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Well we have another winter storm crossing the north and dumping lots of snow from Ill-ME. It looks like it will be a rain event for us locally, but after the last few nice sunny days the sudden drop in temps may doom many remaining hives.
 

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59F yesterday here and bees were splattering the hives, the house, the cars after being pent up for so long. 1"= rain tonight, then snow, then low single digits (again) - it can't be good. Let's keep a positive, if delusional, outlook.
 

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that's a typical pattern down south. it was 80 yesterday and it will get to or below freezing tonight. this happens (not to that extreme on the high end always) every week for 5 moths down here. 2 or 3 days of flying temperatures followed by 2 or 3 nights with lows in the 20's. that's why i laugh every time i hear southern bees don't have to winter. they winter but they deal with a different set of problems.
 

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We had a couple of warm days on Mon and Tue and during that time I did some open feeding of dry megabee, and partial frames of honey from deadouts. I also donated some full honey frames to my last remaining colony. The dry flour was just as popular as the honey out in the beeyard, if not more so; they hauled off almost 1 lb. per day.

One thing that I found with the open feeding is that there are still at least three feral colonies in my area, a conclusion based on some crude beelining. So, that notion has me excited since a) at least some ferals have survived thus far b) they are broodrearing and c) this year I need to rely on swarm trapping to increase. Two of the three traps had scouting activity, and even some defensive behavior. Time will tell if these turn out to be selected.

Fingers crossed.....
 

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Last year I started with three hives, one Italian and 2 buckfast. The strong buckfast one is the only one that made it. This one had plenty of stores and fed a ultra-bee patty in January.

Keeping my fingers crossed....

Will be getting 2 Nucs this year (busy all winter working on the Android version of my HiveManager app).

Speaking of feral bees....a friend of mine said that he had a colony in the wall of his house.....not sure if that one made it.

http://hivemanager.webs.com
 

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that's a typical pattern down south. it was 80 yesterday and it will get to or below freezing tonight. this happens (not to that extreme on the high end always) every week for 5 moths down here. 2 or 3 days of flying temperatures followed by 2 or 3 nights with lows in the 20's. that's why i laugh every time i hear southern bees don't have to winter. they winter but they deal with a different set of problems.
I agree. I always here that the further south the less honey they need to overwinter on. In my location I see the opposite. My bees never stop laying. They keep at least three frames of brood all winter. I have four months with no nectar coming in. I overwinter in a double deep and a full super and by early March they are in the super eating the last of the honey.
 

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Well, my three hives flew out yesterday for the first time since December 4th! I was so pleased to see them I went and got a camp chair and sat there all day and admired the spectacle. We had 50F for two whole hours. I was extra grateful to see them reorienting after their long stay inside, because during this cold period I had moved them 300-600 feet from where they last saw daylight.

And then I reprovisioned them, repacked them with all their insulation and overwrappings, and wished them well as Thursday morning it will ONCE AGAIN be below zero here. I think I'm going to stop reading southern beekeepers' posts about their bees bringing in abundant nectar and pollen.

Enj.
 

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I agree. I always here that the further south the less honey they need to overwinter on. In my location I see the opposite.
If it stays consistently cold it has been my experience that they consume very little feed. When it is warmer than usual my hives will burn through lots of honey...
 

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If it stays consistently cold it has been my experience that they consume very little feed. When it is warmer than usual my hives will burn through lots of honey...
Agreed, but for some reason you always here people saying that in the south you only need a single deep or a deep and super (which is probably due to our shorter winter) but in my experience my bees eat alot of honey due to the south having a warm winter. Especially this year. We had a longer than usual winter and I was starting to get worried that my double deeps with a medium would run out of food, which they almost did.
 

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Especially this year. We had a longer than usual winter and I was starting to get worried that my double deeps with a medium would run out of food, which they almost did.
I suppose bees can't think this through but I have a notion that the more they have the more they consume and vice verse. There has to be some way that they conserve when they are light and consume when they are plentiful.
 

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I'm afraid to leave my bees outside until we get more consistently warmer temperatures. We had a 50 degree day two days ago, and I put them outside so they could fly. Temps are back down now, so I brought them back in, plugged up their entrance hole, and again, we wait... Friday is supposed to be nice again.
 

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We still have 2 to 3 weeks till I can feed syrup and things are getting lite.
This is the worst winter since 1993 in these parts very cold.
 

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I suppose bees can't think this through but I have a notion that the more they have the more they consume and vice verse. There has to be some way that they conserve when they are light and consume when they are plentiful.
They do but I like big, strong colonies for the early clover and blackberry flow.
 

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Clover, blackberry flow? Aren't these summer subsistence nectar's after the main flow?
 

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Clover, blackberry flow? Aren't these summer subsistence nectar's after the main flow?
In Louisiana blackberry and clover is our first real flow. Its happening right now. After that we get small flows until our main flow at the beginning of june which is Chinese Tallow.
 

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But even in the South there is lots of variation. Here in central MS blackberrys are just puting on a few leaves and clover is starting to bloom a little. Henbit is blooming nicely right now and bees are working it hard.

Johnny
 

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My bees have been flying and bringing in pollen for 2 days but now the has dropped again...freezing nights and freezing rain is on the way. I gave some hives that were low more sugar and a piece of protein was put in each hive. One have brown...I presume bee poop on a piece of sugar but the bees seemed active and had been out yesterday.
 

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In Louisiana blackberry and clover is our first real flow. Its happening right now. After that we get small flows until our main flow at the beginning of june which is Chinese Tallow.
june 1st and it's over here unless you get lucky and sumac puts out or there is a goldenrod flow. 60 or 70 days of flow to get them through until either september or next march/april. blackberries and clover will bloom soon then poplar then privet and after that you better hope for sumac and goldenrod or be near a cotton field. someone told me i was insane to leave 2 deeps and a medium to winter with but they were from somewhere with cold winters.
 
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