Balmy January - Super needed?

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BBG 

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Went out to apiary at 7 tonight - checked all after oxalic treatment five days ago.

Concerned to find strongest hive entrance is packed with bees almost standing three high.

A light shone underneath through the OMF did not reveal ANY light at the entrance, this leads us to think there are either:

1. A lot of dead bees covering the floor - no evidence of that - is preventing the light getting through.

2. The bees are packed inside all over the OMF and preventing light getting through.

This hive has 9 seams overflowing with bees end to end.

Should we put a super with some stores back on to give them room?

Thoughts please.
 

Arfermo 

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1. A lot of dead bees covering the floor - no evidence of that - is preventing the light getting through.
QUOTE]

This is probable answer. So remove entrance block, check upper side of OMF with a stick of some sort and pull any dead out, replace entrance block with entrance slot on top so that any dead don't block entrance. Otherwise anybodies guess.
 

BBG 

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Would seem to be a lot of dead bees though!

Going to remove old floor and replace with new tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

BTW 7 p.m. temperature at apiary 11C - balmy night with no wind, black as can be!
 
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the naked beekeeper 

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Until the Spring brood hatching is higher than the Winter bees dying, the colony is on the decrease numbers wise and likely to be so until March or so.

If you are concerned about stores you could give them the super, but personally, I wouldn't do it for space alone.
 

drstitson 

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:iagree:

extra stores if needed (or fondant slab)
extra space not needed (and will do a disservice with extra void to heat)

remove mouseguard and scrape floor clean with a stick.

we're due frosts fri-mon so should be clustered nicely then.
 

oliver90owner 

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Sorry but a load of wind going on here.

Possibly dead bees. (especially just after oxalic treatment?). I am surprised it is just the one colony. But with poly, the bees may well not be clustering if the hive has been active.

IF extra space were to be required (and I very much doubt it is), the simple solution is a box beneath the brood. Simpe solution for avoiding temperature troubles, n'est pas? Certainly the floor screen in the MB National floors is quite a distance down and and torch-light may not be shining directly toward the entrance.

Reporting ths observation on the forum before simply checking it out in the clear light of day does nothing but potentially worry other beeks Hard facts rather than woolly half-checks would be much more enlightening and helpful.
 

drstitson 

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:iagree:

perhaps it might have been better to shine a light in the entrance whilst you were at it - that'd've identified where the "problem" lay.
 

alexander 

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looks like the balmy jan will be gone soon, minus figures by the weekend.
 

BBG 

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Sorry but a load of wind going on here.

Possibly dead bees. (especially just after oxalic treatment?). I am surprised it is just the one colony. But with poly, the bees may well not be clustering if the hive has been active.

IF extra space were to be required (and I very much doubt it is), the simple solution is a box beneath the brood. Simpe solution for avoiding temperature troubles, n'est pas? Certainly the floor screen in the MB National floors is quite a distance down and and torch-light may not be shining directly toward the entrance.

Reporting ths observation on the forum before simply checking it out in the clear light of day does nothing but potentially worry other beeks Hard facts rather than woolly half-checks would be much more enlightening and helpful.
Disagree, which is why I posted the observations - as do many who, as I did, then say they will update or investigate further.

Rather than write verbose admonishments, words would be better served in experienced expounding. At least that would not intimidate the less battle experienced.

So, if you can't say something nice - be quiet.

MB OMF floors : -

ALL hives, except this one, showed light at the entrance when shone underneath.

ALL hives, except this one, showed light underneath when light shone in the entrance.

So, light shone in entrance and under floor - zero light - this hive.
 
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the naked beekeeper 

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There's a lot of grumpiness about at the moment.

I think it's beekeeping withdrawal!

A serious lack of bee venom in the blood = grouchy beekeepers.
 

BBG 

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:iagree: though some are just sour -

BTW bet you had your clothes on today!

Checked apiary about two hours ago.

Temperature 13/14 C bright sunshine.

On approach could see bees filling the air so all v busy indeed.

The hive that revealed no light above or below last night had a clear floor - nothing.

Conclusion must be that the floor was covered in bees so tightly packed no light could penetrate - glad we opened up the entrance from 2" to 5"

The bees in that hive in particular were v busy returning with dark orange pollen - from hazel catkins we think - have taken samples for inspection.

This is the first time for weeks we have seen them out - they dumped all over us as well as everything else - last samples showed no nosema - new samples to be processed.

Worry about your bees? We worry about killing one during inspections. The day we don't worry, will be a very sad day.
 
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Tom Bick 

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I am thinking that this hive has started to raise brood and the nights been a bit on the chilly side the bees were clustered at the bottom to reduce draft from the entrance and omf so to maintain the temp in the hive.
 

the naked beekeeper 

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:iagree: though some are just sour -

BTW bet you had your clothes on today!

Checked apiary about two hours ago.

Temperature 13/14 C bright sunshine.

On approach could see bees filling the air so all v busy indeed.

The hive that revealed no light above or below last night had a clear floor - nothing.

Conclusion must be that the floor was covered in bees so tightly packed no light could penetrate - glad we opened up the entrance from 2" to 5"

The bees in that hive in particular were v busy returning with dark orange pollen - from hazel catkins we think - have taken samples for inspection.

This is the first time for weeks we have seen them out - they dumped all over us as well as everything else - last samples showed no nosema - new samples to be processed.

Worry about your bees? We worry about killing one during inspections. The day we don't worry, will be a very sad day.
I put the clothes on this chilly am but soon took them off again when the sun came out! It was boiling!

Kudos to you for getting nosema testing.
Very good husbandry/wifery!

Although with this mild weather, they've been able to get out frequently to clear their bowels....even if it is on unsuspecting beekeepers!

You're not alone in the save every bee you can club also!

I think I've used too many exclamation marks in this post!
 

Swarm 

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BBG said:
The bees in that hive in particular were v busy returning with dark orange pollen - from hazel catkins we think - have taken samples for inspection.
It won't be from Hazel if it's orange. Far more likely to be Dandelion or crocus if it's bright, if it's more russet then probably gorse.
 

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