Survivors?

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Locust & Honey
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Survivors?

Post by Locust & Honey »

Now that the extreme cold spell has let up for a day, how did everyone's hives fare? All of ours made it and they are eating like crazy today. The most we saw was several dead bees at the entrance , most were drones, and couldn't be happier. Interested to hear how everyone else fared.
Jacobs
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Re: Survivors?

Post by Jacobs »

Bee poop all over my windbreaker! Looks like all of the hives at the house made it through this spell--some stronger than others.
ski
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Re: Survivors?

Post by ski »

9 out of 10 are doing well so far.
One of what I thought was a stronger hive is gone.
Just some thoughts.
Wally
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Re: Survivors?

Post by Wally »

When it hits the sixties, I'll check and report.
p51d
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Re: Survivors?

Post by p51d »

Four of five for me. I, like Ski, seem to have lost one of my stronger boxes. Very active today.
Becky Hampton
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Re: Survivors?

Post by Becky Hampton »

I lost one of my 3. The one I lost was my weak hive that I've been fearful weren't going to make it. I couldn't get them to take sugar syrup in the fall, they wouldn't take dry sugar in the winter, and wouldn't touch pollen patties either. The only thing they'd eat was when I poured pure honey on top of their frames on the occasional "warm" days I could get in. I discovered on Feb. 8 when it was 72 degrees that there was no queen, so it was a matter of time. They had a serious mite problem in the fall that I treated for but it really took the numbers down.
I had lots of activity going in and out of my other 2 hives yesterday but none from the weak hive. So when I peeked inside, there was no activity, just a cluster of still bees huddled together with lots of heads stuck in cells and bee butts sticking out of cells. Everybody was dead. They didn't starve from lack of me trying, though.
My lesson: I think I should have combined them with one of my strong hives back in the fall, maybe even when I discovered them queenless on Feb. 8, to give them any shot of making it through the winter.
Lesson learned.
Bsummitkeeper
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Re: Survivors?

Post by Bsummitkeeper »

I was worried sick all week about mine but all six made it. I made 1:1 sugar water on Saturday and at about 11am Sunday morning I stuck a half gallon boardman feeder on all of them. Before doing so I tapped on each hive and got a response, a much weaker roar than I'm used to, but it was there.

This morning all feeders were empty so I removed them for cleaning and I'm going to try and hit them with some more Wednesday around noon if the forecast holds.
Locust & Honey
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Re: Survivors?

Post by Locust & Honey »

Overall it sounds like most fared pretty well!!! I did see that a couple of "strong" hives didnt make it.....any clue as to what the culprit may have been?
ski
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Re: Survivors?

Post by ski »

I did not pull frames or boxes on any hives. I went by activity at the entrance a knock on the side with an ear against the hive listening for a BUZZZZZ and a quick look under the telescoping cover to check on the mountain camp sugar.
A lot of cold nights ahead so not in a hurry to tear the hive apart.
Just some thoughts.
pholcomb
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Location: Greensboro

Re: Survivors?

Post by pholcomb »

My one remaining hive of Wayne's Bees survived. But at least another week of cold weather ahead.

Paul
Locust & Honey
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Re: Survivors?

Post by Locust & Honey »

Make sure to keep the entrances clear of all this snow!!!
Wally
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Re: Survivors?

Post by Wally »

To each his own when it comes to keeping bees, but I never clear the snow from an entrance. It will keep the wind out and insulate the hive. No air less than 32 degrees will get to snow covered areas. Also, the bees will melt an exit before it gets to 43 F., where the bees start to go out.
Locust & Honey
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Re: Survivors?

Post by Locust & Honey »

Agreed.....but I would think that a blocked entrance would generate excess condensation. I though that would be bad with the cold temps. Hmmm....
Wally
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Re: Survivors?

Post by Wally »

If it stays below freezing for 30 to 60 days, possibly so. No more than a few days, I don't think they generate that much water vapor. Even if fully covered with snow, they will make an exit. Hard ice may be different.
donwal
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Re: Survivors?

Post by donwal »

As of last weekend, I have lost three out of five hives this year. The two remaining hives seem to be doing good. The only other problem I'm having are all of the birds making a meal off of the bees when they are flying out of the hive. I'm going to put out some bird feeders to see if that will help.
ski
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Re: Survivors?

Post by ski »

Bird feeders may help, plastic owls may also deter birds. Harbor Freight sells plastic owls for $15.
Just some thoughts.
donwal
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Re: Survivors?

Post by donwal »

Thanks, I had seen someone else using owls on top of their hives. I'll give that a try.
highpointless
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Re: Survivors?

Post by highpointless »

So far out of 4 hive I had one abscond and the other 3 are alive. One may be on the edge because they are low on food. I'm feeding them but the weather is making that challenging.
Wally
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Re: Survivors?

Post by Wally »

I hope you are feeding them dry food. Water is not a good idea at this time.
ski
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Re: Survivors?

Post by ski »

L&H
I investigated the one hive that I have lost so far and it appears that it was a small cluster maybe about the size of a softball on a small patch of brood. They starved near the patch of brood. There were 2 supers of stores above them, frames of stores beside them and some below them.
They had a high mite count last fall and were treated with a half dose of MAQS. Perhaps they should have received a full dose.

Image
Just some thoughts.
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