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Thanks, It was taken with my Galaxy A10e, a relatively inexpensive phone. No photoshop, either.
I'm glad to hear your drought is over.

Alex
Drought is over as we are making up lost ground. Barely had time to OAV today. It is raining hard right now, had snow melt for two days. I've got garlic planting to do and a strawberry bed to be "put to bed". .
 

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Just went out to check the hives and the girls are out, in mass bringing in pollen=dark brown, yellow and white. I was planning on adding a gallon or so more syrup but their flying all around the hives (both hives). Though it might be robbing at first until I saw all the pollen on them and there wasn't any kung fu fighting. I'll wait until later this afternoon when they quite down. Weather supposed to be in the mid 60'sfor the next ten days with no frost-lows in the low 40's. I don't want to over feed right now. ****, one hitchhiked a ride in the house with me, better go catch her.
 

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6a 3rd yr 5 production hives 1/ 2 q resource hive
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Drones??? I have drones flying still? That was a surprise to see. Since drones are a luxury that tells me my hives are doing well. The latest mated queen is showing strength in numbers.
 

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Most of the hives were orienting today which was nice to see, and finally got the rest of the cleaned supers off. I believe I need a vacation too much stuff going on!
 

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Most of the hives were orienting today which was nice to see, and finally got the rest of the cleaned supers off. I believe I need a vacation too much stuff going on!
I had good orientation flights too. My hives seem a little light and seeming slow taking syrup. I'll have to do a formal weight check and check the top medium for capped syrup honey soon, right after final Varroa Dead Drop Count - hopefully. Thankfully my "labels" arrived on time - election day. Tired of bottling but making syrup and feeding plus planting garlic cloves made for a peaceful day. The drought is over, the sun will rise tomorrow too! :)
 

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I am still seeing drones in from one of my hives.


Sounds like someone is having a very bad night. It sounds like a semi with 400 hives tipped/rolled near Glendo, Wyoming. The local bee club got a message saying it was near Chyenne looking for help recovering, but now it sounds like it is a lot farther north.
 

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Winter Reading from from the Royal British......: "
"Nectar, humidity, honey bees (Apis mellifera) and varroa in summer: a theoretical thermofluid analysis of the fate of water vapour from honey ripening and its implications on the control of Varroa destructor" Derek Mitchell Published:10 July 2019 https://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2019.0048

It's great to find someone publishing physical system models that are related to beekeeping - especially my pet interest in relative humidity, total water content of honey, ventilation ( fluid dynamics) and heat transfer. It all starts with a bit of chemistry; follow a water molecule, add a little oxygen and and carbon, describe via principles of simple Newtonian physics - off to the races!.

In reality it is of interest to me as I violate typical beekeeping practices in the USA and explore some very interesting resultants. The least of which is seemingly healthier hives. Could it be cause ......... o_Oo_O the TV is driving me crazy, more than bottling honey?
 

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6a 3rd yr 5 production hives 1/ 2 q resource hive
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Pulled back the burlap on all 7 to refresh the sugar slurry. Poured sugar through the screen and spritzed water on the sugar and the sponge (new addition this year). I live in a very dry climate so I'm making sure they have enough water and humidity but not so much moisture to drip down on the colonies. I also keep a top entrance. It's working great. Comforting to see them and gives me something to do. A bored beekeeper in winter can be a danger to themselves and to their bees.
 

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I did the second round of OAV today. The bees are still bringing in pollen and doing orientation flights. Some rather large flights at that.
No hard freeze yet.

Alex
 

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Pulled back the burlap on all 7 to refresh the sugar slurry. Poured sugar through the screen and spritzed water on the sugar and the sponge (new addition this year). I live in a very dry climate so I'm making sure they have enough water and humidity but not so much moisture to drip down on the colonies. I also keep a top entrance. It's working great. Comforting to see them and gives me something to do. A bored beekeeper in winter can be a danger to themselves and to their bees.
BY keeping the hives warm internally I am able to top feed 2:1 syrup to a desired weight, even in November. We, fortunately for some around here, have hit a warm spell 60-70F daytime 50F night time. I verified one hive, which was nearly empty of honey as a result of the drought, to have all top medium frames with capped over syrup honey. I will sample check others but rely mainly on weighing for guidance. I am open feeding all my sugar or honey dirty buckets, pans and other hardware. They are being cleaned - spotless! Tomorrow I will feed about 2 gallons of honey via pans with hay that I would not bottle for donations. I am also continuing with top syrup feeders, 80 lb. honey net, minimum per hive. The hives seemed to have extended winter bee brood season - big orientation flights for all 9 hives and one nuc. I think the drought caused and usual timing pattern which responded to 2:1 syrup well.

I had one colony building comb inside the tub feeder - during an Oct freeze and snow period. Thus the ability to cap in a warm hive is pretty much proven to me. I fear many local, backyard hives will be lost to starvation this winter.
 

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BY keeping the hives warm internally I am able to top feed 2:1 syrup to a desired weight, even in November.
I had one colony building comb inside the tub feeder - during an Oct freeze and snow period. Thus the ability to cap in a warm hive is pretty much proven to me. I fear many local, backyard hives will be lost to starvation this winter.
I have a problem with authority. So when people advocate a position because thats the way its always been I usually want to prove them wrong With 40% backyard beekeeping losses each year its not just about the mites. There is a lot to know about nutrition and especially water and humidity. If we can increase survival rates at least another 10% its worth the research. I’m encouraged to hear you are able to get 2:1 on and have found a way to do it no matter the weather.
 

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I have a problem with authority. So when people advocate a position because thats the way its always been I usually want to prove them wrong With 40% backyard beekeeping losses each year its not just about the mites. There is a lot to know about nutrition and especially water and humidity. If we can increase survival rates at least another 10% its worth the research. I’m encouraged to hear you are able to get 2:1 on and have found a way to do it no matter the weather.
Conservation of energy - there is nothing neater than having bee heaters convert the solar energy into heat when they need it. In my environment they also emulate a subrmarine, it seems, by managing and recycling moisture. Now if the bees could figure out how to recycle CO2 ..... hmmmmmh 🙂
 

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Earlier I mentioned a strange acting nuc which had brood but no syrup consumption. Yesterday I checked the nuc. Temperature at the top bottle feeder was over 63F. I saw the mobile queen and a small patch of capped brood along iwht some capped honey in the cluster area. There was no stored syrup on empty frames - clean frames. No signs of chalk or sac brood. Really no signs of Varroa but OAV killed a few - 5 to 10. The bees are lethargic. My "guess" is Nosema C. I am going to OA dribble twice, 21 days apart and hope.

Could an alternate idea be to restart a nuc with nurse bees and maybe some capped brood and more winter bees, then transfer the Queen? She looked like the only healthy bee.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I have previously mentioned that I was doing sort of a soft Bond culling in my apiary and allowing weaker hives to die out. By mid August, I had gone from just over 20 hives down to 11 hives and two nucs. These are the hives that were sampled for the USDA bee survey. As of today, all 11 hives and both nucs are still alive and have received their first OAV dose since July. All the inserts were scrubbed clean so an accurate 72 hour Drop Dead Count could be obtained. Hives with the lowest counts will be marked as potential breeders for next Spring, assuming they survive the winter. I just started feeding again to build up hive weights, but several are so heavy they are hard to tip. On the down side, I had so many drawn combs go beeless from the culling that wax moths have destroyed a great number of them. Nearly 200 deep frames to clean up. Most of my mediums are still web free but honey will not be a priority next year.
 
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As of today, all 11 hives and both nucs are still alive and have received their first OAV dose since July. All the inserts were scrubbed clean so an accurate 72 hour Drop Dead Count could be obtained. Hives with the lowest counts will be marked as potential breeders for next Spring, assuming they survive the winter.
JW:

I will look forward to reading about your evaluation efforts- hopefully you will post your findings and the evaluation criteria you settle on.

Best of success to you in your overwintering.

Russ
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Thanks Russ. I am not sure if I will have a chance to count each mite or not. Maybe more of a " hmm, not too bad" vs "holy crap that's a lot of mites". I will be posting the overall reaction and will follow up with breeding results this coming Spring as I get back up to 20+ hives. I have one swarm that is still downtown in a six frame double deep swarm trap. This hive is doing well and I am feeding it to build weight. It remains untreated. Those bees exhibit Italian coloration as opposed to the more Carni/Caucasian coloration of the home bees. No idea how they will winter.
 

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I have previously mentioned that I was doing sort of a soft Bond culling in my apiary and allowing weaker hives to die out. By mid August, I had gone from just over 20 hives down to 11 hives and two nucs. These are the hives that were sampled for the USDA bee survey. As of today, all 11 hives and both nucs are still alive and have received their first OAV dose since July. All the inserts were scrubbed clean so an accurate 72 hour Drop Dead Count could be obtained. Hives with the lowest counts will be marked as potential breeders for next Spring, assuming they survive the winter. I just started feeding again to build up hive weights, but several are so heavy they are hard to tip. On the down side, I had so many drawn combs go beeless from the culling that wax moths have destroyed a great number of them. Nearly 200 deep frames to clean up. Most of my mediums are still web free but honey will not be a priority next year.
JWP - "doing sort of a soft Bond culling" does not treating from January to mid-September qualify as "Bond culling" ? Allowing swarming and supercedures too?
 

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Thanks Russ. I am not sure if I will have a chance to count each mite or not. Maybe more of a " hmm, not too bad" vs "holy crap that's a lot of mites". I will be posting the overall reaction and will follow up with breeding results this coming Spring as I get back up to 20+ hives.
Understood, JW. I will look forward to your observations. BTW if you figure out an easy way to count each mite, do let us know. I expect I am not the only one who would like to have this tool at our disposal ;).
 

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Understood, JW. I will look forward to your observations. BTW if you figure out an easy way to count each mite, do let us know. I expect I am not the only one who would like to have this tool at our disposal ;).
You could probably get a decent estimate by counting 1/4 of 1/16 of the board if everything is evenly distributed.

I wonder if there are any image processing programs/websites that will count the number of dark dots on a light surface in a picture. If so this may be an easy way to automate it
 

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You could probably get a decent estimate by counting 1/4 of 1/16 of the board if everything is evenly distributed.

I wonder if there are any image processing programs/websites that will count the number of dark dots on a light surface in a picture. If so this may be an easy way to automate it
elemer_fud - When you look at a bottom board and go OH s*&^! Treat again until you go hummmH? Then count as the numbers will be below 50. I was around 15-25 for most hives on the last round - just one hive up around 50-60. The counts or curve is fololwing the same time count curve as last year when I counted diligently. I believe the peak was lower - significantly, but too many Oh s*&^ to count.
 
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