Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
323 Posts
Lets forget the pros/cons of "checkerboarding", "reversing bottom boxes", "moving frames of brood arround", etc. for now. I've been reading a lot of posts on there subjects and writings by Walt, Taylor, Inirie, Bush & others. :s What I can not get a handle on is the timing/when!! Consider that I am in NW Ohio; winter & spring weather here can be a real!!
Does one do any/or all (of above) at the same time or in stages?
Same for feeding, if necessary? I just do not know when its safe to open hives weather /temp. wise!
I have not had a day above 30 since late December 09, so I do not even know what is going on in the hives!
I do know one thing though: yesterday was calm and in the upper 20s, so I removed the entrance reducers (lower, most langs.) took a hooked devive and droug out 100s of dead bees. :scratch:: :s
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,668 Posts
What I can not get a handle on is the timing/when!!

It all depends on the weather. Me, I try to reverse my boxes and super when I start seeing dandelions blooming.

Same for feeding, if necessary?

You feed if necessary. You don't feed on a schedule.

I just do not know when its safe to open hives weather /temp. wise!

Are you just popping the top and peeking in, or are you opening the hive and pulling frames? I would not recommend pulling frames unless it was at least mid 50's, and I would want a good reason for pulling frames. (Don't pull frames just because you want to know what they are doing.) If it is not windy, I will sometimes gently lift the top cover to check dry sugar stores at 30 degrees. Again, have a good reason to pop the cover - don't do it out of curiousity.

I have not had a day above 30 since late December 09, so I do not even know what is going on in the hives!

So? You can't do anything about it now. Last fall was the time to prepare them. Enjoy the winter and go check them on a nice day in March. (unless you are dry sugar feeding...you can check that as needed)

I do know one thing though: yesterday was calm and in the upper 20s, so I removed the entrance reducers (lower, most langs.) took a hooked devive and droug out 100s of dead bees.

That is a good way to kill your bees. Messing around with the hive disturbs the cluster, and often increases honey consumption by about 3 times as much for a day. Clean off the bottom board in the spring in nice weather.

Fussing with a hive for no reason in winter is a recipe for disaster. Unless you know 110% for sure you are helping them, leave them alone. Often, the best thing to do is to do nothing when it comes to bees.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
359 Posts
I live in the texas panhandle. We are starting to get a few days in the upper fifties. I checked my hives for the first time a few days ago. Temp. is the deciding factor.

Bees cluster under 50 degrees. If under 50 don't open your hives unless it is some kind of emergency. I had two of my hives get knocked over by escaped cattle earlier in the winter. It was 26 deg. and the bees were not happy. had no idea how long they were exposed to the weather, at least a day. Upon inspecting the hives the other day, one of those two had died out.

I just did a quick check of all the hives. Two needed the brood boxes rotated. The one was a dead out and the rest were all still in the bottom brood box with good stores in the top brood box.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
I am on the other side of the state but exactly same weather conditions as you. The first thing to do is get involved with your local club and talk with them and get their opinions and believe me they will each give you a different one:D. That is part of the fun! I don't do much except check on dry sugar stores (if necessary) this time of year. In March the first day we get above 50 or so I will throw a pollen patty on. Then I just check on that as the weather allows and add as necessary until April or so. Then in mid to late April (depending on weather of course) when temps get near 60 or so I will make a quick check through the frames and such. I don't feed liquid until the I know the syrup temps will be @ 50f or above at least some of the day and I only feed if necessary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
It was low 40's in central Ohio today and the bees were flying and relieving themselves on the side of our house. I opened all five hives and all were alive. I had fed them candy Christmas weekend before the cold came and most of that candy was gone. I refed each hive the candy by drizzling hot candy into the inner cover and putting some on the top of the frames near the cluster. One cluster had broken up and was moving on top of the top hive body.

I really believe in feeding after not feeding that past two years and losing my hives those two years (two hives). Now, if we can make it until March or so we maybe out of the danger zone.

I open quickly when they are out cleansing above 40 I don't leave the hive open very long but if you do it quick it should be ok. Also, if you remove the cover you should be able to see through the inner cover and if they are near there you can see life.

Tapping on the hive gets a rise out of them also.

Good luck, My daughter and son in law are in Toledo and he has one hive in his backyard in the city. Your weather has been brutal.

Pife
 

·
Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
Joined
·
54,108 Posts
Checkerboarding could be done as early as February and, around here, should probably be done by March. (this is over the brood nest as in Walk Wright's meaning of the term).

Reversing, I never do, nor do I recommend it. But if you insist, I wouldn't do it before May, around here, as it's too cold to risk splitting the brood nest before that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
323 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all for the input :thumbsup: I'll cool my heals untill the weather gets considerably better, hopefully by mid/late Feb for a few days and the bees are active.
Thanks Michale for your input! I am under the openion that reversing is not necessary, the thing I am not clear on is opening up the brood area and when:scratch:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,150 Posts
I have a few hives that are weak and into the sugar. I opened them a few days ago when it warmed up to 38F/3.3C and back filled with sugar. They would be doomed otherwise to starvation and I have been successful in the past feeding as such. The others I leave alone until the nicer weather in the spring. If you want a sign of activity.....brush off the front porch...if you see a few dead bees back on the front porch days later/on your next visit...you know they are still doing their thing.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top