Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. I have couple of questions. I am in CT and it is cold and icy out there the weather swings for 40 deg down to 18’s within a week.
Recently I peeked into my hives and noticed some hives are low on fondant, I was wondering if it be ok to open the top at 45F deg and refill with more fondant! Would I be creating too much disturbance?
I like to do one treatment (Oxalic acid) with the hope of completely cleansing the hives off mite, while they are brood less. At what temperature it is best to do this?
Can’t wait for the bee season to begin.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,194 Posts
If your bees are out of feed, they cannot eat lids and are in danger. I open colonies below the temperature you list as the low end often. I will be putting on pollen patties soon in temperatures colder than that and replenishing sugar bricks as required. You do it fast. My colonies are wrapped and they seal right back up. Those breaking the propolis seal on the lid and opening a new major air leakage are definitely changing conditions for their bees. It is the reason I began using inner covers of soundboard because they seal back up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,540 Posts
Vance's answer covered the opening the colonies to provide feed question.

I'll tackle the other issue in your post: your colonies are almost certainly no longer broodless, so you've missed that window. Did you treat earlier, as in mid/late December or in early/mid January? There were days when the temps were fine for it - and the bees were likely still broodless at that time. I would still treat, if you haven't before, and while you shouldn't expect the same results, it isn't pointless. I would not do a series right now, however.

Next year, make a point of getting it done while the hives are both broodless, and (generally) flightless at least as far as leaving the apiary to visit other hives.

I am in a colder area than you (north of Albany) and I already have some brood.

You can do OAV as low as 37F, though in practice that cold presents some process issues so i try for the mid-40s if I can find a day for that.

You can OAD (dribble) at even lower temps, but it is more disruptive to the hives since you have to open each box up. It's a tricky choice, on one hand you want it cold enough that lots of bees don't fly when the hive is opened as they will surely perish in the air that cold, but OTOH, breaking apart the propolis seals and separating the boxes is a serious stress. I would tape over seams afterward as the bits of propolis will never mate-up again perfectly in this cold weather so you'll have a big drafts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,276 Posts
You state that they are low on fondant but how are they in stored honey? If the hive has plenty of honey stores, let them eat it and skip adding more fondant. Spring is coming quickly and the queen will need empty comb to lay eggs.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
451 Posts
Oh you Seattle boy's, at times I envy you when you say spring is coming quickly. For us that is still two month away (it feels like), but it could be in two weeks, who knows. We had it mild in January, but now -4F, going to -14F for the next week or so. I dare to open my hives right now, perhaps in mid March to put pollen patties in but do OAV before. I would like to know if we could have brood, but bees can't be that dumb, can they?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Vance
what is a soundboard?

enjambres

I did my last OAV serious in November. I have oiled plastic sheets on my bottom boards. It got to a point where on the last OAV I wasn't getting any drop mites so assumed all is well. I really thought February being the coldest month they surly be brood less! so in our area when is it that they are most likely to be brood less? Hard to understand how they keep their brood alive at night when the temps dips into 18 deg!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,540 Posts
Your bees are probably most reliably broodless from early Dec. through New Year's Day. After that ,the queen may start laying a small amount in order to have some young nurse bees to tend the first rounds of brood, but by now the colony has begun the buildup.

Yes, it is remarkable that they can keep the brood at 92-95 F at below zero F outside air temps. Think of the delta between those two numbers. And even just how the air would feel on your skin: from a scortching hot day to near frost bite. That's fueled by carbohydrates the adults consume, and it's part of the reason that what may seem like OK amounts of stores at the end of January turn out to be a bare cupboard in March. The other reason is that the brood needs a ton of food, too. They need pollen of course, but also calories from honey, as well. And the nurse bees need to eat the honey and pollen to make brood food to feed those thousands of hungry larvae.

One of the reasons I insulate my hives heavily is that it moderates the energy demands on the bees and makes sure my hives aren't under as much caloric stress.

I try to do my broodless, one-shot OAV in December (assuming I have achieved decent control earlier) as a clean-up treatment to hit them when they are very likely to be broodless, as well as clean-up any souvenirs they may have brought home as long they could still fly out of my yard. So I am shooting for both a broodless point, combined with a time when they won't be getting re-infested for a few months. Where I am that is not usually in November. I don't even start to fuss about it until around the Solstice (Dec. 21st, more or less.) This year I think I did it Christmas Day, and then because i was having battery trouble and I thought my burns weren't great, I repeated it a week or so later when we had a stray warm day - with a new battery.

Then my weekly sticky counts went low and have stayed low, because we haven't had much in the way of flying weather since then. Just a few days here and there for them to fly out and stretch their wings.

Nancy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am so mad at my self for not asking this questions before. anyway I am going to give them one shot of OAV this weekend it suppose to warm up and add more to their reserves.
Should I start making pollen patty and give them some? I always thought this is way too early for getting brood going!
thank you everyone,
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top