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Author Topic: Hive starvation.  (Read 2289 times)

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Hive starvation.
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2020, 07:00:55 pm »
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Maybe I'll actually pull a couple of frames and see what's going on in the hives that day.

This is a way that new beeks kill hives.  If you accidentally kill the queen, or damage her it is too early for the hive to replace her.  Wait for drones. 

If you have stuff starting to bloom and they are active, leave them alone until later.  If you don't have stuff blooming and you really think they are lite, I agree that it is better to add sugar than to let them starve.

This is a tricky time of the year and how you handle it very much depends on where you are.
Thanks for warning me of this, Kathy.  I guess I'll just check and see if they are on the sugar or not.       
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 Kathyp

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Re: Hive starvation.
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2020, 07:23:22 pm »
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As a new beek, and if I think they are OK, when is it good to open and check to the hive.

The safe answer is that you can do a deep inspection when you have drones or access to queens.  If you have someone in your area that is experienced, check with them. 

When we were in MS with Bud, we split hives in April.  I could never do that where I live!  I get snow in April.   :grin:

You should be able to gauge how many new bees are coming out by orientation flights, but that does take a little experience.  A flashlight and a look down the frames can be helpful.  I like to add my new brood boxes under my overwinter box, and my honey supers on top, but that's just me.  I know a lot of people don't do it that way. 

The other thing to remember is that swarming is natural.  Nice if you can avoid it, but if they decide they are going, they are going.  In the long run, it's usually not a big setback for the hive.  You get a new queen and if she's a good one she'll more than make up the numbers. 
They are so divorced from their own interests that even when their own security and that of their children is finally compromised, they do not seek to avert the danger themselves but cross their arms and wait for the nation as a whole to come to their aid. Yet as utterly as they sacrifice their own free will, they are no fonder of obedience than anyone else. They submit, it is true, to the whims of a clerk, but no sooner is force removed than they are glad to defy the law as a defeated enemy. Thus one finds them ever wavering between servitude and license.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline MikeyN.C.

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Re: Hive starvation.
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2020, 08:07:22 pm »
Bob, imo, yes u didn't take from them. That's the way I look at it. But I always add 2 inch shim on top for sugar every year and leave all honey that they made for them. So sugar on top is insurance. Weather has big time issues of what's going to happen. And trust me it's not predictable!!!! So 1 year will be different than the next. So as said I always leave their (Bees) resources and add sugar. If hive die out, I still have honey. But that's my reasoning. What's right or wrong to do , will be your understanding , and go with your understanding. That's the hardest thing to learn imo.
15, as said just take a look see, don't break box open .

Offline Bob Wilson

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Re: Hive starvation.
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2020, 11:30:35 pm »
Thanks for all the advice. Good stuff for me to think on as we get into spring. Much appreciated. ✔️

Offline cao

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Re: Hive starvation.
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2020, 01:36:59 am »
The only hive manipulation that I do before I see drones flying is the removal of feeder shims and taking a good look from the top down between frames. 

Offline Acebird

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Re: Hive starvation.
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2020, 09:48:30 am »
I had a handful of colonies that didn't get a good fall flow and by the middle of winter they were light on stores.
The solution is to cram the hive full of syrup in the fall.  Trying to make up for a light hive in the winter is fruitless.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Hive starvation.
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2020, 09:51:29 am »
So sugar on top is insurance.
Yes, for a couple weeks in the spring.  It is worthless as a winter feed.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline Bob Wilson

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Re: Hive starvation.
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2020, 10:02:29 am »
Researching when to work hives in the spring is a little difficult. Everyone talks about calendar months, but then quickly acknowledges that each region is different. North in April is like the south in February, and all in-between.
I am surprised the bee community doesn't describe things more by temperature...
Check just the top of the hive in the new year when you get a temp of 52F.
Do a full hive inspection on your first 60+F day.
When daytime temps of 60+F becomes steady, add empty frames to the brood box to prevent swarming.


Offline BAHBEEs

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Re: Hive starvation.
« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2020, 10:44:54 am »
This is further complicated by a warming climate.  This warming results in far more variability in our weather, Bigger rain and snow storms, longer droughts.  Basically things are getting a bit more extreme on extreme weather days...and there are more of them.   So even for folks well grounded in the local weather...things are getting harder and harder to predict.

Offline chux

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Re: Hive starvation.
« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2020, 11:10:07 am »
So sugar on top is insurance.
Yes, for a couple weeks in the spring.  It is worthless as a winter feed.

I shared what actually happened in some of my hives. Not a theory about what works or should work. Not what works or doesn't work for you where you live. What actually happened for me. You can say "it's worthless" all you want. That sugar literally saved 6 or 8 hives that were going to starve to death because I didn't do what I should have done in the fall. Might be "worthless" for you and everybody else on the planet. It wasn't worthless for me. It wasn't ideal, by a long shot. But it was effective that one winter for my bees that I managed poorly the previous fall. So yeah, I'd call it insurance.

Offline Kathyp

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Re: Hive starvation.
« Reply #30 on: January 29, 2020, 12:16:35 pm »
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It is worthless as a winter feed.

I disagree.  Mine have used it well in winter on any day they broke cluster.  It is worthless if the can't get to it and have used all honey, but in my area we have enough warmish days in winter that it is useful. 
They are so divorced from their own interests that even when their own security and that of their children is finally compromised, they do not seek to avert the danger themselves but cross their arms and wait for the nation as a whole to come to their aid. Yet as utterly as they sacrifice their own free will, they are no fonder of obedience than anyone else. They submit, it is true, to the whims of a clerk, but no sooner is force removed than they are glad to defy the law as a defeated enemy. Thus one finds them ever wavering between servitude and license.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline Kathyp

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Re: Hive starvation.
« Reply #31 on: January 29, 2020, 12:18:52 pm »
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I am surprised the bee community doesn't describe things more by temperature...

Even that is area dependant.  We may get close to 60 toward the end of this week, but it is not uncommon to have some of our worst weather in February.  In my area I would not check a hive on a 60 degree day in January. 

That's why the drone rule is safer. 
They are so divorced from their own interests that even when their own security and that of their children is finally compromised, they do not seek to avert the danger themselves but cross their arms and wait for the nation as a whole to come to their aid. Yet as utterly as they sacrifice their own free will, they are no fonder of obedience than anyone else. They submit, it is true, to the whims of a clerk, but no sooner is force removed than they are glad to defy the law as a defeated enemy. Thus one finds them ever wavering between servitude and license.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline beesonhay465

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Re: Hive starvation.
« Reply #32 on: January 29, 2020, 01:04:35 pm »
my first hive . i was concerned about the amount of stores they  had going into winter. so fed 32 lbs sugar as 2 to 1 syrup. they took it all , each batch in 2or 3 days.tried to lift the hive. it has is home built and has really strong handles. i could not lift it . does anyone think they will be short?

Offline FatherMichael

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Re: Hive starvation.
« Reply #33 on: January 29, 2020, 01:33:51 pm »
It's 45* outside here with a light breeze but my bees are bringing in pollen.  Have no idea where they are getting it.


Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Hive starvation.
« Reply #34 on: January 29, 2020, 02:22:10 pm »
It is nice to see your enthusiasm over your bees. Pollen coming in is a good thing. They are resourceful creatures for sure. Let us know if you are able to pinpoint the source of your pollen.  Enjoy your day.
Phillip
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Bob Wilson

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Re: Hive starvation.
« Reply #35 on: January 29, 2020, 03:52:46 pm »
Interesting advice about using drone flights as a safe indicator before doing full hive inspections in spring. I have never heard that idea before this thread.
This is a less relative, more concrete measure for my newbee first spring. Thanks.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Hive starvation.
« Reply #36 on: January 29, 2020, 08:05:17 pm »
I am surprised the bee community doesn't describe things more by temperature...
You can pick anything you want for your trigger.  Everything has it pitfalls.
I wouldn't pick drones because if a hive is on the boarder of starvation they are not going to produce drones.  Temperature swings kill hives that are on the verge of starvation.  To me temperature is not reliable.
Sugar is not available when the hive is in cluster yet brood could already be underway.  Sugar is not insurance, it is a panic emergency when the hive runs out of honey.  If it doesn't run out of honey it doesn't need the sugar.  What a hive needs is honey close by so they have something to eat when they cannot break cluster.
In winter, early spring I lift the hive.  It still isn't perfect because you don't know where the honey is relative to the cluster.  The decision to inspect comes based on a bloom, something like maple trees where I was.  Some would pick another nectar source.  Another indication would be hive activity.  It is best not to pick just one thing.
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Offline MikeyN.C.

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Re: Hive starvation.
« Reply #37 on: January 29, 2020, 08:35:27 pm »
Ace, Question, are u discussing, stealing honey in July-August. And trying to feed 2:1 , to build back up ?

Offline FatherMichael

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Re: Hive starvation.
« Reply #38 on: January 29, 2020, 09:03:47 pm »
We had a drought here in the late summer after an amazing spring.  My hive got off to a good start from a nuc but got light; so, I started feeding and did not quit until they back filled the brood chamber and filled a medium.  This is an 8-frame hive and I expect it was 1/2 syrup and half natural honey when I quit feeding.  There was no room for anything else -- it was full of bees and honey.

When the hot summer weather broke in October I treated with MAQS.  There were only a few dead bees in front of the hive.

When frosty weather came we put two wool blankets on the hive with a trash bag on top to shed water.

Our mild temperatures, orientation flights, and hauls of pollen make me wonder if the queen is laying or has been all this time!

Pretty sure a shivering cluster uses more stores than a warm winter.  But what if I'm wrong?

Offline Kathyp

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Re: Hive starvation.
« Reply #39 on: January 29, 2020, 09:23:42 pm »
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I wouldn't pick drones because if a hive is on the boarder of starvation they are not going to produce drones.  Temperature swings kill hives that are on the verge of starvation.

There is truth in this.  My advice about drones or the availability of queens is only in regard to doing a deep inspection.  Not for checking for stores in some way other than moving frames.
They are so divorced from their own interests that even when their own security and that of their children is finally compromised, they do not seek to avert the danger themselves but cross their arms and wait for the nation as a whole to come to their aid. Yet as utterly as they sacrifice their own free will, they are no fonder of obedience than anyone else. They submit, it is true, to the whims of a clerk, but no sooner is force removed than they are glad to defy the law as a defeated enemy. Thus one finds them ever wavering between servitude and license.
Alexis de Tocqueville