Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a very weak hive that I am thinking of moving into the barn while it is so cold for the next week or so. The barn is not heated but will block the wind and has a light that provides some heat. I would close up the hive and feed them.

What do you think?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,548 Posts
I would be worried about them wanting to do cleansing flights......If you were to heat them up, they are gonna want to fly, and i would think they would need to. Obviously this is debatable, but could you give them an entrance out and still get them in the barn?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
Bobbees,
Personally, I would protect with a windbreak and feed with granualted sugar on top of the brood frames (Mountain Camp Method). Another possibility, do you have another strong colony nearby? If you do, place weak colony on top of strong colony. Use a double screen with entrance for top colony (Snellgrove board-http://www.betterbee.com/products.asp?dept=302) and feed. The heat from the bottom colony will help to keep upper colony warm. If you do decide to move colony, try not to move with temps below 45 to 50 degrees. Any bees that fall from cluster may not be able to climb back up and will freeze.
Good luck
Al
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
328 Posts
I just did this for a queen castle/4 frame nuc. With wind chill it is getting around single digits here. After they did warm up in the garage (61 deg) then they were chomping at the bit to get out. They were chewing at the box at one point. I moved them back out and took the duct tape off the entrance. The girls poked their heads out of the door,which is 1 bee wide, felt how cold it was and went back in. I am going to bring them back in at nights just to see if I can get them through this cold snap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
I don't understand people babying their bees. Bees have lived outside for millions of years without our help. Most likely in your climate as well. I say leave them alone. You own them though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
706 Posts
Here are my questions befor you move the hive or join two hives, to make a strong one,
why is your hive so very weak? find out that answere and go from there. it might be a virus or lack of food, or mite count is off the charts. so see why its weak first then go from there. as for puting them in a barn for get a bout it. just make a wind break for them. don't need to move them twice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
706 Posts
I don't understand people babying their bees. Bees have lived outside for millions of years without our help. Most likely in your climate as well. I say leave them alone. You own them though.
I agree the bees been around for millions of years they don't need to be pampered.
 

·
Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
Joined
·
54,077 Posts
I think a strong hive is better off outside. It is iffy what is best with a weak one. The cold does seem to do some smaller clusters in sometimes as they just don't have the critical mass to keep warm. But keeping them too warm makes them too active and sometimes sets off brood rearing which then increases the need for cleansing flights etc.

The people who used to winter them in cellars would try to keep them totally dark and keep them sort of cold (like 40 F or lower) and sometimes they even removed every speck of pollen to prevent them from brooding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
I struggled with the same thoughts of putting my five hives in my barn for the winter and on warmer days open the sliding doors to cleanse. I talked to a lot of beekeepers and read and in the final analysis thought that the barn could be colder because it would not get any sunlight. I wrapped the hives with black tar paper and moved them to the east side of the house (right up against the house) and I am feeding them bee candy that I make. They love that. I did put my nuc in the garage and it is doing well. All hives were doing well as of Christmas week. I know the nuc and one hive are alive because I can hear the nuc when i rap on it and one of the outside hives had a few corpses in the snow this morning.

I buried the hives in snow on three sides to insulate from single digit temps.

Can't wait to see how things turn out. I am anxious for a warm day to pop the top cover off. I will continue to feed my sugar candy as they love this stuff. I live in central Ohio and it is in the teens today.

The tar paper really helps absorb the radiant heat from the sun.

Best regards, Pife
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
I know of a beekeeper who moves his weaker hives to warmer areas in winter. They are your bees and you should take care of them as you wish. I think caring for a smaller or weaker hive is well worth the effort.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
I agree and only the beekeeper knows those specific bees. That is why I have my nuc in the garage; I did not think they would survive outside. My other caution is to be ready when the temperature goes up and they want to go out to relieve themselves. A nuc is so easy to move. Pife
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top