Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all
I brought a single deep colony into my heated workshop (55-60 F) about a month ago after seeing broodminder temperatures that were too low. I knew that they would never make it to spring. I was taking a chance but these girls were doomed anyway because the cluster was not big enough. Now the trouble is that they are raising brood and are quite active. They have access to the outside via a short tube that goes through the wall and I have seen them flying about on one sunny day when it may have been close to 50 F. I am worried that they need to get outside to relieve themselves and they won’t go out because it’s around zero here quite regularly. I gave them some small sugar cakes with a little honey on them yesterday and they covered them before I could even set them down on the top bars Today I’m going to give them a little pollen patty. I was hoping this would not happen and thought that the cold air constantly coming in through the tube into the bottom below the slatted rack would keep them in winter mode. Boy was I wrong about that. I am trying figure out how to make a place for them inside the shop so they can relieve themselves. Pretty sure they will die of dysentery if I don’t do something pretty quick. They were a split made last year and I did feed them sugar syrup in the fall until they wouldn’t take any more. Any ideas would be welcome! Going out there this morning to rig something up for them- just not sure what I’m going to do until I start doing it. Thanks.....Jeff in the Adirondacks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,290 Posts
I have an observation hive in my shop, with a 2" clear tube through the wall. Bees gather in the tube on warmish days. Seem to be moving dead bees to the entrance. Chickadees are entering the tube to carry away a little meal of dead bees. Occasionally I see a few bees fly, but not really. Doesn't seem they need a cleansing, so I wouldn't worry about that. They began raising brood some time before Christmas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I have an observation hive in my shop, with a 2" clear tube through the wall. Bees gather in the tube on warmish days. Seem to be moving dead bees to the entrance. Chickadees are entering the tube to carry away a little meal of dead bees. Occasionally I see a few bees fly, but not really. Doesn't seem they need a cleansing, so I wouldn't worry about that. They began raising brood some time before Christmas.
Wow! Thanks for the reply. My tube is 1”. I figured that would be ok and I have sheet metal on the exterior wall to keep the mice away. I do see a bee fly out once in a while but they just take off and die in the snow somewhere. I lost all my bees in the early winter of 2018 and I’m sure they succumbed to the mites because I didn’t treat. After buying 2 over wintered Nucs from better bee, I ended up with 7 colonies this fall and after all that work and expense, I am doing everything I can think of to get them through the winter. Thanks again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Maybe drop the shop temp to 35 degrees? That might stop the brooding after one round.
I suppose I could build something to isolate the hive from the shop. A wall etc. This is a busy mostly woodworking shop (2) story and the machines are running along with the tv or music up to 12 hours per day. I do a lot of paint, stain, epoxy, and varnishing and the temperature needs to be where it is. I use my kiln when I need higher temps for different operations. The shop is fed by the kiln which is fed by the sawmill so there is tremendous noise some days because of the planer and jointer. The bees don’t seem to mind. Occasionally I’ll find a bee on my clothing and the most I have returned to the hive in a day is 3. I have no clue how they are getting out but most days there are no lost bees.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,169 Posts
From your description seems the cluster is very small. Something that is often not realised is that many bees (depending on strain), do a sort of trade off. If it's winter and they have plenty of bees, they go broodless, which makes sense to conserve food. But if they have a very small cluster they can be aware they do not have enough bees to make it and will go all out to raise brood given any opportunity at all, even when the beekeeper does not expect that. Your bees probably fall into that catagory.

While you do not specifically say, it sounds like you are aware of and have dealt with the mites? If so and the little cluster is healthy, just let them do their thing, they are trying to get the population up to where they think it should be. If they defecate in the hive well not much you can do but it will soon be spring and allow them to cleanse things.

Be sure to keep mites controlled, and other than that just watch them for swarming when that time comes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,865 Posts
A 24" or 36" butterfly rearing habitat works well as a porta-potty for a cooped up observation hive. Just connect the tube to the zippered entrance. As long as the bees can fly or crawl around a little, it works well. The more pollen they eat, the messier they are. I realize you are doing this because they are rearing brood, but maybe it is encouraging it rather than scaling them back.

And the habitats that have 2 closing zippers work better so you can adjust the tube entrance into the habitat to be near the top. It is relatively easy to clean it with hot soapy water. This one is on Amazon and looks to have the 2 zippers. Sometimes I will add a coupling to the end of the tube so something "catches" at the habitat entrance. I don't want it to accidentally pull out and let the bees lose in my house.
https://www.amazon.com/RESTCLOUD-Monarch-Butterfly-Collapsible-Terrarium/dp/B07DNGTK4Z/ref=asc_df_B07DNGTK4Z/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=241947546658&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=787598876897453963&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9008525&hvtargid=pla-568827491180&th=1
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top