2020 How was your winter? - Page 3
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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Wakefield, Rhode Island, USA
    Posts
    289

    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    "What document": I was somehow started working thermal issues in my first year. I quickly realized temperatures and humidity are connected in the bee-hive system, year round. Humidity issues led to the more general year round water requirements. After 4 winters I am learning about homeostasis including CO2, propolis, vapor pressure and how to achieve homeostasis via hive design. I am slowly studying my recent discovery "Homeostasis: Humidity and water relations in honeybee colonies ( Apis mellifera)" by Micheal B Ellis, University of Pretoria, November 2008. It is a masters thesis and so far very good IMO. I buttress this paper with other more recent technical reports and my own crude testing efforts at the hive level.

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  3. #42
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Athens, Texas, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    gww

    Thanks for the Welcome!
    We use plastic foundation and a trapazoid cut-out for OSBN

  4. #43
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Albany NY
    Posts
    225

    Default

    Too early to tell in mid Hudson valley, NY. A long time until chicken counting here. We had winter in Nov and Dec. Its been prime mapling weather so far in 2020, which is about 6 weeks early. I expect it will get to be winter again but forcast is mostly unseasonably warm into 222nd half of February. I usually don't need to check anybody for stores until end of February. But with this warmth they may be going through stores raising more brood than normal, so I need to check out yards that I have not made it to yet. Observation hive in kitchen blooded up about a week early this year. I don't expect to be able to dig into any hives until April. So in the meantime I'll jealously read posts from you southerners and day dream.... Thanks everybody, here's to a great year!

  5. #44
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Durham, CA, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    Here in N. CA itís been a mild and fairly dry winter. I started out with 6 hives in winter, lost two. One was honey bound (I realized late) and didnít make it, the other was weakened when I had to split and requeen a hot hive in Sept. Itís my second year, so lots of trial and error (emphasis on the errors!) but ending with 4 active hives. Temps in the 60s, trees are putting out pollen, some flowers are blooming, feeding my split. Iíll open up in a few weeks when the almonds start blooming as now Iíve got way too many stray bees pollinating the Ash and then harassing my hives! The bees are being delivered to the almond orchards that border my property.

  6. #45
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Huntington Woods, MI
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    As of Tuesday (when it was mid 40s) all 4 colonies & small nuc were alive & flying! Its been such a mild winter for SE Michigan, food stores are being depleted quickly & I'm getting concerned that they'll brood up early--then get hit with a 10 day cold snap & chill/die. This time of year always has my attention-many bees starve in Feb & March. Put Winter patties on all hives thru a drawer underneath my moisture boxes. (Bought 1 from a bee supply co & copied it. Even have 1 on my nuc.) Anyway, I broke down & bought a FLIR attachment for my I phone. It works GREAT & eases my mind when I get nervous about my girls. May your Spring bee plentiful.

  7. #46
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    4,147

    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    rdi......
    Welcome to the forum.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  8. #47
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Skaneateles, NY
    Posts
    986

    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    so far so good. I only have one confirmed dead out of 41 at this point in winter.
    There a a few with smaller than ideal clusters though so feeding them and crossing my fingers.

  9. #48
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Gulf Breeze, FL
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    So far, so good. Definitely better than last winter when I lost 50% to a bear! Went in with 9 hives, so far coming out with 9. In the Florida Panhandle it has been an incredibly mild winter - even by our standards. Girls are bringing in pollen as I type.

  10. #49
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    4,147

    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    tyc..
    I am hearing of bear sightings and video in Mo and even in my area.
    When I was young, I thought that would be cool. Now I just hate change and do not look forward to such a migration.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  11. #50
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    235

    Angry Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    I'm happy for you who got all hives through winter so far. Unfortunately, we lost all hives again, all with plenty of honey stores. The last one succumbed in January. The pressure from viral, bacterial, parasitic (mites, small hive beetles, wax moths) assaults just seems to be getting harder on the bees. Got to buy packages again in spring. Bummer.
    5-8 hives

  12. #51
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    4,147

    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    Shoefly
    Bummer, wishing you the best this year. Maybe you should throw a few of your used hives up with some lemon grass oil in them for traps. If you get lucky, it might not hurt as bad when having to buy a package or two. I would not count on them catching anything but what a bonus if they did. We are in a cold spell right now and so I don't know what real spring will bring even for myself yet. Pull all that honey that is left in your hives and at least get that for your trouble.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  13. #52
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Catskills, Delaware Cty, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,852

    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    Crazy weather; rain today, tomorrow, by Friday, - temps!
    Proverbs 16:24

  14. #53
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Athens, Texas, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    shoefly,

    Sorry you lost your hives,but congrats for not giving up and trying it again. We're starting our 5th year with 15 hives and have had excellent luck. I think the biggest thing we have done is 2 1/2 years ago we bought a Fishers nector detector to weigh our hives. it only cost about $125. and takes about 30 min. to weigh all 15 hives. We do this every 1-2 weeks year round. You can instantly tell the overall condition of your apiary, how much stores each hive has and any outliers on weights that we then go in and look at. You might consider giving this a try. The second thing is getting a good handle on mite control.

    Good luck this year!

    Dave

  15. #54
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    235

    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    Oh, yes we at least one swarm move in empty boxes every year. Swarm collection calls seems to have diminished though here in the Chicagoland area over the last five years. Either there are more people collecting swarms (a good thing) or not as many swarms for the collecting (a not so good thing).
    5-8 hives

  16. #55
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Skaneateles, NY
    Posts
    986

    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    Over the lasts 6 winters my hive survival has really improved. I have tried wrapping, not wrapping, wrapping in tar paper + foam insulation. This year i will try wintering 10 colonies in single deeps.
    It really seems to me that there are 100 ways to skin a cat here. The 3 most important survival keys from my viewpoint are
    1. Young queens
    2. MITE CONTROL!!!!
    3. Plenty of feed going into winter.

    I have 41 colonies going currently ( 2 i had rescued from a close friend who had too much other life stuff going on to keep up with his bees. One of the colonies had 18 mites on alcohol wash in August. I treated that hive with formic pro but sadly that hive is still dead ).
    40 colonies are going well currently in upstate NY. Certainly some of them have smaller clusters than i would like but they all have supplemental feed on and have honey stores left for the most part).
    Now just hoping for the next 7 weeks to quickly pass with no further colony loss until the season really kicks off here.
    Just for interest sake i treat 4x/year
    -> apivar spring and fall, formic acid mid summer and OAV in early winter and any other time my mite loads on washing is climbing.

  17. #56
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    5,358

    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by aran View Post
    Over the lasts 6 winters my hive survival has really improved. I have tried wrapping, not wrapping, wrapping in tar paper + foam insulation. This year i will try wintering 10 colonies in single deeps.
    It really seems to me that there are 100 ways to skin a cat here. The 3 most important survival keys from my viewpoint are
    1. Young queens
    2. MITE CONTROL!!!!
    3. Plenty of feed going into winter.

    I have 41 colonies going currently ( 2 i had rescued from a close friend who had too much other life stuff going on to keep up with his bees. One of the colonies had 18 mites on alcohol wash in August. I treated that hive with formic pro but sadly that hive is still dead ).
    40 colonies are going well currently in upstate NY. Certainly some of them have smaller clusters than i would like but they all have supplemental feed on and have honey stores left for the most part).
    Now just hoping for the next 7 weeks to quickly pass with no further colony loss until the season really kicks off here.
    Just for interest sake i treat 4x/year
    -> apivar spring and fall, formic acid mid summer and OAV in early winter and any other time my mite loads on washing is climbing.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  18. #57
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Greenville, SC USA
    Posts
    473

    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    (Upstate SC)
    Went into Fall with 15 hives - mostly 2-3 8frame medium hives and a couple nucs with 2 medium 5 frame boxes.
    Checked this wknd and found 2 dead-outs. One had a couple handfulls of dead bees on the bottom board and one was just empty.
    We treated (OAV) early Fall but didn't get as many cycles as hoped.
    Pleased overall with minimal losses. We want to get to ~10 hives so we'll look to sell some nucs or full colonies early Spring.

  19. #58
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Decorah, Iowa USA
    Posts
    246

    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    Going to be below zero here the next 2 days, then 30's and 40's for the weekend. I'm hoping next week we start a slow temp. climb. It's early but Spring can't be to far away can it?

  20. #59
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Newton MS
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    First winter for my hive but so far I think they’re doing good. On warm days there’s been lots of activity at the entrance with them bringing in lots of pollen. I have a glass inner cover and can see lots of bees. I haven’t been in the hive since October. Weather has been really wet last two weeks and haven’t been able to inspect. Going to treat for mites before adding a super for the spring nectar flow.

  21. #60
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Northern Il, USA
    Posts
    517

    Default Re: 2020 How was your winter?

    Supposed to get to minus 7F the next day or two, and up into the 40s next week.

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