honey' patties to place inside and laid right on top of the inner cover.

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Freeland, Michigan
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    I never thought of that. I will have to save some next season. So basically you are making a sugar brick with honey in place of water. LOVE THIS!!!

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,597

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    We have just arrived in South Carolina Sunday and it is 30F this morning, colder than when we left NY. Roads and bridges washed out here from the rains last month and one of our yards is not accessible. Hives are very strong but have eaten through some stores in the warm fall/winter up north. Going to give everyone 4 lbs of Brood Builder patties Thursday, pat them on the head and head home! Still plenty of winter to go!

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Sawyer County,WI USA
    Posts
    364

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michbeekeeper View Post
    I never thought of that. I will have to save some next season. So basically you are making a sugar brick with honey in place of water. LOVE THIS!!!
    Yes, its that simple, and for bees nearing starvation the 'honey' always seems to get them interested in feeding instead of succumbing, something that doesn't always get 'triggered' in their little bee minds when its just dry sugar alone. We seldom have any left in the colonies when Spring arrives....the opposite of when we use dry sugar only.

  10. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Alexandria, Virginia
    Posts
    808

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    I did thermal scans yesterday and1,3 and 4 have the cluster in the middle and into the 3rd box....my sugar shim was filled with burr comb that I had to remove the day before and loaded it with fondant....2 and the overwintering NUC have the cluster more at the 1st and 2nd boxes-makes me nervous....I have leftover frames of honey , some partilly capped that I can put on but then I would have to take off and figure out that in the springtime.....I am making more fondant today....COLD has finally arrived here in Northern VA.

    01-04-16 - (2).jpg01-04-16 - (6).jpg

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    3,080

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    vdotmatrix, my Flir i7 has a menu option to find the maximum temperature in the center area of the image. If that is available on yours (the displays are very similar) it might be better for your cluster-finding efforts than the default "temperature at center point" option.

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Freeland, Michigan
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    Glad to see the bees got out yesterday. Snow was covered in poop.



    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #32
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,699

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    The recent shot of flying weather indicates 20 of 20 made it to the new year. Now for the worst part of winter...
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  14. #33
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Sherburne County MN USA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    I made my first "internal" winter check yesterday. Just a quick peek under the hood. Slid in some sugar patties on top of the frames. All 4 hives are alive. All hives have bees clustered in the center of the top box under the inner cover hole. I thought that was strange. But this entire winter is strange...above normal temps until tonight when we slip back into an arctic blast. Good luck to my bees.

  15. #34
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    ElDorado,Arkansas,USA
    Posts
    1,580

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    I looked inside a few today since its a warm day and all is well.They are brooding up early this year so I am keeping plenty 2:1 on top.

  16. #35
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Stone County Ar. USA
    Posts
    449

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    Everybody still has plenty of stores , as weighed on the 2nd . Hive three however seems to have a pretty small cluster ... I'm not worried yet , they were out flying along with the rest today .
    Retired wannabee Hillbilly Farmer in backwoods Arkansas
    Our biggest crop is rocks ...

  17. #36
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    I added sugar bricks where needed to 3 of 7 hives. I put the first sugar bricks on in late November to all. All 7 alive so far. December was pretty darn warm & bees seemed to eat the sugar bricks (4 lbs each) because it was there. I fed pollen sub (ultra bee) in outdoor feeders a week or so ago when temperatures were in the high 60's (2 days). I'm pretty sure that some hives have been making brood since warm temps in November. I hope some of that brood emerged & added to the winter bee population. It's been a strange winter & I'm too new at this to deal with this on my own, so I've been following the advice of our club president who has been dealing with bees for over 30 years. His advice has always been spot on. We'll see how they are in early April!

  18. #37
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk Co, NY, USA
    Posts
    3,626

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    What winter? all of them look like this: 44*F, calm, sunny

    DSCN0391.JPG

    DSCN0390.JPG

  19. #38
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Sawyer County,WI USA
    Posts
    364

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    I made my first "internal" winter check yesterday. Just a quick peek under the hood. Slid in some sugar patties on top of the frames. All 4 hives are alive. All hives have bees clustered in the center of the top box under the inner cover hole. I thought that was strange. But this entire winter is strange...above normal temps until tonight when we slip back into an arctic blast. Good luck to my bees.
    Seeing bees up top this early during a MN winter may spell trouble ahead IMHO, When we see them in the top box it tells us they've reached the 'top' of their stores (bees move upwards throughout winter), and even despite having lots of honey below the cluster and around it, they 'may' not find it. Due diligence is in order, and 'sliding' sugar patties to colonies that are in the top boxes with LOTS of winter ahead of them is good beekeeping, that's for sure.

    In Northern WI, we're finally expecting some more typical temps for a few days (12 below zero tonite) which ought to slow down the feeding our bees have been exercising during this warmer than usual winter, with at least 4-5 months to go before the dandelions bloom. Those of us in the North will have to keep a close eye on our colonies and feed 'Honey or sugar patties' as needed if the mild temps return...or they will starve before the blooming even begins.


    Michbeekeeper; so nice to 'see' yellow polka dots in the snow, heh?

  20. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Freeland, Michigan
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    See with mine. Since the beginning they have been in the upper box and maybe the one below. I know for a fact that they aren't in the bottom and that it's still full. The yellow dots are a great sight. They did short flights again today only about 3-4 feet from the hive and back in.

  21. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    7,793

    Default Re: How's everyones bees doing over this crazy winter?

    A pretty normal winter here in central Montana. It has been a month since flying days. My nucs were still all alive two weeks ago when I wrapped them and put on MC feed. I checked a few wrapped colonies andeveryone was well fed and fine. I will be putting on pollen patties mid February like normal.

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