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Beebe 

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so basically, the bees produced in August are dead by November - so not winter bees at all.
Not according to THe Apiarist, who quoted a study from which some of the results which enabled this graphical presentation to be made. It is contained within the article which has already been linked to three times on this thread. The lighter yellow areas of the graphic represent bees which were present as brood at the end of August and were still present (as bees) on 5th December, being almost undiminished in quantity since 18th October.

Does a "Winter bee" have to be present in Spring to count as such? I suspect that some bees are more wintry than others. ;)Colony age structure from August to to September.png
 
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enrico 

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Can I just ask a question, what if we didn't have winter weather? would we still get winter bees if the forage diminished?
Thanks
 

Beebe 

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Can I just ask a question, what if we didn't have winter weather? would we still get winter bees if the forage diminished?
Thanks
A good question; most plant and animal behaviours are influenced by changing day length, which probably complicates an analysis. But I wonder if any study has been done on that question? It would seem to make evolutionary sense that the rate at which bees age might slow down when forage was temporarily restricted. Then again, the whole point of bees storing food is to get them over those "humps in the road".
 

Little_bees 

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Can I just ask a question, what if we didn't have winter weather? would we still get winter bees if the forage diminished?
Thanks
It would seem so.

This recent research demonstrated that colonies do rear 'winter' bees with typically developed hypopharyngeal glands, etc. in periods of dearth.

Data suggest that "external seasonal conditions are indirectly communicated to the members through the change in the brood rearing capacity of the colony. Therefore, reduction in brood constitutes a signal for the existing workers to alter their biology in an adaptive manner in order to survive longer than usual through the dearth season."

So winters obviously don't have to be cold.👍
 

Murox 

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Dont get hung up on dates, thats not really how bees operate. The article suggests diutinus bees and early summer nurse bees physiologically share similarities. Nurse bees mature over a 2-3 week period and in a few weeks of hard foraging “they’re worn out and die. Whereas “winter bees age very slowly.” It goes on to say that although “The original data isn’t directly referenced, but I suspect it comes from studies Harris conducted in the late 70’s in Manitoba,...............” it goes on to describe that “if you live in a temperate region the overall pattern will be similar. The summer bees will be replaced during the early autumn by a completely new population of winter bees.................” though the “…..dates will be different and the speed of the transition from one population to the other may differ..........” I didn't see any reference to the availability or quality of forage, but climatic and forage specificity also influence what happens in the hive and when, as will the beekeepers “manipulations”. The later point is brought into focus at the end of the article.
 

mbc 

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Dont get hung up on dates, thats not really how bees operate. The article suggests diutinus bees and early summer nurse bees physiologically share similarities. Nurse bees mature over a 2-3 week period and in a few weeks of hard foraging “they’re worn out and die. Whereas “winter bees age very slowly.” It goes on to say that although “The original data isn’t directly referenced, but I suspect it comes from studies Harris conducted in the late 70’s in Manitoba,...............” it goes on to describe that “if you live in a temperate region the overall pattern will be similar. The summer bees will be replaced during the early autumn by a completely new population of winter bees.................” though the “…..dates will be different and the speed of the transition from one population to the other may differ..........” I didn't see any reference to the availability or quality of forage, but climatic and forage specificity also influence what happens in the hive and when, as will the beekeepers “manipulations”. The later point is brought into focus at the end of the article.
I thought physiological age of worker bees was inversely proportional to hypopharyngeal gland activity, ie. they age as they rear their young(I know the feeling!) ,no matter what stage in the season, eg. bees emerging into a queenless hive will live longer(aka winter bees) than those tasked with producing brood food.
Do I need to update my understanding on this?
 

Little_bees 

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eg. bees emerging into a queenless hive will live longer(aka winter bees) than those tasked with producing brood food.
Do I need to update my understanding on this?
Bees that have no brood to feed will live proportionately longer but that doesn't make them 'winter' bees, which have a range of hormonally induced physical attributes.

Even so, are Q-less colonies generally broodless for long enough periods to effect much of a change?
 

victor meldrew 

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I had a colony that went into Winter 2020 Queenless .
It was very much alive spring this year , I gave it a frame of eggs . They made no attempt to raise a Queen . I tried again, no chance .
no sign of a missed Queen, no sign of laying workers . Never any eggs . They foraged all summer , dwindling ever so gradually . I was able to give a light colony a full 14x12 fame of stores from it .
this colony eventually expired 1st week in October!
they weren’t robbed at anytime even when at their weakest .
those bees had lived over 10 possibly 12 months .
I’ve kept bees for decades and never come across the likes of this before.
 

victor meldrew 

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Bees that have no brood to feed will live proportionately longer but that doesn't make them 'winter' bees, which have a range of hormonally induced physical attributes.

Even so, are Q-less colonies generally broodless for long enough periods to effect much of a change?
Factor in epigenetics which skews things some what .
 

polymath 

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Not according to THe Apiarist, who quoted a study from which some of the results which enabled this graphical presentation to be made. It is contained within the article which has already been linked to three times on this thread. The lighter yellow areas of the graphic represent bees which were present as brood at the end of August and were still present (as bees) on 5th December, being almost undiminished in quantity since 18th October.

Does a "Winter bee" have to be present in Spring to count as such? I suspect that some bees are more wintry than others. ;)View attachment 28874
Nice chart, but note that in Sourthern England the broodless period is Mid December as research by LASI as proven: The full research on broodless periods can be downloaded here in the published work, chapter 8: Towards integrated control of varroa: effect of variation in hygienic behaviour among honey bee colonies on mite population increase and deformed wing virus incidence : Sussex Research Online
 

Little_bees 

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Nice chart, but note that in Sourthern England the broodless period is Mid December as research by LASI as proven: The full research on broodless periods can be downloaded here in the published work, chapter 8: Towards integrated control of varroa: effect of variation in hygienic behaviour among honey bee colonies on mite population increase and deformed wing virus incidence : Sussex Research Online
Neither Beebe nor the OP are in southern England!

Incidentally, in previous years when passing a quick eye for SB when removing Apivar around first week of November, I've noticed some of my colonies had none. (I'm in S E.)
 

Murox 

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Neither Beebe nor the OP are in southern England!

Incidentally, in previous years when passing a quick eye for SB when removing Apivar around first week of November, I've noticed some of my colonies had none. (I'm in S E.)
You make a good point - where I live in west scotland has a very different climate to most others. the south of england covers many counties both coastal and inland. I have had to simply observe my bees up here to work out when their bloodless periods occur, interestingly over the winter months (October - mid February) last winter one hive in particular didn't seem to have an appreciable brood break, just a reduction/slow down.
 

john1 

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for winter treatment, Oxalic Acid trickle is a lot simpler and 'safer' (unless you decide to drink the leftover solution.)
If I use Oxalic Acid trickle, will I get the same effect as vaporiser?
I am confused whether I should go for
or

I left 2 ApiVar strips for 10 weeks in the hive from August to October.
Thanks
 

victor meldrew 

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If I use Oxalic Acid trickle, will I get the same effect as vaporiser?
I am confused whether I should go for
or

I left 2 ApiVar strips for 10 weeks in the hive from August to October.
Thanks
I have just Vaped my hives . 5 mins ( I only have 5 hives) .
I use Bridge cottages Gas Vap .
trickling is intrusive whereas vaping isn’t .
you mention safety, for yourself or the bee?
trickling is known to have an adverse effect on Queen bees .
goggles and an approved mask as insurance and there are no safely issues when vaping !
What ever treatment you use . Follow the instructions and you should be okay !
 

drex 

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Effective wise both are about as good as the other. Vaping has fewer adverse effects on the bees ( as VM above, trickle also harms open brood) and can be repeated if needed. I think trickle is recommended just once a year.
I trickled for my first year but have vaped since
 

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