Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany

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I don?t winter my colonies in the Kraichgau like you do, which is much warmer and dryer than my location.
You have no winter to speak of. We have a little more winter and it?s foggy most of the time.
It differs even in my locations. The ones placed in the backcountry have to winter with a season starting two weeks later than those I have placed directly at the lake.

A cold dry winter is much better for the bees than a humid warmer one. They just cluster and wait, use up not much honey. More mites are dying and desease stops.
A very cold winter might be dangerous though.

when I registered they told me they consider me a "commercial" with 10 hives, which means if I sell honey at the market they check my license.
No problem, I have a license, I sell other home products too, made with fruit from my orchard.

If I remember well the tax starts when you have 25 colonies. Highest number I had so far was 18, two of them I gave to a co-worker and one I had to brush off because it became queenless and got laying workers, I checked when it was too late and did not want to give them broodframes at that time.

Escaped bee swarms almost always lodge in houses, shacks, barns. Then the owner calls the police and they call a beekeeper. You can registrate as a swarm catcher, then they call you.
Some poison the bees because they can?t identify a honeybee. You would not believe how many people don?t know anything about insects except that they feel molested by them.

blackforest beekeeper:
I think the threshold was 30 hives.
but then - up to 60 hives or so - you can opt for "pauschal" taxes (don?t konw the word), so in the end you pay nothing. but you have to be in the Berufsgenossenschaft over 30. no riches there, either.

blackforest beekeeper:
As I also winter bees in the cold and wet blackforest, I guess I can feel with you.
That little bit of winter you get at lake constance is not too bad. the mists are probabyl worse for you than for the bees, as they are in the boxes anyway....
The Kraichgau is a lot dryer than the BF, might be dryer than the Hegau, but compared to the BF, it?s dry.

Is the Foehn of any advantage as the bees will get a chance to go out potty? We don?t have Foehn at my place.

Thanks for the input and information, BFB.

The cleansing flights are not much a problem here. Yes, the foehn is an advantage if it comes to that.
The bees brake cluster often.

What?s dangerous is the time when they start to breed early. A warm January will enforce that and the bee numbers are not sufficient to warm a big broodnest in february or early march, when a cold spell comes.
If there is no foehn, chasing away the fog, the bees stay in the boxes until 8?C to 10?C. They don?t fly when it?s wet. It?s because they are chilled quickly. Sometimes I see one or two tossing out dead bees when it?s 5?C.

I don?t know exactly why the hives of my collegues are so wet but I suspect it?s because of the open floors.
Often the bees are placed in cold foggy pools and the wetness goes up into the hives. Plus there is no ventilation possible on top of the frames, because plastic foil is used.
The floors are open because they want to enforce a broodbrake. In my eyes an open floor is not a good management in my location, it prevents a good hive climate and it helps nothing with mites.
It?s only good while moving boxes.

Every spring I hear losses from nosema ( it?s not nosema, it?s Ruhr what they see, the brown spots, not the yellow ones of nosema mellifera) and high infestation with chalkbrood, which the bees are genetically susceptible to and cold humid weather will start an outbreak.

My bees have not such problems. I never had water dropping on them. I don?t use a foil or a cover. My feeder, filled with wood shavings is my lid, last winter I had an insulation mat on top of the feeder.
I never had chalkbrood, about nosema cerana I don?t know. Nosema mellifera no.

My problems are the mites and isolation from food stores while the bees sit on the broodnests in late winter, never moving.

blackforest beekeeper:
Last winter I had a lot of bees dying late in March, when it got really cold for two weeks. Those colonies were only half the size afterwards. But the underlying problem for those bees was not the sudden cold spell, I am sure, but the fact that in my hobbyist setup with five hives I did the "don`t treat until threshold reached"-thing the year before.
The others, well treatet and with a lot of brood at the time of the cold-spell (warmer Kraichgau!), did quite well.

As You describe, I don`t have problems with moisture, neither. I close the bottom with the drawer, all year long. Only for transport I open up. And I don`t use any plastic foils, either. Wouldn`t know the reason for them, to be honest. Apart from being a nuisance when the wind is blowing.

Some Ruhr or nosema I only had once in the black forest with a hive that was an Tannenhonig only. Died on me eventually.


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