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Author Topic: Winter Bee House  (Read 7290 times)

Offline Bush_84

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Winter Bee House
« on: October 09, 2014, 06:34:09 PM »
Hello all.  Summer activities are winding down and I now have a little more time to start frequent here more. I moved this summer and the property has a small garden shed I hope to use for housing my hives in winter. I have had a hard time these last two winters with nearly 100% losses.  I hope this shed changes that. I am in the process of insulating.  I have a vent going out that I made out of a dryer vent from an existing hole near the bottom of the shed.  I have not yet made an in vent. My question is about the vent and a fan.  Where do I want to put the in vent and to which vent do I apply a fan?  How often do I run the fan and for how long? 

Fyi I have three hives and this is just a standard sized garden shed. 

Thoughts?
Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.

Offline jayj200

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2014, 07:52:44 PM »
just leave a smallish sized hole not an open door 3 to 4"  for the bees escape not in the direction of the door.
closer to the bottom of the shed

those sheds are not exactly hermetically sealed air moves in and out all the time.

1-heat rises

2- they should get adequate oxygen ok

3- this would release water vapor
« Last Edit: October 10, 2014, 02:33:28 PM by jayj200 »

Offline Bush_84

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2014, 09:35:44 PM »
That sounds like a bad idea for a couple of reasons.  First off if light gets into the shed bees will go out the hole and never get back to their hive.  These things need to be devoid of light.  Second all of what i have read says that ventilation is important and a simple hole doesnt seem like enough to transfer the air inside the shed.
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Offline jvalentour

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2014, 10:03:11 PM »
Why not put your hives in a barn if you have one?  I haven't seen anyone bring it up. Just sheds and hay bales.

Offline GSF

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2014, 10:16:48 PM »
I really can't comment on northern beekeeping. However, I remember reading C.C. Miller's "50 years amonst the bees" he put his hives in the basement during the winter - and he had tons of them.
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Offline jvalentour

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2014, 10:44:38 PM »
Well, looks like I have a book to put on my fall reading list.

Offline Bush_84

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2014, 02:05:48 AM »
I do have a few barns but nothing that I can ensure that will be queit and dark.  I feel confident that I can insulate, seal light out, and ventilate properly before winter. I am just uncertain of the specifics about ventilation.
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Offline derekm

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2014, 05:00:29 AM »
Hello all.  Summer activities are winding down and I now have a little more time to start frequent here more. I moved this summer and the property has a small garden shed I hope to use for housing my hives in winter. I have had a hard time these last two winters with nearly 100% losses.  I hope this shed changes that. I am in the process of insulating.  I have a vent going out that I made out of a dryer vent from an existing hole near the bottom of the shed.  I have not yet made an in vent. My question is about the vent and a fan.  Where do I want to put the in vent and to which vent do I apply a fan?  How often do I run the fan and for how long? 

Fyi I have three hives and this is just a standard sized garden shed. 

Thoughts?

remove the south facing wall and just put the hives inside facing south. An ordinary shed doesnt insulate but it can keep the wind and snow off
If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2014, 06:45:20 AM »
Bush,
Why not place the bees in the building up against a wall and add a short tube to the outside as an entrance to each hive.
 Unless that shed is absolutely sealed air tight, it will naturally get plenty of air. If it was full of hives that would be different.
Jim
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Offline jayj200

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2014, 10:37:23 AM »
That sounds like a bad idea for a couple of reasons.  First off if light gets into the shed bees will go out the hole and never get back to their hive.  These things need to be devoid of light.  Second all of what i have read says that ventilation is important and a simple hole doesnt seem like enough to transfer the air inside the shed.
 

so I stand corrected
Now I am not so sure

your not putting 100 hives in the shed just one or two. Correct?
« Last Edit: October 10, 2014, 02:36:21 PM by jayj200 »

Offline Bush_84

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2014, 12:14:05 PM »
Hello all.  Summer activities are winding down and I now have a little more time to start frequent here more. I moved this summer and the property has a small garden shed I hope to use for housing my hives in winter. I have had a hard time these last two winters with nearly 100% losses.  I hope this shed changes that. I am in the process of insulating.  I have a vent going out that I made out of a dryer vent from an existing hole near the bottom of the shed.  I have not yet made an in vent. My question is about the vent and a fan.  Where do I want to put the in vent and to which vent do I apply a fan?  How often do I run the fan and for how long? 

Fyi I have three hives and this is just a standard sized garden shed. 

Thoughts?

remove the south facing wall and just put the hives inside facing south. An ordinary shed doesnt insulate but it can keep the wind and snow off

I am about 1/3rd done with insulating the shed.  It's maybe 8ftx10ft and won't be much work to finish insulating and hanging some plywood for walls.  The doors actually open to the south and are double doors about 4 ft wide. Maybe the tube thing will work.  I'll have to give it some thought, but time is running short for to much.
Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.

Offline jayj200

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2014, 12:27:21 PM »
Well, looks like I have a book to put on my fall reading list.

I really can't comment on northern beekeeping. However, I remember reading C.C. Miller's "50 years amonst the bees" he put his hives in the basement during the winter - and he had tons of them.

this is on our library shel   fhttp://bees.library.cornell.edu/b/bees/browse.html

Offline jvalentour

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2014, 01:40:25 PM »
Thanks Jay, lots to read,

I don't understand the need for dark.  The feral bees do not need dark.  They do not hibernate.

Why not put them in a barn, if you have one?  I suppose the tube is to allow protection for the barn occupants, but, the bees are only doing cleansing flights, not foraging.  Don't they just return to the hive?

An open shed serves the same purpose as a barn.  It just keeps the wind, rain and snow off the hives.  It's still going to be cold.  If moisture is the worst threat, why not use something already built (barn)?  Cellar or basement for that matter.  If you have a small operation or are just beginning, why not? 

Offline Bush_84

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2014, 03:20:36 PM »
My bees don't get much for cleansing flights in winter. There may be a few days in feb but in general the bees that fly from December through February just seem to die, unless you get a real warm and sunny day. So the dark is meant to keep them calm and in the hive.  In a closed shed unless you have a tube connecting them to the outdoors, you don't want them leaving. If there is a place where bees see light they will go right for it.  This will lead them to the outside where they fly around only to realize that they don't know how to get back in.  If they do remember the spot where they got out, they will never make it back to the hive because it's dark.  So if I am going to winter my bees in a shed it'd have to be dark. 

My main concern isn't wet or snow it's cold and wind.  I still don't care what everybody says cold is bad for bees.  Can they survive in cold?  Yes.  Will they thrive in cold?  No.  There is a reason why winter bees live longer than summer bees.  Summer bees work themselves to death and winter bees just hang out.  Now if you have a bee in winter that is in the perfect temp zone where it is not to warm or to cold they don't stress and don't eat much honey.  If you have a bee that is in constant subzero temps all winter, they will have to work hard to keep the cluster warm and consume considerably more honey than the bees in that perfect temp zone.  I had large clusters last year starve in late winter just because it was so cold that they went through three 8 frame deeps. 

If I can keep my hives from 35-45 they will be much better off in the spring.  There will be significantly less winter die off and less honey consumption. This is how I figure it anyways. I remember somebody once saying that a few colonies will keep a small well insulated building warm enough and I may run into more troubles keeping it cool enough as well as ensuring the building is well ventilated.  I can figure out a way to monitor temp but I am thinking more about the ventilation aspect. 
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Offline Bush_84

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2014, 09:01:29 PM »
Almost done insulating!  I just need to figure out the doors and I'm done with the insulation. One pic has the out vent. My in vent will be over the far back top right. I will have a fan inside a vent along with 90 degree turn. So no light will come from the vents. Things are moving along anyways! 







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Offline jayj200

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2014, 09:53:21 AM »
Looks way overboard to me.
even if i was above the arctic circle. now one has to move each hive every summer and every winter. MORE work.
down here we just tell them go forth and multiply

Offline OldMech

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2014, 11:05:35 AM »
Not at all.. its an excellent idea..
   make a slot in the wall and build a small box/adapter to slide the hives against. The bees will come and go from the entrance, but the hive is inside.
   Yes, you want it COLD to keep them clustered, but not SO COLD that they cannot move to reserves. The insulated shed will slow the temp change. Not such a good thing in spring, but an excellent thing in the fall and winter.  35 degrees in there year round would be perfect, but might be hard to accomplish without heating it or cooling it at different times.
   As far as ventilation.. if you decided to have a nap in there you think you would die of asphyxiation? No? Neither will the bees. When spring arrives open the door and let the warmth in. JUST having those hives inside, away from the howling wind, rain and snow will make a big difference.. they will STILL need foam insulation on the top of the inner cover to prevent moisture condensation, but wrapping etc can be bypassed.  i have found that popping the cover on a hive to check reserves and or add sugar/fondant is MUCH more pleasant in a building. There is no wind to chill the bees when you lift the cover etc..
   bees that do escape into the shed?  As mentioned, they will go to the light.. leave the door slightly cracked they will make good their escape. I installed a slid panel. When inspecting in the warmer seasons, i just slide it open. it is amazing. the bees fly up, circle around, and ZOOM through the opening.
   Given a little time, i will have ALL of my hives in buildings. It makes working the hives more comfortable, I have less winterization needs, and the hive temps remain more constant in HOT weather and COLD weather. best of all, my equipment lasts a LOT longer on the hives within the buildings. In the event of a NASTY winter like we had last year, the hives are not exposed to 50 mph winds when it is -25 degrees.. the inside hives wintered SO MUCH nicer than the wrapped outside hives...
39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.

Offline rober

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2014, 11:35:49 AM »
I've seen several videos on you tube of European & creation beekeepers using set ups like this. some are actually housed in closed trailers.
Imker-TV: Bienenhaus von Marschall Tito - Jugoslavien
in this one there is a wind up spring powered smoker
Germany: Monsanto leaves beekeepers battling for protection
http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/z/beehive-18339385.jpg

Offline Bush_84

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2015, 11:44:48 AM »
A bit of a grave dig but wanted to update. I have dryer vents on opposing sides of shed. One has a fan attached to a timer. It pulls fresh air in for 15 min three times a day. So that will keep air fresh. I bought a plug in with a thermostat built in. It turns on at 35 and turns off at 45.  That's about perfect.  Have a space heater in there. It's sealed up tight. No light. I checked on my bees a few weeks ago. Just popped the top. At this point in the winter my bees would be really taking big chunks out of my mountain camp sugar,but they hadn't touched much. So far no losses. Havent been able to say that in years. So far this is paying off.

I know some of you in the south, such as jay, think it's a waste, but near 100% losses every winter is a waste. So far I can tell you that my bees are light years ahead of previous winters. If I can get each hive through the winter then this will not have been a waste.
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Offline GSF

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2015, 12:00:38 PM »
Bush_84; Down South it might be a waste, but where you're at it's probably a must. I've been reading CC Miller's book "Fifty years amongst the bees". He kept his in a basement during the winter.
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Offline jayj200

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2015, 05:32:35 PM »
That sounds like a bad idea for a couple of reasons.  First off if light gets into the shed bees will go out the hole and never get back to their hive.  These things need to be devoid of light.  Second all of what i have read says that ventilation is important and a simple hole doesnt seem like enough to transfer the air inside the shed.
   




go up into your attic look around the attic isnt devoid of light at all.
every 8 ft there is ventlation. It is called a soffit vent

Offline Bush_84

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2015, 12:27:39 AM »
I am not sure what an attic has to do with a bee shed. Have you ever had a bee get into your house? They go to the first window they see.  If you let light get into the shed the bees will go straight for it. It needs to be vented, but you can't have light. I still get bees on the floor,but so far I haven't found any outside the shed. My fan keeps the air fresh. Remember that you have breathing insects in the shed.  Then the heater keeps it at the perfect temp. It's easy for somebody in Florida to say that winter is no big deal, but come up here and experience a week straight of subzero temps in March. It's a killer.  In March my hives are generally light and lower on population from a long winter.  Then it freezes and you get a small cluster on little honey. Boom 100% loss. Now my hives willie shielded from that and I'm feeling pretty confident right now about my odds.
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Offline buzzbee

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2015, 01:48:17 PM »
A local guy in the bee club built a building and put a lot of bees inside. I think he maintains 40 degrees fahrenheit and keeps them in total darkness. In late winter/early spring he moved them outside. His winter losses were reduced significantly. The hives still moved the dead out but the numbers were fairly small. That was winter 2013/2014. Will have to see if he had similar results this year.  Getting them out of the harsh winds and moderating the temps has to be a plus.

Offline Bush_84

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2015, 10:44:24 AM »
Ya so many people say that cold doesn't kill bees wet does, but I call bull.  We get so many subzero days with -30 to -40 wind chill. That isn't good for bees.  It isn't good for anything to be in that cold. It's not only a physical stress but bees consume more honey. I also believe it leads to greater erosion of bee population/cluster size.  I also think of it this way.  If bees only survive a matter of weeks during the summer because they work so hard, how can the extra work of heating the cluster be good for them?  Heating a cluster is more work at -40 wind chill than it is at 40 degrees. That must make a difference in longevity.

Another thing I notice is when I go in the shed I see a few bees at the upper entrance due to the commotion. This means that the temp in the shed will allow them to move through the hive to redistribute honey. Again I have had my fair share of hives die due to starvation with honey very close.
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Offline DMLinton

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2015, 12:41:37 PM »
I am with you, Bush_84.  I am still a first year beek but I am convinced that honey bees need better Winter protection than we typically give them.  I read a piece recently where the writer pointed out that 40 lbs of honey was considered necessary for over-wintering back when bees where wintered in cellars but 100 lbs is now the typical recommendation.  Bees also freeze in seconds at 32 F, which means that when the point at which the outer shell bees chill too quickly to take their place and then rotate back into the cluster to warm themselves, bees start dieing much more quickly. 

I think we need to contemplate just why it is a that the current recommendation for northern regions (northern USA and Canada) is that one must have two deeps boiling with bees and 100 lbs of honey going into Winter to expect survival.  As a first year beekeeper, I got that advice ad nauseum.

I was also advised that indoor Wintering was a bad idea (I am located halfway along a line drawn from Toronto to Ottawa).  Partly for health reasons and partly because of the cautions against indoor wintering, I put only about half of my hives in an unheated, south facing, second floor back room.  Light is not blocked.  If the bees take a notion to fly on a day that it is above freezing outdoors, I take the window out.  More importantly, even though outdoor temperatures have dropped below -18 F, the bee room never drops below 14 F.  At this moment it is 5 F outdoors and 22 F in the bee room.  Starting next Fall, all of my bees will go into an insulated and climate controlled shelter.  There will be heater set to a mininum of about 25 - 28 F because my bees will fly out AND return at just above 32 F (contrary to a lot of advice I received) and a humidistat controlled exhaust fan.

i will be able to at least take a quick peek into my hives even if it is thirty below with 30 mph winds outdoors simply by turning the thermostat up to about 31-32F.  I will be able to add fondant where necessary at any time.  I will have the option of starting Spring build up regardless of what the climate does (2014 local nucs and queens became available six weeks late if at all).  I have hefty hives taking fondant down to ambient temperatures of about 27-28 F.  A few guards will come out to see who is scratching the hive at temperatures above 30F.

IIRC, it has been reported that a good Winter cluster of bees produces energy approximately eqivalent to a 7 W night light.  Try putting such a light and a thermometer in a winterized hive with normal stores but no bees and see what the thermometer has to say.  Use one of those digital jobs with remote display.

I do not believe that we can winter our bees in a snowbank and then report with clear conscience that our bees starved and that ample stores remained.
Regards, Dennis
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Offline zimzam65

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #25 on: February 01, 2015, 01:30:39 PM »
I can verify that bees are smart enough to be able to get out and back into the hive even in a shed or greenhouse. I had to move and placed the hive inside a trailer at night. I put a small 1/4 in. hole in a vent screen and closed the door. During the day the bees would fly around the trailer but would return inside the hive at night. I had very few losses on my trip even though I was driving. I think the problem with the single bee in a window or greenhouse  :rolleyes:is just that the bee gets frustrated because it cannot find an opening to go back to the hive.

Offline OldMech

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2015, 08:46:39 AM »
I do not believe that we can winter our bees in a snowbank and then report with clear conscience that our bees starved and that ample stores remained.

   Dont buy southern bees and you will have a lot less problem with this. Or better, BUY the southern bees, then put a northern queen in with them, but I agree with you about wintering inside.
39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.

Offline DMLinton

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2015, 10:05:17 AM »
   Dont buy southern bees and you will have a lot less problem with this. Or better, BUY the southern bees, then put a northern queen in with them, but I agree with you about wintering inside.

I make it a point to source all of my bees locally.  Henceforth, I hope to supply all of bees myself. 

For my objectives, it would be ludicrous to source bees from regions of significantly different (warmer) climate.  Overnight low last night was about -5 C (23F) - tonight it is to be -27C (-17F).  "Normal" overnight lows here currently would be about -12C (11 F).  These wildass temperature swings through January/February that are becoming common place are a large part of the reason that I believe the only logical way to winter bees here is in a manner that allows for circumventing and/or mitigating mother nature's ideas on climate.

The chart below shows the outdoor temperature and the temperature in my unheated and uninsulated second floor back room where some bees are spending the winter.  The room below is insulated and heated to keep it above freezing.  There is obviously some leakage from from the first floor to the second floor.  Nevertheless, it demonstrates how much difference just an enclosure makes.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2015, 11:30:30 AM by DMLinton »
Regards, Dennis
First bees installed July 1, 2014.
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Offline OldMech

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2015, 09:31:18 PM »
Well said DM, I agree 100 %
39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.

Offline Bush_84

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2015, 07:45:28 PM »
I would love to not have to buy in bees, but I have not been successful in wintering bees to get there. I want to start intensively creating nucs but need over wintered gives first. I feel fairly confident that this will give me the hives to do this. Make I'll get to a point where I only winter nucs in my shed.
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Offline Bush_84

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2015, 05:29:24 PM »
Ok all have to give an update. Popped in to check on my bees today. Experience tells me that this is about the time that my bees have historically started to run out of honey and really eat away at their mountain camp sugar. So I decided to just pop the top and see how much sugar they had left. I a, happy to report that they still had a significant amount of sugar left. I should have hefted the hives but forgot.  I have never checked weights but I know for certain that they have a lot of sugar left. I also note that there are more bees in these hives than I have ever had in February. This is my fourth winter keeping bees and my bees have never looked better this time of year. I am very pumped!  I am very pleased with my results and can't wait for this summer.

So now I am back to contemplating what to do in spring. Accuweather says that march is supposed to getting into the 40s. If I start getting consistent 40s I may take them out so they can relieve themselves and start flying.
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Offline DMLinton

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #31 on: February 24, 2015, 05:35:05 PM »
Congratulations and thanks for passing along good news.  Having excess food in the hives is an important way of ensuring Winter survival, IMHO. 

I have a few hives that I know have a fair bit of honey in the bottom boxs but the bees seemed to have missed it and went straight up so that they have been against the inner cover for weeks now.  Good thing I put candy on or I would already have several deadouts.
Regards, Dennis
First bees installed July 1, 2014.
The truth is what the truth is.  We can bend, twist or stretch it all we want but, at the end of the day, the truth is still what the truth is.

Offline Bush_84

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #32 on: February 24, 2015, 06:56:37 PM »
Candy boards/mountain camp are no brainers.  Very easy insurance policy. Even in my temperature controlled environment its a good fail safe, assuming they don't blow through that as well.
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Offline Bush_84

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #33 on: October 25, 2016, 10:31:16 PM »
Sorry for the grave dig, but I think a long term update is in order. So the winter of 2014/15 went extremely well. Three hives in and three hives out.  The summer went along just fine, but then yellow jackets took them all out in late August.  So the winter of 2015/16 had an empty bee house.  I bought new bees this spring and have another three hives that I am about to put in the bee house.  After how well the 2014/15 winter went I'm feeling confident that this winter will go well.  Unless I am discouraged from doing so I may keep popping back in on occasion updating this thread.  Some may find it useful. 
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Offline GSF

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #34 on: October 26, 2016, 08:08:02 AM »
keep us posted
When the law no longer protects you from the corrupt, but protects the corrupt from you - then you know your nation is doomed.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #35 on: October 26, 2016, 11:26:18 AM »
Bush,
I saw your name as the originator and immediately knew it was an old thread. I was surprised that it was you adding to the pots. Glad to hear it worked out for you but sorry about the hornets. Keep us posted
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline Bush_84

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #36 on: February 13, 2017, 07:04:40 PM »
It's February and my hives are doing well. I have opened the doors twice to give them a cleansing flight. They should be good until I move them out. Two ate through ~1/2 of their mountain camp sugar and were clustered across all 8 frames. The third hadn't broken through the sugar so I can't say how much is left or how big the cluster is, but I'll take that as a good sign. There were bees in the hive so that's all that counts. At this stage of the game I think they should make it through as long as their stores hold, but they seem to be doing well in that regard.
Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.

Offline Bush_84

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #37 on: March 19, 2017, 07:52:38 PM »
Today hives came out of their winter dwellings. Mostly good news with a smidge of bad news. All of my hives made it through!  One is huge and the other two seem to be doing just fine. The big one already has a few drones. I made a separate topic on that. The strongest hive still has about a quarter of their mountain camp sugar left. One has about half. The third They never broke through. Anyways the bad news is that mice got into two of my hives. I hate mice. I need to find a different mouse guard. So I lost some comb.

 But all in all I am pretty pumped. I have now used this setup for two winters. Each winter I have put three hives in and have taken three hives out. Now that I am able to reliably winter bees with a high success rate it is time to ramp things up. This year I plan on queen rearing and splits.
Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.

Offline Blacksheep

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #38 on: March 26, 2017, 09:09:18 PM »
That is Slovenian style bee keeping!Which is what I am int the process of doing!I am using the AZ style hive I have modified to the same size as the langs frames.I have 3 hives complete with frames in them but have to use the building I plan on for the bees as a shop since I don't have one and working out in the drive way is a pain!

Offline Bush_84

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #39 on: March 27, 2017, 04:05:21 AM »
I've never heard of that before. However is it really necessary in your climate?  Would seem to me that down south you wouldn't need to keep them warm. The goal is for me to keep them 35-45 f in the winter, although they honestly probably stay on the low end of that range. Now that it's warming up a bit they are back on their stand until November/December.
Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.

Online Jim 134

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #40 on: March 27, 2017, 07:20:07 AM »
If you would like to know a little bit more about AZ hives.. these hives been around for about a hundred and forty years.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1608057116103205/

  Is hive designed to stay inside all year round on a bee house . Remember one thing this is a different way to keep honey bees as compared to langstroth.

http://www.slovenianbeekeeping.com/

            BEE HAPPY Jim 134  :smile:
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Offline Eric Bosworth

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #41 on: April 12, 2017, 01:37:59 PM »
This winter I tried something a little different. My neighbor had a small greenhouse that he gave me. Where he had it, it was two windy. I have it somewhat protected from the wind. I put 4 nucs in my greenhouse and had 2 hives outside. We had a day or two over the winter where the temps were well below 0F. We also had some pretty wild swings of temperature. I know that screws me up I can't imagine the bees like it either. I lost every hive that was outside. I had two nucs survive in the greenhouse. Every colony I lost had lots of honey stores. I did not have an issue with starving. This to me suggests that I need to protect them from the extreme weather. I am also trying to figure out how to address the left over honey. It is crystallized enough that harvesting it won't be easy unless I just crush it and warm it to crystallize it and strain it. I think a better approach might be to use it to make summer nucs to over winter next year. The problem with that is keeping the wax moths out until then. I don't have freezer space to put it.
All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns; that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party. ---Mao Tse Tung

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Offline Bush_84

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #42 on: April 13, 2017, 06:37:54 PM »
One thing about greenhouses is light. From what I have read bee sheds should be dark. Now this might be one of those better than nothing situations, but glass has always been confusing to bees. Could lead to loss of bees on cleansing flights.
Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.

Offline BeePastor

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #43 on: April 21, 2017, 02:28:00 PM »
So here is a late question.  How much benefit, or detriment, would I see by housing my hives in my barn? I am in central Alabama.  Summers stay in the 90s and winters seldom get below 20 for long.  It seems like I could benefit by keeping the hives a bit cooler by keeping them in the barn.

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Offline Bush_84

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #44 on: April 21, 2017, 03:12:09 PM »
Your climate is completely foreign to me. So I'm not sure I'm the right guy to answer your question, but I don't think I'd bother if I were you. Seems like a lot of work/risk and little payout.
Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.

Offline BeePastor

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #45 on: April 21, 2017, 04:19:18 PM »
The only advantage I could see in the long run would be equipment protection and a few degrees cooler at mid day.  I have a hay barn that I could forfeit an area of, but as you noted, probably little reward for the trouble.

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Offline Captain776

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #46 on: April 22, 2017, 02:57:43 AM »
A bit of a grave dig but wanted to update. I have dryer vents on opposing sides of shed. One has a fan attached to a timer. It pulls fresh air in for 15 min three times a day. So that will keep air fresh. I bought a plug in with a thermostat built in. It turns on at 35 and turns off at 45.  That's about perfect.  Have a space heater in there. It's sealed up tight. No light. I checked on my bees a few weeks ago. Just popped the top. At this point in the winter my bees would be really taking big chunks out of my mountain camp sugar,but they hadn't touched much. So far no losses. Havent been able to say that in years. So far this is paying off.

I know some of you in the south, such as jay, think it's a waste, but near 100% losses every winter is a waste. So far I can tell you that my bees are light years ahead of previous winters. If I can get each hive through the winter then this will not have been a waste.

Sort of a Winter Bee Resort.......I like it, the bees must love it.
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Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
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Offline paus

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #47 on: April 22, 2017, 10:01:11 AM »
Small hive beetles love dark and do not like light, seems like I have read that about mankind.

Offline GSF

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Re: Winter Bee House
« Reply #48 on: May 09, 2017, 08:38:06 PM »
Beepaster - don't do it. I've had mine in the direct sunlight for a few years now. The number of small hive beetles increases the closer I get to the area that gets the shade first. In my opinion bees do better out in the sun, it's us that suffers :)
When the law no longer protects you from the corrupt, but protects the corrupt from you - then you know your nation is doomed.