2020 How was your winter?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Rosebud Missouri
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    Default 2020 How was your winter?

    It got to about 60 degrees so far today. I know this is early but always enjoy any report good or bad. No judgement but just find it interesting every year about this time till about mid april.

    I looked at the entrances of my nine hives. I believe nine for nine have made it to this point. I say I believe cause you never know what might be robbing or something (or at least I never know for sure). I have two hives that don't have quite the traffic and are not that loud when I put my ear to them but I believe are ok. I will not be opening my hives for a while yet. Tomorrow is supposed to be as warm as today but the computer says an average of 35/40 degrees for the ten days after.

    I see the maples about to pop but if it stays as cold, that will not mean much. The bees are mobbing the chicken food and I did not see a lot of water gathering yet.

    So, so far so good for me though I will know more the first few 70 degree days that I can actually look in the hives.

    Time will tell.

    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

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  3. #2
    Join Date
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    Catskills, Delaware Cty, New York, USA
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    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    Sounds promising gww; I believe I have lost the Saskatraz line hive but I’m not sure, they winter small. Last FLIR camera image there was a cluster. Other than that, 20 for 20, but much can happen in 6 weeks or so. Like you I’m hoping it will be sunnier tomorrow even though low 40’s I can take a look.
    Proverbs 16:24

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Rosebud Missouri
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    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    Clover....
    Sounds good. I don't have the camera and have not even got a little cheep stethoscope but I have to believe if you saw a cluster, you still have hope.

    I worry about starvation depending on weather but know food is right around the corner if the weather will contribute a small increase in temp.

    First year that I have not supplemented with syrup and I want it to run its course to see how it goes. I know close to what I started with and so hope to learn just a little more so I can figure out the perimeters to manage under.

    Good luck on your small cluster and I hope when you look, you might report what you find and if bad, give a little autopsy and if good, yea hah.

    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Columbia City, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    224

    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    One hive (which was a fairly large hive) was dead as of early January. I treated for mites a bit late and the counts were down but may not have been low enough in time.
    However, the two other hives that were split from that hive are doing great. One 5-frame nuc and 1 full sized hive, both of which raised their own queen from queen cells pulled from that now-deceased hive. I assume the split and the resulting brood break really helped those hive. It was low 50s, sunny, and windy today and they were flying around today in force. Hopefully they will keep pushing on!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Ava Missouri USA
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    54

    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    It got to about 60 degrees so far today. I know this is early but always enjoy any report good or bad. No judgement but just find it interesting every year about this time till about mid april.
    Well GWW, I am about 165 miles southwest of you in Ava and it got to 70 degrees here today and I popped the telescoping cover off one of my two hives and it was really active. it is the one with the deep brood and three mediums. in my avatar. I did not dig into any of the boxes but it looks good. I started to pop the top on the other hive and the bees decided that they did not want me looking and I have learned to respect their wishes for the most part.

    It is looking good so far and I am excited to try some splitting here in about a month. I think.

    Happy Home
    Last edited by Happy Home; 02-02-2020 at 03:10 PM. Reason: punctuation spacing

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Wakefield, Rhode Island, USA
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    394

    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    What Winter? I am still waiting for it. I have a Saskatraz colony that has been partying since Christmas. They have been cleaning out the cupboards and running hot and humid. (Steam bath?) Bottom board shows signs of a big cluster, biggest I have ever seen. Consumption rate implies heavy brood rearing, calendar says 6 more weeks, minimum, too pollen. I may have to feed them in March. Wait - sun it out. Is that a band I hear out back??? I see guard bees collecting tickets!

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    8,227

    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    How WAS our winter? I'll let you know in three months when it's over.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Niagara Co., NY, USA
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    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    How WAS our winter? I'll let you know in three months when it's over.
    Yeah 10-4.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Northern Il, USA
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    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    How WAS our winter? I'll let you know in three months when it's over.
    Yep. Got snow in May last spring. 4 inches. Or was that late April? No grapes, peaches, plums and very few apples last year due to the late snow.

    It was almost 50 degrees here and the bees were flying, snow is covered with yellow spots. It appears that my 4 hives are all still alive.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Yuba County, California, USA
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    6,598

    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    Last year started with one small hive.
    Grew them into 5 hives, purchasing queens for the splits made.
    Fed sugar syrup and got 100 combs drawn.
    (I'm running all 8 frame medium boxes throughout)
    Had issues with a couple queens from one source.
    Treated with Apivar through fall and early winter.
    Have not checked inside the hives since Oct.
    Put on winter lids in November, noticed one hive not as strong looking.
    That hive has since died out, and is now all robbed out.
    The other four looking good, bees flying on days they can, bringing in lots of pollen.

    I've bee just like you Glenn, have not inspected since Oct and just put lids on in Nov.
    I watch the entrances and make my observations.
    The one that died, no pollen coming in, bees were orienting as they left, bees checking out seams between boxes. Looked like robbing to me. The traffic has reduced now, it's mostly all robbed out I'm sure.
    The other four remaining have pollen coming in with orientation flights looking good.
    2 of the four look much more populated than the other 2, but I'm betting all 4 make it OK.
    Live real time bee chat, most evenings...
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  12. #11
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    Feb 2015
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    Rosebud Missouri
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    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    Ray
    I have faith in you. You started out with a super weak hive coming out of last winter and now have four and a hundred comb drawn. I would call that good.

    Micheal Palmer
    The earliest here for bees to bring pollen in was feb 11 and last year everything came about three weeks later and so in Mo, Who knows but food is close. It can stay close to "too cold" to fly here all the way to mid-april depending on the year. This year has been super mild in my opinion with lots of days in dec of bees flying with nothing out there but chicken feed. All I can say is better you then me.
    zone 5b

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Rosebud Missouri
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    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    happy home
    It it warmer where you are or colder. I always judge that by when people normally start finding morel mushrooms compared to when we see them.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  14. #13
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    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    Micheal Palmer
    The earliest here for bees to bring pollen in was feb 11 and last year everything came about three weeks later and so in Mo,
    Our first pollen last spring was April 20.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Spokane County, Washington, USA
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    364

    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    It's not over yet. But today was warm (42) so I went out to OAV treat the 11 hives. All have some live bees in them. One had mice, now it doesn't. About half sent a few guards out to challenge me, and the other half didn't bother. One has a lot more poop on the front than the others, and is pretty quiet, though there are live bees there.

    Popped the tops off of the double nuc (with mice) and the one with the poop on the front, the double nuc is strong, and as I said the other has bees, but I didn't go deep in that one. Both still had mountain camp sugar stores up top.

    So far, so good. Here's hoping they make it to spring.
    So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    bushpilot
    Here's hoping they make it to spring.
    Spring, dangerous time. Good luck, sounds good so far.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    807

    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    It was 72 (I think) here today and it is going to snow tomorrow

    I lost 2 of my 4 hives in October, but the remaining 2 seem to be doing well and were flying today.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Wharton, Texas, USA
    Posts
    271

    Default

    What’s winter? My hives are going nuts baring some unforeseen catastrophe or freak cold snap this should be a record year.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Sisters, Oregon
    Posts
    213

    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    Normal winter 6a- 5 of 5 alive and flying (cleansing flight 1/31)- Still had orientation flights into November which to me means they had brood hatching late, last year they shut down in August. So big colonies going into winter. Late Nov big storm 8-15 inches of snow, melt. Jan big storm 8-15 inches of snow, melt. A few days a month they had cleansing flights. Expect one more big storm.
    I'm smart but at the end of the day I'm still the help.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Newtown, ct
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    73

    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    So far so good, 10/10. The nice weather has really helped some of the weaker hives but I still expect to have some losses. 3 out of the 10 didn't get up to weight in time for winter so they may not make the season.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Catskills, Delaware Cty, New York, USA
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    2,037

    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    Clover....
    Sounds good. I don't have the camera and have not even got a little cheep stethoscope but I have to believe if you saw a cluster, you still have hope.

    I worry about starvation depending on weather but know food is right around the corner if the weather will contribute a small increase in temp.

    First year that I have not supplemented with syrup and I want it to run its course to see how it goes. I know close to what I started with and so hope to learn just a little more so I can figure out the perimeters to manage under.

    Good luck on your small cluster and I hope when you look, you might report what you find and if bad, give a little autopsy and if good, yea hah.

    Cheers
    gww
    [QUOTE=Robert Holcombe;1778413]What Winter? I am still waiting for it. I have a Saskatraz colony that has been partying since Christmas. They have been cleaning out the cupboards and running hot and humid. (Steam bath?) Bottom board shows signs of a big cluster

    Well Sputnick the Sas daughter hive that I thought was gone is doing well, bigger than I thought looking at the drawer not much orienting. The other Sas daughter hive, Polski, has been partying like yours with orientation. The 18 others are doing well, all flying except the dbl nuc which are Palmer queens. They are in there, they don’t fly out very often though. As Mike said there is still a ways to go; maybe an earlier Spring for us this year instead of last years forever Winter.
    Proverbs 16:24

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