Closing down entrances for winter???

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Dbure, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

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    It has finally started cooling down here in Texas. What are some suggestions on when to close the entrances down to the hives in preperation for winter? The activity I see is still fairly high with bees coming and going with pollen. I know these temps have been good for them because they spend less time trying to cool the hive and have more time to forage. I have to admit the cooler temps have been good for us humans too. :yahoo:
     
  2. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    I have already started putting entrance reducers (mouse gards) on, with the drought we had this summer i had to start feeding my hives early to get them ready for winter, and with nothing to forage on the girls are in a robbing mode. When working a bee yard last week i had a mouse run out from under two of my hives, and with the cold nights here the last two weeks they are looking for a place to winter. :roll: What got my attention, was when walking to my hives i seen a copperhead run into a brush pile and when working a hive, a mouse run out from under it and across my boot. :eek: I almost had a run away. :mrgreen: Jack
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I started putting on entrance reducers (see photo gallery 'jeffrey todd entrance reducers') a few weeks back. no hurry mind you but the quicker you do the less propolis that will show up around the front entrance that you will have to remove later. if you are new to this watching a hive close off the front entrance with propolis is quite entertaining (although extremely slow). almost anywhere in Texas you likely want the front entrance closed down by Dec 1 or so.

    it is kind of odd for us humans when the day time high of 96 feels pleasant???
     
  4. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    I use 5 inches by 7/16 year round in Florida. A study at HBREL showed increased honey production with smaller entrances. Less guards are required and less intruders get in the smaller entrance.
     
  5. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

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    Thank all of you for the input on the reducers. :thumbsup: As Tecumseh was saying, it is odd when the daytime temps at 96 feel pleasant. I live in northeast Texas and it was downright cool this morning with a temp about 50 degrees and the mid 80's during the day. The bees seem to be very happy with it, and I know I am. :D

    This coming weekend I will be getting the reducers in place and the inner covers back on. All summer I had screened inner covers and I know with the horrendous heat we had it was a great aid in helping to cool the hives but I am sure that keeping heat in will now be the key in the coming months. Mice seem to know where to find a warm spot. And isn't it crazy how small of an opening they can squeeze under! They go under doors by flattening themselves out like a pancake. :shock:
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    my covers are modified migratory covers. kind of a lip built all the way around with a notched entrance on the front side and jeffrey todd closures on the bottom. generally by December they have the top notch pretty much closed off. this sometimes gives you a good relative idea of how much propolis a hive can produce.

    the cool down here seems to have made the girls here a bit more spirited.