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rmshanahan
Winter planning

Hi I'm new to this forum but happy to be here! Can someone please tell me what I should be doing now in my hive. I only started this year in June. I'd really like some info on what to do in each of the winter months - know where I could look this up?

KevinK
KevinK's picture
hi rmshanahan, welcome to the

hi rmshanahan, welcome to the forum!

Usually you would leave to hive alone during the winter and only check on them after heavy winds in case the have fallen over. Also, you should be treating for varroa mites (just after you take off the honey for harvesting around the end of august) and been feeding them since then.

You should also check to make sure they have enough stores to get them over winter with out starving, about 30-40 lbs worth of honey for a full hive should do and also put on your mouse guards. Nuc's wont need as much, not sure how much but i can check it out for you if you wish.

other than that there isn't much else you can do.

the following book is quiet good. i've read it myself and i keep going back to it for reference. you might want to check it out, you could even read it over winter to pass the time! lol

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Guide-Bees-Honey-Selling-Beekeeping/dp/190484651...

https://www.facebook.com/irishbeekeeper

rmshanahan
Hi KevinK thank you for all

Hi KevinK thank you for all the info. Will it be too late now to treat for Varroa? I've had a few things stopping me from being with my bees for very long but I have looked and not seen any signs of disease. I don't have a Nuc so no need for that extra info!

Just a comment on the website overhaul - I think it should be open to all Associations and that you can put your club/association on your profile so others can seek out people in their own groups?! I had asked for a forum like this from my association after finishing the beekeeping course earlier in the year as it is a good way to keep in touch.

I will check out the book too. Many thanks.

RoisinS

KevinK
KevinK's picture
No problem rmshanahan! I'm

No problem rmshanahan!

I'm really not sure about treating for varroa now because if you use apigurad it needs temps of 15 degrees to work which is unlikely now and if you use bayvarol, the strips can only stay in for 6 weeks, which means that you will have to open the hive nearly mid december to take them out which wouldn't be good for them!

The most important thing now would be to make sure they have enough stores to get them through winter.

The website is open to anyone our any association as far as I know, I've seen a few posts for associations on here. I think there isn't more because most associations have there own websites to keep in touch, or, as in my case, text messages our even the likes of facebook is used :-)

Where abouts are you rmshanahan, I'm in east cork myself

https://www.facebook.com/irishbeekeeper

rmshanahan
oh. I'm in Co Dublin near

oh. I'm in Co Dublin near Shankill. I'm in CDBKA. This is the first time I have come across this website. I've invited a few others to join now so we can discuss how us newbies are getting on!
Thank you I'll check my stores and put up mouse guards. Thanks a mil for your info. Roisin

RoisinS

KevinK
KevinK's picture
No problem Roisin, glad to

No problem Roisin, glad to help! :)

https://www.facebook.com/irishbeekeeper

KarinB
Hi Roisin, glad to hear you

Hi Roisin, glad to hear you got your bees. I got mine late july, they seem to be building up well, all 12 frames are drawn and filled. I put apiguard on late, mid September and will be removing the second tray tomorrow. Its been so exciting watching them, I will be sorry to close them up for the winter but am looking forward to spring and seeing how they have managed. This site seems like a good idea as a beginer beekeeper I have had lots of questions that are not answered directly by the 'Bee Bibles' so am looking forward to its revamp. Let me know how you and your bees are getting on a keep in touch. Karin

KevinK
KevinK's picture
welcome to the site KarinB -

welcome to the site KarinB - im only just a beginner myself but lucky for me i have a more experienced beekeeper helping me and has steered me away from 1 or 2 disasters, but i like to think ive learned a thing or 2 so if you do have any questions, please, feel free to ask :)

https://www.facebook.com/irishbeekeeper

rmshanahan
Hi Karin will you bee coming

Hi Karin will you bee coming to the Honey Show in Rathgar church Sat 4th Nov? As you've seen I'm a bit worried for my bees as I haven't treated for mites or fed them. I hefted the hive yesterday which seems quite heavy. They are still collecting on the bright days and I've kept a diary so I'm pretty sure there is no varroa or other diseases. I've been told not to open them now but want to feed them and wondered if I bought the ashgrove(box on top?!) feeder whether that would keep them warm enough to feed right through winter or that fondant stuff if I just put some on crown board??
I'm disappointed in myself to say the least but hope they will pull through winter. Hope to chat again soon. Roisin

RoisinS

KevinK
KevinK's picture
Hey Roisin, if i may... i

Hey Roisin, if i may...

i wouldnt feed them fondant simply because the bees will need water to break it down and with the weather the way it is, they may not be able to get out and get sufficient amount of water to do this, plus if the weather gets really cold, there will only be ice around and even though it may thaw, it will still be to cold for the bees and could kill them.

I would recommend you feed them 2:1 sugar water (2kg’s of sugar to 1 litre of water) straight away, today if at all possible in an ashforth feeder. Its not ideal as it still may freeze if the weather gets really cold, but its probably your best option at this stage and the bees wouldnt need to leave the hive. They would more than likely have it gone in a few days aswell. If you do this, then be quick. I myself am gonna head out to my hives today to take of the feeder as im finished with it now. The weather down here at the mo is sunny but a bit cold so im gonna wait till the afternoon when it warms up a few extra degrees.

Another option would be if you got any honey of them this year, then give it back, they will pack that away fairly quickly, if you didn’t, you may ask around to see if anyone that you trust has some spare honey (I say trust because if you do this, you have to be 100% sure that their bees are disease free because you could spread nosema and other diseases through honey) what ever you do DO NOT get that crap they call honey in the likes of supervalu/tesco/aldi/lidl etc, most of that stuff is imported!

Hope it works out for you and you bees!

Kevin

.

https://www.facebook.com/irishbeekeeper

KarinB
Hi Roisin, thankfully the

Hi Roisin, thankfully the weather has not been too cold yet, I think Kevins advice is sound and agrees with what I have heard from other beekeepers. I opened my hive early last week to take the apiguard tray out and remove the eke, at first I thought that half my bees had died as the box looked only half full and the last time it had been teaming with bees, but I realised that they had formed a ball as the weather had become a cooler, so they are now tucked up for the winter. I will bee at the Honey show, most probably before lunch but not to early, hope to see you there. Karin

neilapms
neilapms's picture
That's great info KevinK. Ill

That's great info KevinK. Ill take some of it thanks

KevinK
KevinK's picture
no problem neil, glad to

no problem neil, glad to help!

My hive and nuc are all ready for winter. went out today to take off the feeder and get everything ready. the nuc has come along really well these past few weeks, there are now at least 4/5 frames of bees and the queen is still laying so ill have to keep on eye on her for another while to make sure she doesnt over populate the nuc! i have about 5 frames of extra honey just in case they get short thou! the main hive has loads of stores for winter and the queen has stopped laying now. its gonna be a long wait till spring to open up the hives again!

.

https://www.facebook.com/irishbeekeeper

joctcl
Hi Folks, If you haven't

Hi Folks,
If you haven't treated your bees at this stage don't, chances are if they are this years swarm or Nuc they will have minimal disease.
Treatment with Bayvarol or Apiguard revolves around the product being adopted into 2 brood cycles hence 4-6 weeks treatment. NB Always rememeber to remove treatments as weak exposure of these these products builds resistance.
If you are really worried there will be a new product just approved which will allow you to treat in the depths of Winter but yet to be commercially released. (6-8 weeks)
In terms of feeding heft your hive, theory says a large cluster of bees need 18-20kgs to get them through winter. It is not too late to give emergency feeding, very rich mixture of boiled water 1 litre to 2-2.5kgs of sugar(let it cool before feeding). Remember the bees have to evaportate the water to store so you need good temperatures and daytime tempertures here are still in the 14-16 range.
If you get to Jan and Feb and hive feels light you can give them a boost with fondant.
This is the simplest recipe I found http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KyJOM0pejw.
Equally you have to be careful not to overfeed bees!
Join you local society and they will give you guidance about winter preparation etc.
John
Chair Roundwood Beekeepers

neilapms
neilapms's picture
Thanks John for the info

Thanks John for the info

KevinK
KevinK's picture
yes, some very good info

yes, some very good info there john, and i also recommend the recipe that he mentions, is very very easy to do, it has to be cause i did was able to do it lol :)

.

https://www.facebook.com/irishbeekeeper

rmshanahan
Hi All, many thanks for that

Hi All, many thanks for that great info! I started feeding straight away and have the new varroa treatment on order-thanks John for your input. I'm alot happier with the progress my bees are making. They still forage on the good days and soon I will close up hive and leave alone :) Thanks also for the recipe this will be useful! Hope everyone is happy today. Roisin :-)

RoisinS

KarinB
Am looking for some advice,

Am looking for some advice, lifted the roof off my hive yesterday it was a very nice day and there seemed to be no movement in the hive at all, I have a glass crown board there were condensation drops on the inside of the board, will this chill the bees or make the hive damp, should I change it for a wooden one? or do the bees use this as a source of water during the winter? I would love some advice on what I should do if anything! Thanks

KevinK
KevinK's picture
Hey Karin.. Ill be honest, i

Hey Karin..

Ill be honest, i don't have a glass crown board my self. i do however know some one who does and she doesn't seem to have any problems with them, then again she uses poly hives so no real chance of the hive getting damp.

I also know a lot of people who don't use them, they just don't like them, simple as that really. It may be possible the bees could use this condensation as a water source but do you really want to take a risk on getting the hive damp?

Personally if it was me, id have a wooden crown board on. glass one's are useful on checking the hives during the summer without getting "kitted up" but really its up to your self.

plus, thinking about it now, the days aren't to bad at the mo and some hives are still active so if there is still brood rearing happening then the condensation could drip down and kill them.

sorry no i couldn't be of more help!

kev

snoop
snoop's picture
Hi Kevin & Karin My crown

Hi Kevin & Karin

My crown boards are a clear plastic with slits at the top which the bees like to propolise. They came with the hives. & it prevents the roof getting stuck down on top of that the air above it also acts as insulation As Kevin says I have poly hives. Condensation doesn't appear to be a problem as they have open mesh floors, to be honest I don't open them in winter. I don't think it really matters. Condensation build up in a hive is used as a water source to break down stores to a 50:50 mixture so the bees can digest it. The bees cannot get out for water when the temperature gets below 10C & they cannot store it either so they need the condensation. I imagine that there is a bit of condenation on the underside of the timber crown boards as well.
Any place that cold air & hot air meet will result in some degree of condensation no matter what you use.
Don't worry the bees must have had water & rain dripping in in cavities in trees etc years ago when they lived in the wild

KarinB
Hi Kevin and Snoop, Thanks

Hi Kevin and Snoop,
Thanks for the feedback. As a beginner I like the glass crown board as it allows me to observe my bees without annoying them to much! A friend gave me the advice to put two matchsticks one at each of the corners on one side to lift the board just a little to increase the ventilation and it has worked so far, no condensation and the bees have not sealed it up. They seem happy it may just be the unusual weather that has helped. Thanks Karin