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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Going to be -20 for the weekend and not above 0 for next week. I guess we'll see how hardy they are. A couple weeks ago they were alive and had honey available.
Good luck everyone. From WC MN.
 

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Here too, wicked cold starting right now. We won't get above zero degrees Fahrenheit for at least 2-4 days.
 

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You guys are indeed brave. I hope that thing calms down before coming farther eastward. We are showing 7-9F for lows at the end of next week. That's plenty cold and then some. Ya'll are definitely next-level tough.
 

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Forecast shows about 2 solid weeks ahead of around 0 F. I think bees suspected something as they were doing cleansing flights today in "mildly" freezing weather.
 

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Here too, wicked cold starting right now. We won't get above zero degrees Fahrenheit for at least 2-4 days.
We worked several years ago up near Goodman & Iron Mountain. WI is a beautiful state but it is absolutely the coldest place I have ever been in my life.
 

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Going to be -20 for the weekend and not above 0 for next week. I guess we'll see how hardy they are. A couple weeks ago they were alive and had honey available.
Good luck everyone. From WC MN.
It was 68F when I was digging out broken wooden fence posts three days ago and bees were flying. In two more days -27F is the forecast low. My bees are recently checked for stores and have an insulated wrap. I am a lot more concerned about my apple and pear trees than my bees! Cold alone does not kill bees. High winds pushing that cold into a hive where bees are not clustered is indeed a major problem in open winters going bad! Close up all those extra ventilation holes in your hives! One mid level or upper entrance vent/entrance is all they need and all they choose if given a choice.
 

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The northeast is going to be cold, but not even close to what the OP is describing.
 

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Yes, it will be cold, but again - we have these cold periods almost every winter, February being almost always the coldest month. I remember looking at the hives through the window at -30C and trying to imagine how they must feel in those skinny boxes. Still spring eventually comes every year (even if it is in May) and they buzz happily like nothing happened. Amazing creatures...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Going to be -20 for the weekend and not above 0 for next week. I guess we'll see how hardy they are. A couple weeks ago they were alive and had honey available.
Good luck everyone. From WC MN.
I checked the hive temp. with my Broodminder today. A nice 84 degrees inside.Outside was 0. The girls are doing their job. Though -20 yet to come. KAD
 

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we got 8 or so inches of snow today, then some wind and drifting.
Wind chill at 0 or less. and yes be that way for a week or so.
Hopefully they, then get, a few +45 degree days each week.
Be a test for sure.

GG
 

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The first winter I had bees successfully make it was 2012-2013 winter with 50 day below zero for day time high.
Did your bees get many days of cleansing flights? I’m looking at 2-1/2 months with another solid month to go before it’s warm enough to fly.
 

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Did your bees get many days of cleansing flights? I’m looking at 2-1/2 months with another solid month to go before it’s warm enough to fly.
I have already had 5 months with no cleansing flights in the bees are fine.
 

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You must have them bundled up tight. What’s your winter setup?
Yes I do. Polystyrene beehives from Superior Bee made in Ohio. The reason I mentioned them is they are the only ones that make a FULL 2" polystyrene beehive so it's probably R10 if the other guys claim R8.
But I also put another 2" of pink board on the lid so that's 4" on the lid (R20) because I want to keep the R value much higher on top for condensation reasons.
I keep most of them in singles. I never have any opening except the normal entrance at the bottom of the colony. To me that's crucial but you have to be sure you have plenty of R value on the lid so the condensation forms on the sides. And no matter the climate I would not change his basic set up. Except in the summer I pull out the reducer. And I should also mention that I never leave open the bottom board slider for ventilation not in the summer or the winter. I screwed them shut so the skunks can't get in, I never use them. The bees can control their hive conditions to suit their needs if we let them.
But I should say the amount of metabolic water that they produce and that drips out of the hive and makes icicles on the outside could almost be alarming. The clusters are dry as can be and very satisfied looking and sounding and just sip at the stores.
This year I have learned to tilt the hive backwards so the front end is higher than the back end so all that metabolic water runs to the back of the colony and drips out there, When they are sloped the other way their entrance can fill with ice and freeze and suffocate I did lose 3 colonies this Winter to that effect.
 

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It's high noon and still 10 degrees below zero F. Even so the colonies are still doing house cleaning and I get to inspect all the dead bees they set at the entrance. Just as I suspected they are brooding up and have been for a while because I found a dead pupa I would estimate it to be 18 or 19 days old.
 

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I checked the hive temp. with my Broodminder today. A nice 84 degrees inside.Outside was 0. The girls are doing their job. Though -20 yet to come. KAD
84 degree temperature difference? Really? I've got temperature sensors in all my hives and they rarely show a greater than 10 degree temperature difference and that may be more due to thermal inertia and solar gain than by any heating the bees provide. I'm speechless.
 

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It's high noon and still 10 degrees below zero F. Even so the colonies are still doing house cleaning and I get to inspect all the dead bees they set at the entrance. Just as I suspected they are brooding up and have been for a while because I found a dead pupa I would estimate it to be 18 or 19 days old.
that's a bad sign.

What sort of weight do your colonies have?
 
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