My girls are flying!

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Tia, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. Tia

    Tia New Member

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    Happy New Year, you all! I''m so pleased that my girls have finally got a "cleansing flight" day. They've been cooped up for the entire month of December, and just last week I did the dastardly chore of sweeping all the dead bees off the bottom board. So many of them, I just had to put my ear up against each box and give a "hello" knock. Fortunately, they all answered me with a resounding HUMMMM. :Dancing:

    Today is another reassurance. . .there are bees all over the place! Very loud, orienting to the hive, and happy as happy could be! I removed the mouseguards so they can clean out the dead. I'll replace them when the shade hits the hives and the girls move back inside. Tomorrow's supposed to be close to 70 (!) and even though I'm pretty sure they have stores, I will be putting hive top feeders on them. Looks like warm days are going to be more frequent so I want to make sure no one starves! Thinking, too, about putting on the west beetle traps. . .opinions, please.

    Hope all your bees are doing well, too! Here's to a beeautiful 2011! :drinks:

    Tia
     
  2. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Yep mine are flying also,went ot on the porch and one landed on my pant leg.
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I would not recommend a hive top feeder. If I were to feed, it would be with a community feeder a hundred feet or more from the hives. You can monitor it better, reduce the chance of robbing, and take it in every night to warm it.
     
  4. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Been in the low 60's yesterday and today,all the hives here at home were flying :thumbsup: .It will be a different story the next two days, tonight in the teens and the high Sat. and Sunday 32 F. Jack
     
  5. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    went and looked at the hives a little while ago, all are still alive. I am still worried about the little five frame nuc it is very light, I have two frames of capped honey to slip them when a warm day comes around. I really would like them to make it through the winter.
     
  6. Tia

    Tia New Member

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    The weather's not as forecast. . .cloudy and breezy. But warm enough so I went ahead, put the robber screens back on since all the cadavers have been removed, and put the feeders on, but did not fill them. A quick look made it obvious that the top box on each hive is slam full of goldenrod honey. I'm sure the girls will go through those stores quite quickly once it is consistently warm, so I proceeded to install the feeders but left them empty to be filled at a later date when necessary. Iddee, I hear you about field feeding and I prefer to field feed, but I've found that although it works great in the fall, if I attempt to do it in the spring, there's a fighting frenzy and dead bees everywhere--just like robbing! If I have robber screens on and don't put HBH in the feed, everything seems to work well and the warmth of the colony seems to keep the syrup flowing.

    One question though: I'm seeing drones! Not masses of drones, but one here and there. I thought they didn't show up until later in the winter/early spring. Please tell me drones at this time of year are nothing to worry about. I don't know why it would be except for them eating up stores. But since the stores are ample, I think all's well. Am I correct?
     
  7. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    I have found that if there are a lot of drones in the winter time, there is a good chance that the hive is queenless,or the old queen was in the process of being superseded and time run out. Anyway it's not normal in my area to have drones in the hive in the winter. Your area may be different :confused: . Jack
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Tia writes:
    Please tell me drones at this time of year are nothing to worry about.

    tecumseh:
    with no profit for me why would I lie to you Tia?

    of course there are no sure fired rules when it comes to the girls to say yea or nay to your question. like Jack if I see significant number of drones unseasonally this mean the old queen is running out of sperm and will typically show herself to be a drone layer come spring time <you can of course resolve this if you have another hive by inserting one frame of very green brood right in the center of the brood nest come spring time. the other possibility is that you are simply seeing a small number of drones laid as eggs during an unseasonably warm fall.

    I would guess you will know for certain in about 30 days.
     
  9. Tia

    Tia New Member

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    Thanks. Hopefully in 30 days I can do a good inspection. I hesitate to do one when the temps are in the 60's and like to wait for a 70-degree day. I'm not too nervous about the drones. Like I said, one or two in a couple of hives. But I did think it was early for drones. It's been such a crazy weather year, though, there's no tellin'. I'll let ya'll know.
     
  10. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    "the other possibility is that you are simply seeing a small number of drones laid as eggs during an unseasonably warm fall."

    I agree. Nature is not perfect. You may see a few drones at any time of the year.
     
  11. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Tia writes:
    I hesitate to do one when the temps are in the 60's and like to wait for a 70-degree day.

    tecumseh:
    I draw the line at 55+ for any kind of 'inspection'. 30 days would be about the optimal time line for a good check + some kind of action plan if the 'inspection' went south. By that time you may have drones in numbers + 70 ish temperature in the afternoon <this being the two elements that are pretty much essential for proper mating of a new queen.