Raise bees indoors over winter? - Page 3
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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Geauga, Ohio
    Posts
    470

    Default Re: Raise bees indoors over winter?

    A lot of this is a moot point if "winter bees" have not been produced by this queen. These bees are fed well as larvae, and do not have to forage nor feed younger sisters. For us in OH, at least NE OH, the bees that are alive in the hive after Jan are the capped brood that emerged last, when their older sisters could still forage. So the youngest were "preserved" for overwintering.

    I am not familiar with supercedure swarms. Supercedure has been pretty invisible for me - the mother queen slows her egg laying, a few queen cells mature, a daughter returns mated... sometimes mother and daughter lay in the same hive for a while. If you caught a second swarm, and the queen is laying now, that means that she was a virgin when caught, then got mated by some miracle since she emerged and you saw eggs. Or... this could be absconding. Meaning there is no laying queen left in the hive this swarm came from. Meaning something is wrong with the original hive, like a high varroa load or too much ventilation. That's a different issue entirely...

    First step I would take is to get a laying queen back into the original hive. Is that an option? Or is there a laying queen in the original hive too? I say that because the advice is to take your losses in the fall, not the winter.

    But again.... missing the key point to overwintering... which is winter bees emerging. Which is capped brood being produced in large enough quantity by a queen somewhere between early Sept and now.

    If you can add capped brood, from a hive that has many bars, then you might be able to save this hive. But should you?

    If a hive is swarming now, it has instincts to swarm when it is not swarm season. This is not something you want in your apiary. The comb is a good asset, so these bees will have left a legacy... but some hives cannot be saved this time of year, even if they are indoors in an observation hive, or outdoors and heated to some degree.

    Oh and someone mentioned a shed.... People who overwinter indoors in specially constructed buildings aim for a temp of 40. Above that, the bees will try to fly. They may waste a lot of energy that way, may lose workers to "foraging accidents". A shed that will rise to about 45 when outdoors is cooler is a potential trap for bees who can exit to the outside. Oh, and they will find a way out for certain - they will find any crack that light comes in through, and it may make the shed difficult for the resident humans to use.

    Yes to insulation, assuming saving this queen is the goal, that can only help. A thermostat and thermometer to check that the "heated" interior only gets to 40, that could help. Good luck.... keep us posted...

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  3. #42
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    trinidad & tobago
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Raise bees indoors over winter?

    Your thoughts are right on track. When I first started BeeKeeping I was so enthused that I did place a nook in a bedroom that was not being used in a family vacation house. I observed twice a week and fed once a week in the winter. This colony developed nicely due to the ideal room conditions and placement just close to the window. I eventually moved them outdoors when rapid expansion was taking place in Spring. Go ahead and follow your instincts.

  4. #43
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    4,646

    Default Re: Raise bees indoors over winter?

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...-Garage-Update

    I've also kept small hives warm with a under aquarium heater 7w and a thermo cube, both can be found on amazon for cheap.

  5. #44
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,878

    Default Re: Raise bees indoors over winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by FlowerPlanter View Post
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...-Garage-Update

    I've also kept small hives warm with a under aquarium heater 7w and a thermo cube, both can be found on amazon for cheap.
    FP, thanks for your info!

    Got me a couple of "thermo cubes" from Menards.
    Waiting for a couple of 10W terrarium heaters from Amazon.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  6. #45
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,878

    Default Re: Raise bees indoors over winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    FP, thanks for your info!

    Got me a couple of "thermo cubes" from Menards.
    Waiting for a couple of 10W terrarium heaters from Amazon.
    Anyways, just to wrap this up - rigged up the said radiators and deployed a couple yesterday.
    (just in time - winter is here with -10C nights starting).
    Fingers crossed; a fun experiment anyway whatever happens.
    If these nucs die still, then a good riddance.
    20181026_113744.jpg
    20181026_133715.jpg
    20181108_154224.jpg
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  7. #46
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    2,643

    Default Re: Raise bees indoors over winter?

    There was a scientific study some years back, up in Canada if I recall correctly, that concluded that, if kept indoors, it was best to keep the bees right at 40 degrees F until Spring thaw. This prevented brood rearing and minimized food consumption with very little risk of colony loss. They won't be flying much at 40 F.

  8. #47
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Carlisle, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    16

    Thumbs Up Re: Raise bees indoors over winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    It would not even have to be a true observation hive, but the idea is the same. Block off the bottom board entrance and drill a 2" hole in the lower back of a hive body. Use a piece of 1-1/2" PVC pipe as an entrance tube and place the hive near the window you will use. A piece of plywood with a hole serves to block off the rest of the open window. Insert a piece of hardware cloth the length of the pipe so the bees have something to crawl on. PVC pipe is really slick inside. Instant indoor hive. Obviously you will need to screen off the inner cover too so bees don't get out when you refill the jar feeder. Or better yet, replace the plywood filler of the inner cover with a piece of plexi so you can check on them without opening things up.

    I had actually thought about doing this but the wife said it was a really bad idea if I wanted to stay married.


    I'm going to try this. I have a small hive (the last of 3 this year) and they have next to nothing stored. Only about 5 frames of bees in a single deep. I treated them for mites in early October, before it got too cold. The temperature on the top of the brood frames varies ~45-58F, so the cluster is too small to regulate its temperature properly. Got a 16lb candyboard above the frames and wood shavings in a feeder box above that for moisture control and ventilation. Then a 1" thick foam sheet on the inner cover. Solid bottom board and a slotted board under the brood box. Then the outer cover. That then has 2" thick foam sheet on the top and the hive sides are wrapped in 2" foam sheet. I'm setting it up next to a window in the garage and will put a 1" tube through the window. Hopefully that will get them through this MA winter...At least I won't have to worry about bears in the area....

  9. #48
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Carlisle, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Raise bees indoors over winter?

    Hi,
    I have a weak hive with no stores and so I put it in my garage. As you say, I have put a small length of PVC pipe ~6" from a top entrance in the hive through a window and stopped access through the bottom entrance using some wire mesh. I put a reptile heater mat under the screened bottom board and so when the temps get below 40F in the hive, I turn the heater on for a few hours. I can set the temperature from 40-90F using one of those cheap controllers for aquariums ($15-20). The hive is a 10-frame deep with a candyboard (16lb) on top followed by a top feeder box filled with wood chips. I have 2" foamboard pieces taped around the sides and one plonked on the top. So far, so good, and I can still park the car. Wife's is on other side.

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