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sherwood 

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Just went up to check the entrances to my hives where clear and hefted all the hives to check for supplies. Low and behold 3 at least that went into winter with 40lbs plus were practically empty. Rushed down to the bee shed collected 3 supers, then down to the house to collect 3 2kg bags of sugar and some hot water in a basin. Back up to the hives, slit the bags placed them in the hot water for 5 seconds lifted the roof and crown board and put the super on with the 2kg saturated bag on top of the brood frames replaced the crown board. That should see them until later this week when I have made them some fondant.

For those not in the know keep the slits in the bag upper most when dunking them in the water and placing them on the brood frames and use warm/hot water.

I can only presume that with all the mild weather up till recenlty that they have been consumming there supplies flying hither and thither but even I was surprised at the useage rate given that I checked them 3 weeks ago and they had plenty.
 

admin 

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I got caught out with a hive in late summer the year before last.
I had a bag of sugar in the car but no water,I ended up just pouring the sugar onto a sheet of newspaper,not ideal but they took it down and it fixed them for a couple of days until I could give them some syrup.

Anything has to be better than nothing in an emergency..
 

Finman 

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I can only presume that with all the mild weather up till recenlty that they have been consumming there supplies flying hither and thither but even I was surprised at the useage rate given that I checked them 3 weeks ago and they had plenty.
What ever you say but normal storages gannot be consumed in 3 weeks. Robbing is only when that may happen.
 

Poly Hive 

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I have 6 packs of fondant on site ready to be put on if needed.

I will do some checking tomorrow before going off to Scotland.

PH
 

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I wonder how much your hives consume winter food?
I can look my hives next time in March, and I know that half of food in still in hives. When brooding starts, the hive rises its temperature and consumption will be many fold compared to Autumn.

Some years ago I tried mesh floors. It added over 100% food consumption.

Late brooding of course drive into end food and in our country we cannot keep such bees which does not stop brooding in September. Your late ivy pollen yield keeps brooding on very late.
 

jimbeekeeper 

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Finman, is not the diffenece between you in Finland and most of us in the UK, that you have a propper winter, but we can have such varrinace form one week (or even day) to another.

The bees (and us humans) do not know which season it is some days!
 

Hawklord 

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Is brood rearing temperature dependant ie if it's below a certain temperature outside the queen will not lay?
 

Poly Hive 

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There is a "heavy" discussion going on over this on BeeL.

The prime mover for re-starting the Q laying is water, dearth of.

PH
 

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I bought queens from Italy. After that I have had every winter hive or two which lay the whole winter. If they have pollen stores in the hive, they continue. One hive I noticed when snow melted all the time on cover. Another I noticed when hive was really thirsty in the middle of winter. It licked water from wall even if it was frost.

If they rear brood too late, new bees are not able to make their stomach empty and that hive is in trouble too.

You cannot follow from thermometer, when queen stops laying. Queen may lay but bees do not feed larvae.

It is the origin of queens, how good they are adapted to local climate and survive over winter.

This summer I bought queen from 500 km to north. They have there very hard winter.

Here the hive start to rear new bees in February even if out temp is -20C.
They are just tens of larvae what they rear.
 

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There is a "heavy" discussion going on over this on BeeL.

The prime mover for re-starting the Q laying is water, dearth of.

PH
No, it is not. It is bees genes which tell when to start.

But I can start larva rearing with pollen patty but if bees do not get water every two day, all larvae will die and the colony get chalkrood. If snow is in the ground, they will not get water. If there are melted soil patches, they are able to get water. Often in April we have -8C at night and bees get water in sunshine if temp is +3C.

(After my 20 years experience with pollen feeding and patty feeding.)

Australians made a research, are they able to keep colonies in big condition over winter months with protein patty? The result was that colonies got very bad nosema and hives were in bad condition in Spring.
.
 
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Finman 

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When new bees emerge, they eate much pollen in their first 5 days.
If they have not pollen/protein, those bees are not able to rear new bees and thier life is short.

How to rear new bees, is not depended on one or two thing. Many things must fit together.

To kill the hive, there you need only one thing.
 

sherwood 

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I follow your argument completely. However what you have to realise is that in the UK well at least in my part there is seldom a period in which there is no brood present. This appears to be because we do not often have a protracted period of cold as we used to do.

In fact this year up until a 1 1/2 weeks ago the bees were still flying though there was very little to bring in, mahonnia seemed to be all that mine were finding. this meant that there was lots of flying going on but very little reward being acheived. The queen continued reduced laying and the bees consummed the stores at a far faster rate than usual.

A side effect of this has been that with no broodless period so far, we have not had the optimum conditions to treat the bees with oxalic acid. The short period we have had probably means that in my case the queen may have been off lay for 5-8 days. this means that I will probably treat mine in 3-5 days time when I will use the vapourised gas method in a hope of getting the greatest number of mites and treat them a 2nd time a week later.
 

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Honeybee is a southern creature. Finland have never had natural honeybee stock.

To say in England that winter is too warm, it cannot be true because bees live in more warmer places, gather stores and survive over periods when they do not get food.

And honeybees are many.

But there too are years, when things go towards arse totally, as we say.

There are bee stocks which are sensitve to stop brooding when wetahers are bad. It is their natural system to keep economy on. If you have different bee strains, you see the diffence.
 
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hedgerow pete 

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here's just a quick idea i have an old washig up squeezy bottle that is filled with sugar solution and if i realy have to what i do is use it to squirt the sugar along and into the empty food cells. its a quicker way of refilling the cell rather than the bees doing it
 

Hawklord 

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It is the origin of queens, how good they are adapted to local climate and survive over winter.
So all this talk about importing and different strains of bee is futile as the most appropriate bee to use is the local mongrel. Beeks should breed their own choosing the best they have available.


Just a thought but does the formic acid work whilst there is brood present and would this be a better Winter treatment than OA?
 

jimbeekeeper 

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To say in England that winter is too warm, it cannot be true because bees live in more warmer places, gather stores and survive over periods when they do not get food.
I don’t think people dispute this, but what is different is the very changeable climate in the UK from even day to day.

Yes in UK we have just had (for the UK) quite a cold spell, but it is all rapidly melting and will possibly be into double figures in a week or so....fine in most countries like even Finland as it would be spring, so bees wake up at start using more stores as they think it is spring and the appropriate sources of food are also available.

But chances are we will have another cold snap in Late Jan/Feb or even as late as March
 

oliver90owner 

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talk about importing and different strains

It's all about a quick profit. Always has been (last 150 years?). Move bees (queens or otherwise) from one part of the world to another to increase the harvested crop.

Great when someone says 'I got 150kg from one colony of xyz's queen'. May not be so good in the whole expected life of the colony - wrong eco-climate, disease resistance (or even carrier of disease), inappropriate brooding cycles, use far too much stores, etc.

You are then locked into replacing the queen with a newly imported one every year. Nice one for the importer/breeder.

Just my cynical take on it.

Regards, RAB
 

Poly Hive 

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Finman 

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You are then locked into replacing the queen with a newly imported one every year. Nice one for the importer/breeder.

Just my cynical take on it.

Regards, RAB


It is same with all domestic animals and dogs and cats.

In Finland we have even ostrich farms.
 

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http://community.lsoft.com/scripts/wa-LSOFTDONATIONS.exe?A1=ind0912D&L=BEE-L#11

If you read through this discussion there is mention of research which shows that the bees regulate their water needs through getting the queen to lay or not as required.

.

PH
Very stupid idea. It must be more complicated thing. Where that idea comes into workers head?

First, if you open in autumn the hive, you find often much eggs but not feeded larvae. In spring queen lays but bees rear only some larvae. They start brooding here before cleansing flight.

Bees react in pollen harvest. When I had in hives in forest pastures earlier, fireweed finished flowerint at the end of July. So larvae from beehives vanished too. Now I try to find pastures where they get pollen at the end of August.

When I feed for winter, the hives start again brood rearing, but only in small scale.


Bees need drinking water for larva feeding. If they get no drinking water during one week, all open brood will die. Still the queen lays.

In late summer new queens lay 2 weeks longer than old queens.

First of all the day length tell to bees that autumn is coming. First sign is that they stop swarming, then they kill drones and stop drone larva rearing.

In spring bees rise hive temperature from 23C to 32 C and start to rear larvae even if weathers are bad.

First sign in nature is of course that flowers stop flowering and they gather energy to their roots and twigs and they prepare to winter. The sign they get from day lenght.

Som birds here start to move back to south in June.


.
 
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