Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Hiving Bees, First Hive Checks, Greenhouses, & Moving Bees

If you have hived your bees, fill up sugar water feeders every 4 days!! Once you hive your bees, I wouldn't open the hive again unless it gets 40* or warmer and only to fill the sugar feeder - Then put the lid back on ASAP! The inner lids you have should have a 1 to 1.5 inch wide notch in them for ventilation.  If you cover the hive w/ a sleeping bag, etc. make sure the bottom entrance and top entrance are open to the air.  Bees get very hypothermic when sprayed in cold weather or wind so don't spray sugar water on the bees when hiving unless it is 50*!
I will pray for your bees when I'm praying for mine! There will be a noticable drop in population over the next couple weeks but when your new brood start hatching out, you'll gradually see noticable increases everytime you perform a hive check.
I hived one colony yesterday and decided to wait until it warms up more before hiving four more colonies. I estimate I lost 100 to 200 bees to hypothermia.  I will perform a hive check on Thursday or Friday!  My tasks at that time will be:

1) Fill the sugar water

2) check the queen cage & remove it if the queen has exited

3) If it is 50* or warmer, look for evidence of a healthy queen (eggs & larva)

Greenhouses are questionable only for the fact that they can overheat the bees. They are very helpful at night but can get way to hot during the day. With our weather situation right now, it would probably be o.k. but keep an eye on the daytime temp.One way to tell if the bees are too hot is that they will be out in front of the hive "fanning" their wings very rapidly. The only complication with moving the hive is that if you move it anywhere within 3 miles, the bees get "lost" and return to their original location to find no hive so they hang out in clusters in the original location and many of them die because they don't have shelter at night. The general rule for moving hives is 3 feet or 3 miles.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for writing this, Dawn! Thanks for the 'hand-holding' and some really great tips. We have them in a very modified greenhouse (it is usually my cabin living space with large, south-facing windows).I'm housesitting for a friend in the meantime. . . When we move the hives outdoors does the "3ft or 3miles" rule still apply? It seems like it would be such a drastically different environment to suddenly be outdoors that they might be able to orient. --Cat Whitney