any thoughts re: opening/treating a hive in cold weather?
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  1. #1
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    Question any thoughts re: opening/treating a hive in cold weather?

    At this week's beek assoc meeting, an old-time beek stated it didn't matter how cold it was outside, a hive can be opened any time (as long as there's no rain and the bee ball isn't disturbed [per se]). The idea was that since the heat's within the ball, it shouldn't make much difference.

    Also (per the beek): if a mite Tx is needed now, it can be done -- even an oxalic acid drip would be fine. I'm assuming the liquid itself s/b fairly warm, since it'll be placed onto the bees, and why bother 'em with cold fluid on a cold day? I didn't have the chance to ask about Tx temps.

    Any observations, opinions, warnings or support for these? Thx much .....

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: any thoughts re: opening/treating a hive in cold weather?

    Don't

  4. #3
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    Default Re: any thoughts re: opening/treating a hive in cold weather?

    I dont open a hive until its in the mid 50s and then only if theres no wind.
    http://OxaVap.com Your source for the ProVap 110
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  5. #4
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    Default Re: any thoughts re: opening/treating a hive in cold weather?

    I think he's right, partly. The inner cover can be opened in cold weather, as long as bees aren't dropped in the snow. For instance, checking for feed, adding fondant or sub. I hesitate in strong winds, but have done it then, too. I've even transferred nucs to new boxes while it was snowing. No harm, just be careful to keep cluster intact. If I wait for perfect days to do my bee work, nothing would ever get done on time.


    If I lose a dozen bees in a strong colony, does it really matter. Better to get the job done.....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbOGFxfjL44

  6. #5
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    Default Re: any thoughts re: opening/treating a hive in cold weather?

    I think I would hesitate to do OAD but OAV would be fine I did my final vape when it was about 35f out no problems. Do you have a hive you're thinking of doing something to or is this more just academic kinda curiosity? If there is a hive what's the problem that has you thinking you need to treat now?

  7. #6
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    Default Re: any thoughts re: opening/treating a hive in cold weather?

    Quote Originally Posted by mlanden View Post
    At this week's beek assoc meeting, an old-time beek stated it didn't matter how cold it was outside, a hive can be opened any time (as long as there's no rain and the bee ball isn't disturbed [per se]). The idea was that since the heat's within the ball, it shouldn't make much difference.

    Also (per the beek): if a mite Tx is needed now, it can be done -- even an oxalic acid drip would be fine. I'm assuming the liquid itself s/b fairly warm, since it'll be placed onto the bees, and why bother 'em with cold fluid on a cold day? I didn't have the chance to ask about Tx temps.

    Any observations, opinions, warnings or support for these? Thx much .....
    I'm in Martin County. Just curious as to what beekeeper association you attend?

  8. #7
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    Default Re: any thoughts re: opening/treating a hive in cold weather?

    I agree with Michael. From personal experience as long as it isn't snowing hard or too windy it's not a problem as long as it's a quick check. I think the only reasons for checking could be feeding or oxalic treatment. In Britain the traditional time for oxalic acid treatment (drip) has been Christmas. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psuAswYFSG4

  9. #8

    Default Re: any thoughts re: opening/treating a hive in cold weather?

    Bee colonies here are treated with oxalic acids around winter solstice and at a temperature lower than 5C because the cluster stays compact and the bees are not moving to fly out and die.

    Met a guy two days ago who said oxalic drip can only be done only once and will kill 30% of bees, Oxalic vap will kill no bees and can be done more often but will shorten the lives of the bees for two weeks if they are disturbed too much which sometimes happens with one treatment too if too much stress is involved.

    Beekeepers here have a foil on top and check for food situation without taking this off, if they need to feed they put a sugar brick on top. Winters not very cold here. Mostly around zero.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: any thoughts re: opening/treating a hive in cold weather?

    Mostly around zero that's a heat wave!

  11. #10

    Default Re: any thoughts re: opening/treating a hive in cold weather?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan the bee guy View Post
    Mostly around zero that's a heat wave!
    last cold spell was 1963 with - 27C for weeks. This happened 33 times from the year 875 on.
    Our lake 536qkm was frozen then. I was not born yet.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJNvOlfugyo

    Sorry, off topic, but hope you enjoy.
    Once in winter, end of january sometimes a cold spell is -15C for some days. But mostly we have flooded areas from too much rain or snow.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: any thoughts re: opening/treating a hive in cold weather?

    Quote Originally Posted by Baja View Post
    In Britain the traditional time for oxalic acid treatment (drip) has been Christmas.
    Yeah, but often enough their bees are bringing in pollen on Boxing Day. Not so here, or for 3+ more months. -28 this morning.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: any thoughts re: opening/treating a hive in cold weather?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    -28 this morning.
    F or C?

    F, that would be cold!

  14. #13
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    Default Re: any thoughts re: opening/treating a hive in cold weather?

    F of course.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: any thoughts re: opening/treating a hive in cold weather?

    Cold enough to kill those beatles that take out loosestrife ? 🙂

  16. #15
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    Default Re: any thoughts re: opening/treating a hive in cold weather?

    >The idea was that since the heat's within the ball, it shouldn't make much difference.

    It makes a difference to the bees on the outside of the ball... I have opened hives in the winter, mostly because I'm the curious type who wants to know what goes on in the hives in winter. It is bad for the bees, but it satisfies some of my curiosity. For the gees' sakes I would leave them alone unless they NEED something. If you heft the back of the hive and it's light, then maybe you need to put some sugar on them. Otherwise, I leave them alone. The other issue is that you break the propolis seal and let air get in even after you are done...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  17. #16
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    Default Re: any thoughts re: opening/treating a hive in cold weather?

    What is the minimal temp (F) to treat with OAV? It is very cold here now and I couldn't treat last week when it warmed up a little. Have time this weekend but it will be in the teens -low 20's. Thank you.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: any thoughts re: opening/treating a hive in cold weather?

    Quote Originally Posted by cyber View Post
    What is the minimal temp (F) to treat with OAV? .
    37f
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  19. #18
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    Default Re: any thoughts re: opening/treating a hive in cold weather?

    Quote Originally Posted by vtbeeguy View Post
    I think I would hesitate to do OAD but OAV would be fine I did my final vape when it was about 35f out no problems. Do you have a hive you're thinking of doing something to or is this more just academic kinda curiosity? If there is a hive what's the problem that has you thinking you need to treat now?
    Of the 3 hives I had in the summer, I only have 1 remaining. Basically, my mentor told me she'd do an OAV for me in early Jan. but I'm not sure that'll happen, SO .... I was thinking of trying my hand at a drip. Then again, I admit to having some curiosity as to if doing anything in cold weather'd be acceptable to The Girls ......

  20. #19
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    Default Re: any thoughts re: opening/treating a hive in cold weather?

    Quote Originally Posted by SiWolKe View Post
    Bee colonies here are treated with oxalic acids around winter solstice and at a temperature lower than 5C because the cluster stays compact and the bees are not moving to fly out and die.

    Met a guy two days ago who said oxalic drip can only be done only once and will kill 30% of bees, Oxalic vap will kill no bees and can be done more often but will shorten the lives of the bees for two weeks if they are disturbed too much which sometimes happens with one treatment too if too much stress is involved.

    Beekeepers here have a foil on top and check for food situation without taking this off, if they need to feed they put a sugar brick on top. Winters not very cold here. Mostly around zero.
    I wasn't aware the mortality of bees per OA drip would be so high. Never heard anybody mention it. May have to do some investigating and badgering old beeks for info .... Danke!

  21. #20
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    Default Re: any thoughts re: opening/treating a hive in cold weather?

    Well you meet a lot of people who say a lot of things for a lot of reasons, maby if they were using ice cold OAD that had been left out in the weather?

    A quick review of the aviabul studys and decades of use tell a different story.

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