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Always encouraged to see signs of life during an extreme cold snap. Always get a week of this in February.....

On another note, anyone that tells you Tung oil works great to treat a hive box,
is full of crap..
 

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Whew! And I thought our low of about 15 degrees F last night was bad...

Glad to read that your ladies are plugging-away.

Russ
 

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And I’m worried about it getting down to 28*s tonight. As a first year beekeeper I worry a lot ��
 

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The bees are quite capable on managing what we in the south think of as low temps. Truth is that the bees can handle -40° F for weeks on end. 19° F for me tonight is nothing, even with brood in the hive.
 

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It was -16 this morning at my place. -33 in Island Pond, VT. If they don't survive the cold, its my fault. J
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It was -16 this morning at my place. -33 in Island Pond, VT. If they don't survive the cold, its my fault. J
I don't think bees have a concern with the cold as long as there is a cluster and there is food directly above them...short stints of cold are no issue....but prolonged and they can run out of food because they cannot break cluster and move off of brood to go get it. Keeping food above or in a hive sized properly for the cluster so they cannot move off contact is important.
 

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Hello from snowy N.E. Iowa. Cleaned up bottom boards Sunday when it was 48 degrees. T-shirt weather! Sounds like this weekend is going to get really nice. That last below zero snap in Feb. hurt lost one more hive. I hope it's uphill from here. Have 8 hives left - lost 5 since Nov.
Going to try some things a little different this year. Changing ventilation and insulation. Also going to use OTS on half my hives . Anybody else up north here using OTS?
Better weather coming
Jerry
 

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Hello from snowy N.E. Iowa. Cleaned up bottom boards Sunday when it was 48 degrees. T-shirt weather! Sounds like this weekend is going to get really nice. That last below zero snap in Feb. hurt lost one more hive. I hope it's uphill from here. Have 8 hives left - lost 5 since Nov.
Going to try some things a little different this year. Changing ventilation and insulation. Also going to use OTS on half my hives . Anybody else up north here using OTS?
Better weather coming
Jerry
Hi Jerry, rather that OTS I enjoy PWS Playing With Swarming. I take the hive I wish to split and reduce it a bit ,if there is lots of space left. Add a super of dead out honey so they have a good Honey dome. Then check every 6 days for Q cells. While this is going on check the remaining hives to find the "losers" loser is a hive that had poor production or was a bit hot last year or any other criteria you may wish for . small over winter cluster, and low previous honey production are a couple I use. So at some point you check the squeezed hive and see Q cells.
you now need some Stuff... I tend to use either 8 frame or 5 frame stuff.. now I go thru the forced swarm hive frame by frame, searching for cells and the queen. I try for 4-6 way split.
Old queen and 5 cells is a nice afternoon . I pinch the 1 or 2 hives queen that were voted to be the losers. Using those frames of bees and the swarmed force, hive frames make as many 4-6 frame "NUCs" as possible. The result is to clip the bottom 1 or 2 of the hives off,, and promote the best hive out to 4 or so more daughters. Be aware if you "forget, or get busy, you may just lose your best Queen and a passel of bees. If you only need 3 or 4 queens this will in general work almost every time. the only thing about OTS I do not like is the bees are forced to make a queen, I would rather they choose to make one. or 10.
GG
 
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