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beeboybee 

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I have two hives
1st hive on standard brood i felt was a bit light even after feeding syrup going into winter, today i checked the hives this afternoon this hive was buzzing inside, and when i looked through the crown board ( i have a small piece of perspex covering one of the porter bee escapes) i could see lots of movement. so i am pretty happy with this hive and will give some fondant next weekend to top up.

2nd hive is another story.....14 x 12 brood. was really really heavy of stores going into winter. today i could not hear any sounds from inside i checked through my small perspex panel in the crownboard i could not see any bee's.... after stressing for 15mins i decided to to open the crown board and take a quick peek..... i saw some sluggish bees but did not keep the crown board open for more than 6 seconds! so it was hard to tell if there where lots of hardly any bee's

on both hives there where a few dead on the OMF but not a massive pile

my question is apart from worrying and adding fondant can i do anything o help my bee's through the winter......:confused::confused::confused:
 

oliver90owner 

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can i do anything o help my bee's through the winter.

Yep. Stop removing that crownboard!

Regards, RAB
 

Poly Hive 

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I may have this wrong but you looked at one and think it is light on stores so you intend feeding NEXT weekend?

Personally I would be feeding tomorrow.

If #2 is quiet are the bees further down? Give it a damn good rap with your fist and you will soon know if you have a dead un!

PH
 

beeboybee 

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Hi poly hive.
i am definitely suffering from first year worries and problems at the moment!

Hive 1. will be getting something early on Tuesday which is the first chance i will get due to work.

Hive 2. i will give it a knock and see if i can hear anything on Tuesday ( i did not have my suit with me today so i was not going to chance it) i am also thinking of taking a mirror to see if i can see through the OMF.

if i wanted to get some fondant on the hives ASAP is there any off the shelf stuff i could use? i do have some sugar ready to make up but its my first time i would rather not get it wrong in this situation.

i was not really expecting to need to put fondant on Hive 2 this year as it was a 14 x 12 and almost too heavy to lift!

bee-smillie
 

Poly Hive 

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Well have you done the most obvious thing and felt the weight of the hive, called "hefting" the hive?

If your #2 is that size and well fed, I will bet you they are alive and well, albeit snuggled down in the middle out of sight. Being sensible bees they are snug and wintering well.

PH
 

simon kerr 

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Fondant will take you 15-20mins to make, quite quick to do. I have made up a monster batch, set in small takeaway clear plastic tubs, as and when they need it I pop a tub onto one of the escapes on the crown board. No need to remove the crown board and because the tubs are clear I can see whats going on and how much is being taken.
 

Finno 

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Did you heft the hive? If it is an adequate weight then stop meddling with your bees in the winter. One can find widely varying levels of activity in wintertime, even though ambient temperatures might indicate that they should be flying. Of eight hives in an apiary today, standing in warm sunshine and a thaw on (west of Ireland), I could only see one colony taking cleansing flights. Nothing to be seen from the others but on listening at the crown board, there was a satisfying rustle somewhere in the depths of the each brood box.
 

admin 

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Best way to check for life in a hive if its cold outside is to look for a nice wet ring above the cluster on a metal roof.

The rising heat causes condensation to form.
 

MuswellMetro 

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put your varroa board in for two days and see what debris is dropping, should be cappings and a bit of sugar crystals
 
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I may have this wrong but you looked at one and think it is light on stores so you intend feeding NEXT weekend?

Personally I would be feeding tomorrow.

If #2 is quiet are the bees further down? Give it a damn good rap with your fist and you will soon know if you have a dead un!

PH
:hurray:
My bees do not much like RAP..... humming along to Christmas carols this afternoon
What kind of sound system has your apiary got?

:cheers2:
 
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i saw some sluggish bees but did not keep the crown board open for more than 6 seconds! so it was hard to tell if there where lots of hardly any bee's
Thats because the bees are at then bottom of the hive in the brood area.
They dont plod about all over the stores.....
They dont cluster on the stores. They come up from the centre of the cluster, feed and then go back down and rejoin the cluster on the outer lower edges.... and the process continues....... with them slowly moving back to the centre of the cluster till they go and feed again...
 

jezd 

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:hurray:
My bees do not much like RAP..... humming along to Christmas carols this afternoon
What kind of sound system has your apiary got?

:cheers2:
depends on size and how well they are clustered, if they are really tight then they may not make much if any noise
 

bobandbec 

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Unless they are light and need fondant leave them to it. You can't do anything else at this time of the year.

Peter
 

kazmcc 

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I thought it was a good sign they weren't as active at this time, it meant they wouldn't be guzzling the stores for energy. Am I way off? I watch the beecam admin recommended, and, although I know it is an obs hive and indoors, they are still very slow moving.

If I go knocking on the hive, won't that encourage them to move about more and therefore have to eat more? Idk. I would love to know they are still alivce in there, but I'm not prepared to risk anything happening to them.
 

rae 

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A knock on the side of the hive should deliver a loud "zzzzz" noise. You don't need a suit as when they are clustered, there is no way they are coming out to see what hit the hive. Most of mine were flying in the sun yesterday!
 

Erichalfbee 

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If I go knocking on the hive, won't that encourage them to move about more and therefore have to eat more? Idk. I would love to know they are still alivce in there
Stethoscope?
 

louiseww 

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Very easy to make your own, I put my first attempt on here a week or so ago.
But here it is again
2lb of sugar and about 7ozes of boiling water. Mix and bring to simmer for a few minutes (the sugar only needs to be melted in the water) not boiled to reduce.
Put the pot into sink full of cold water and keep stiring, you will see that it starts to thicken up, keep stiring. Once it is in a lump you can knead it a bit - used icing sugar to flour your board. Then give it to them asap.
If I am worried that my bees are very quiet, I simply put my hand under the wire floor and scratch lightly, there will soon be a bit of buzzing if all is okay.
We beginners are constant worriers so you are not alone!
Louise
 

victor meldrew 

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A knock on the side of the hive should deliver a loud "zzzzz" noise. You don't need a suit as when they are clustered, there is no way they are coming out to see what hit the hive. Most of mine were flying in the sun yesterday!
Don't be tempted to knock on the hive!
If hive is alive you have disturbed it , if hive is dead there's not a lot you can do about it !
Let sleeping bees lie :D

John Wilkinson
 

Poly Hive 

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Just for some reassurance: I walked up to my bees this morning, the thermometer here says -10 and in the car it was saying -6

I rapped on one colony I know is powerful and there is no reason at all that they should be dead but there was not a murmur from them. I suspect they are clustered very tightly indeed.

Some of the nucs were visibly working the fondant, but the big colonies were showing no sign of life at all.

Time will tell but I am not worrying.

PH
 

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