Lesson 90: Winter Tips

Hello friends, we’re David & Sheri Burns from Long Lane Honey Bee dnsFarms in central Illinois. Our bees are tucked away for winter, nothing more can be done except to replace candy boards as needed.
In less than 100 days, in Illinois the bee season begins and bees will be working early spring plants gearing up for another beekeeping season.
Over the next few days we’ll be welcoming in another year. I’m excited. Good things are going to get better for all of us.
christmasSheri and I have 3 girls and 3 boys, and over the Christmas Holiday I enjoyed taking my three daughters out to eat and it was so fun just listening to them talk and share their life experiences.

And let me encourage you to follow along my wife’s blog. She enjoys telling about what’s going on around the honey bee farm and at home. We have lots of fun, and Sheri recently shared about some exciting things coming up for 2011. Sheri’s Sweet Life
ezezineNow, I’m producing another beekeeping newsletter. It’s a bit different than these online lessons. The new Email newsletter is FREE and is all about beekeeping. It’s more brief, daily and has news events, and usually one brief article I’ll share on honey bees. It’s powered through Ezezine. Check out our sign up page.
In today’s lesson I want to share about what bees do in the winter and what you can do to add to your bees’ survival. And I’ll be sharing a series of lessons on top bar hives (TBH) starting in Lesson 91, our lesson after this one. Before today’s lesson, let me invite you to drop in for our next short course on Friday January 7th from 6-8pm. Frank J. Bellafiore, MD will be demonstrating the art of mead making. He holds an appointment at the University Of Illinois Urbana-Champaign School Of Medicine as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pathology. While interested in all areas of pathology, he holds a special interest in breast pathology and hematopathology.
Dr. Bellafiore took up honey mead-making years ago and he hopes to pass along some of his knowledge and enthusiasm for the wonderful craft of mead-making in this short course. If you’re a fun audience, perhaps he’ll share a sample of his most recently crafted mead at the end of the course…a ginger-peach melomel!
He is very experienced in making mead and will make it understandable, and he’s just a lot of fun to be around! I will also be demonstrating how to make candy boards and queen candy. We still have room for more. Call to register for $20 or click to Join us for our mead making class.
We also have our first 2011 Basic Beekeeping class coming up Saturday, January 15th.
Sheri and I are looking forward to this class and we have designed this one day beekeeping course to cover topics on basic beekeeping. I’m an EAS certified Master Beekeeper, so this course is well worth your time. Those interested in becoming beekeepers as well as those who have kept bees for a few years will benefit from this class. Register now to reserve your seat! We still have room for several more. It will be held at our honey bee farm located near Catlin, Illinois. Get a few friends to come along with you! Registration cost is $89 and includes lunch, a hive tool and outlines from the teachings. Also, why not save shipping cost and purchase all your hive equipment on this day. This course is team taught by Sheri and me and you’ll have a great day learning about beekeeping.
LESSSON 90: What Bees Do In The Winter
Depending on how cold it gets where you live, bees form a tight cluster to survive the winter. Here in Illinois it gets really cold. And this time of the year, it’s too cold to inspect our colonies. We can open them just for a minute to replace candy boards but for the most part the bees are on their own until late February.
Cold does not kill a healthy, populous colony. Usually beekeepers lose colonies during the winter from varroa mites, tracheal mites, nosema, pesticide build up in stored pollen or starvation.
So many beekeepers ask me what they can do to help their bees survive the winter. I’ve worked up an easy to remember acronym WINTERS:
Wipe out pest & diseases
Initiate protection against extreme climate conditions
New queen
Top Ventilation
Excluders and empty combs off
Restrict Opening to keep out mice
Sufficient Pollen & Honey
Winter Cluster DrawingHow does the typical hive overwinter?  Bees make no effort to heat the inside of their hive like we heat our homes. We like every room to be warm. Bees, however, only produce heat from within the cluster. The cluster consumes honey and shiver to produce heat.
Bees begin to cluster when the outside temperature reaches 57 (f). Temperature of the outer surface of the winter cluster is just over 40 (f).
Within the center of the winter cluster the temperature is around 93 (f).
Never inspect a frame outside the hive until the temperature reaches 65 (f).
Colonies in the Midwest and north need around 4 frames of pollen for the winter, along with 60 pounds of honey.
Typically in northern climates the queen will stop laying in November through December but will start laying again shortly after winter solstice (December 21 or 22).
Winter bees have larger hypopharyngeal glands and more fat body reserves.
Bees can die in the winter if they become too filled with waste and cannot fly out and defecate.
Bees keep their humidity level at 40-50% in the summer hive and in the winter cluster.
The diameter of the winter cluster is around 14 inches at 57 (f) degrees, but 10 inches at -14 (f)
An outside temperature of 45 (f) degrees is most optimal for efficient use of stored resources.
A winter cluster is made up of an outside shell of bees around 3 inches thick that is very compressed. The bees heads are facing inward.
Within the center of the winter cluster, bees are less compressed and move around caring for brood.
Bees vibrate their flight muscles to generate heat for the winter cluster.
Normally a colony forms a winter cluster below their stored honey and gradually move up near the available honey as winter progresses.
Smaller winter clusters consume more resources per bee than larger clusters.
Bees can identify temperature differences as small as 0.45 (f).
Very small clusters cannot survive temperatures 45 (f) and below.
The winter cluster prefers dark comb and usually avoids new comb.
Varroa mites, small hive beetles and trachea mites also survive within the warmth of the winter cluster.

Here’s some winter tips:
Never remove frames for inspection unless the temperature is at least 65 degrees.
Aster is not a good overwintering honey because it crystalizes fast and the bees rarely ripen it prior to winter. Crystallized honey in the winter can give the bees dysentery because it produces liquid as it separates and the bees are unable to take the cleansing flights they need.
Never give bees molasses, brown sugar or corn syrup as these contain complex carbohydrates and other compounds which the bees are unable to digest.
Bees prefer to overwinter on foundation that has been used in brood rearing and will rarely move onto new comb.
Here in the Midwest colonies need between 60-80 pounds of stored honey. Here are the weights of frames filled with honey:
DEEP FRAME         6 lbs
MEDIUM FRAME     3 lbs

Colonies need 4 frames of pollen for winter.
In our next lesson, we will be rolling out a lesson on Top Bar Hives and we’ll be rolling out our own design for the Top Bar Hives that we are not producing in addition to our regular traditional Langstroth hives.
Here’s our contact info:
14556 N 1020 E. Rd
Fairmount, IL 61841

EMAIL: david@honeybeesonline.com
Follow us on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/longlanehoney
Sign up to receive our daily beekeeping newsletter at: http://www.honeybeesonline.com/ez.html
Follow our podcasts on iTunes at: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/studio-bee-live/id400801201
Or listen online at: www.honeybeesonline.com/studiobeelive.html
Until next time, BEE-Have Yourself!

Happy New Year,
David & Sheri Burns

Źródło: Lesson 90: Winter Tips

Podobne wiadomosci:

  • Expert Ideas and Tips to Design Your Office Space
  • Expert Tips of Office Solutions For Small Spaces
  • Tips and Ideas from Design Office Space Online
  • Skomentuj:

    You must be logged in to post a comment.

    skanowanie Lublin skanowanie w lublinie skanowanie lublin drukowanie z internetu serwis ekspresów do kawy warszawa wielki format w lublinie skanowanie lublin skanowanie dokumentów lublin