If it's warm enough for the bees to fly, then is it safe to assume...

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by litefoot, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. litefoot

    litefoot New Member

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    ...that they can safely break cluster and reach syrup stores in the outer edges of the box? Low 40's in the day and low 20's at night. I haven't fed them yet since the fall. 2 brood boxes and a medium super with syrup stores. It's supposed to get into the 50's by the weekend and I thought about rearranging frames in the super so that the remaining syrup stores are centered in the box. Good idea?:dontknow:
     
  2. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Rearranging the frames maybe. How big is the cluster? Do not put the honey in the middle of the cluster but if you find that there are empty frames between the cluster and the honey, reposition those empty frames to the out side and place the frames of honey next to the cluster. Part the frames where the space between the out side frames has bees and look at the side with bees on it and make sure the queen is not there and if the queen has laid eggs or brood is in the frame go not move it, but place the honey next to it.
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Yes, they can get to it. The problem lies in the fact that they have to condense it to store it. The excess water from the condensing will cause problems when it goes below freezing. I would not feed, or feed solid, until warmer weather.
     
  4. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Are these syrup stores that you are referring to stores of sugar syrup that the bees stored and capped in the frames last fall or syrup that was in a frame feeder that the bees never stored? if it is syrup in a frame feeder listen to what Iddee posted.
     
  5. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    I started giving my bees sugar water about two weeks ago. only a cup per day and only on days that they are flying. It is not inteded to be stores so much as it is intended to just help them get through day by day. Each day I see them bringing in more and more pollen not sure how much nectar they are finding.
     
  6. litefoot

    litefoot New Member

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    Apis/Iddee,
    The syrup stores were fed back in the Fall; mostly capped. I don't have a frame feeder. Hopefully I can make a good evaluation of remaining stores since my expreience level doesn't provide much comfort using the hefting method. Need to go revisit that fish scale post.:lol:

    Daniel,
    Thanks for the info. I'm guessing our weather is somewhat similar.
     
  7. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    Litefoot, yes we are both high mountain dessert. You seem to have lower temps than us right now. I am at 5000 feet and would guess you would be a bit higher or have some other mountain effect that is not happening here. Lake Tahoe Just 20 miles south west of here is at 7000 feet and constantly has 10 degree lower temps.

    By my all around knowledge you should be doing what I was doing 2 to 4 weeks ago. and what your described is right on the money. First indicaton that you might want to give them some food on the better days. In 3 to 4 weeks youwil biting yoru nails to do the first full inspection. Spring is coming and according to what I am seeing it is coming fast. Things have been changign for me on a daily basis for the last couple of weeks.

    I foudn it helpful to jsut set soem guidlines. I put sugar water on if the tmep reaches 55 for exampel or if the bees fly which is even better. I remove the entrance reducers if the temp gets above 60. all food is removed before sun down and reducers are always put back in place.
    No full inspections unless the temp is above 65 and 70 or better I like even more. SO far this year I have managed to make two inspections on individual hives. I only inspect if I have a reason for concern at this time. Full inspection on all hives I expect to start in April.

    These all are as just general guidelines so that i don not get completely lost. Should I put syrup on my hive this morning. Nope it is only 31 degrees. But they where really active yesterday. Well I can only hope they got what they needed yesterday cause so far today they are not getting an help. But they may die if they do not get help. Well there is nothing I can do about it now. and whether they survive winter or not probably had a lot more to do with what was happening last August than it has to do with what is happening today. so that issue is already in the bag. I just have not seen the end of the story yet.

    That is just a peak into my thought process. Worry and rationalize, worry and rationalize. and eventually that thermometer will read 55 and I can go give the bees a cup of syrup. And I call this fun.
     
  8. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Remember that if fed syrup, the bees will want to concentrate it. That involves a process of evaporation and it cools off the hive as it's done. At this time of year, maintaining the warmth of the hive is very important for the raising of brood that you want available when the season starts. So, feeding syrup at this time, if not REALLY NEEDED, can be a detriemnt to hive development. I know, it's like walking on a tightrope: move too much in either direction and you lose your balance and fall off. Iddee's advice about feeding solid, if feeding is needed at all, is the right way to go.
     
  9. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    litefoot,
    what apis, iddee and ef said.....
    i would be cautious about moving too many frames around , to what apis said, about the cluster, brood and the queen, a frame of honey or two closer....perfect, and quickly, get in, get out....you could chill brood if left open too long. also, to what iddee and ef said, i would not feed them syrup until it warms up for the reasons described and i would go with a solid winter patty or other emergency feed of some sort until the weather warms......

    hefting.....can you lift the hives? how easy is it for you? meaning, describe what you think this weight is?
     
  10. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    When I heft my hives, even though I have never met any of them personally (yet), I give them names.
    If I have to strain to heft, it's an Iddee.
    If it lifts easily and with a modicum of effort it's a Jack.
    If I feel pain, it's a tec.
     
  11. litefoot

    litefoot New Member

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    :lol: OK, now I'm beginning to understand. I once named firewood that way:
    If I have to strain to heft, it's Green.
    If it lifts easily and with a modicum of effort it's Rotten.
    If I feel pain, it's an Inguinal Hernia.
     
  12. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    I had an iguana for a while but my whippets killed it. Can this thread be coaxed back to health or is it another deadout?
     
  13. litefoot

    litefoot New Member

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    Sorry Frank, I'll try to get this thread back to the first detour:

    I looked up Tecumseh's old "hive weighing" thread where he used a fish scale and determined that if you weigh one side of a hive and multiply that weight by 2.4, you can get a relatively accurate total hive weight. Well, I tried this and the scale showed around 45 lb weighing from the back. Then 45 X 2.4 = 108 lb. I figure all my hive components (Two 10-frame deeps with drawn comb, one 10-frame medium w/drawn comb plus tops and bottom board) weighs 80 lb Then 5-8 lb of bees/brood/pollen for a total of 85 lb. That would leave me with around 15-20 lb of food in the hive. Does that sound about right?
     
  14. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Actually litefoot has a good idea. I've never bothered to weigh a completely empty hive and figure out what the equipment alone would weigh.
    I had an ol'timer come around with me yesterday and as I was actually lifting them from the back, he just leans against them and tried to tip them. I had never seen it done this way, but it was refreshing to hear him say my hives felt heavy enough. :thumbsup:

    (Sorry Frank, my mind wanders off in strange ways sometimes) :oops:
     
  15. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    No sorrys needed, I was enjoying the silliness as much as anyone. It is nice to see us be able to have some fun while getting the job done. I weighed a few hives last fall and was using the figure of 70 lbs for double deep including covers and bottoms so I think those figures are a good approximation. Two were around 75 lbs rear weight with them having an extra medium of honey on. (I was finding rear of hives usually ~5 lbs heavier than entrance so now only weigh rears) My other coaxed hive was only a bit over 6o lb. rear weight and being only 2 deeps. I tilted them yesterday and that one is noticeably lighter; will have to keep an eye on it. The others may not even have gotten up into the upper mediums but then I still may have near two more months till dandylion bloom. This is the first winter I have kept bees in this location and was not sure how much I needed.
     
  16. litefoot

    litefoot New Member

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    Here's the very unscientific method I used to get the hive component weights.

    1) I weighed a spare bottom board, inner cover (Honey Run inner, so it's heavier than most) and telescoping cover: 15 lb.
    2) I weighed a 10-frame medium super with drawn frames: 15 lb.
    3) I figured a 10-frame deep with drawn frames would weigh 50% more than a medium super: 22 lb.
    4) Here's where I'm really guessing. Bee, pollen and brood: 6-8 lb?

    So in my case, all hive components (two deeps and a medium): 22+22+15+15+8=82 lb. So if my total weight is 108 lb, then I have roughly 25 lb of food in the hive.
     
  17. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    Litefoot; just a thought along the lines of diminishing returns. I wonder if perhaps the last bits of honey may not be readily accessible. Whenever the bees are in cluster they are not free to systematically move to new ground and they may not have systematically consumed it. If the honey is scattered the cluster may be split into smaller parcels as they pursue it. I think this pattern has been observed in some deadouts. Divide and conquer!. Your figure of 25 lbs sounds plausible but I would not assume it may be entirely adequate.

    What the heck do I know though? This is the first winter I have personally babysat bees!
     
  18. litefoot

    litefoot New Member

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    I'm not very comfortable with my "calculated" remaining stores. I think it will be warm enough today and tomorrow to take a quick peek at the top of the super and verify my concerns, I'll be prepared with some fondant if they need it
     
  19. kebee

    kebee Active Member

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    I am going to say I am glad that I do not live in a cold climate, not only for myself, although it used to never brother me as now, but for my bees. They are able to move 99 persent of the time by the afternoon for it usuly warm up to 40 are above, so I do not have to worry if they are able to get to the honey that was left for them.

    kebee
     
  20. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    kebee, we all have such different climate conditions to deal with that in many ways might as well be raising entirely different kinds of bugs!