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as snug as a bee in a duvet!!!

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Your in big trouble when the wife goes to get in bed tonight with no quilt to climb under.

Nice to see you have your priorities right though :cheers2:
 

Silly Bee 

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I considered putting my WBC's into a shed. What are the problems I might have Pete?
 

sawdstmakr 

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I considered putting my WBC's into a shed. What are the problems I might have Pete?
There is an article on the internet, I don't remember where, one of the founders of one of the big bee suppliers did studies years ago, on trying to keep his bees warm during the winter. He tried putting them inside a warmed room, having them inside but had an outside entrance, un heated room. The losses were almost all 100%. You might re consider putting them outside.

Jim
 

Silly Bee 

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Ok Ta, They are outside, just considered the shed option.

Just wondered seeing Petes tucked up in a duvet.
 

Cazza 

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When I was young and foolish, I wrapped my hives in old duvets over a cold snap and then panicked that they would think the weather was warmer than it really was so after a few days took them off again.
Now I am older and wiser I leave well alone!
Cazza
 

steve1958 

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I am not trying to make mine warmer.
Just to stop them getting any colder.
 

jezd 

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I am not trying to make mine warmer.
Just to stop them getting any colder.
but why? cold is not a killer of bees as such, lack of stores and damp are the bigger issues.

cold on smaller colonies can be something to worry about maybe, but I have 5 mini nucs going strong on only a hundred or so bees each

fed them today after digging them out of 18" of snow
 

hedgerow pete 

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silly bee in stead of moving the bees into a shed as a tempory measure i would try to make there area wind proof, so some form of a wind break dont wooy about the cold just try to stop the wind chill.

as for running out of stores, i have a hole in the top of each cover board, around 40mm round and if i wish i sit a upturned jam jar with a fill of fondant in it and being glass i can see if the ladies have emptied it and so i then refill it.

I do very little to the bees at all between november and december as they always have plenty of stores and reasonable winter protection,

I only realy start to check and worry when we get past humbug day as thats when the stores start to get used up the quickest. in which case the jam jar if needed can be exchanged for a boiled pickle egg jam jar that holds several tonnes of fondant.

the duvet and sleeping bag is because i was worried that my tin foil bubble wrap was causing to much condensation in the shed as the shed humidity has risen a lot with the snow and so rather than cause grief.

i removed the top cap of the bubble wrap so the cover board has a 4mm gap all the way around to let the damp air out and the best insulation that I could think of that was warm but air permable was the kids old duvet and sleeping bag .

we will see after humbug if i got it right or wrong?
 

Arfermo 

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I considered putting my WBC's into a shed. What are the problems I might have Pete?
Overwintering Your Bees: A Warning
From the Preface of the ABC & XYZ of Bee Culture (1947 Edition)
In the late (18)60’s and early (18)70's, Root* believed that bees needed warm housing during winter. Accordingly, he built a special winter repository building large enough to hold fifty colonies of bees, and yet leave a space for 24 inches of packing between the walls of the building and overhead. In this building he put fifty colonies of bees in the sincere and sure belief that the bees warmly housed would winter successfully. Did they? He had one of the heaviest winter losses ever known in the history of his beekeeping. The floor of the building was covered with dead bees. The colony heat developed a temperature in the room that caused the bees to fly out in the darkness and drop down on the floor to die.
The next winter he decided to give his bees plenty of cool, fresh air from outdoors, so he constructed an underground tile line, running from the outside of the building to the centre of the floor inside the building. He also put in a chimney to let the foul air escape. Again he suffered a heavy loss.
Next, he decided to put in a stove in order to create an artificial draft, and on the coldest days he built a fire. While the circulation of air was improved, the temperature rose so high where the bees were, that again the bees flew out and died on the floor.
Undaunted, he tried again, and this time he left the colonies out doors after they had built up into good condition in the fall, on their summer stands. If he had left them uncovered it would have been well. But no, he still believed in artificial heat, and covered the hives with stable manure. The chemical heat generated was too much of a good thing and again he lost very heavily. He could not give up the idea of indoor wintering, so he built a greenhouse, large enough to take in about ten or fifteen colonies of bees. He believed that the bees needed mid-winter flights and that they needed sunshine and brood to replace the loss of old bees. The bees did fly out, but often did not get back to their hives. The bright sun lured them out but they bumped up against the glass. They dropped dead on the floor of the greenhouse, and the loss was as great as ever.
Although the exploitation of new and untried ideas cost him money, he still cherished the hope that bees needed a warm room during the winter. He next built another double-walled building or a house apiary. In this he placed his colonies around the walls with the entrance leading to out-doors so bees could fly on warm days. To keep up the temperature in the building he put in an oil stove. Now he believed he would solve the problem. Well, the warm air inside forced the bees outdoors when the air was too cold. They chilled and died in the snow and the colonies dwindled. He finally found that artificial heat for bees in a building or outdoors was a mistake.
*A.I. Root was the founder of the worlds longest established beekeeping supply company.
 

Chris B 

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Don't the Americans still keep bees in warehouses over winter? Keeping them at around constant 5 degrees in the dark so they just stay clustered. Now I bet that takes care of woodpeckers!
 
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fascinating link - they seem as if they know what they're doing, though the last photo worries me - thats a lot of dead bees!
 

Skyhook 

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I wonder how they get around the fact of no cleansing flights. Does anyone know, eg do they feed funidil routinely?
 

oliver90owner 

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Skyhook,

Fumadil B has no effect on cleansing flights, but it must be important, with hives in that concentration (to be sure the chances of an epidemic disease, possibly affecting the whole group is very low indeed) they will have been treated with all the bee medications thought appropriate. Talk about all your eggs in one basket!

Fumadil B is only used to control nosema and there are other ways of keeping colonies nosema-free - ask Hivemaker, he does not seem to need to use it.

Regards, RAB
 
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Moggs 

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Well, I've taken all of the advice offered around these parts and have my hives woodpecker-fenced, ratchet-strapped-down-to-paving-slabs, insulated, fed, topped-with-bricks and goodness-knows-what-else.

Do I really now need to block the entrances against sunlight? Will they really be tempted out into the cold to perish? Or will they have the good bee-sense to know that it is winter-time and maybe a little chilly outside?

Sometimes I wonder if the guard bees are posted on sentry duty purely just to alert the remainder of the colony to the fact that the nutter is back with another gadget or strategy for messing them about! :banghead:
 

Skyhook 

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Skyhook,

Fumadil B has no effect on cleansing flights, but it must be important, with hives in that concentration (to be sure the chances of an epidemic disease, possibly affecting the whole group is very low indeed) they will have been treated with all the bee medications thought appropriate. Talk about all your eggs in one basket!

Fumadil B is only used to control nosema and there are other ways of keeping colonies nosema-free - ask Hivemaker, he does not seem to need to use it.

Regards, RAB
I believe hivemaker puts his trust in Thymol- but with the added benefit that the bees can get out sometimes and not need to mess all over the combs. Perhaps, at temperatures that low (constant 2 deg. C), they are metabolising so little they don't need to?

Who'd be a Canadian bee?
 

oliver90owner 

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Perhaps, at temperatures that low (constant 2 deg. C), they are metabolising so little they don't need to?

I would suspect that it might even be better at minus two! But the fans would freeze.

Not sure at what temperature the cluster will be tightest, or whether that would be the optimum for minimal stores consumption or not, but I would think they are studying the problem. One kilogram less of stores per hive would be a worthwhile bit of extra pocket money with that many hives!

Regards, RAB
 

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