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Dewinterizing questions, Kansas, USA


#1

I am in Kansas City where it is still 2 1/2 weeks from the official first day of Spring. It is currently 61 degrees and my bees are actively foraging and even returning with their pollen sacks full. I have no idea what is blooming this early, but clearly the bees do. The attached photo is our weather forecast for the next week. The lowest low is 24 degrees F. The daytime highs are in the 40s and 50s.

My questions:

  1. When should I take off my Bee Cozy hive wrap?

  2. If they are finding pollen while foraging, should I still be feeding them pollen patties? Should I switch to feeding them syrup water?


#2

Please take into account that my climate is different from yours, and I am responding based on what I have read, not personal experience of your climate.

It seems that many people wait until the night time lows are in the low 50s. That may be a little late, but when I have looked at this in the past, that is the summary I came away with.

Again, my understanding is that you want the temps at night to be fairly consistently above 50F. If not, they won’t take syrup, although they will still take patties or fondant. Whether or not they need feeding at all, only an inspection and hive weights can really tell you. :blush:


#3

Low 50s? That surprises me. It probably won’t be there consistently until mid May.


#4

Me too. :blush: You might want to ask your local beekeepers what they do. After all, your hive management is no different from theirs, you just have an easier harvest. :wink:


#5

I’m still winterized. I did an inspection and veroa second treatment. My girls are up top at night in the cold and down low during the day. They have stored honey up top and have brood in the bottom brood box. They have fondant in my Vivaldi board, and outside pollen and external sugar syrup in an entrance feeder. My entrance is still small and they seem to be finding the stored honey the main stay. 4 frames of brood and my first gander of drone cells which is in my photos. Lots of babies expected soon.


#6

I’m having your exact weather! :grinning:


#7

Nice photos, @Martha :blush:


#8

Thank you! It was hard to take a photo and hold the frame and not squish :honeybee::honeybee:’s :grinning:


#9

I took a picture of my bees at 46 degrees F outside. Some went outside with out a jacket on and I had to pick 4 up off the ground and set them on something warm and then they flew off.


#10

LOL where is that photo from?
Nice and sunny today in Sicily, with 21 degrees celcius.


#11

That is a certified high altitude arctic bee!

:heart_eyes: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :rofl:


#12

Looks like their working on getting the drone numbers up in preparation for mating!


#13

I checked them today and there is a lot of drone brood. No queen cells but I want to know why some brood is covered in a reddish color and other brood is covered in yellow? I’m pretty worried as the 2 8 frame brood boxes are full, the honey reserves are gone and more 5 frames of brood is going to hatch with more bad weather coming though I put some sugar syrup on the entrance


#14

I’m joined in a few bee groups on Facebook and I asked if I could copy someone’s picture. :grinning: I thought it was cute.


#15

@Martha If the hive doesn’t have any resources left I would definitely put some pollen patties and sugar candy/fondant in the hive for the bees until things warm up enough that you can feed some syrup. Your initial post states that you have resources in the entrance and on the vivaldi board so you should be ok. I don’t think the hive would rear more brood than it could take care of. At least in my area of the Northwest the temps are starting to move upward. Highs in the forties and even low fifties with lows in the mid to high twenties/low thirties. I would guess your temps should be similar and probably even a little warmer. I think your sitting in a great place and things should only look up!


#16

They are going to have a 4 day reprieve in weather and I do have a pollen patty on hand. They are bringing in pollen as it’s the season for blooming trees. I thank you for your suggestion! Yum we are having similar weather and this week lows will be in the mid 40’s so I’m feeling good that the workers will have ample time to do t their thing. Just one more thing: at what stage are the bees being fed pollen?


#17

The pollen and nectar are combined to make bee bread/royal jelly which is fed to the brood. So for the first couple of days for workers and then an additional couple of days for queens.


#18

Today was warm enough to administer a pollen patty. It’s the first time I’ve fed one! It didn’t go rapidly either! :joy: The bees took syrup as they desired and the 2 8 frame brood boxes looked full. And now I’m trying to figure the best method of dealing with swarming. I have no skills yet. I understand the hive inspection swarm cells part though behavior and hive fullness are hard to identify for me. Thanks for your suggestions! :grinning:


#19

@Martha Check out his link. Hope this helps and gives you some ideas. This last spring I dealt with swarm cells by putting them in another box. I added another frame that had both honey and pollen. You could put a frame of capped brood in the box too but make sure the queen isn’t on the frame. I also put a frame feeder in the box as well with sugar water.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesswarmcontrol.htm

John


#20

Thanks! That was a thorough explanation and it had some great suggestions too. I’m going to read it again in the morning. I’m going to look up superceedure cells.thank you!