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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im actually really pleased with how things looked today.
I had a chance to look briefly under the quilt boxes today at the apiary.

I had started the winter with 11 nucs in 4/4/4 MP style and 15 large hives (3-4 boxes deep)
-> the one nuc on its own in a double nuc box had already died out a month or so ago when i checked.
That left 15 large hives and 10 overwintering nucs in the 4/4/4 MP style

As of this evening all 15 large hives are alive and doing great.
7 of the overwintering nucs look great.
2 of the overwintering nucs are alive but the clusters look smaller than the others
1 of the overwintering nucs i think is dead . I saw no activity although i also didnt pull any frames to look below the top box.



So all in all im pretty chuffed! I still have 22 hives doing well with 2 of the remaining nucs looking a little thin ( they may make it we will see).
Means out of the 26 hives that headed into winter i have only one confirmed dead out nuc and one suspected dead out nuc !

Hows everyone else looking at this point of the winter?
 

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checked 30 full size hives and 22 nucs, so far lost one full size hive, the nucs have plenty of honey, the full size hives, the ones that weren't frozen in also plenty of honey, only opened the nucs as I was hauling in and putting on quilt boxes that I couldn't get on in the fall. pulling a load of them through the snow gets the heart going. not many dead bees in the hives, but a lot of mustard in the snow.:applause:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
checked 30 full size hives and 22 nucs, so far lost one full size hive, the nucs have plenty of honey, the full size hives, the ones that weren't frozen in also plenty of honey, only opened the nucs as I was hauling in and putting on quilt boxes that I couldn't get on in the fall. pulling a load of them through the snow gets the heart going. not many dead bees in the hives, but a lot of mustard in the snow.:applause:
holy cow Mike you have a TON of hives!
What do you do with all the honey each year? Im really doing this for the fun of the hobby but i already have about 400 lbs of honey sitting in 5 gallon drums from last year. Im guessing this year i will get a ton more. Is there somewhere local to us to offload it all?
 

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Congrats on your success.

First year here, first winter. Went into winter with 4 strong hives in double deeps and a weak hive in a double Nuc. All five are alive and well. Yesterday they were active and flying.

Planning for the spring now and working on equipment.
 

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Sadly, it's looking like we lost two of our six full-size colonies based on "warm day activity" observations. The NUC on the porch seems to be alive still but it doesn't get as much sun as the other colonies. We have a few very warm days about to happen, so that will help solidify the observations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Congrats on your success.

First year here, first winter. Went into winter with 4 strong hives in double deeps and a weak hive in a double Nuc. All five are alive and well. Yesterday they were active and flying.

Planning for the spring now and working on equipment.
good work mate!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sadly, it's looking like we lost two of our six full-size colonies based on "warm day activity" observations. The NUC on the porch seems to be alive still but it doesn't get as much sun as the other colonies. We have a few very warm days about to happen, so that will help solidify the observations.
Jim last week when just observing on a 41deg day i thought several hives were dead. Yesterday was 60F and i got a chance to look under the quilt boxes and was super relieved with what i found.
Now to keep feeding and hope to get them all through the last 8 weeks or so of winter weather!
 

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I only had 1 hive going into winter. Had trouble getting a queen to stay in there all last season but I think the last one took. Checked and there is a decent ball of bees in there. I need to give them another fondant patty. Planning on adding another hive for next season.
 

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Jim last week when just observing on a 41deg day i thought several hives were dead. Yesterday was 60F and i got a chance to look under the quilt boxes and was super relieved with what i found.
Now to keep feeding and hope to get them all through the last 8 weeks or so of winter weather!
Yes, right now, there's just an assumption due to activity, but once Alison gets a day when she's both home and it's warm enough, she'll dive in to check the cluster directly. Her teaching schedule this term plus department meetings is really interfering with that and we have not had a weekend day warm enough to do that and her choo-choo gets her home well after dark after the temps have dropped back down.
 

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holy cow Mike you have a TON of hives!
What do you do with all the honey each year? Im really doing this for the fun of the hobby but i already have about 400 lbs of honey sitting in 5 gallon drums from last year. Im guessing this year i will get a ton more. Is there somewhere local to us to offload it all?
I've cut down the last couple of years, I think I have around 55 full hives now. I sell all of mine out of state, better price, too much honey up here which makes to much competition. You have to look around to find places to sell it, not that many beeks over your way that I'm aware of so you should be able to find places to sell it. selling it at work is usually pretty good. If you can't get rid of it and are willing to get a lower price, Wixon's in dundee buy's local honey, and actually now that I think of it the last couple of people that sold to him, got an ok price last year, he is also a good place to buy jars if you buy large amounts you get a discount. He also sells nucs and packages and 5gal pails. a friend of mine sells around 2 ton a year from a self service at her house, but it took many years to build up to that point. I'm doing it for a hobby to, keeps you busy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've cut down the last couple of years, I think I have around 55 full hives now. I sell all of mine out of state, better price, too much honey up here which makes to much competition. You have to look around to find places to sell it, not that many beeks over your way that I'm aware of so you should be able to find places to sell it. selling it at work is usually pretty good. If you can't get rid of it and are willing to get a lower price, Wixon's in dundee buy's local honey, and actually now that I think of it the last couple of people that sold to him, got an ok price last year, he is also a good place to buy jars if you buy large amounts you get a discount. He also sells nucs and packages and 5gal pails. a friend of mine sells around 2 ton a year from a self service at her house, but it took many years to build up to that point. I'm doing it for a hobby to, keeps you busy.
yeah agreed mate its a hobby for me i have a ( more than) full time job as a doc already. I just want to find somewhere to offload the honey we dont eat/give away to friends/at church/work.
I guess ill extract it all out into 5 gallon plastic pails this year and see how much i have come end of August.
I dont need to get top dollar for it but i also dont want to just give it all away either.
I have heard of one local place that will pay 2.50/lb bulk but ive never sold bulk before and dont know if thats a good deal or not.
 

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Got into the 50s here Saturday. If it wasn't for the time of year you'd think they were getting ready to swarm there was so much activity. Did not venture into the hives to look around but could/probably should have. I tend to leave them with plenty of stores so not too worried. Will look around in March. Took a walk in the woods that day too and found a bee tree! This is a good time of year to look for bee trees as evidenced by all the cleansing flights they're taking since it's easy to see against the snow.
 

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yeah agreed mate its a hobby for me i have a ( more than) full time job as a doc already. I just want to find somewhere to offload the honey we dont eat/give away to friends/at church/work.
I guess ill extract it all out into 5 gallon plastic pails this year and see how much i have come end of August.
I dont need to get top dollar for it but i also dont want to just give it all away either.
I have heard of one local place that will pay 2.50/lb bulk but ive never sold bulk before and dont know if thats a good deal or not.
2.50 has been the price for the last couple of years that you could buy it for wholesale around here.

I know you left extra honey on your hives, but a lot of people are reporting hives that are extremely light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
2.50 has been the price for the last couple of years that you could buy it for wholesale around here.

I know you left extra honey on your hives, but a lot of people are reporting hives that are extremely light.
Ok cool thanks mate for the info.
I did leave a ton of honey on all the hives but nonetheless last weekend i did put 2 lbs of mannlake winter patties into every hive.
I ordered some of the 18% pollen patties last night and will probably add them in a couple weeks or so depending on the weather.
 

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Ok cool thanks mate for the info.
I did leave a ton of honey on all the hives but nonetheless last weekend i did put 2 lbs of mannlake winter patties into every hive.
I ordered some of the 18% pollen patties last night and will probably add them in a couple weeks or so depending on the weather.
May be a bit early for adding pollen patties, I don't use them, but my friends in Penn. don't put them on down there until late if Feb. early March. but I'm no expert with them. Don't forget most bee hives starve in april and may.
 

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May be a bit early for adding pollen patties, I don't use them, but my friends in Penn. don't put them on down there until late if Feb. early March. but I'm no expert with them. Don't forget most bee hives starve in april and may.
I'd be cautious adding pollen patties now. You don't want to stimulate brood rearing too early otherwise you may run into big problems. And don't believe the groundhog...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'd be cautious adding pollen patties now. You don't want to stimulate brood rearing too early otherwise you may run into big problems. And don't believe the groundhog...
I typically add them end of feb early march and havent had any issues in prior years.
All of my hives are surrounded with 2 inch foam insulation and the same under and on top of the inner covers. If they start to brood up i think the internal cluster temp would be relatively easy for them to maintain.
 
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