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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

There has been more then a couple of days with temps in the 50-60. The bees were gathering pollen from hazel trees - there are tons in my area. I took out some frames and they were kinda stuffed with pollen and nectar - heavy frames. I have a hive that overwintered as single - plenty of bees from side to side and I decided to give them a couple of empty frames for the queen to lay in. I also fed them a quart of heavy sugar syrup and they took it.
In my area doing this this time of the year is considered crazy(normally should be done in April) but I took the decision considering the circumstances: mild winter, powerfull colony, new pollen comming in, my need of making increase.
I really want to understand the principles behind beekeeping instead of mechanically use a beekeeper's calendar. The seasons are not what they used to be anyway. The climate is changing rapidly so why not adapting to it?
What do you think? What should I continue with? Should I give them more sugar? For now I've stopped since they have enough open nectar in the frames.
There is not much risk involved as I only have 2 hives. I allready ordered another 5 and will split them to 20 after the main flow on black locust (I will graft).

Thanks.
 

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Roll with it. The only thing consistent with the climate is that it changes. Climate change has been with us since the beginning of life on earth. This idea that it is somehow a new thing is a purely political creation that feeds on a lack of understanding of the natural world. The bees are more attuned to the subtle year to year variations than we are so use them as a cue. However, keep in mind your areas propensity to get late season cold snaps--both in length and severity. If you have enough bees though this is less of an issue. Just be sure not to split too early.
 

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This idea that it is somehow a new thing is a purely political creation that feeds on a lack of understanding of the natural world.
You seem to misunderstand the idea well. No one thinks it's new. What's new may be man's role.

My advice to the OPer is to be patient. Do do your manipulations early just because the weather seems to look favorable. Gauge the condition of your bees, the presence of mature drones, the amount of honey in the hives, whether there is any new nectar coming in, are there any queen cells being made and preped for eggs.
 

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You seem to misunderstand the idea well. No one thinks it's new. What's new may be man's role.
Completely different argument--but this distinction is conveniently ignored when it suits. You'd be surprised how many think it is new because of media bias. Just like religion and treatment vs treatment free beekeeping, these arguments are best avoided as most are entrenched in their own dogma (just human nature).

As we both seem to suggest to the question at hand--it is best to let the bees tell you what they need. Just keep in mind the normal variability of the weather in your area as well.
 

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As we both seem to suggest to the question at hand--it is best to let the bees tell you what they need. Just keep in mind the normal variability of the weather in your area as well.
I agree wholeheartedly.

I believe that most people, including me, don't know enough about weather, climate, and climate change to be able to discuss climate change intelligently.

We'd better leave it at that before we get in trouble. I'm done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks very much for the answers.
I've been uncertain of how the bees will winter in my area since it was my first one: will the drafts comming from the mountains affect them, will they have enough honey etc. I didn't wrapp the hives either. I wanted to find out the minimum management with these 2 hives. It wasn't a 100% real test since the winter was mild, but anyway we haven't had one since 2010.
We still get temps bellow freezing during the night. It's less probable to have serious cold snaps from now on.
Some pictures with my 2 hives made today:
powerfullHive.jpg DSCN2161.jpg weakerHive.jpg DSCN2168.jpg DSCN2182.jpg DSCN2184.jpg
I find Lauri Miller's theory(Walt Wright) about bees clustering on open nectar to be very true. Bees like to cluster on it, at least mine did. They also just began to uncap the honey as they started brood rearing. So I think for the future having this nectar stored in what used to be the brood nest after queens stopped laying in late August will assure a good wintering condition, with stores on the right spot.
Another thing: the cluster didn't "move" during the winter... it just stayed in the same position. For example on #1 there were bees on 7 intervals from top to bottom. They barelly eaten anything since Autumn. I think overwintering singles works fine - the temperature above the brood nest is allways well above freezing. I confess that I tilted the boxes and tops from time to time to see how things are going inside... just beeing very, very curious :)
Another question: I guess the old bees will start rapid decline from now on. When is the bee population on it's lowest point?
 

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I would agree with that. Cause fear - control you.
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
 

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Roll with it. The only thing consistent with the climate is that it changes. Climate change has been with us since the beginning of life on earth. This idea that it is somehow a new thing is a purely political creation that feeds on a lack of understanding of the natural world. The bees are more attuned to the subtle year to year variations than we are so use them as a cue. However, keep in mind your areas propensity to get late season cold snaps--both in length and severity. If you have enough bees though this is less of an issue. Just be sure not to split too early.
Don't under estimate the rate at which it is changing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Don't reveal your thoughts/plans to the devil for it might take an even better control over you ;)

Let's talk about bees.
 

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Back in the 80's we had extreme weather. -40 F every night for months in the winter. +114 F in the summer. The coldest I've seen this year is -20 F and the hottest I've seen in recent years is barely over 100 F. It's been a long cold winter, but not as extreme as I have seen. Global warming has been taking place for as long as we can measure it. The Dikes in Holland have high and low tide measurements back to the dark ages. The tides have been steadily higher for at least a millennia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I agree about the political thing. Our lives are too short to measure the unmeasurable. Weather is smt. that changes from hour to hour, climate is also changing in a longer time span.
 

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Thanks very much for the answers.
I've been uncertain of how the bees will winter in my area since it was my first one: will the drafts comming from the mountains affect them, will they have enough honey etc. I didn't wrapp the hives either. I wanted to find out the minimum management with these 2 hives. It wasn't a 100% real test since the winter was mild, but anyway we haven't had one since 2010.
We still get temps bellow freezing during the night. It's less probable to have serious cold snaps from now on.
Some pictures with my 2 hives made today:
View attachment 9177 View attachment 9178 View attachment 9179 View attachment 9180 View attachment 9181 View attachment 9182
I find Lauri Miller's theory(Walt Wright) about bees clustering on open nectar to be very true. Bees like to cluster on it, at least mine did. They also just began to uncap the honey as they started brood rearing. So I think for the future having this nectar stored in what used to be the brood nest after queens stopped laying in late August will assure a good wintering condition, with stores on the right spot.
Another thing: the cluster didn't "move" during the winter... it just stayed in the same position. For example on #1 there were bees on 7 intervals from top to bottom. They barelly eaten anything since Autumn. I think overwintering singles works fine - the temperature above the brood nest is allways well above freezing. I confess that I tilted the boxes and tops from time to time to see how things are going inside... just beeing very, very curious :)
Another question: I guess the old bees will start rapid decline from now on. When is the bee population on it's lowest point?

I like your bee pictures and am looking forward to seeing pollen on the bees here. Maybe next week? We're supposed to warm into the 50's for several days and I am looking forward to bees flying again.
 

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The honey bee is supposed to originate in Africa which is tropical to sub tropical mostly. so I would guess the bees would say " warming bring it on had enough of this continents cold"
Johno
 

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What humans cause is the "heat island effect", most easily noted when driving out of the city into the country in the late afternoon. You will notice a decrease in temps as soon as you hit the hard tree line. This is a very different thing from Climate change. The thing they are pitching such a hissy about is carbon dioxide. Well dang I guess we should just stop breathing. Humans in total (not including breathing) exhaust single digit amounts of carbon dioxide compared to the total from natural sources, Volcanos and such. The sun has a much greater affect on our climate than anything we could possible do outside of a global nuclear war (in which case it just doesn't really matter does it). One of the big charts that Global Warming supporters point to is called the Hockey stick chart (it's called that because it looks like a hockey stick, with temps rising dramatically in the 90s). What they fail to tell you is that the data for a good part of the 90s is incomplete due to the breakup of the soviet union. MAssive amounts of readings are missing from places like Siberia, I'm sure that wouldn't affect the temps any.

Last but not least my favorite question for human made global warming supporters, Ok it's all our fault this time, so if that's true then what exactly was it that we did to cause the end of the little ice age??? You know the one that helped kick Napoleon's butt when he tried to take on Russia... :D

Yes I've done a little research on the subject. If you can't stand the minutia, but would like to get better informed read Michael Criton's book "State of Fear", it's an excellent novel with actual data mixed into the story.
 

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Other than the Farmers Almanac I don't know what other source you could use to gauge weather changes. The point is you want a prediction and we all know how accurate the weather man is with all his computer modeling. I think bees are very much like farmers. They gamble a lot on what they can't control.
 

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Wouldn't increased carbon dioxide provide a more thriving condition for plant live?
Sure, so cut down the rain forest and what do you expect will fill its place? Do you like algae in your drinking water? How many bees do you think that will support?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Other than the Farmers Almanac I don't know what other source you could use to gauge weather changes. The point is you want a prediction and we all know how accurate the weather man is with all his computer modeling. I think bees are very much like farmers. They gamble a lot on what they can't control.
Unfortunatelly we can make pretty accurate predictions, at least for my country.
We had severe draught and high temps in '11, and '12 and not much rain in '13. Rain has become a rare event nowadays. When I see the temps during this winter I wonder how will it be in summer. Normally January should be quite frosty (-20C) but we haven't had that latelly.
What worries me most is the lack of precipitations not cold snaps. About forests... they are literally eradicated in Romania. We are DOOMED, that;s for sure. The governments work against their people; that's another sure fact :( We've experienced the criminal comunist party most of the 20st century and now we are dealing with their progenies, but that's another story and I'm too sick of it.
I will not feed them anymore. I see they are starting brood anyway and have plenty of stores.
 

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Unfortunatelly we can make pretty accurate predictions, at least for my country.
I know, what I said wasn't fair about weather predictions. I live in an area where weather is hard to predict. I was told that weather man are trained in this area because of the difficulty of it always changing.
 
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