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The worst winter is not a moment to nurse bees

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Finman 

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It is really really wrong to begin to nurse bees in the middle of winter.
I do not know more stupid way to "love" bees.

I wonder The British system. Winter is very short.

You start to load hives with emergency food before Christmas.

If cold weather comes, it does not mean that suddenly the food is finish in the hive.

The biggest consumption of winter food happens in early spring when bees start to rear brood.

If the hive has stores, they need not any more food. It is a big disturbance to bees' wintering.

1) Learn to give enough food in autumn and let them sleep winter in peace.

2) IF ivy or something keep brooding on, give to the give extra box, which they fill with syrup during good weathers in Autumn and then give that capped food to the hive later.

3) When frost is -10C, it is not time to feed the hive. If you feel that the food is finish, open the hive and look if they have capped combs in upper part of frames. If you not see, then start the emercency feeding.

4) Don't keep all the time state of emergency in you bee hives


I live 100 miles off from my hives and they are all alive when I look them next in March.

As a young beekeeper I made desperate actions to bees. I cannot even tell to you and hives died. - Some one gove me and advice!


.
 
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MJBee 

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I agree Finman.

Pre varroa I fed my colonies well in autumn and did not touch them again until the weather was good enough in spring for a full inspection and "spring clean".

Then varroa found me and I lost 75% because I didn't know it was there and didn't treat. Since then they all get a midwinter OA and fondant at the same time. I monitor the hive weight but do not disturb again unless the weight tells me that they are seriously short of stores.

Newbees with one or two colonies should take note that more colonies are killed by beeks "trying to help them". Leave them alone:):):)

Mike
 

tonybloke 

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I agree Finman..

Newbees with one or two colonies should take note that more colonies are killed by beeks "trying to help them". Leave them alone:):):)

Mike
that's the same type of advice I got from my mentor!! leave well alone!!:toetap05:
 

Finman 

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Wether near zero celsius is dangerous to bees if you go to awake bees.

They rise they temperature and if they have boo in their abdomen, they may start cleansing fligt. Thousands of bees may die in this happening. And it is real. They fly up and only part can return into the entrance.

When snow is on the ground, solid sugar makes bees thirsty and they try to come out too. This one way you harm their life in the middle of winter.
 

Heather 

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The biggest problem at this time of the year is 'The Fiddling bee keeper' :ack2: Finman is right. Leave the bees be- go read books,take up art - anything but look in a hive!!! When the bees start to emerge- then check for food requirements
 

Heather 

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Which have you chosen, Finman? I have a good book - done the rest already
 

Hivemaker. 

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And of course removing the roof and crown board in the middle of winter in freezing weather to pour oxalic acid over the bee's does not disturb them?
 

Finman 

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And of course removing the roof and crown board in the middle of winter in freezing weather to pour oxalic acid over the bee's does not disturb them?
Of course it do, even if you pour nothing without oxalic acid.

But what panic is to put fondant on frames when temp goes under -10C.

OK Just go every day to hives and take care that they are alive. Knock the hives and they answer ....bzbzbzbzbz, - as long as they are alive.

Shake the hive if they do not answer.
 

Somerford 

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Hivemaker - I think this is what he's getting at - but we have no choice on that matter do we ?!

If we really wanted to look inside the hive over winter then perhaps a modification to have small cameras down each frame seam and a backlight to check once a week - a bit like those nest box cameras you see everywhere !

regards

S
 

Finman 

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Beekeepers in Alaska have better system. They kill bees in Autumn and bye new packages in Spring.

Problem is that packages have not time to become productive colonies.

.
 

Finman 

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If we really wanted to look inside the hive over winter then perhaps a modification to have small cameras down each frame seam and a backlight to check once a week - a bit like those nest box cameras you see everywhere !

regards

S
If we really want, then we look. It is better mate than burn! Who was that who said so...

( in Finnish language marry and mate is same word: parempi naida kuin palaa)
 
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Hivemaker. 

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So do they just buy them as pets for summer in Alaska,if not productive.
 

Somerford 

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The idea that Alaskan beekeepers have a 'better' system is, in my view, subject to what side of the fence you sit on.

The system relies on package bees and this system is known to stress the colonies. I can't think of a worst waste of bees but I understand that they see it as a waste of money to feed them and try and maintain a colony over a harsh winter (presumably it is also not financialy viable to move the colonies further south either?)

I know it happens but I wouldn't want to keep bees this way !!
 

Finman 

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I think that many has serious attemp to keep them alive, but if you get stock from Florida , bees have no ability to survive in those altitudes. They have either insulated hives.

here is one example

"Most beekeepers do not even keep their bees year round up here. Reflectix is an excellent wrap that is reusable and economical. I do believe that wrapping hives in extreme cold temperatures are beneficial but it also enables unfit genetics and right now I am breeding for cold hardiness. To much insulation can be detrimental. Right now I only insulate the inner cover to control condensation over the cluster. Reflectix has given me around 80% survival rates. I am hoping by developing genetics that I will get a better rate of survival when wrapping. Wrapping hives is not all there is to survival, genetics also plays a big part"
"

 
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SixFooter 

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Wont that spoil the excitement in spring? Did they survive, didnt they survive? Are there enough of them? Is there a Queen? Is she OK and laying?

I've decided to not do anything with the bees until Spring and that includes not worrying about them! -"God give me the strength to change the things I can and to accept things I can't"
:)
 

Finman 

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-"God give me the strength to change the things I can and to accept things I can't"
:)
It goes this way: " God give me to accept the things I can not do nothing, and gime the strength to change those people who have different opinion than I have."
 

Finman 

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Finman a video for you from the homeland:

]
It seems to be from Finland. I have never seen that kind of system and never that kind of rain cover.

He takes first off the feeding box and put the hive in winter condition.
 

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