Author Topic: Fall Management  (Read 13493 times)

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Offline riverbee

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Fall Management
« on: September 12, 2014, 12:06:33 pm »
A great pdf file with good information on preparing your hives now for upcoming winter months. 

"Fall management is primarily concerned with preparing honey bee colonies for winter. Successful wintering depends largely upon the condition of the colonies in the fall. Prior to the spread of parasitic mites, about 10 percent of colonies were normally lost each year because of poor management, starvation, weak colonies, or other unexplained reasons.

Typical fall management consists of checking colonies for the proper arrangement of hive equipment, proper hive ventilation, adequate food stores, and adequate colony strength once or twice during the fall. Treatments for Varroa mites and tracheal mites should also be applied in the late summer or early fall and then removed from colonies prior to winter. A fall Fumidil-B® treatment for Nosema disease is also recommended."


the article covers:
*HIVE EQUIPMENT PREPARATION FOR WINTER
*MOUSE PROTECTION
*NOSEMA TREATMENT
*BEE POPULATIONS
*HIVE VENTILATION
*WINTER STORES
*VARROA MITE AND TRACHEAL MITE CONTROL

Fall Management MAAREC - University of Delaware

if anyone else has anything to add, links, info, comments, etc., to help the newer beeks get their bees ready this fall, please do so! 
thanks!

i have also attached the file, just click on the paperclip to open it.
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Offline tedh

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Re: Fall Management
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2014, 09:30:02 am »
Riverbee, when I try to open that file my computer starts opening tabs like crazy, last time, it hit 133 tabs before I closed it out.  Ted
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Offline riverbee

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Re: Fall Management
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2014, 11:26:28 am »
thanks ted, wow, doesn't happen to me?  i uploaded the file, so go to my post, and click on the paperclip at the bottom, you should be able to open it without any problems. 
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Offline tedh

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Re: Fall Management
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2014, 05:53:34 pm »
Thanks Riverbee!  That answered 2 of my most pressing questions re: going into winter.  I like the mouse guard idea, using the wooden reducer (4 in. open) upside down so dead bees or detritus doesn't plug it up!  Never would have thought of that!  Also I'm glad to hear that a bottom entrance with a top entrance will give adequate ventilation!  I've been reading, thinking, yes, worrying about those two things.  Ted
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Offline riverbee

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Re: Fall Management
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2014, 06:34:26 pm »
you are welcome ted, sorry you had trouble the first time around.

i have used various mouse guards, but now just use hardware cloth over the entrance, usually by the time i place entrance reducers on, the mice have found warmer facilities or have croaked from the various means i use to get rid of them, however it is still a great idea to protect our hives from mice, and i have placed hardware cloth over the e/rs.

i leave the e/r's as they are, or leave them off completely. some reverse and use them upside down.  i tend to take swipes through the entrance on the bottom board during winter months with a slim jim..... :D
having a bottom and top entrance.....? my HO, an absolute.  an upper entrance for us in north country, both for ventilation and for bees to exit when the bottom gets clogged up, and it will.  the bees move upward, so the upper entrance really does make sense for them on warmer winter days to exit the hive, and i truly believe in the upper entrance during winter months for ventilation.  my upper entrance is a 3 1/2 " notch cut out of the inner cover.

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Offline tedh

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Re: Fall Management
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2014, 07:35:23 pm »
I was concerned at first if a bottom and top entrance would be enough.  I'd read that some place shims to raise the cover for ventilation.  So, three and a half inch opening for the top entrance?  Mines only about an inch and a half.  Should I change that?  Also, I have some half inch hardware cloth, should I put that on the entrance now?  I thought it would be later, maybe October.  Though, we have had a cold snap recently.  Hmmmm.   Ted
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Offline riverbee

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Re: Fall Management
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2014, 12:14:02 pm »
i don't use shims, just the widest opening on the er or left off, and the extra long notch i cut out on my inner covers.  it works for me. i don't have problems as others do with ants and shb, so these work for me year round.  whether to change it?  hard to say ted, maybe try one that way and see what you think?  1/2" hc should be fine, that's what i use, although some beeks say a mouse can squeeze through this.  i haven't experienced that with 1/2".  the commercial guards, the metal ones with i think 3/8' circular openings are nice, but what i found with these, if put on to early in the season, the bees will often lose pollen loads that are scraped off as they are going  in.  when to put them on?  look for mouse turds in the front of the hive, on the landing board in front of the e/r. not always true, (i get them through summer months) but a good sign. you can put the hc on now if you are concerned.  when the mice decided to move into and nest in my 4 wheeler several weeks back and mess up the electronics and the clutch, to the tune of 200 bucks, the hardware cloth went on the hive...... ;D
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Offline riverbee

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Re: Fall Management
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2014, 10:45:36 pm »
wanted to bump this thread up a little for those who are looking for any info on fall management/wintering for your bees. 
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Offline Jen

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Re: Fall Management
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2014, 12:10:41 am »
Fall Management  :)  Thanks Riv, printed it off. Get the men off to bed, then curl up by the fire and read a bit  ;)
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Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: Fall Management
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2014, 09:23:19 am »
  Many folks, Robo included swear no upper ventilation is needed as long as the top is well insulated..
   They could well be right. I use what I know works, and has worked in my area/climate for a very long time..   That is reducing the lower entrance to 3/8 by 3 inches and using a small upper entrance, 1 inch to 1.5 inches wide by 3/8 inch tall..

   I happen to agree with Robo and many others that the upper entrance allows the heat to escape!!
   However, in the research I have done, what I see says it does not matter.. the heat from the cluster seldom makes a tenth of a degree difference at the wall of the hive. Tar paper around the hive made a greater temp difference inside to outside than the cluster of bees did. They heat the cluster, and rotate in and out of that cluster to maintain their own heat. Movement keeps them alive, which is also why I like using mediums AND foundation-less frames where they often have travel holes... but thats getting off target...

  The upper entrance DOES allow heat to escape, but in the process it takes moisture with it..  My preference is to get that extra moisture gone..   Though I do believe that next winter I am going to try three or four hives following Robo's advice and see how it turns out here on the plains.

http://outyard.weebly.com/wintering.html
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Offline brooksbeefarm

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Re: Fall Management
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2014, 11:41:07 am »
I have a top and bottom entrance on all my hives (for many years now) open to the east or south. My top feeder has a 3/8 shim tacked to the bottom of it with a one and a half in. opening in the front that also serves as ventilation and the top entrance, i leave them on year round. I rarely find shb inside the hive, but do find them (5 or 6) inside the top feeder with guard bees chasing them or keeping them in a corner. We had a speaker at our last club meeting that said, anyone who has a screen bottom board on there hive doesn't need a top ventilation? I didn't question him? but don't know if i agree. Any thoughts?? Jack

Offline iddee

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Re: Fall Management
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2014, 12:26:11 pm »
My thoughts? I think both the screen bottom and top entrance are a waste in my climate.  WHY? Because many of my hives will totally close the oval hole in the inner lid with propolis, even with no screen bottom or top entrance. I don't think they would do that if they wanted or needed ventilation.
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Offline brooksbeefarm

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Re: Fall Management
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2014, 01:05:49 pm »
Like most things in beekeeping it's location, i wasn't a fan of screen bottom boards at first, but found that in the hot summer i have less or no bearding with the screen bottom boards which i think opens up a bigger work force. I have both solid and screened bottoms and like you said, i have some hives that propolize (not completely shut) the top entrance on both types of bottom boards? Maybe they don't like a draft on there cluster. :D Reminds me of our dad, he slept (summer and WINTER) with his feet out of the covers (i've seen them cold blue) we had wood heat. When ask why he didn't keep them under the covers, he would say, your feet have to breath . :laugh: :laugh: Jack
PS.the stove was in the livingroom, the heat didn't make it to the bedrooms (much) ;D

Offline Jen

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Re: Fall Management
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2014, 03:05:26 pm »
Jack- 'When ask why he didn't keep them under the covers, he would say, your feet have to breath."

      I would be crazy uncomfortable trying to sleep with cold feet, I have a pair of cozy socks i were when I'm asleep. Your dad may have had Raynauds phenomenon, where the feet and/or hands are cold no matter what you do.

       I have screen bottom boards, lower entrance and upper entrance. Last year the bees propolized the top entrance closed, so I would take a pencil and open it back up again. But trusty beeks here on the forum said to let the bees close it up if they want.

       It's predicted here in Calif that we'll be having a wet winter, I feel the need to keep that upper entrance open, I might have to trump the bees on this one
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Offline iddee

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Re: Fall Management
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2014, 03:12:33 pm »
Just be sure you leave a window open in your upstairs or attic. You need ventilation, too. Probably more than the bees do.
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
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Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: Fall Management
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2014, 06:20:34 pm »
Indeed! When there are 50000 of you living and breathing in your house ventilation becoames important!!  Just had a thought... do bees have gas?  You know, from partying on fermenting honey maybe?
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Offline Perry

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Re: Fall Management
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2014, 08:05:50 pm »
Indeed! When there are 50000 of you living and breathing in your house ventilation becoames important!! Just had a thought... do bees have gas?  You know, from partying on fermenting honey maybe?

 :laugh: Only you would think of something like that! :laugh:
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Re: Fall Management
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2014, 08:35:09 pm »
IMHO Ventilation from bottom to top is critical, I insulate top of hive only so moisture drips down the sides if condensation occurs.  Don't know if they have gas, lol

Offline riverbee

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Re: Fall Management
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2014, 08:42:06 pm »
LOL gypsi! 

i have always used top and bottom entrances, ( i don't use sbb) it works for me (top and bottom entrances year round). going into winter the bees get a 2 inch shim, just in case i need to throw in feed, and 2 inches of insulation on top and they are wrapped.  the bottom entrance gets jammed up with snow and ice sometimes.......okay, most times.

bees will propolize any entrance or opening as they see fit, whether it be your entrance reducer, your top opening or the hole in your inner cover......when they do that, i let it alone.
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Offline CpnObvious

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Re: Fall Management
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2015, 09:58:26 pm »
I enjoyed this read.  Most of what's in hear I have already done. (I should hope so!  This talks about FALL management.). I'm posting a link to the Tracheal Mite bulletin this article refers to.  It includes 2 Fall/Spring menthol patty recipes to help treat the bees for Tracheal Mites.

https://agdev.anr.udel.edu/maarec/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/TRACHEAL.PDF