Hefting and winter stores

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"A council is thought to be the first in England to trial plastic bollards made from sugar cane on its pavements.
They are being installed by Hampshire County Council as a lower carbon alternative to the traditional concrete ones."

No more need to worry about feeding bees in that part of the world then.
 

Murox 

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"A council is thought to be the first in England to trial plastic bollards made from sugar cane on its pavements.
They are being installed by Hampshire County Council as a lower carbon alternative to the traditional concrete ones."
No more need to worry about feeding bees in that part of the world then.
Is that an oxymoron, a paradox or a contradictory statement ; or has April the first come early this year?
 

Newbeeneil 

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I went round hefting a few of my hives today. Found 2 that still hefted as average and had some fondant above the crownboard. I had a feeling things were not right so gave the hive a little rap with no answering hum.
I cracked the crownboard to find a ball of dead bees in the centre of the box. They had starved due to isolation with plenty of stores on the periphery on the frames and outside frames.
There was a significant amount of brood in both hives so I assume the warm weather has got the hive brooding and they have cleared the adjacent stores during the warm weather ready for the queen to expand the nest. They obviously didn't want to leave the brood during the last couple of weeks of cold snap and have starved with a significant amount of stores still in the box.
Just a note to say even a decently heavy hive can still starve. 😥
 

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I went round hefting a few of my hives today. Found 2 that still hefted as average and had some fondant above the crownboard. I had a feeling things were not right so gave the hive a little rap with no answering hum.
I cracked the crownboard to find a ball of dead bees in the centre of the box. They had starved due to isolation with plenty of stores on the periphery on the frames and outside frames.
There was a significant amount of brood in both hives so I assume the warm weather has got the hive brooding and they have cleared the adjacent stores during the warm weather ready for the queen to expand the nest. They obviously didn't want to leave the brood during the last couple of weeks of cold snap and have starved with a significant amount of stores still in the box.
Just a note to say even a decently heavy hive can still starve. 😥
Sorry to hear about that I know how you feel, I've given some a couple of kgs of fondant above them a few days ago because they are hankering around brood and we're abit far away from stores.
I lost a really strong colonys late Feb last year to starvation, my first ever it wasnt a nice thing to see all those bees stuck in cells.
 

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I went round hefting a few of my hives today. Found 2 that still hefted as average and had some fondant above the crownboard. I had a feeling things were not right so gave the hive a little rap with no answering hum.
I cracked the crownboard to find a ball of dead bees in the centre of the box. They had starved due to isolation with plenty of stores on the periphery on the frames and outside frames.
There was a significant amount of brood in both hives so I assume the warm weather has got the hive brooding and they have cleared the adjacent stores during the warm weather ready for the queen to expand the nest. They obviously didn't want to leave the brood during the last couple of weeks of cold snap and have starved with a significant amount of stores still in the box.
Just a note to say even a decently heavy hive can still starve. 😥
I’ve heard that isolation starving can be avoided if you put the fondant directly on the top bars rather than above the crown board. Not sure if that’s true?

My fondant is above the crown board too as I haven’t thought of a way of insulating around it if it was on the top bars. I’ve currently got it within a super along with 6” thickness of insulation board
 

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I’ve heard that isolation starving can be avoided if you put the fondant directly on the top bars rather than above the crown board. Not sure if that’s true?

My fondant is above the crown board too as I haven’t thought of a way of insulating around it if it was on the top bars. I’ve currently got it within a super along with 6” thickness of insulation board
I have the same set up for my fondant and I suspect it would have been better to have the fondant on the frames but I've never had the problem before.
I may reverse my crown boards and use the 50m rim to contain the fondant with the insulation above. I will wait until we get a half warm day and do it to any colonies that worry me.
 

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I have the same set up for my fondant and I suspect it would have been better to have the fondant on the frames but I've never had the problem before.
I may reverse my crown boards and use the 50m rim to contain the fondant with the insulation above. I will wait until we get a half warm day and do it to any colonies that worry me.
They are handy most of my CBs are reversable, you can use tile batten attached as an eke or similar thickness of timber even frame top bars if you cut the lugs of
Much better to have fondant direct on the frames or on a thin metal qxs this time of year.
 
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I went round hefting a few of my hives today. Found 2 that still hefted as average and had some fondant above the crownboard. I had a feeling things were not right so gave the hive a little rap with no answering hum.
I cracked the crownboard to find a ball of dead bees in the centre of the box. They had starved due to isolation with plenty of stores on the periphery on the frames and outside frames.
There was a significant amount of brood in both hives so I assume the warm weather has got the hive brooding and they have cleared the adjacent stores during the warm weather ready for the queen to expand the nest. They obviously didn't want to leave the brood during the last couple of weeks of cold snap and have starved with a significant amount of stores still in the box.
Just a note to say even a decently heavy hive can still starve. 😥
Sorry to hear that and thanks for sharing. As education for the rest of us, can I ask how far they were from the available honey in the frames i.e how many frames away on either side? Or was their honey on the edges of the frame they were actually on?

Was it a wooden national brood box?

Thanks
 
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I’ve heard that isolation starving can be avoided if you put the fondant directly on the top bars rather than above the crown board. Not sure if that’s true?

My fondant is above the crown board too as I haven’t thought of a way of insulating around it if it was on the top bars. I’ve currently got it within a super along with 6” thickness of insulation board
Putting fondant directly on the frames helps. But at the end of the day, when it's really cold bees cluster on and in the cells of the combs, so they need food in the comb itself. Fondant above the frames isn't a guarantee that they will move up and get it.
 

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Putting fondant directly on the frames helps. But at the end of the day, when it's really cold bees cluster on and in the cells of the combs, so they need food in the comb itself. Fondant above the frames isn't a guarantee that they will move up and get it.
I've seen numerous colonys up high on the frames when it's cold more so st nationals than 14x12s
Surely they would want to be nearest the warmest part of the hive?
 

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Sorry to hear that and thanks for sharing. As education for the rest of us, can I ask how far they were from the available honey in the frames i.e how many frames away on either side? Or was their honey on the edges of the frame they were actually on?

Was it a wooden national brood box?

Thanks
There was honey in the corners of the frames they were on but there was almost full frames 3 frames away
Yes it was wooden hive.
 
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mbc 

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I went round hefting a few of my hives today. Found 2 that still hefted as average and had some fondant above the crownboard. I had a feeling things were not right so gave the hive a little rap with no answering hum.
I cracked the crownboard to find a ball of dead bees in the centre of the box. They had starved due to isolation with plenty of stores on the periphery on the frames and outside frames.
There was a significant amount of brood in both hives so I assume the warm weather has got the hive brooding and they have cleared the adjacent stores during the warm weather ready for the queen to expand the nest. They obviously didn't want to leave the brood during the last couple of weeks of cold snap and have starved with a significant amount of stores still in the box.
Just a note to say even a decently heavy hive can still starve. 😥
Why call it starvation if there's stores about?
Bees don't really do that very often, think on the possibility of there being another cause.
 

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Why call it starvation if there's stores about?
Bees don't really do that very often, think on the possibility of there being another cause.
It was defiantly isolation starvation. Typical heads in cells and no sign of varroa poo in the cells. The bees were very clustered around a small ball of brood on the centre 2 frames and isolated from any food by about 3" of empty cells.
 
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Why call it starvation if there's stores about?
Bees don't really do that very often, think on the possibility of there being another cause.
I wondered that. Bees have strong survival instincts, wonder if isolation starvation is sometimes used to explain the unexplained?

Given in spring it is common in some smaller colonies to have chilled brood and in others they throw out / cannibalise pupae, if stores are there especially on edges of the same comb wouldn’t the bees detach Wing muscles warm up and move to the stores close by if that meant survival or not?

Not saying in Neil’s case it isn’t but perhaps taking a sample of bees and looking under the microscope to check for nosema given it’s endemic? Or could it be sudden queen failure if brood amount is small?
 

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It was defiantly isolation starvation. Typical heads in cells and no sign of varroa poo in the cells. The bees were very clustered around a small ball of brood on the centre 2 frames and isolated from any food by about 3" of empty cells.
We've barely had a frost, those bees would've moved over to stores, or more likely filled themselves with food and rode out any cold blip, if their normal processes were occurring.
Resources within a cluster circulate fairly freely by trophilaxis if things are working as they should.
The evidence your eyes tell you might suggest isolation starvation but just from the few words you've typed I'm 100% certain a better diagnosis would be depression.
For whatever reason, illness or queen problem, the normal joie de vivre of the colony has evaporated and with it their communication and chance of survival.
 
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We've barely had a frost, those bees would've moved over to stores, or more likely filled themselves with food and rode out any cold blip, if their normal processes were occurring.
Resources within a cluster circulate fairly freely by trophilaxis if things are working as they should.
The evidence your eyes tell you might suggest isolation starvation but just from the few words you've typed I'm 100% certain a better diagnosis would be depression.
For whatever reason, illness or queen problem, the normal joie de vivre of the colony has evaporated and with it their communication and chance of survival.
You may well be right.

But then again, stores which are 3 frames away, sideways, may as well not exist in a cold snap, if there is brood that the cluster can't move away from. And the stores on the frame they are on sound minimal, and only in the corners, so not necessarily really accessible either. The centre of a wooden national brood box can be a very cold place.

Bees naturally work upwards through their food, not sideways, right? It's one factor that puts me off trying a horizontal national hive.

So I would say isolation starvation is possible, though certainly other factors are highly likely to be involved and maybe starvation wasn't the main issue at all.
 

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Had a failing colony some 5-6 yrs ago and used wifes' plant sprayer to spray warmed weak sugar syrup on them and onto the cells around them. Got them going a treat. If they fail to get well after that then they are probably doomed anyway for other reasons.
 
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