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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It has been warmer than usual here in northeast Texas for this time of year, and the bees have been quite active bringing in pollen. One of the hives looked like it might have signs of disentary (possibly nosema), so I have taken advantage of the warmer days to treat all of them with fumigilin in 2:1 syrup placed in feeders outside of the hives in order to keep the humidity down on the inside. I thought it was odd to have signs of nosema considering the bees are able to get out each day to forage as it warms up.

A few weeks prior to treating them, I had noticed there was some moisture under the lid of one of the hives and it does not seem to have cleared up. I don't have upper entrances on them and figure this is from lack of air ciculation. The temps go down low at night so I felt that putting on an upper entrance might cause them to lose their heat when the bees cluster. I had always thought the inner cover would provide the necessary circulation. Can anyone tell me if this moisture will do harm to the bees or how I might aleviate it safely without causing a loss of the hive temperature at night? :dontknow:
 

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Moisture under the lid can be a sign of of excessive moisture in the hive. I am obviously waaaaaay north of you and I run upper entrances (bottom too) on all my hives year round. Bees respire and if that warm moist respiration hasn't got anywhere to go it will condense on the underside of your lid and rain back on them. Bees do not have difficulty keeping warm when clustered (if they did, mine would all be dead). They will have difficulty staying warm if they are wet.
I run an inner cover notch on my hives for ventilation (see pics). I know it sounds counterproductive, letting warmth out, but ventilation is more important (in my opinion)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you PerryBee. The pictures are worth a thousand words and are very helpful. :thumbsup: I'll show them to my husband and add them to his "honey-do" list. :D
 

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a small circle (say the size of a softball) of moisture on the inside of the lid is quite normal at this time of year. it typically indicates normal biological activity of the swarm. it is always located directly above the primary brood nest/winter cluster. feeding somewhat thin sugar water (say 1 to 1) will show up as a bit larger splash of water as they cure the syrup. same thing if they have some nectar coming in with the pollen.

fumigilin breaks down very quickly with any sunlight. turns a rust brown fairly quickly. it is not recommended to being fed outside the hive or in any kind of boardman feeder. I haven't read the entire article throughly yet but one fellow in the ABJ seem to recommend spraying the bees down with fumidilin + very thin syrup.

what were the signs that you thought might indicate nosema?
 

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One or two thoughts. It is unlikely but you may have a pin-hole in the metal of the roof. You may have to search with your fingertips to find it. In recent years I have made/re-made roofs with a sheet of bituminised roofing felt between metal and wood. My local climate allows me to winter hives on a SBB with the slide out. When I used solid floors, tilting the hive in winter produced a dry floor ---- it may help reduce the moisture in your hive. I can't help about feeding the hives since I can't remember when I last fed a hive in Winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I wondered about feeding them fumigilin outside Tecumseh. I put the syrup out in early afternoon then took it up at dusk, only treating for 2 days. It might have been a good idea to cover the jars with something dark to keep sunlight out, but what little was left seemed to be fairly clear liquid. The signs of possible nosema I saw were the dark streaking that looked like splashes against the front of the hive and on top. These streaks were not appearing on the other hives but seemed fairly prevalent on the one. I can see where spraying them down with the medicine would be advantageous. I was trying to keep from having to have the hives open for too long a period this time of year.

All the hives seem to be doing alright today with bees coming and going. I have seen them around my yard foraging, and one even followed me over to the neighbors house. Thought maybe I spilled some syrup on myself by accident. :mrgreen: I could not understand why nosema might be an issue since they are able to get out daily, but I have read that when temps in winter are warmer they will consume more of their stores due to being more active and can develope it. The moisture spots under the lids are about the size of what you described. The two smaller hives did not have this and I would assume that it is due to less bees with less respiration.

A hole in the tin is something I had not thought of Barbarian, so I will be checking them to see what I find. Like you, I place a slight tilt to the hive so that when it rains heavy the water won't roll back in through the entrance and flood the bottom board. Makes one wonder what bees did to survive before us humans came along and built them a better house. :mrgreen:
 

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after reading the recent article I mentioned above the fellow in question used fumildil and novesit (sp?) first sprayed in on in about a 10 day interval and eventually ended up applying the product with a bee brush. so even dribbling would work.

If nosema is present then by physical description of the malady the bees are weak and feel hungry. it is for this reason that mass feeding devices will often lead to mass drowning and feeding devices that never quite get clean up. when I recognize nosema here I try to get some small dose into the hive typically via a baggie feeder or boardman type feeder set just above the brood nest in an empty shell. this limits drowning until the hives get up on it's feet and then almost any mass feeding device work just fine.

Randy Oliver is running a nice series in the ABJ about nosema... lots of good detail there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I used a boardman feeder Tecumseh and set one on top of each of the hives so I could easily pick them back up. It worried me that they might fight over them, but from what I was seeing, they all just seemed to come and go with little incidence. There was about half the syrup left at the end of the day which I set back out the next and they finished up. This method however I know will not work for everyone. It all depended on the temps and weather at the time. I would like to check out that series you mentioned. Anything I can do to help them through the winter will be a plus come spring. I dread summer though. They are saying we will have the drought again. :(
 

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so you got out a small dose in two days... that about right. for the more distressed hive you might want to do this at least once more. then wait a week or so and a look and see if there is any improvement.

good luck...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Tecumseh for your input. I hope they do better and suppose things will be more evident come spring. The way the weather is trending it seems like it is already here. My neighbor has daffodils already blooming in their flower bed. I remember a time when they did not do that until late March or early April and they seem to get earlier every year. :shock:
 

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Saw a few Spring Beauties here yesterday too. Blessed rain right now with almost 1.3 overnight.
 

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My wife said her red honeysuckle was leafing out and had buds on it, that was Jan. 6th, :confused: . A lady in our bee club said she puts an empty deep on top of the hive she wants to feed fumigilin to, and sets a boardman feeder on top of the frames to keep out of the sunlight. She said it works great. Jack
 
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