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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Figured to toss together few worthwhile videos about wintering in Russia/Ukraine for the alternative exposure.

This is somewhere in Perm region (USDA 3).
The beek is an avid black bee (AMM) enthusiast.
Average winter recently looks like this (pic below) - about 5 months to hold the poop straight (it makes sense to include the regional climate view else the talk is meaningless).



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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Another good traditional wintering method from Western Siberia (similar to the above).

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Where are the rest of his colonies? He has stands for a hundred more?
In a shed.
Here is a good look at one of his sheds (there are more) - just a repurposed old log house.
He maintains 0-4C through the winter, BUT closer to the end he drops the temps by a couple of degrees to ensure the bees don't activate too early.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Oh nice. Is he wintering a few outside as experiment or to make content for his chanel or to prove a point? Thanks
Experiment for the poly hives.
The hive maker just have them to the beek - many popular bee channels in Russia now days get free poly hives for public testing (and, obviously, the product promotion).

Sounds like his few Root hives (double-deeps) winter outside routinely - just harder to move them in and out.
Easier to just shovel the snow onto them and call it done.

All of his standard 12/16 frame Dadants go in and out every season - being a single box brood-nest makes them more portable (for a two-man crew).
Either that OR shovel snow - that's a lot of shoveling.
So wintering in the sheds is a better option all way around - ideal temperature control, easy status checking, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Here is guy I keep track of for his long hives - both Ukrainian and Dadant.
He does good periodic reports and always shows the insides.
Near Kiev, Ukraine.
USDA Zone 5 or so - this is similar to the Southern WI (my place).
Notice how different this is from the Siberian guys - just winter outside and no special fuss.

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Another of my favorite channels put out their winter update.
Somewhere in Western-Central Ukraine, similar to IL/Southern WI (USDA zone 5-ish).
In the video, they present CVHs, Dadants, Ukrainians (both warm and cold ways) - notice how little insulation is used (sometimes none).
Even micro-nucs on 3 frames - doing fine.
This guy does not insulate his bees until mid-February - when he wants them to start the brooding.

He specifically made a comment too - keep your back safe and make sure all of your hives are on the same working level (for which his entire apiary is set that way).

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I watch these wintering videos, do they super these hives or is all the honey produced horizontally.
Super.
However, the largest long hives (those with the flipping tops) are not used for honey - they are used in bee/queen production.
In general, this is a bee/queen producing farm.
Honey is only a bonus and low priority.
 

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Super.
However, the largest long hives (those with the flipping tops) are not used for honey - they are used in bee/queen production.
In general, this is a bee/queen producing farm.
Honey is only a bonus and low priority.
Since we began this adventure in keeping honeybees (alive), we've always treated the harvest of honey much like catching/harvesting fish.

The Honey collected and the Fish brought home are the bonus to both activities imo.

One can enjoy the process (beekeeping or fishing) and celebrate the bounty (when there is one) in both cases.

In todays honeybee market, BEES have become the primary commodity.....bees used for pollination, making/selling packages and/or Nucs...etc. Honey has become something less if one wants to make $ in this activity.

Is this why we still import considerably more honey than we can produce in the US?

I just LOVE the vids you are sharing, please keep it up!
 

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The Honey collected and the Fish brought home are the bonus to both activities imo.

One can enjoy the process (beekeeping or fishing) and celebrate the bounty (when there is one) in both cases.
Well said.

The joy is in learning, watching and experimenting. Challenging the norms with methods new to us is not in order to prove fault in the accepted way of keeping bees, but to understand what conditions make a difference to the bees and which we can change to make it easier for ourselves while the bees come to no harm.

I don't personally subscribe to the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' motto, else where would innovation and change come from? Everything can be improved upon, the trick is finding what is necessary and what we can stop fretting about.

I too love these videos, I used to lament on the lack of good translation until I had to watch some English beekeeping videos with captions simply because family was watching TV in the same room. English to English in the captions is not much easier to understand and you have to have a knowledge of beekeeping sometimes to know what they are saying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
And this is how wintering in CVHs looks like.
Another channel I track as I learn about the CVH beekeeping.
It is published from North-East of Moscow (about USDA zone 4).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So, one of "my" guys just released an update - he installed plastic film on all of his hives.
He was always against any plastic (he said) but now changed his mind after observing other beeks' plastic usage.

Reason - last year's winter was very hard on his bees due to the excessive dryness (and the poor ability of the bees to use the hardened sunflower honey).
This is how he did it - which is exactly how I did it too - notice, there is still enough venting left.

No captions this time, but you can still see what he does.
 

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Cool addition to this growing thread.

The only thing permanent in this life is change....constant and persistent change.

Thanks for this posting!
 

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Greg
so the ones with "grain bags" he did not use the plastic on?
do they offer more moisture back than the cloth?

GG
 

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If their grain bags are like ours they are made of a plastic weave similar to un-felted aka. cheap landscape fabric. They do breath but they are still made of plastic. Is that maybe a good compromise to solid plastic? The cheap landscape fabric definitely lets moisture in, but also at the same time keeps the soil moist by preventing excess evaporation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Greg
so the ones with "grain bags" he did not use the plastic on?
do they offer more moisture back than the cloth?

GG
He feels the sugar bags work adequately as-is.
PS: they commonly use sugar bags made from tight polypropylene fabric - seem to be getting good results
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Is that maybe a good compromise to solid plastic?
UM, yes - the tight polypropylene fabric seems a good compromise indeed.
Anymore, they use it right and left in the Russia/Ukraine (per the videos published).
But solid plastic is also common - heavy polyethylene.
 
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