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Author Topic: Winter Solstice and Starve Outs  (Read 2614 times)

Offline iddee

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Winter Solstice and Starve Outs
« on: December 21, 2022, 06:34:51 am »
The bee's spring begins today at 4:48 PM EST today, winter solstice. The queen will begin to ramp up the population shortly. That means the food supply will be attacked by more and more mouths until the flowers bloom. Keep an eye on the weight of your hives and feed when needed. Most hives die of starvation just before first bloom because the beekeepers don't realize how many more bees are eating away at the stores.

Note: the title of this topic has been changed form  "Winter Solstice" to "Winter Solstice and Starve Outs" explanation is located in Reply #13
« Last Edit: December 23, 2022, 02:57:39 pm by Ben Framed »
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Re: Winter Solstice
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2022, 08:13:32 am »
This is a good point iddee, though a colony can be lost for several reasons, loss of resources as you pointed out is another one of those reasons a colony can be lost during the winter months. 

Phillip
Jeremiah 5:21 King James Version 
Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: Winter Solstice
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2022, 09:13:33 pm »
Definitely true, the hive life cycles with the solstice and equinox. But the extent expressed is regional.  Where I am, LoL, brooding is waaaaaaaayy off on my local weather radar. It will be at least 3 months here before they start anything substantive. For now they are in maintenance mode only, brooding smaller than one or two palm sized patches.
Looking out the window, I just realized that my deep freeze food storage chest is 24 degrees Celsius ( 44 deg F warmer ) warmer than it is outside right now. Yes, am saying that my freezer is much warmer than my bbq patio chairs.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2022, 09:41:47 pm by TheHoneyPump »
When the lid goes back on, the bees will spend the next 3 days undoing most of what the beekeeper just did to them.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Winter Solstice
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2022, 09:59:42 pm »
HoneyPump I like the picture in your avatar..

Phillip
Jeremiah 5:21 King James Version 
Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Winter Solstice
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2022, 10:23:42 pm »
If you have a look at your southern neighbours, we are getting our longest day with early morning starts for the girls.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Winter Solstice
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2022, 10:28:31 pm »
Looking out the window, I just realized that my deep freeze food storage chest is 24 degrees Celsius ( 44 deg F warmer ) warmer than it is outside right now. Yes, am saying that my freezer is much warmer than my bbq patio chairs.
I don't know whether to laugh or cry.  :cry: :cheesy:
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: Winter Solstice
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2022, 01:09:28 am »
HoneyPump I like the picture in your avatar..

Phillip
Look up:  Sun Dogs
Only seen when is bitter cold.  Which is daily this time of year. No clouds, bright sun, bright snow, and ice fog ? makes for some spectacular halos.
When the lid goes back on, the bees will spend the next 3 days undoing most of what the beekeeper just did to them.

Offline jimineycricket

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Re: Winter Solstice
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2022, 10:12:41 am »
Hi Honeypump,   Do you unplug your food freezer when it gets this cold?
jimmy

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Re: Winter Solstice
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2022, 08:24:32 pm »
Jimmy,
You don?t have to. It just never runs.
Jim Altmiller
Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Winter Solstice
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2022, 08:40:20 am »
Most refrigerator/freezers can operate in cold weather, some cannot.  Check with manufacturer.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline iddee

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Re: Winter Solstice
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2022, 10:06:25 am »
Anybody here keep bees?
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Online Ben Framed

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Re: Winter Solstice
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2022, 10:42:19 am »
Anybody here keep bees?

Iddee there has been a couple times since I have been moderator that I have ask our members to 'please stay on topic'. The topic:"Something else to consider-becoming the crazy prepper" located in the Coffeehouse. The reason was stated clearly then, 'since it was a Coffeehouse Topic which was benign of political views', I ask our members to please stay on topic in regard to that refreshing topic. The second that I recall, was the topic started in General Beekeeping titled: "All y'all in Florida" which was a serious intended topic in regards to the concerns of the well being of our members in Florida vs the last hurricane.

It is true your topic has drifted as many topic drift during friendly conversation.
If you would like for us to split this topic from where it began straying from your original intention,  we will be happy to do so...

Phillip
Jeremiah 5:21 King James Version 
Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline iddee

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Re: Winter Solstice
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2022, 11:46:25 am »
 I think it may save a few hundred hives between now and first bloom if it were left as intended, which was to warn about more mouths reducing the stores.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Winter Solstice and Starve Outs
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2022, 12:15:41 pm »
I think it may save a few hundred hives between now and first bloom if it were left as intended, which was to warn about more mouths reducing the stores.

Ok we will leave it.

Members as we know the "Winter Solstice" means cold for many. Location dictates the severity of the level of cold thus the degree of chances of starvation for colonies running out of stores. Let's honor iddees good intentions in his first post here, and his request to stay on topic related to his first post, which is to warn of the possibility of starve outs.

Adding: I have also changed the title of this topic form "Winter Solstice" to "Winter Solstice and Starve Outs" to further correspond with what was intended in relation to iddees meaning in his first post... Thanks for your patience...
 
Phillip
« Last Edit: December 23, 2022, 03:53:48 pm by Ben Framed »
Jeremiah 5:21 King James Version 
Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Winter Solstice
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2022, 02:13:31 pm »
I think you'll find even in the far north a queen will often lay a little patch of brood shortly after the solstice.  Then take a break, then raise another little patch of brood, then take a little break then go gangbusters raising brood.  It's not good for the bees, but you should take a look in a hive sometime in January or February...
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Online Ben Framed

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Re: Winter Solstice and Starve Outs
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2022, 05:15:47 pm »
I think you'll find even in the far north a queen will often lay a little patch of brood shortly after the solstice.  Then take a break, then raise another little patch of brood, then take a little break then go gangbusters raising brood.  It's not good for the bees, but you should take a look in a hive sometime in January or February...

Honey Bees are amazing creatures in that they do reproduce even though in small numbers during cold periods of the far North, as you and HoneyPump have described, thus insuring there are at least a few younger bees coming along as 'some' of the older winter bee die off naturally. It takes stores of both honey and pollen to reproduce, and by the way, enforces the concern with the need for plenty stores as iddee has emphasized on this very topic.

Phillip
Jeremiah 5:21 King James Version 
Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline beesnweeds

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Re: Winter Solstice and Starve Outs
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2022, 12:31:56 am »
My colonies may start very small patches of brood now but won't ramp up until mid to late March.  I leave enough feed on in late summer / early fall.  No winter feeding needed.  Rare occasion I will put a 5lb slab of creme fondant on a light nuc in March.
Everyone loves a worker.... until its laying.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Winter Solstice and Starve Outs
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2022, 08:29:23 am »
Even a small patch of brood this time of year costs a lot of stores just to keep it warm.  The cluster temp has to go from about 60F up to 93F to raise any brood.
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Offline beesnweeds

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Re: Winter Solstice and Starve Outs
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2022, 09:21:45 pm »
Even a small patch of brood this time of year costs a lot of stores just to keep it warm. 
Probably if you're keeping Italians.  Over the years my colonies are now all overwintered NWC/Russian mix.  Way more frugal with stores.  Im not saying its the case or even possible, but healthy winter bees seem to adjust colony size and brood according to stores when foraging is done in the fall and increase rapidly just before maple pollen.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2022, 09:46:52 pm by beesnweeds »
Everyone loves a worker.... until its laying.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Winter Solstice and Starve Outs
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2022, 06:49:37 am »
The thing about the more frugal bees is that the same drop in stores happens, but it happens later in the year.  They will build up even more explosively than the Italians but will do it later in the spring.  The risk is still there but later.
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