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Re: [beekeeping] no winter stores question

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  • Mike Stoops
    Phil Moss wrote: I have a hive that almost starved to death last winter. They have made a nice come back
    Message 1 of 8 , Sep 30, 2006
      Phil Moss <phil@...> wrote:
      I have a hive that almost starved to death last winter.  They have made a nice 'come
      back' with a very good population.. .but yet...they still have
      no 'stores' for the winter.

      It's your call.  But, if it were earlier in the year I would have suggested replacing the queen.  Now, with winter so close, I would just kill the queen and combine them with a really strong hive.  The most important thing now is to save the equipment and drawn comb for use next year.
      Mike in LA


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    • Scot Mc Pherson
      If a colony has gone two winters in a row without being able to store enough (or any at all), it really is time to think about replacing the queenline. I would
      Message 2 of 8 , Sep 30, 2006
        Message
        If a colony has gone two winters in a row without being able to store enough (or any at all), it really is time to think about replacing the queenline. I would kill that queen, and combine that hive with another hive, and split it back out in the spring and let them raise a queen on their own.
         
         

        --
        Scot McPherson
        The McPherson Family Honey Farms
        Davenport, Iowa USA
        http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org
        http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/OrganicBeekeepers/
        mailto:scot.mcpherson@...

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        -----Original Message-----
        From: beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Phil Moss
        Sent: Saturday, September 30, 2006 2:23 PM
        To: beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [beekeeping] no winter stores question

        I have a hive that almost starved to death last winter. I discovered
        them in the early spring with no honey stores and they were down to
        just a few hundred bees. I began feeding them during the dearth,
        etc .... keeping a close eye on them. They have made a nice 'come
        back' with a very good population.. .but yet...they still have
        no 'stores' for the winter. I gave them a super that had a lot of
        uncapped honey from another hive a couple of weeks ago...but they must
        have consumed that...it has nothing in it now. I'm sure they are not
        being robbed. I have robber screens on all my hives. My other hives
        have managed to put away quite a bit of honey during this goldenrod
        bloom. They probably have enough to make it thru the winter...... but
        not this hive.

        My question is....I hate to give up on this hive...and know I'll
        probably need to feed them to get them thru the winter. How much ? I
        don't want a lot of fat, lazy bees come spring. I have been using
        the 'freezer bag' method of feeding, giving them 1/2 gallon of sugar
        water at a time. Should I just make sure there is sugar water at all
        times during the winter ?

        thanks for any advice
        Phil

      • George Fergusson
        I had a hive like that this year. I fed them heavily last fall, and over the course of this spring and summer they raised a lot of bees but failed to put up
        Message 3 of 8 , Oct 1, 2006
          I had a hive like that this year. I fed them heavily last fall, and over
          the course of this spring and summer they raised a lot of bees but
          failed to put up any stores at all. Clearly they lacked the prime
          imperative I require in my bees- to meet their own needs first. Last
          year I would have fed them a hundred pounds of syrup to get them through
          the winter. I've learned. This year I requeened them- actually, I split
          them into 3 nucs and gave each a queen cell.

          George-

          Phil Moss wrote:
          >
          >
          > I have a hive that almost starved to death last winter. I discovered
          > them in the early spring with no honey stores and they were down to
          > just a few hundred bees. I began feeding them during the dearth,
          > etc .... keeping a close eye on them. They have made a nice 'come
          > back' with a very good population...but yet...they still have
          > no 'stores' for the winter.
        • Phil Moss
          ... Yes, I have 4 hives on this 10 acres....however, in the rural area of OKC there should be plenty of natural forage for the bees....and as been in the
          Message 4 of 8 , Oct 1, 2006
            > in the same location as the other "successful" hives?

            Yes, I have 4 hives on this 10 acres....however, in the rural area
            of OKC there should be plenty of natural forage for the bees....and
            as been in the past...just this year was such a drought year.


            > always comes up short when it comes to stores.

            no, we harvested from it last year....maybe too much, that may have
            contributed to the decreased numbers last spring. But since it
            seems to have recovered.....maybe not enough during the spring honey
            flow...but I would have expected to see quite a bit of honey stored
            away from this fall flow....with the hive population being more
            normal.....like my other hives





            > How about giving us some more information?
            >
            > --Madeleine in NJ
            >
            >
            > Saturday, September 30, 2006, 3:23:28 PM, you wrote:
            >
            >
            > > I have a hive that almost starved to death last winter. I
            discovered
            > > them in the early spring with no honey stores and they were
            down to
            > > just a few hundred bees. I began feeding them during the
            dearth,
            > > etc .... keeping a close eye on them. They have made a
            nice 'come
            > > back' with a very good population...but yet...they still have
            > > no 'stores' for the winter. I gave them a super that had a lot
            of
            > > uncapped honey from another hive a couple of weeks ago...but
            they must
            > > have consumed that...it has nothing in it now. I'm sure they
            are not
            > > being robbed. I have robber screens on all my hives. My other
            hives
            > > have managed to put away quite a bit of honey during this
            goldenrod
            > > bloom. They probably have enough to make it thru the
            winter......but
            > > not this hive.
            >
            > > My question is....I hate to give up on this hive...and know
            I'll
            > > probably need to feed them to get them thru the winter. How
            much ? I
            > > don't want a lot of fat, lazy bees come spring. I have been
            using
            > > the 'freezer bag' method of feeding, giving them 1/2 gallon of
            sugar
            > > water at a time. Should I just make sure there is sugar water
            at all
            > > times during the winter ?
            >
            > > thanks for any advice
            > > Phil
            >
            >
            >
            > >
            >
          • M Nist
            In this case I would do as a couple other beekeepers suggested: requeen now, feed if necessary and see how things go next spring. Or, of course, you could kill
            Message 5 of 8 , Oct 1, 2006
              In this case I would do as a couple other beekeepers suggested: requeen
              now, feed if necessary and see how things go next spring.

              Or, of course, you could kill this queen and simply combine this hive
              with one of your succesful colonies then start again in the spring.

              Let us know what you decide. This sounds like a real puzzle!

              --Madeleine in NJ

              Sunday, October 1, 2006, 11:02:17 AM, you wrote:

              >> in the same location as the other "successful" hives?

              > Yes, I have 4 hives on this 10 acres....however, in the rural area
              > of OKC there should be plenty of natural forage for the bees....and
              > as been in the past...just this year was such a drought year.

              >> always comes up short when it comes to stores.

              > no, we harvested from it last year....maybe too much, that may have
              > contributed to the decreased numbers last spring. But since it
              > seems to have recovered.....maybe not enough during the spring honey
              > flow...but I would have expected to see quite a bit of honey stored
              > away from this fall flow....with the hive population being more
              > normal.....like my other hives

              >> How about giving us some more information?
              >>
              >> --Madeleine in NJ
            • Lew Best
              The drought has left us VERY short of honey here; second season in a row! No rain in the forecast; bout 8+ inches short for the year! Lew Best near Waco, TX
              Message 6 of 8 , Oct 1, 2006
                The drought has left us VERY short of honey here; second season in a
                row! No rain in the forecast; bout 8+ inches short for the year!

                Lew Best near Waco, TX

                <<snip>>

                Yes, I have 4 hives on this 10 acres....however, in the rural area
                of OKC there should be plenty of natural forage for the bees....and
                as been in the past...just this year was such a drought year.




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