When do they shutdown for winter?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by onehorse, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. onehorse

    onehorse New Member

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    These Italians aren't terribly smart. I was feeding everyone up until about a month ago. This Italian hive had a full super on it at that time. We put fondant on yesterday (was pretty sure that they weren't going to have enough to winter on, but enough to get them through the wait for the fondant to come in) and there is just about nothing, as far as honey, for these Italians. I doubt that they got robbed out, as there is a ton of bees in those boxes and they aren't shy about defending themselves. Is this normal? Is there anything that I can do/should do, other then feed them? We put 40lbs of fondant on them yesterday and plugged all holes but a 1/2 inch on the bottom board. The 3 other hives all have some weight to them, just this one, but this was the package, the others were swarms/cutouts.
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I don't think it is a matter of smarter????

    the first question would be 'what kind of a season did you experience'? a lot of rain, rain, rain at the improper time and a large population can create it's own set of problem long after the rain has past. the high population simply eats themselves out of house and home with nothing coming in the front door.

    if nothing unusual there I would suspect that this hive simply out brooded their neighbors. most times this means their queens is laying (during the season) at the upper extreme of egg laying capacity (+3 standard deviations) or simply never slowed or shut down during the fall. a maximum egg laying queen demonstrates how a good characteristics can have bad outcomes. the failure of a queen to shut down in the fall of the year very definitely has negative implication (and I tend to select away from those kinds of queens even here).

    sounds like you di the appropriate thing. whether they make the winter is anyone's guess.