Windy, cool, sunny, bees not flying...

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Intheswamp, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    Ok, my wife came in and told me that ants were entering one of my new hives. When I checked them out very few to no bees were flying...out of any of my three hives. The temps were in the low to mid 60F's and it was nice and sunny...but the wind was probably varying from 0-25mph...you wanted (at least folks down here in south Alabama) a light jacket if you were going to stay outside for a while.

    Though the temps were adequate for the bees to be flying was the windchill factor keeping the bees inside covering brood? I looked under the telescoping covers and could see bees below my screened vents in the inner covers in two of the hives. In the third hive I only saw a few bees through the screened vent so I briefly lifted the inner cover and it appeared the bees were down between the frames covering the frames with few on top of the frames. I closed'em up (5-10 seconds) quick and did this during a lull in the wind. My hives have screened bottom boards. ??? So, was it windchill that was keeping most of the bees in?

    Anyhow, I sprinkled some cinnamon on top of the inner covers and around the stand and put a little amdro out. The ants weren't that bad to begin with, though.

    Curious about the wind and the bees, though.

    Ed
     
  2. bamabww

    bamabww New Member

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    I noticed the same thing today in north Alabama under very similar conditions. I've noticed with a stiff, cool / cold north wind blowing, regardless of ambient temperature being in the 50's to low 60's, my bees don't fly. A stiff southern wind, which is always warmer here, will not prevent my bees from flying. So my guess is the wind chill affects them like it does us.
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Bees fly at about 15 MPH. If the windspeed is more than that, they mostly stay inside.
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I would also guess that your screen bottom board and wind chill hypothesis has some merit.
     
  5. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Ed, I would advise you to not put any insecticide anywhere near your hives.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amdro
    Amdro is an insect killing insecticide that is bonded to corn grit with soy oil. Ants collect the poisoned corn grit and carry it to their nests, where it kills the brood and queen. Honeybees are known to collect birdseed bits, yeast grains, grain waste, and corn meal powder from farm grain storage areas and bring it into their hives for food protein. If they collect any of that poison Amdro corn grit and put it in the brood nest or pollen collecting area, you are killing your bees.
    Use cinnamon to sprinkle liberally on the ground around your hives, and bee-safe diatomous earth products used in organic gardening. Do not use toxic insecticides anywhere near your hives and preferably not even on your property. Best not to apply weedkillers or insecticides to your lawn either if your bees are feeding on the dandelion nectar. Remember, bees are insects.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
  6. kebee

    kebee Active Member

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    Oh my goodness, now I am going to have to hire someone to trim my grass around the fence and other places and I have a lot of other places. Boy oh boy I may have to rethink bees for I sure don't want to kill them. Anyone know of a way to keep weeds down without killing the bees.

    Kebee
     
  7. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Many weeds have flowers.
    Flowers mean honey.
    Let them grow.

    :thumbsup::lol:
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip..
    Anyone know of a way to keep weeds down without killing the bees.

    tecumseh:
    a weed eater works for me. some folks with a few hives put down ground covering mats and then place a hive stand on top of that. one fellow I know used a bunch of pea gravel and made a place for his hives to encourage drainage... this also seems to have limited the grass. I would guess you could use fabric like that used under flower beds and then cover this with almost anything to eliminate weeds around your hive.
     
  9. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    Omie, thank you very much for your post. I *really* don't like using any poisons and try to limit their use by me. But, fire ants can be a bit hard to deal with (been trying to deal with them for the past 40 years). I've tried the boiling water and pepper drench (heard the water gurgling down deep a *minute* after pouring). I even tried ordering some some "fire ant killing nematodes" from an outfit in Texas once but that ended up being a rip-off and never received anything. The old scoop up a shovel full from this bed and dump on that bed trick...eh...not real productive. Natural remedies just do little to divert fire ants. I *have* had some good results using the cinnamon that you mentioned. I've sprinkled it on the ground around the cement blocks, on top of the blocks, a little on the landing boards, and some on the inner covers. My previous use of it on another hive worked out pretty good so I'll continue using it. But, to keep the actual ant beds backed off from my apiary area I think I'm going to need something a little stronger. Hopefully as I work around the area creating a higher traffic area the fire ants will back off naturally, but that is a vague hope. Fire ants remind me of the 400 million man army of the apocalypse.

    I'm trying now to get the ROW in front of my house (and for about 1/4 mile in either direction) a "no spray zone". It is a state highway and I may be up against a formidable foe....I believe that if I could show them that I would maintain the ROW in keeping it from becoming overgrown that they would be receptive to the idea but unfortunately I don't have the equipment needed.<sigh> I'm thinking up putting up some of my own signs on the fence rows, though...maybe I'll get a sympathetic spray-rig operator. ;) As for my own yard and using weedkillers...I claim that my yard is an "Auburn Experimental Station"....it has a little bit of everything in it, not exactly the neatly trimmed showpiece yard!!! ;)

    Omie, I won't promise to be chemical-free on my property, but I will say I intend to limit chemical use to a very bare minimum...especially around the bees.

    Ed
     
  10. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Ed, it sounds like you are pretty knowledgeable about chemicals and their uses. I remember battling fire ants around my house when I lived in Puerto Rico, so I can certainly sympathize.
    I'm glad to hear you know about such dangers! :)