Great ideas!! How are they doing this Spring?
Great ideas!! How are they doing this Spring?
This is true of bears, deer, raccoons, pigs, cows, etc.
A pathetic looking electric fence may well stop a bear that doesn't know what is in the hive. Once he has a taste, it will be a different story.
This is a real problem when there are grain spills along the railroad tracks. Bears love corn. And they will come back every year looking for it.
See this link. It is a good story.https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-...768-story.html
We're in the Mat-SU Valley in Alaska, and we wintered our bees this year. Although not all of them survived, you can still hear some of them buzzing around in there. We left the hive outside and insulated it with foam. When do you recommend removing the insulation? We're in early April right now, and it's in the 30s most days but dips into the 20s most nights.
Hi- I'm not sure I'd take insulation off at all on the top. Maybe the sides for the summer. Good Luck!
Looks like you have thought things through Erin. I will try the wood ashes in front of my hives next winter. Thanks for the tip.
I don't know the timing for Alaska, but I can tell you the longer you keep insulation on, the better. They will brood up faster and you lessen the chance of chilled brood. Ideally, I like nights in the 50's before I take my insulation off, but realistically, it stays off when I need to start going into the hives on a more frequent basis. J
To quote you "I winter in three deeps.( But two would work IMO) The one on the bottom is just mostly half drawn frames , pollen stores, or even empties. Next is the brood nest,. Then a deep of sugar syrup, fed early enough to get capped if possible. (not honey,too many solids for long winters) I also feed a pollen patty in August, to fatten the winter bees." After 5 years I have decided on a similar approach but using a medium + deep + medium apporach. I call the bottom medium grand central station in the summer and my moisture condenser in winter. The deep is the brood chamber year round which gets back-filled with syrup honey in the Fall. The upper medium is the honey chamber. I leave some honey frames in the Fall for Spring brood rearing and feed syrup quickly in the Fall to a specific total hive weight or about 80 lb. of total honey around mid-November. It "seems" they take the syrup honey first and save older capped honey until Spring for brood rearing. I do not feed in winter or spring as weighting the hives in the Fall is an accurate method of verifying sufficient stores until the Spring flow and then some.
Great thread thanks for showing us your mrthods.
do not underestimate the value of the "bottom. 3rd box" Go into an Igloo once, getting above the cold air entrance is very important.
This year I put wet medium frames into a deep on the bottom board. Placed NUCs (5x5) above that and they all to my surprise wintered well.
Every little bit helps when facing very cold weather.
GG - I think of the colony / cluster andit's immediate ambient as the "Living Bubble". It has a huge tendency to float up ( hot air and water vapor). Grand Central is always cool or cold. One issue I have with med+deep+medium is when I have to split via Snelgrove Board I don't have enough deeps. All the brood seems to be in the deeps, all the deeps became hives. Gotta build more deeps.
"A nadir in Fall is best of all"
Well it saddens me to report I had 100% loss this winter. It was a cold one here in Western Alaska, and they went through stores faster than previous winters and starved out.
The one thing I did different was stop feeding about September 1 (to let the cap it), normally I jar feed them right up into October, and stop when they quit taking it. That extra month of feed was lost on the other end of winter when they really needed it.
In the month stretches of below 0 weather, it was hard to get in to add sugar bricks, and my boxes became iced so bad I could not even get into one.
I am going to rethink the sugar bricks, in sub zero weather they boil straight up though the sugar and when they hit daylight its over. and maybe just stick a jar of warm syrup on into my quilt box under the grass when I think it might need it. Or better yet, Feed them up to a propper weight.
Well I picked myself up and dusted off my smoker and installed another couple packages,made into four nucs. I treated two rounds of OAV the first 10 days and I will report back this fall and give it another go.
I got this.
A few highlights.
I have enjoyed your posts, certainly challenging conditions pushing the edge of tundra. Probably quite windy as well.
I am wondering about the straw. I bagged shavings in onion bags for the first time this year. Bees went for the water as much as the sugar, have to believe the water is necessary to work up enough spit to dissolve the sugar. I see people use old cotton cloth and such as well. Either would absorb more and be a better recycle source for the bees.
It is hard to design a safety net that some will not use as a hammock.
Looking at those pictures it is obvious that there has not been enough ventilation. Water is not getting away, and is condensing in wrong places.
Not many reports how have bees been wintering in the Finnish Lapland (because there is still 1 meter snow) but I can report later.
No cleansing flight yet in Finnish Lapland.
Here is one beekeeper who snapped: she decided not to wait and shoveled her hive out of 1 m snow. And now (when temperature does not allow bees to fly) hopes that they wont come out and try to fly.