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I understand that only 1/4th will stop the pygmies' in Canada.
From what I have read, that is right. Thankfully the bees don't have a problem with the 1/4 inch. I put it on early to test their ability to move thru the holes. I noticed that even those bees with pollen seemed to get thru they just needed to learn to go at an angle. I even watched some drones move thru.


Today at +4C they were out and flying in the sun looking for water. I filled a tray and they sure spent time filling up.
 

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Hmmm, I've read that the 1/4th inch wears away at the bees wings, and the pollen thing too much - but with pygmy shrews what choice does one have?

If it were me - I'd remove the 1/4th inch in Spring.
 

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If it were me - I'd remove the 1/4th inch in Spring.
It does not stay on after the winter, but those shrews are out and about the hives now and I don't want them disturbing the cluster especially when it gets cold at night. During the day the bees are moving enough that I don't think it would be a problem as the shrews take advantage of clustering bees and bees that are active can defend themselves.
 

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Yes, they are out right now - today I'm putting on all the shrew guards.

Warm enough so I don't cause them to break cluster and fly around in 30F weather.
 

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Well, I'm just about cleaned up and ready for the winter-maybee. Looks like we hit 70 F today, last warm day, possible until spring-high 20's to mid 40's for the next ten days or so. I OAV'd 29 hives today in 5 yards and have 3 more to do before night. Figured I'd take a lunch break, clean the ProVap and re-organize the truck. All of the hives were flying as the day went on and it warmed up got very active so I'll get the last three hives (yard 6) later on as it cools down. Going to finish cutting the pink foam insulation board, get the hives insulated and swap out top feeders for quilt boxes if weather permits. After all, it's Jersey and even with colder weather predicted, it could change to 65 F + before the end of next week-maybe 1 more round of OAV could be instore!
 

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6a 4th yr 9 colonies inc. 2 resource hives
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Update on the 9- opened the top of the stack and refreshed their sugar slurry. Winter config working well. No losses. Warmish day so they will be flying. Heard they are frequenting Dutch Brothers in Sisters. They had to put up a screen. So apparently they are taking a coffee break through the day.:D
 

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Well, maybe this isn't actually IN the Apiary but I guess it's part of the job. Drove up to Mann Lake in Wilkes Barre, Pa, about a 100 miles, beautiful late Autum day, considering it was the day before Thanksgiving, light traffic through the Pocono Mountains. Leaves are pretty much gone now, the mountains looked cold and gray with splotches of green from patches of fir trees. Winter can't be far away. I wanted to make up some more quilt boxes and looked at the prices of 1 x 5, along with the time to get the wood, cut and miter, square, glue, nail....nope, drove up there and bought 20 knock down shallows. All good, even fit in a country breakfast at an old school roadside diner. It's deer season in Pennsylvania and the boys were drifting in, some coming, some going. Didn't see any deer in the pickups, it's not like the meadows at my farm in New Jersey, up there you gotta earn your deer. Got home before noon, threw the knockdowns on the jig, used the nailer, got a coat of primer and a top coat of paint on them. I'm ready for dinner, a shower and bed. Just a simple good day with a start and (shortly) an end.
 
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