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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This image is an early May 2021 swarm from the Jackson, MI. area. It was taken Jan 1 22, 30degs outside and the FLIR was failing in those conditions - but I was able to grab a good shot of the left colony. There were two cast swarms with the primary reproductive swarm having been snagged from the same location a week or two prior. It was much larger, with these two being much smaller. I suspect they were virgins and were mated local to my apiaries in Canton, MI. and later located in June to Romulus.

My suspicions are they are feral based on the area and assessment of potential beekeepers in the area - but it is not conclusive. They are slated for a VSH assay beginning this spring should they survive.

They filled four medium 8's, propolized heavily, and brooded prolifically. No chemical or bio-mechanical interventions because I just didn't get to them. They also filled two supers (med 8) full of honey - both of which were left. The colonies were pushed together and insulated top 2" foam board and 2.5" foam board (leftovers from a basement job I did), a la "Adrian Quiney" style. They also have a half-corked top entrance (7/8") for ventilation/exit/entry along with a closed solid bottom entrance with the reducers on. I am impressed with their current vitality. Of my 26 current colonies, I am most interested in the outcome of these two since they are the largest and most likely to have perished before Xmas (in theory).

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when was the last time you did the lift test on them?
they seem up high for 2 supers of honey left on.
try taking pics from all 4 sides, from the front the right one looks up against the side unless that is heat leakage around the foam.
the left one looks to maybe be brooding.

now early Jan mid "hive" or lower I would consider good. I am challenged to see the hive outline in your pic so I can be way off.

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here is the side of a 3 deep 1 medium, they are in the second deep with out the high heat your pic shows.
could be setting on the unit. I do like the Flir as a tool to determine how close to the top they are, once in the top box I feed.

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
when was the last time you did the lift test on them?
they seem up high for 2 supers of honey left on.
try taking pics from all 4 sides, from the front the right one looks up against the side unless that is heat leakage around the foam.
the left one looks to maybe be brooding.

now early Jan mid "hive" or lower I would consider good. I am challenged to see the hive outline in your pic so I can be way off.

View attachment 66948
here is the side of a 3 deep 1 medium, they are in the second deep with out the high heat your pic shows.
could be setting on the unit. I do like the Flir as a tool to determine how close to the top they are, once in the top box I feed.

GG
Left side is between top and 1st super. Right side was being wonky - Flir was not performing well at 30deg F. I'll wait to check above freezing again and see what's happening. But the right colony is 1st super above the brood nest and they've been shrinking, I suspect the attrition might be what does them in.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Darn it, now I want to buy a FLIR.
Get a Seek instead. The temperature tolerance is far greater and won't crap out when the temps are sub-freezing.
 

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Darn it, now I want to buy a FLIR.
an infra red type cameras is a nice toy indeed.

with the "heat saving" industry they are actually some good options.
I like the phone attached, can take a picture, SMS a pic real fast.
not the first few $100 I spent but does rank up there in the good decision band.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
an infra red type cameras is a nice toy indeed.

with the "heat saving" industry they are actually some good options.
I like the phone attached, can take a picture, SMS a pic real fast.
not the first few $100 I spent but does rank up there in the good decision band.
Works well if you are a cut-out person too...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yesterday they appeared more centered again.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Here is an additional colony that is in its first winter "observed" by me. Second winter if going on report from landowner who cleared his parcel for a retirement home here in Milan Michigan. It's fairly rural with plenty of mono-ag around. Last update was last week and they are presently doing fine.

We will be trapping this location in the Spring. I would like to harvest some drones and potentially do some insemination with a friend. Do a VSH assay on the stock and maybe send out for some additional testing.
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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
This colony was living in an old farm house that's been long abandoned/condemned. It's alleged the bees showed up in 2020. They wintered with their butts hanging out in the cold. We cut them out in 2021 and I've since raised 4 daughters from the stock that are presently heading up good strong colonies.

The building sure has some history, lots of old comb in the walls, likely loaded with asbestos and lead paint haha. But, there are several other locations on the house with as much propolis as here. Interesting to see indeed.

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My Opinion of Propolis as "bee caulking" stands.
Apparently the space was too breezy.

Nice Pics, thanks for showing folks what a "hive in the wall looks like"

at least you know where they came from, 3600 what ever street.

GG
 

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Darn it, now I want to buy a FLIR.
It will show you how leaky your boxes are.
My insulated hive only shows heat at the entrance.
That means all of the heat is being contained by the hive, and the only heat I see is the exhaust air.
I'll get a flir pic tonight to show.
Those brightly lit hives are leaking massive amounts of heat!

My last cut-out.

Floor to ceiling!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My Opinion of Propolis as "bee caulking" stands.
Apparently the space was too breezy.

Nice Pics, thanks for showing folks what a "hive in the wall looks like"

at least you know where they came from, 3600 what ever street.

GG
Goes to show, this particular colony was far less insulated than most standard Lang equipment ever gets. There is literally nothing there beside the wood siding - what insulation I have found on the property was actually saw-dust.
 
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