And the countdown begins

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Iddee, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Winter Solstice occurs Next Tuesday, on December 21, 2010 at 6:38 PM ET and 23:38 UTC (Universal Time) in the northern hemisphere. The days will lengthen from then to summer. The queens will ramp up their laying, slowly at first, then more so as the days lengthen and the temps rise. Pollen and/or pollen sub can be given as the need arises. The more brood, the more protein they will need. Most hives that die from starvation do so just before the flowers begin blooming, as the brood rearing is at peak, and the stores are running low.

    Check your bees when possible once the 50's Fahrenheit come back in your area and feed both sugar and protein as needed.
     
  2. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    That is some very good info, I think most new beeks think that bees starve out in the coldest of the temps, not after it starts to warm up.
     

  3. Jacobs

    Jacobs New Member

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    I'm getting ready to celebrate bee new year but I don't think the weather is going to permit my bees to attend the festivities. After that, my next big celebration will be February 19th, the date the sun rises on the north side of my neighbor's house and my hives begin getting the earliest possible sunlight. Somewhere in this period I'll try and heavy up the light hives with frames of sugar water honey from my freezer and give them snacks of pollen patties or Iddee's brewers yeast mixed with soy flour and some powdered sugar. I won't be putting up holiday decorations for these events.
     
  4. rast

    rast New Member

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    I'm making syrup as I read. Feeding starts tomorrow and goes through March. Pollen patties will go on in Jan. This Northern weather killed the last of the Spanish needles they were feeding on.
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I think the magic date for most queens is January 5. Feeding syrup and pollen type patties likely encourages the brood rearing somewhat. I suggest if you are feeding pollen patties you likely also need to feed some syrup.
     
  6. rast

    rast New Member

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    Tec said "I suggest if you are feeding pollen patties you likely also need to feed some syrup."
    I agree. Keeping bees alive is location sensitive. Down here my losses are almost always in late summer/early fall. Mites and the summer dearth. Probably on all but a few singles that were fall removals I could get away with not feeding until Jan. when they will start building up. That gives me 3 months to get them built up for citrus. I need those singles built into doubles by then. My notes from the last two years say for me to start building then in Jan. Worked last year.
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    rast writes:
    Keeping bees alive is location sensitive. Down here my losses are almost always in late summer/early fall. Mites and the summer dearth.

    tecumseh:
    I often tell folks that beekeeping is VERY local. Your observation of losses in central Florida by season pretty much applies here also. the heat and dearth are just too much for the bees and the beekeeper.

    I also start feeding syrup heavily by early January. By February 15 (also based upon several years of keeping notes) I look for drones which means queen rearing can begin.

    here we have a good supply of winter and early spring pollen coming in so pollen patties don't really give you much bang for the buck. so I often feed syrup without pollen patties... but I wouldn't do it the other way around
     
  8. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Mid Feb. is when we start to see the maples and willows start to bud out and the girls get active in my area.If the weather is right(55 or 60 deg.) you can take a quick look in Jan. and usually find a patch of brood about the size of your fist. Like tec. i usually only feed 1 to 1 syurp if they need it in Feb. because they are bringing in pollen like crazy. Our main honey flow starts around the 25th of May.With the cold weather were having and Jan. not even here yet, mid Feb. seems a long ways away. :roll: Jack
     
  9. Yuleluder

    Yuleluder New Member

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    I would be careful about putting patties on small clusters. It has been my experience that it does more harm then good. Now a days I only put patties on large clusters as the small clusters can be cut off from one frame to another when the patty lies on top. I have also found small clusters will rarely touch the patties anyhow, and they usually need to be thrown out by the time warm weather rolls around. I usually look to get patties on in March around here.
     
  10. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Today is hump day. It's a slow ride, but the days will begin to get longer now, and the queens will begin laying. Further south in the beginning, but will move north as the weeks and months pass.
     
  11. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Time to bump this thread to the top. It's Solstice tomorrow, early AM.

    "In 2011, the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere will occur on Dec. 22, 2011 at 12:30 a.m. EST. Officially the first day of winter, the winter solstice occurs when the North Pole is tilted 23.5 degrees away from the sun. This is the longest night of the year, meaning that despite the cold winter, the days get progressively longer after the winter solstice until the summer solstice in 2012."
     
  12. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Good, i hate short days and long nights, but let's not hurry 2012. There's some talk that on Dec. 21,2012 everything is coming to an end. :shock: Jack
     
  13. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    You southern BKs crack me up with your talk of syrup and patties in December....lol!
    I am just now heading into cold weather and have several months of temps between 40 and 10 below zero to look forward to. Maybe I should be knitting little wool booties for my bees while you guys are dealing out pollen patties. :lol:
    I have some patties in my freezer but won't be thinking about giving them to the bees until at least the beginning of March. Even the snow drops and crocus don't poke through the snow here until around April 1st.
     
  14. Tia

    Tia New Member

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    I've been feeding for a while now since Hurricane Irene killed all the goldenrod which is my girls' main source of food over winter. Also put out pollen substitute, but the girls were ignoring it. Yesterday was nice and warm (high 60's) and I watched them for about 15 minutes. Girls were racing back and forth to the hives, some with pollen baskets full to the brim! This is real pollen since I didn't have the substitute out yesterday. Can't imagine where they're getting it from and they also seem to be brining in nectar because of their frenzied exits and entrances to/from the hives. Even with seeing this, they have been sucking down the syrup I've been giving them, so I will continue. My biggest fear is opening a hive in February to find starved bees!
     
  15. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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  16. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    I've always heard that on the solstice you can balance an egg on it's side.
     
  17. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    well the weather here is screwy, I have a email from a blueberry farmer needing 2 hives in 2 weeks, seems the bushes are going to go into full bloom a month early, he has talked to other farmers and there fields are going to go the same way.
     
  18. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    zookeep writes:
    well the weather here is screwy, I have a email from a blueberry farmer needing 2 hives in 2 weeks

    tecumseh:
    quite likely not totally the results of global warming but much variation in the botany of plants has always been in the works. I like to keep a journal where I post first bloom dates for this and that and when certain bee events (first drones for example) occur. I use this as a reminder later of the date of crucial events. I haven't always done this but with more numbers I found I needed some reminder. After keeping a journal in this way for several years I was very surprised to find how live drones always appear here about February 15<I then use this as to when to begin queen rearing
     
  19. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    Iddee I was about to tell you you forgot to change out the calendar on the original post. You had done missed the 2010 solistice. by oh about 365 days. :rolling: :D
     
  20. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    them North Carolina folks are always a bit behind?