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Author Topic: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany  (Read 1531 times)

Offline SiWolKe

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Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« on: January 03, 2019, 06:51:14 am »
I decided to open this thread to talk about our local circumstances.

Hope you are interested and entertained.
 :smile:

Since I was a child climate changed to fewer snowfalls in winter and to cold spells in spring. We have more storms and thunderstorms and floods.
Temperatures are higher than before, in winter the average temperature is 0?C-5?C with some cold spells. The coldest spells are often in late february, this means snow or frost and  -10-15?C for two weeks. Summers are getting more hot, highest temp 2018 was 38?C for many days.

In may 2017 we had a cold spell which damaged all fruit tree blossoms and grape plants, so the farmers had not much of a harvest.
This year we had a great harvest.

We long to have some snow at christmas but it?s rare. We also long to see the sun, but it?s mostly grey, low and high fog for days. That?s because I live at the lake of constance and a small lake besides.
Much humidity.

Right now beekeepers have their first losses. We had much late fall flow which the bees used after feeding was completed, but the honey stores contain water or are not capped, so the hives are very wet inside as I heard.
I have one hive which is wet, some condensation water dripping down the sides and on the boards. Probably they still breed.

I use climate lids for the first time this winter and I wonder if it?s a good or bad idea. It?s always frightening to try something new. I use insulation on ten of my 15 hives first time too and will see if it?s an advantage or if they all starve because they are more active. I plan to do food checks earlier in spring because of this. I did it in march the last years, but they never starved without insulation.

Plus the bees bred until very late last fall which was bad for the mite situation ( I?m not speaking describing my situation, but of all, I?m the only tf around).
Some say there was a broodbrake in august, which might be because we had a drought. But later the bees bred again. My beed made not much of a broodbrake, they had enough stores and pollen was available.
So last week when it got a little frosty they all ran to drip oxalic, hoping for a broodbrake again.
I can?t do this, I?m tf, so I have to pray instead.  :wink:

It may be that I have high losses which have nothing to do with varroa mites. A woodpecker damaged my hives and maybe it et too many bees or disturbed the clusters too much.
We now repaired the damage and placed wire mesh around the hives.

So maybe some susceptibles survive barely and my more resistant are deadouts. 



Offline Acebird

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2019, 10:15:02 am »
It is good that you take notation for the variation of your weather from year to year.  If your loses are because of the weather/climate you can't manipulate it.  But if you can make a correlation between the weather and dead outs you can prepare by increasing your hive numbers to make up for the losses.  I know it is bad to say but it is better then praying.
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Offline SiWolKe

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2019, 03:02:19 pm »
Well, I like to pray and leave the outcome to the powers, mother earth in my case, god is creation and be have to submit. Whatever you want to pray to.

I can?t increase much, Ace, because I have to pay tax if I do, I?m considered a commercial then.
And I don?t want my beeyards to be crowded. I see that few hives are healthier, best is one hive at one place.

I believe I can manipulate and make my hive configuration to be more natural. I think this may buffer climate changes or weather caprioles a little bit.

It would be nice to learn from ferals. The ones i observe nest in old double made stone walls, very cold but very dry, entrance to the north and very small entrance. A lot of space, 5m high, diameter 2m.
We have no hollow trees for the bees to use.

But as a beekeeper I?m not able to make masonry and work such hives.  :wink:

Offline Acebird

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2019, 03:33:03 pm »
Curses, no trees?  That in itself is hard times for the bees.  It would seem like people would have unusual trouble with swarms entering their houses.
edit:
Curiosity ... when do they do the hive counts to classify you as commercial?
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Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2019, 03:41:15 pm »
I don`t think our weather/climate kills colonies. That maybe in rougher places, like THP keeps bees in.

Offline SiWolKe

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2019, 01:33:27 am »
BFB
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.


Brian
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.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2019, 01:58:29 am by SiWolKe »

Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2019, 02:48:38 am »
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.

Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2019, 03:05:29 am »
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.

Offline SiWolKe

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2019, 03:49:07 am »
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.



Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2019, 05:50:07 am »
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.

Offline SiWolKe

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2019, 06:25:24 am »
Yes,
The smaller clusters in a tf setting have more difficulties, for sure they are surrounded by treated colonies and drifting or silent robbing occurs.

Reinvasion is the biggest problem in a resistant bees breeding enterprise.
Therefore I use robber screens on every hive, but I can?t tell my bees not to rob mite infested neighbor hives before those are treated in august.

I don?t want to combine though it has an advantage concerning the survivability.  I?m not able to evaluate a colony then, in spring. They have to survive or not.

Plus, I?m splitting once every season. These colonies are established in summer, but they are no production hives, expanded to be huge.

>>>>in my hobbyist setup with five hives I did the "don`t treat until threshold reached"-thing the year before.<<<<
This confirmes my opinion that in our country most constantly treated bee colonies never have a chance to be without treatments except after some years of propagating stronger stock.
I wonder what your threshold is?



Offline Acebird

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2019, 09:47:37 am »
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.
You think that is any different anywhere?  Very common.

Quote
Often the bees are placed in cold foggy pools and the wetness goes up into the hives.
Beekeeper mistake ... in a foggy climate the hives should be placed near the top of a hill not the bottom of a valley.  In a desert place your hives at the bottom of a valley.

Quote
I don?t want to combine though it has an advantage concerning the survivability.
Why fight it if it works?
Brian Cardinal
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Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2019, 10:50:32 am »
Yes,
The smaller clusters in a tf setting have more difficulties, for sure they are surrounded by treated colonies and drifting or silent robbing occurs.

Reinvasion is the biggest problem in a resistant bees breeding enterprise.
Therefore I use robber screens on every hive, but I can?t tell my bees not to rob mite infested neighbor hives before those are treated in august.

I don?t want to combine though it has an advantage concerning the survivability.  I?m not able to evaluate a colony then, in spring. They have to survive or not.

Plus, I?m splitting once every season. These colonies are established in summer, but they are no production hives, expanded to be huge.

>>>>in my hobbyist setup with five hives I did the "don`t treat until threshold reached"-thing the year before.<<<<
This confirmes my opinion that in our country most constantly treated bee colonies never have a chance to be without treatments except after some years of propagating stronger stock.
I wonder what your threshold is?

I use about the numbers halved of Liebig. But in this case I was a bit more daring. Usually I treat when half of the threshold is reached.

Offline SiWolKe

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2019, 11:58:22 am »
BFB how do you count?
I?m ignorant of the numbers Liebig gives. What are they?

Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2019, 03:33:04 pm »
uff. beat me...

I "count" mites on the drawer underneath the mesh. It`s a bit of an oracle, but for I do - further down - it suffices.

I think it was like 10 in summer - per day.
for autumn it should be 5,
and for winter 1.

If I get single ones around 10 in  summer, I remove all brood from them. Treat that of course (formic)
If more get above around 5, I treat em all and take em out of the flow (forest).
In autumn (I`d say end of September/beginning of October) I treat them all usually. If weather is fair and dry, with formic, else with OAV.
In winter I treat them all. OAV or dribbling OA.
Nucs he takes half the numbers.

So really 5/day in summer is my threshold to stop making honey. All other thresholds I ignore pretty much and treat. This is for full-grown hives.

About the incident I talked about I wanted to try OAV on breeding hives. I got the gadget a bit late it was October, bees untreated till then. Threshold was still allright, although maybe colonies were a bit too small. I milked the mites out successfully with OAV, but winterbees were damaged already, which showed in the cold-spell end of March.

Offline SiWolKe

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2019, 04:00:49 pm »
Wow.
My threshold is 30 dropping a day in summer but they can take more. So far. Let?s hope they do again. I treated the one dropping 56 average counted 10 days in a row, because I saw crawlers.
But I watch for defect wings when it?s over 30 a day.
The count numbers differ much in my yards, depending on the genetics of each colony. Drop stays the same for months, I started counting in june. But with the treated one it rose.
I think I have some zombies there  :wink:

When I was in bee class the threshold was 15 a day to take immediate action with formic. At 5 no problem, at 10 watch out.
That was 2014.

Offline SiWolKe

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2019, 04:25:07 pm »
Zombees, I mean.
Here the monitoring tablet from august, you will know which one I treated.
Mite drop is of one day, counted ten days and taken the average.

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Offline SiWolKe

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2019, 02:07:34 am »
Our winter is just beginning, typical of the last few years.
Light frost and snowfall at the moment.

The flutter tapes are a measure against the woodpecker that has damaged 5 of my boxes, the holes go through and I mended them with old work gloves, it is an outyard and I had nothing else ready.
The tapes did not work, the woodpecker came back and we had to wrap all the boxes with wire mesh.

I wrapped plant protection fleece around the boxes this winter to keep out the wind and insulate a little bit.

For now they are all alive. This never happened the last winters, my first deadouts were in december. But this does not mean anything since the hardest time now comes.

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Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2019, 02:31:08 am »
I got stuck last night in the snow with my off-roader. not very high up.... we got a lot more snow here, just a couple hours drive away.

Offline SiWolKe

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2019, 02:43:26 am »
Yes, I saw that there are 3m of snow in Austria. People dying in avalanche or branches falling on their heads.

Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2019, 03:04:05 am »
well, about a foot where I got stuck. 20 cms at our place. higher up its more of course.

Offline SiWolKe

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2019, 03:49:13 am »
What kind of car do you have? I drive a Suzuki Jimny, very good offroad car and good job pulling our trailer. But little.

Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2019, 04:32:51 am »
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_Rover_Series

Series III, 88 inches

the bottom was scratching in the snow already and it doesn`t do curves very well, thats where I got stuck.

I will pull your Jimny away while you are trying to go the other way....  :tongue:

Offline SiWolKe

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2019, 04:43:07 am »
Landrover, pretty cool!
 :cool:  :grin:

I got stuck once with my SJ, it was 60cm of snow and ice underneath, I drifted into a fence.
Put the foot mat under the tire and got away. The SJ is not so heavy which makes him good offroad.

Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2019, 05:07:18 am »
You said Jimny. An SJ is a different gadget, right`? Had one - without a license.

I guess my landy is - heavy - and when making a turn it wants to go straigth. no electronics and a pretty rough forward-machinery. otherwise its a dinosaur. still offering the bet: I`ll just pull you away, no matter what you try.  :cheesy:
Once had a Lada Niva, went really good.

At one time I drove uphill on a gravel-forest-road to my yard. Stopped on the slope. Later got in, drove on. And while switching to scnd gear I thought: Acts kind of lame today, this car. When I was on top I noticed that I had the hand-break closed on the trailer. I had dragged it along with blocked wheels all the way....

Offline SiWolKe

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2019, 06:18:24 am »
 :grin:

I will call you up when I?m stuck in the black forest.

SJ is just short for Suzuki Jimny.My jimny uses 6l gas when 4wheel drive is on.

For the bee material transports we mostly use the VW Caddy longbed.It has no 4wheel drive though.

 Perhaps you can visit us when we harvest trees, we don?t need a tractor then for pulling the trees out of our forest.
 :smile:

Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2019, 10:01:48 am »
One drawback on the Landy: It doesn`t drive well nor fast on roads....
 :cheesy:

Offline SiWolKe

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2019, 02:50:23 am »
Ok,
an update on our group`s treatment free project:

All formerly treated colonies in our project ( treated last time winter 2017/18) are dead ( about mine I do not know yet, I have 4 colonies treated as packages in early summer 2018 with oxalic).

Those colonies were local mutts ,with no exception, set on small cell comb or empty frames and kept the same way like the others.

Of those treated by sugar shakes 50% are dead.

About the more resistant queens ( elgons) and their descendants I will update. So far 2 out of 12 told by my most experienced co-worker who keeps them for 6 years tf.

Mine I don?t know yet. The woodpecker had some success on 5 hives and might have killed them. Check follows, but I have some problems listening to the hives which are isolated.

I thought I could hear them but I?m not sure if it was my own blood circulation I listened to.


Offline SiWolKe

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2019, 06:30:58 am »
After two weeks with clean floor boards I see some wax debris with 7 of my 10 elgon colonies.

It?s too cold for waxmoths or robbers ( - 6?C) so there must be some life in those boxes.

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #29 on: January 26, 2019, 11:18:48 am »
I like to try to improve my hive configuration so to have more healthy bees.

Her is a new hive I will try:


Laterally, I have mounted the insulation boards that I no longer need because I use the ventilation lid.
Into the frame construction, made of QE comes the dead wood for microbiom and scorpion.

With follower boards I can adapt the room to the colony's strength, I will restrict in winter if necessary.

I sawed off the frames below, so that the bees can extend the natural structure down into the lower medium. I stabilized with a wooden sticks.
There are still 11 frames to fit in, but I'll use maybe only 10 and leave behind the follower board a little air, then it is easier to work.

The honey room is removed in the summer after main flow, so that the bees create a large honey dome.
I can feed with half-frames behind the follower boards if I want. 2 connected half frames fit in there, or I can feed in the honey room and cover the rest of the space.

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Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #30 on: January 27, 2019, 04:29:40 am »
I like to try to improve my hive configuration so to have more healthy bees.

Her is a new hive I will try:


Laterally, I have mounted the insulation boards that I no longer need because I use the ventilation lid.
Into the frame construction, made of QE comes the dead wood for microbiom and scorpion.

With follower boards I can adapt the room to the colony's strength, I will restrict in winter if necessary.

I sawed off the frames below, so that the bees can extend the natural structure down into the lower medium. I stabilized with a wooden sticks.
There are still 11 frames to fit in, but I'll use maybe only 10 and leave behind the follower board a little air, then it is easier to work.

The honey room is removed in the summer after main flow, so that the bees create a large honey dome.
I can feed with half-frames behind the follower boards if I want. 2 connected half frames fit in there, or I can feed in the honey room and cover the rest of the space.

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I have used wooden sticks in my first trys. was so-so.... sometimes the combs take another turn at that point.... bette rlook after what they are doing once in a while...
If I was U, I?d make longer frames myself and keep the bottombar. what you are doing mgiht cause all kinds of problems with really weird combs.
other I think these square combs would be great. I was about to do something like that but then .... everything got too big and I had to resort to frames I could buy in a pinch.

Why not the Mellifera? Would suit your way of handling bees better, I would think.

Offline SiWolKe

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #31 on: January 27, 2019, 04:54:33 am »
You have to put in one frame at a time then it works fine.
I once provided a swarm with a whole box of empty farmes.
All frames were built straight and beautifully except two which were fixed to one another.
But I want to risk this.
I thought about putting a medium under with medium frames but I don?t want the gap. My modified frames have those thick bars which are blocking the cluster too much.
This works fine if you don?t want to use a QE, because the bees stay in the broodbox, but it is hard for the winter cluster to move up.

I have purchased so much stuff in 2015, when I had some money, I rather use it and change it to my liking.

Offline SiWolKe

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #32 on: January 27, 2019, 04:56:30 am »
It?s not a setting for a beekeepers who migrates.
 :wink:
This hives will weigh tons....when filled.

Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #33 on: January 27, 2019, 11:43:51 am »
the combs will break easier, too.
I wanted to suggest only adding one frame at a time, but thought you might not want it.
great idea for the bees! If I was steady (not migrating), I would probably do this, too. Maybe not 10 frames, but... depends on location.

Offline SiWolKe

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #34 on: January 27, 2019, 12:28:51 pm »
As you can see in the picts, I plan not to interfere much in the big brood box in future, about swarm season I do not know yet, perhaps I go on making splits before they want to swarm, perhaps I try to catch the swarms or lure them into a bait box.

First try will be with a shooked swarm and old queen, because of the new frame setting.



Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #35 on: January 31, 2019, 03:49:38 pm »
Winter came to sit on us.
For a few weeks we have snow piling up. One day it felt like 50 cm during the day. Snow-blower broke down.... :angry:
It?s somewhat cold to my feels - around 0 C during the day, -5 or -7 during the nights. Pretty steadily for some weeks now. It may still get colder, - 15 C at nights can happen. Rarely colder.
I WISHED for a warm spell so they could go for a cleansing flight. The pine honey is hard on their bladder. Colonies may die if they can?t get relieve.

Offline SiWolKe

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #36 on: February 09, 2019, 04:08:24 am »
Warm foen weather yesterday.
I visited the buckfast package bees ( lastly treated with oxalic by the seller, in june).
They live and fly for water or make cleansing flights. They pulled out the dead.
No flow yet to speak and a cold spell coming. Propolis can be collected.

Offline SiWolKe

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #37 on: February 10, 2019, 08:39:48 am »
Checked the floor boards. Too cold and windy to open up.
7 of my 10 elgon hives seem to be still alive.

A cold spell coming.

Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #38 on: February 10, 2019, 09:59:07 am »
wasn`t enough for a cleansing flight this time. so I stayed home and left the bees alone.

Offline SiWolKe

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #39 on: February 10, 2019, 11:15:12 am »
wasn`t enough for a cleansing flight this time. so I stayed home and left the bees alone.

The last cleansing flight was friday. The boxes and the lids are very spotty with poop.. Hope this will not be a problem to them.

Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #40 on: February 10, 2019, 04:53:41 pm »
problem with poop is only if it?s inside the hive...

Offline SiWolKe

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #41 on: February 11, 2019, 01:04:06 am »
Thank you BfB,
I had this only with one hive and once so far and the frames were spotted too, but it did not matter to the bees then.
I took out the frames and cleaned the top bars, scraped away some traces on comb and gave it back.
The moment season started they were healthy.

Hopefully this time it?s not a big thing too.



Offline SiWolKe

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #42 on: February 16, 2019, 12:53:44 pm »
Update: 10?C sunny

Check today: ALL colonies are still alive, I do not know about the Ferals, they did not fly, but in the shade it is quite cool. It will not open until I know for sure they are dead..

Elgons:
5 colonies strong, 4 hives weak, one very weak, possibly queenless. Food stores good, easy to reach. 4 hours of sun a day when the sun is there.
No pollen yet, I just saw one bee with pollen. Very frosty there. No new poop traces, dead bees are pulled out . With the strong hives, 2-3 handfuls of dead, no crippled bees.
Brood nest I did not look at.  Just looked sideways and from top if they have stores.

Buckfast:
they are standing on the dry southern slope and flew heavily. Pollen entry, looks like hazel. The hazelnuts and alders are already blooming there. One hive seems to be without a queen, it did not bring pollen and did not release much of their dead. It was the strongest in the fall.
I'll wait. All colonies are strong, on 4 frames, not much food. Have the feeders filled with moist sugar-honey mixture.

Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany
« Reply #43 on: February 18, 2019, 02:37:22 am »
the last few days it was sunny and mild during the day, freezing at night. the bees - even in the blackforest - took achance on a cleansing flight (we still have a foot of hard frozen snow around the house, but the bees are standing sunny).
In the commercially orientated apiary-part in milder parts with no snow I checked on them. I was very concerned about them for there is a lot of pine-honey in the stores and due to a very consistent winter this year they werent able to fly out and poop for more than two months.
Two succumbed to the pine honey. poop all over the place inside. but the other 69 were going strong. up to an early breeding with up to two hands of capped brood on single frames.
i did some OAV and dribbling on some nevertheless.
lots of pollen coming in. they have used up a lot of feed already, though I had been feeding well in fall. Gotta stir up some sugar in 3 or 4 weeks, depending on weather.
if winter doesn`t hit back hard, as it may, everything seems to be leading to early splits and early-flow-ready hives.