2 New Bee Questions...
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    Anon, Anonymous
    Posts
    135

    Default 2 New Bee Questions...

    So I thought I would put these two questions in the same thread to save time. And I think that not really many people have asked this before.

    Given that overwintering is what we're all worried about in having the honey bees survive, I was thinking, is there a better chance for a bee colony to survive the winter if its experienced a small dearth before winter even starts? Like lets say I had an even number of colonies that experienced dearth before winter, and an even number that experienced no hardships or dearth and then both groups of colonies went into winter, which do you think would survive more if other things are fairly even?

    (I don't see a thread about experiencing resource shortages in hives as it affects overwintering, unless I've missed it somewhere.)

    Another question,

    Would bees be gentler if you handled them at night? And can bees see at night? I know that most bees are generally pretty gentle already, except for people seem to say that Russian bees can get a bit feisty, but I had wondered how things would be different in handling them after dark at night or right around right before dawn. Would it lower the need for smokers? I also haven't really seen much in research or statements by beeks about their ability to react to stuff like flashlights or absence of light, or a mix in between.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Posts
    202

    Default Re: 2 New Bee Questions...

    Don't open the hive at night, They will light you up, or so I've read
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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Red Bud, IL, USA
    Posts
    1,799

    Default Re: 2 New Bee Questions...

    The bees will fly toward white light at night but they also become crawlers with a propensity to sting. If you have a chink in your armor they'll pay it a visit, not bashful about crawling up your pants leg either. Go ahead and test the hypothis, the bees will give you up close and personal feedback.

    You're overwintering hypothetical is focused on stores, aka a dearth. Read up on taking care of the winter bees and taking care of the bees that take care of the winter bees. Randy Oliver's Scientific Beekeeping is a good source. They can have all the honey they could possibly use but if your winter bees have been compromised by mites, forced to become foragers, etc, their chances of surviving winter diminishes

    empirical observation, bees don't see red light but I've had some drawn to an LED headlamp; I assume there something about the LED bulb that allows them to get a bearing on the lamp
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Brick NJ
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: 2 New Bee Questions...

    I made the mistake of taking hive top off at night with a floodlight(on house) shinning in the direction of the hive. They swarmed me and chased me into the house. Then I had to kill around a dozen that came inside on me.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Litchfield, Ct, USA
    Posts
    234

    Default Re: 2 New Bee Questions...

    Maybe with a dearth the bee population diminishes, thus setting themselves up for a smaller colony in the winter that'll go through their stores more slowly?

    I actually have absolutely no idea, but winter's basically a dearth, no?

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    8,092

    Default Re: 2 New Bee Questions...

    I don't want to see a dearth before winter shutdown. For instance...I want a strong Autumn flow so the bees can build a strong cluster of young bees before shutdown. That's what they need for successful wintering.

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