Front Range roller coaster - 2019 - Page 6
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  1. #101
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    7,836

    Default Re: Front Range roller coaster - 2019

    Lots of global warming cold temperatures up here too. I have a half dozen virgins needing a date who probably didn't find them in time. Supposed to warm up to near sixties Friday. Been in the forties mainly for a week. My bees were working my tart cherry trees for an hour yesterday near midday before it got to wet and cold. Sure glad I am not a ventilation fetish. My insulated wraps are still on. There will be lots of swarms when this breaks.

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  3. #102
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,702

    Default Re: Front Range roller coaster - 2019

    We had 8" of snow accumulate, & probably another 3-4" melt as it fell down here. The fruit tree bloom may have made it - the lowest low was in the upper 20's. 4 days of snow, wet & cold - in May. Almost like "the good old days" .
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  4. #103
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    866

    Default Re: Front Range roller coaster - 2019

    Dr. James Tew will be the guest speaker for the October 17th. evening meeting of the Pikes Peak Beekeepers Association in Colorado Springs, CO. I'm 'Steve", the VP of PPBA and I would like to personally invite you to join us to hear his presentation which is entitled "The exciting world of aggressive bee colonies" -- Dealing with aggressive bee colonies. (Why is a colony aggressive? How to determine which colony (or more) is the problem within the apiary. Re-queen ? How to move such a colony. Where to move it to? First obligation of a beekeeper is to protect non beekeepers who are in the area.)

    Dr. Tew is a former professor of entomology at Ohio State University, and currently a consulting professor at Auburn University. He has published a number of beekeeping books and frequently writes in bee Culture magazine and lectures in workshops.

    There is no charge to attend Dr. Tew's presentation. As a fellow "Front Ranger" you would be my guest. If you are truly interested in attending the presentation please PM me for time and location details.

    FYI: The Colorado Professional Beekeepers Association fall meeting in on 18-19 October in Longmont and the Colorado State Beekeepers Association fall meeting is on 2 November in Castle Rock. All of these are advanced educational opportunities that should not be missed.

    Cheers,
    Steve

  5. #104
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Drayton Valley, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Front Range roller coaster - 2019

    So the roller coaster is on again. We’re up, we’re down, we’ve had snow, rain, sunshine, hellacious winds, and sublime intervals.
    My bees are tucked in, did all I could; fed them, killed their mites. Winter is slouching forward. Wishing all you folks on the Eastern slope the very best, we will probably pick this up again in the New Year.
    A big thank you to Shinbone for doing this thread!
    Best regards to all,
    Brian
    PS - taking a little break to chase a Whitetail through the brush. Hope y’all have a hobby. Gonna get cool.

  6. #105
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    866

    Default Re: Front Range roller coaster - 2019

    Disappointed that I didn't get to meet any of you "Front Rangers" at any of the three events mentioned in my Post #103 above but I guess that you all went to the Apimondia in Montreal, Canada. My budget kept me close to home this year. I've already approached Randy Oliver about speaking to the Pikes Peak Beekeepers Association in 2020 but he is already committed for that year. I'm actively searching for another "big name" speaker for the future.

    My last winter was bad for bees, but I'm the 19/20 winter will be much better. You'll have a good one.

    Cheers,
    Steve
    ====

  7. #106
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    633

    Default Re: Front Range roller coaster - 2019

    I was at the CSBA meeting on the second, but I forgot about your post.

  8. #107
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    633

    Default Re: Front Range roller coaster - 2019

    2 of my 4 hives crashed during the cold snap last week. When I opened the 2 hives that were not flying today I found queen cells in one with a dead cluster, and the second one had a small dead cluster. I think both clusters were to small (due to mite problems), got stuck in the cold, and starved since there was no food around the clusters and lots of dead bees head into cells.

  9. #108
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    866

    Default Re: Front Range roller coaster - 2019

    Elmer,

    Glad to hear that you attended the CSBA and sorry I missed you. If you had pre-registered for the event you came into the main room to sign in and get a door prize ticket. I was sitting at the corner of that table checking off names and passing out tickets. Send me a PM in advance if you are going to attend CSBA next year.

    Sorry to hear that you have already lost two colonies, but most likely they were both Varroa Mite weakened. Also, it sounds like both died from what is commonly called "isolation starvation" which occurs when the cluster has insufficient food supplied in the immediate vicinity of the cluster, and they are unable (weakness, unhealthy, or low temperature) to venture to any remaining food. You may need to assess the situation in the hives earlier in the Fall to determine if you need to intervene and provide some assistance. My own winter prep routine and approximate schedule is: A) Last honey harvest for humans is late July; B) Oxalic Acid Vapor (OAV) treatment starting ~ 1 August; C) sometimes a second OAV treatment; D) September/October feed 2:1 sugar syrup with inverted one gallon feed pails on the inner cover (IC) and surrounded by an empty super (to prevent robbing, especially by yellow jackets(YJ) ); E) Feed the 2:1 syrup as long as the girls will take it, and then remove that equipment to shrink the volume of the hive to a minimum for winter; F) November/December: between T-giving & X-mas a single rapid OAD or OAV treatment on a sunny, warm, calm-wind day, also you might add some sugar bricks (search for the recipe under the name "Lauri" here on BS) (Also search for MCM) as dry emergency feed placed on top of the IC and surrounded by a 2"-3" inch high spacer with the outer cover (OC) on top. G) In mid to late January a whole new life cycle begins in the colony, and that's a completely different story.

    Suggestions: Monitor you remaining two colonies for food supply. Learn about winter ventilation and the importance of upper and lower entries in your hives. Research and possibly utilize quilt boxes. If you haven't already, join a local bee club and get a mentor through the club. V-mite control is critical.

    TO OTHER FRONT RANGE BEEKEEPERS: What did I overlook? What would you add or deduct from what I outlined ? I'm concerned that he may lose his other two colonies before spring.

    Hope this is helpful. Have a good winter.
    Cheers, Steve

  10. #109
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Denver Metro Area CO, USA
    Posts
    2,070

    Default Re: Front Range roller coaster - 2019

    LOL I was there as well
    I was building haunted houses pulling big hours when you posted and didn't see it

  11. #110
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Louisville, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,548

    Default

    Hi folks.
    I've been off Beesource for a while, but still have bees.
    Last winter was rough on us because I tried using a Lega hot air vaporizer which I just never got the hang of it.
    Lost a bunch of hives to mites.

    But with splits and a few packages we're back!

    Actually had a good year. Got over 200 cut comb and quite a few cases of jars of liquid honey.

    Hope all of you are doing well.

    I'm in Louisville, by the way, a little north of Denver.

    Yo Steve, how you doing?

  12. #111
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    866

    Default Re: Front Range roller coaster - 2019

    Good to hear from you Arnie. I was hoping that you hadn't disappeared, because you are my mentor on cut comb.
    I had bad losses during the 18/19 winter so spent 19 summer trying to get back in the game. lost two NUC's several weeks ago to YJ robbing. Had my opening necked down to one bee wide but should have had robber screens on them all. Hard lesson, but the YJ's were exceptionally bad here in COS.
    Have a good winter.

    Cheers,
    Steve
    =====

  13. #112
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    633

    Default Re: Front Range roller coaster - 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by Bear Creek Steve View Post
    Elmer,

    Glad to hear that you attended the CSBA and sorry I missed you. If you had pre-registered for the event you came into the main room to sign in and get a door prize ticket. I was sitting at the corner of that table checking off names and passing out tickets. Send me a PM in advance if you are going to attend CSBA next year.

    Sorry to hear that you have already lost two colonies, but most likely they were both Varroa Mite weakened. Also, it sounds like both died from what is commonly called "isolation starvation" which occurs when the cluster has insufficient food supplied in the immediate vicinity of the cluster, and they are unable (weakness, unhealthy, or low temperature) to venture to any remaining food. You may need to assess the situation in the hives earlier in the Fall to determine if you need to intervene and provide some assistance. My own winter prep routine and approximate schedule is: A) Last honey harvest for humans is late July; B) Oxalic Acid Vapor (OAV) treatment starting ~ 1 August; C) sometimes a second OAV treatment; D) September/October feed 2:1 sugar syrup with inverted one gallon feed pails on the inner cover (IC) and surrounded by an empty super (to prevent robbing, especially by yellow jackets(YJ) ); E) Feed the 2:1 syrup as long as the girls will take it, and then remove that equipment to shrink the volume of the hive to a minimum for winter; F) November/December: between T-giving & X-mas a single rapid OAD or OAV treatment on a sunny, warm, calm-wind day, also you might add some sugar bricks (search for the recipe under the name "Lauri" here on BS) (Also search for MCM) as dry emergency feed placed on top of the IC and surrounded by a 2"-3" inch high spacer with the outer cover (OC) on top. G) In mid to late January a whole new life cycle begins in the colony, and that's a completely different story.

    Suggestions: Monitor you remaining two colonies for food supply. Learn about winter ventilation and the importance of upper and lower entries in your hives. Research and possibly utilize quilt boxes. If you haven't already, join a local bee club and get a mentor through the club. V-mite control is critical.

    TO OTHER FRONT RANGE BEEKEEPERS: What did I overlook? What would you add or deduct from what I outlined ? I'm concerned that he may lose his other two colonies before spring.

    Hope this is helpful. Have a good winter.
    Cheers, Steve
    I think my other 2 hives are in better shape. They both were a lot stronger going into winter and have plenty of stores (2-3 mediums full of honey/sugar). I had MAQS fail badly in the 2 hives that I lost, and started a thread about it here: https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...3-MAQS-failure

    The other thing that I think really hit my hives hard was the cold snap in early/mid October. All the hives made it thru the cold snap, but it looks like they lost a lot of capped brood. They were pulling dead larvae out after that cold snap and there is still a decent amount of capped brood that was nowhere near where the dead clusters were out. I think the 70 to 15 in 48 hours caught the bees off guard and they were not ready for it.

    What I do not have in the tread above is that I treated all 4 hives with OAV on october 19 and october 23, and october 26th (I think, I know I did on the first 2 dates).

    One of the hives that crashed went queen less and I found 2 queen cells when I opened it up yesterday (the 3rd). The previous time that I opened up that hive was on October 18th and I saw the queen then and she seemed ok. This hive crashed between October 30 and 31.

    The second hive that died still had a queen but had a much smaller cluster. I tried putting a reptile heater (4 watt, then 11 before the 4 days before we hit zero) in the bottom of that hive to try and keep it warm, but it was to little to late I think.

    All of my hives have/had quilt boxes on top, mouse guards on bottom, and plenty of stores. They all had atleast 2 mediums worth of stores going into winter.
    Last edited by elmer_fud; 11-04-2019 at 11:30 PM.

  14. #113
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,702

    Default Re: Front Range roller coaster - 2019

    Steve,

    You give a pretty good synopsis of what we might need to do along the front range.

    I've always liked to keep it simple: Run the best bees I could get my hands on, and leave them heavy with honey (~100 lbs) in the fall, and let nature do the rest. Provide them with a good wind break & winter sun. Reduce lower entrances & unblock small upper. If they plug it - leave it plugged. Don't insulate, or feed, or interfere unless absolutely necessary. OAV is likely a good precaution if you can't stand to lose a few colonies.

    That was one crazy October, wasn't it?
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  15. #114
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    866

    Default Re: Front Range roller coaster - 2019

    Bob,

    Thanks for the additional ideas for Elmer. Yes, we all still have lots to learn so we can be better than we are.

    Yes, October was crazy, but the whole summer season was crazy for me too.

    Hope your Buckfasts ("the best bees") did you right this year.

    Cheers,
    Steve
    ====

  16. #115
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    633

    Default Re: Front Range roller coaster - 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by Bear Creek Steve View Post

    Yes, October was crazy, but the whole summer season was crazy for me too.
    I agree with that. The entire spring/summer/fall seemed to be running 3-4 weeks late this year, then winter showed up early and hard.

    About the only thing that I have different from the lists above is I put 1" foam around the hives, I dont have the entrance reduced down (beyond the mouse guard) and they are not in a great spot for a lot of sun. I knew it was not a great spot for a hive for sun, but it was the best spot for keeping neighbors happy, so I went with it. The bees did not seem to mind during the summer, and have done ok during the winter. I had 1/1 make it thru the 2017/2018 winter, and 2/3 make it thru the 2018/2019 winter.

    The front 2 hives were my overwintered ones that I lost . They were doing well until mites and the weather got them.
    beehives 31 jul 2019.jpg

  17. #116
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO United States
    Posts
    1,421

    Default Re: Front Range roller coaster - 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by elmer_fud View Post
    The front 2 hives were my overwintered ones that I lost . They were doing well until mites and the weather got them.
    What month was that? The first one Seems like an awful amount of real-estate, depending on the when & health
    Please excuse me, I am now free to go manage & treat ;)
    my ladies the best way I know how.

  18. #117
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    633

    Default Re: Front Range roller coaster - 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by fieldsofnaturalhoney View Post
    What month was that? The first one Seems like an awful amount of real-estate, depending on the when & health
    That was in July. I pulled the top 4 boxes off the big hive to extract. That hive weighed 375 lbs at one point this summer. Going into winter the stack was down to 5 boxes, I probably should have combined it down to 4 in October. The bottom 2 boxes were mostly empty going into winter because the brood nest was there all summer.

    Between the 4 boxes off the hive 1 (front) and one box off hive 2 (second back) I ended up with about 11 gallons of honey. I left 60+ lbs of honey and stores from this year and last winter (2+ full mediums) on each hive.

  19. #118
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Louisville, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,548

    Default

    Steve,
    If you ever want to talk comb honey shoot me an email. We'll figure out a time to call and talk.
    Good luck this winter.

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