Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,397 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As I was coming into work this morning.... it dawned on me that it was November First and was so rainy.

This lead to the conclusion that I did not get to get my hives ready for the winter properly.

Since we just moved them and got them set up last weekend, time hasent allowed me to check to make sure they have good stores and if not, do some emergency feeding. This sorta worries me. I want all of them to come through the winter. It has been raining a lot here with temps around 50 degrees. I have one hive.. number 8, that we put in my backyard because it needs to be fed which I will do soon.

Anyone else have any of these worries?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Michael, I have been wondering for some time now what the winters are like where you live?? I live in southern Maine, zone 5/4 in gardening terms. Winters here get down to minus 25f.

In trying to compare what I do and when I do it to what you are doing it would be helpful to know what your winters are like.

Thanx, diane
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,888 Posts
With work and the weather, I just finished pulling the last supers over the weekend.
Some hives that were started this year were light on stores with plenty of bees, and about 6 hives were light on both bees and stores. I have moved supers with stores onto the really light hives. I figure that I have about 4 – 6 weeks to feed syrup, and then it will just be the granulated sugar setup. All hives are currently being feed and my plan is to have them all wrapped by next weekend. In the last 2 weeks, almost 300# of sugar has gone into syrup.
 

·
Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
Joined
·
54,161 Posts
>Michael, I have been wondering for some time now what the winters are like where you live?? I live in southern Maine, zone 5/4 in gardening terms. Winters here get down to minus 25f.

http://www.weather.com/activities/homeandgarden/garden/weather/climo-monthly-graph.html?locid=68366&from=36hr_bottomnav_garden

Click on Record High and Record Low and you'll see that in the winter the record low is -33 F, but in a typical winter there are couple of weeks of -10 F nights and a night somewhere it will be -20 F and occasionally a little colder.

The record high in the summer is 113 F, but typically there is a week or so around 100 F and a month or so in the 90s. This year, I don't think it ever quite hit 100 but it was in the 90s during the day for several months.

According to the USDA I'm in USDA zone 5a, -20 F to -15 F.

When I was in the panhandle of Nebraska I was in zone 4b. When I was in Laramie Wy, it was zone 4a.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,073 Posts
"anyone else have any of these worries?"

Chef, actually no. I haven't thought about your number 8 hive until just now. But dang it, if I can't sleep tonight....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,584 Posts
Diane, we get a lot more rain and humidity than Nebraska, otherwise, I think the temperatures are more or less comparable with the exception of that 113 degree stuff..

Where abouts in southern Maine do you live? I'm in Whitefield, up by Augusta.

George-
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
510 Posts
Here's my situation:6 hives in the south with winter temps of 10-70,2 months with night temps of 10-30 day temps 30-70.Ok now for the question,2 hives are light on bees and stores,4 are strong on bees and medium on stores.I am feeding all.When I feed I end up with alot of robbing from the strong hives,should I feed all winter?They are still bringing in pollen from somewhere.Also why would the strong hives rob when they are being feed, have stores,and bringing in pollen?All have frame feeders.I lost one hive already to robbing,hived in June and numbers were low with little stores,had added capped brood to increase numbers but were robbed out completely and the robbers were even taking the combs too.
I figure here they will be flying on most days but will there be anything out there for them?
First year,started with four,purchased 2 more split 2 ,lost 1 split (shb),and lost 1 purchased (robbed).
What a learning experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,888 Posts
They rob because more stores are better.
Close the entrances down to a minimum.
You can distract the robbers with some open feeders away from the hives. A free meal that they don't have to fight for. Gives them something to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
307 Posts
Try feeding the lite hives at night with a zip lock bag or a Quail waterer in a empty super. S tart with a pint or less and see what they will take down while it is dark. Warm feed will help them take it faster. Either way you can place it right over the cluster.


Dan
 

·
Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
Joined
·
54,161 Posts
>I lost one hive already to robbing,hived in June and numbers were low with little stores,had added capped brood to increase numbers but were robbed out completely and the robbers were even taking the combs too.

It just looks like they are taking the comb. Robbers don't treat the combs the way that the residents do. The residents take care when opening a cell. The robbers just tear it up to get the most access to the honey. I think you'll find all that wax on the bottom board.

There is no simple answer to robbing. There are a variety of things that help.

Reduce the entrances on ALL your hives so the strong ones have a traffic jam at their door when robbing the hive next door and the small hive can defend theirs.

If you're feeding feed them all. This won't stop robbing, but it will help some. Not feeding is better from a robbing point of view.

Close the hive being robbed completely for a day or so. The robbers will lose interest. They MAY come back, but then the residents may get better organized and put up a better defense after a breather.

Put robber screens on. These create a convulated path to the door that the residents seem to have little problem with and the robbers never seem to figure out.

Close up "accidental" entrances like cracks in the corners or warped covers.

You can put Vicks around the entrance of the hive being robbed and the smell seems to confuse the robbers.

You can pull the lid off of all the strong hives to cause them to defend their own hive and temporarily stop a frenzy sometimes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,618 Posts
I mean its time to move the bees.The weather here is too cold and damp to get bees through the winter at optimum strength.So its better to move them to a lower elevation where they all seem to do better.The wet snow here tends to waterlog the hives and they never get a chance to dry out.Add the fact that they dont get many cleansing flights, and their stores will often be dark honey or even honeydew.But if they HAD to stay,I would get them up off the ground,say 2 or 3 pallets high,feed lots of syrup with fumidil-b and use the darker strains of bees.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,597 Posts
Mike, better you (and definately Hawk, talk about a snow job!) than me. Our time is coming though. We are on borrowed time here in the Finger Lakes.

Classic Bee Truck! Let's see what is that a '73-76 F-350? How many solenoids have you replaced on that over years. You can fix anything on that motor (including head gasket) with an adjustable wrench and a flat head screw driver! That shut hood anle is exactly the same almost closed as my '73 is and my '77 (which had square headlights) was.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,618 Posts
Ha-very observant Joel!Its a 76 with a Freutel boom loader.And yes I have a bag full of solenoids behind the seat.The hood is partly shut as I had just pulled the water pump when the snowflakes started,so decided to go sit by the woodstove.You can fix about anything on those old trucks.I have all tools needed to fix it so hate to retire it.My teenage daughter asked me yesterday "Dad, when that old truck FINALLY dies can I have the cd player?".I told her that truck was good for another 200,000 miles!
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top