Author Topic: Over wintering results.  (Read 3671 times)

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Offline apisbees

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2016, 09:32:19 am »
I can see how that would work, first there have been studies on hive density for blueberries pollination and the increase in yield by having more colonies per acre. It was found economical to use 5 hives per acre.
Blueberries are so unattractive to the bees that after a few days the bees will have found better nectar sources outside the blueberry fields. By moving the hives and forcing the bees to reorient it will start the foraging cycle over again, keeping the bees in the fields rather than foraging further away. Think of placing hives in a field and the way the bees expand out as when you throw a rock in the pond and you see the ripples on the water expand out from that point. The further from the center and the larger in diameter the ring gets, the waves or ripples get smaller till they fade to nothing. By placing more hives (throwing a bigger rock), you create a bigger ripple that will extend out further and last longer.
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Offline Perry

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2016, 10:02:40 am »
Do you think it's good for the bees?

It also makes it next to impossible to get the "stakeholder" to commit to any long term strategy as far as sustainable colony numbers when they can easily skew the numbers "needed" by simply changing the formula to suit their needs.
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Offline apisbees

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2016, 10:43:56 am »
There strategy is going to have to change. As new plantings mature the need of those fields become greater.
Most farmers when it comes to pollination tend to go for the minimum rather than going for the maximum number of colonies. But still want the maximum crop, and blame the bees when it doesn't happen.
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Offline neillsayers

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2016, 12:20:19 pm »
Good job Perry! :)
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Offline Marion

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2016, 12:13:59 pm »
Perry, I still have the one hive going into my third summer with it. When it was 60 degrees out about a month ago I went into the hive, switched the deeps around so that the bees were on the bottom with honey frames over them. Plenty of honey. My main purpose was to get rid of burr comb that was growing into the bottom board. I wanted to check for varroa mites with a sticky board and could not get it under. It has been cold ever since. I'm thinking I may have a queenless hive also because I did not see a much brood at the time. I did not check it out carefully because I wanted to get things back together so they would not be too cold. Waiting for a nice warm day to go back in and check for queen presence. I thought I would go in today, 60 degrees but a cool wind, maybe tomorrow. Going into the cold again this weekend. I may have to requeen, but we would prefer to let the bees do it. But, if there is no queen then we will have to purchase one.I am not giving any pollen pattys because the bees are bringing in pollen. Just not a lot of bees. We have ordered a nuc for a second hive coming in early May. I like to read your messages because you are north of me so I trust your methods for bee survival.

Offline Perry

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2016, 01:25:33 pm »
Marion, if you see pollen coming in, the bees are raising something.  :)
Worst case scenario is laying workers, maybe a drone layer, but I have a hunch you are OK.
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Offline Marion

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2016, 01:47:07 pm »
Perry, thank you for your positive comment. I'm hoping too.

Offline apisbees

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2016, 02:09:33 pm »
At 60 and even with a bit of wind you can do a check start at a side and peel frames from the side when you get to ones with brood don't pull the frame all the way out just spread it and look that the capping's on the brood is flat. This time of year as long as she is laying thats all we need to see.
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Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2016, 05:43:55 pm »
Give em hades Perry!
   Blueberries can be hard on bees. I have done quite a bit of looking into it since that is where I am headed. I had not heard about swapping locations, but may give that a try. I intend to stay nearby and keep an eye on the bees. If the hives start to get lighter I intend to put patties on and even feed if necessary.
   I am getting ionto it, because we have friends in the blueberry business that are unhappy with the bees they have been getting, and because of the money involved. That does not mean the bees should not be tended or cared for. Any grower that sprays while the bees are "on" should be abandoned immediately. Load up the hives and drive away. I have learned that there are plenty of opportunities for someone with enough hives, that inconsiderate actions need not be tolerated.
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Offline CBT

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2016, 10:02:40 pm »
Good reason to trailer them in. Need to move, no problem, hitch and move.

Offline apisbees

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #30 on: March 31, 2016, 10:30:22 pm »
   Blueberries can be hard on bees. I have done quite a bit of looking into it since that is where I am headed. I had not heard about swapping locations, but may give that a try.
Swapping locations will be even harder on the bees. Better for the grower, but not the bees. It you can not move them 2 miles, bees will be going back to old location. After 4 or 5 days the bees will have found the more desirable nectar sources out side the blue berry parch. moving will keep them foraging closer to the hive at the expense of the bees finding better forage. It's a trade off of whats in the bees or growers best interest. Keep in mind that you are the beekeeper and they are the grower. Bees are your business, look out for them.
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Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #31 on: April 01, 2016, 01:08:28 am »
Good to know, Thank you Apis.
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Offline riverbee

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #32 on: April 20, 2016, 09:30:41 pm »
"Perry, I still have the one hive going into my third summer with it. When it was 60 degrees out about a month ago I went into the hive, switched the deeps around so that the bees were on the bottom with honey frames over them. Plenty of honey. My main purpose was to get rid of burr comb that was growing into the bottom board. I wanted to check for varroa mites with a sticky board and could not get it under."

marion, that's great having a hive go into 3 seasons................the burr comb growing into the bottom board, this is what we call 'ladder comb'; sort of a ladder for the bees to go up into frames or one frame below to another above......it's common, and they will just rebuild it.  not sure what the answer is for this when using sticky boards? 
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Offline neillsayers

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #33 on: April 20, 2016, 10:16:12 pm »
Perry,

I have no experience with blueberry pollination though I built a blueberry orchard (3 acres) twenty years ago I ended up selling that is still going strong. Back then we relied on wild pollinators but nowadays there is a need for pollinators with the many growers in the area.
My question is are blueberries poor in nectar or pollen for the bees?
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Offline apisbees

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #34 on: April 20, 2016, 10:41:40 pm »
They do produce nectar but the sugar content is lower than other more desirable plants. The other issue is you need to over saturate an area so there is not enough other forage in the area so the bees are forced to work the blueberries.
Go to this thread and most plants are listed and they state their Pollen/nectar attractiveness as well as the nectar content.
sugar concentration and the quantity of nectar is effected by moisture available to the plant the amount of sunshine and temperature. Some years a modest honey crop can be collected off of the blueberries, In other years the bees will consume food faster than they can bring it in. The problem is you don't know how the year will be until after the damage is done, or the year was successful.
http://www.worldwidebeekeeping.com/forum/index.php/topic,5344.0.html
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Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #35 on: April 20, 2016, 11:04:46 pm »
Most research I have done on the Blueberries says I need to supplement the pollen with patties etc while my bees are "on"...    I actually intend to be there the whole time, so my plan is to do inspections and see exactly what is happening, is the hive gaining weight or losing weight, gaining nectar and losing pollen stores or vice versa...   I have high hopes that this will allow me to better prepare the bees, and myself for the following years, and provide a better service to the blueberry fields owners, as well as keep my bees from going downhill....  Big plans... that i am sure others have done before me, just wish I could find their results!
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Offline apisbees

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #36 on: April 21, 2016, 12:52:29 am »
I have heard of both good and bad, depending on the year Moisture before the bloom, sunny and hot during the bloom, the plant produces more sweeter nectar and you can collect a surplus. Dry or cold and wet the nectar can contain 20% less sugars, secret less nectar, coupled with less flight time due to Inclement weather, the bees suffered. I know guys that have quite going cause it is not worth the risk to them. being their to check on them is a good step, it will allow you to add honey supers or syrup whatever is needed.
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Offline neillsayers

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #37 on: April 21, 2016, 05:23:42 am »
I said it was twenty years ago, but it was actually 30-my, how time flies. I do recall discussion of how the flower shape made pollination difficult and wild pollinators such as mason bees and others could be better suited for the job. I still recall mobs of bees, wild, feral honeybees, even bumblebees all over my field in the spring.
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