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Winter activity or early buildup


#1

Last few clear days the bees have been really active. Its still winter but they seem over active. Generally the winter has been very mild so maybe they have decided its time to kick off spring.

Cheers
Rob


#2

Rob,

Yah ! They look rather busy !! What were your approx. temps at this time ? Did it look like a “Purging Flight” ? Or have you seen these before ? Last couple times I saw a couple my mentors hives busy similar … Does get your interest n curiosity up, right ?

Thankz for sharing :+1:.
Gerald


#3

I am not too far away from you Rob, just down the mountain in Sydney. Still not quite spring here either but you can feel the warm fuzziness of those spring days are on the way and I reckon the bees know it too.


#4

Gerald

Temp was about 12°C but still and sunny. Don’t think it is a purging flight, they are much larger and usually in the early afternoon.

See ya
Rob


#5

Rod,

You can surely feel spring now those “loverly” winds have eased. The wattle is well and truely out and things seem to be waking up.

See ya
Rob.


#6

Rob,

Yah ! Probably not Purgung at that temp ! That’s about our 52 dgs F … Our bees this Spring were out n looking for Grub n Stuff at that warmth.

I picked up my Nuc’s of bees 4/15 … It was cloudy, breezy n cool … Our high: 14 dgs C n Low: 8 dgs that day. My bees were diffiniately out.in number that first day looking around during the warmest of it ! They were hungry I guess even with me feeding them or just out stretching their wings ! :smile:. Up here the magic number is 55 dgs F (About 13 dgs C) they say bees get out n do there stuff but I’ve seen them out foraging in the upper 40’s F here. Guess they forgot to tell the :honeybee::honeybee::honeybee:’s it’s too Cold outside. :smile:

Got to move on here. Thanks for the note.

Gerald


#7

You are not wrong Gerald. My bees are out almost every day during winter, seems double digits do it for them. If its above 10°C they seem to be out and about, if somewhat lazy at that temperature.

Cheers
Rob.


#8

Any early pollen and nectar plants open?


#9

Plenty of pollen but not much nectar yet.


#10

Yes same here in the early spring. They will have carbohydrate as winter stores, pollen protein they need to rear brood


#11

Hi @Rmcpb - Rob,

Mine in Christchurch NZ are extremely active for the middle of winter too. Such an unusually warm winter here (not much skiing going on).

I am a bit concerned as I’d really like to take a look, but typically we leave them alone until spring. Varroa is one of my concerns because they must be interacting with plenty of other bees out in the community, even though I gave them an autumn treatment.

Also, bee confusion (with seasons) and potential swarming. My one colony was rather small heading into winter with a very new virgin queen, who has clearly mated successfully because the colony is building like mad. I was quietly watching them yesterday and saw a few drones emerge and go for a flight! In the middle of winter!!

Crazy. Cheers, Paul


#12

Know what you mean about wanting to take a peek Paul but we will still get more cold weather and I don’t want to break their seals yet. I lifted the hives yesterday and they are still heavy but the foragers are bringing in lots of pollen. Looks like an early and risky buildup.

Cheers
Rob.


#13

Yeah, that’s my concern too. I can still see a bit of capped honey through the window, so they def have some supplies, but I don’t think I’d trust my judgement to pick up the (two) brood boxes to know how much.

Wattle is in full bloom and lots of pollen coming in and I just saw another drone come out for a fly in amongst thousands of girls…


#14

I just got an Arnia hive monitoring system to help me with that kind of judgement.
http://arnia.co.uk
Hope to install it in the next couple of weeks and I will let you know how it goes! :wink:


#15

Dawn, does your Arnia weigh the hive? I used to do that with luggage scales. In fact my floors all still have eye bolts on each side but I’ve learned to heft after all these years.


#16

Yes it does. I have the scales, brood temp, hive humidity, flight and fanning acoustics and weather station. I will post most once I have some real data. :blush:


#17

Ha…you must indeed be Dr Gadget …and I mean that in the nicest possible way.
I presume your Arnia is on your Flow?
I wonder how much each jar of honey cost…
I’m in my ninth year (I thought it was 8 but it’s 9) and I don’t think I’ve broken even yet


#18

:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

It will be, yes. I will share with all here, so that others can decide if an Arnia monitor might be a helpful device for their hives.

I suppose that is a question for idle curiosity, more than anything else. We have had a tablespoon of honey out of our hive so far this year (from bridge comb), so I guess it cost about $1,500 :smile: But then all honey in subsequent years will have very little cost. We have a small business, and capital costs are allowed to be offset against profits. I suppose we could consider our hobby in the same way. I don’t remember the time period allowed (our accountant handles that) but if we say 5 years, it will cost us about $300 per year no matter how much honey we get. I am hoping that the hives will last 15-20 years, so then the cost is really pretty low at $75 per year plus glassware and repairs. We should be able to cover that quite easily, but we are not doing it for the money in any case! :wink:


#19

Yes please…I’d be really interested in how it changes your beekeeping…if it does, of course

PPS
I would really be interested in how accurate this gizmo is in indicating when the colony is brood-less. Add a hygienic queen and you could get away with just the one Oxalic vape a year


#20

It should be very accurate, but I am not sure that we will ever go broodless in coastal SoCal. Especially as my queens are hygienic Italian - well-known for relentless laying! :blush: