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Winter has arrived. Livingston, Montana, USA


#1

Well up until about two weeks ago we were having a mild winter. It has definitely arrived now. Had temps in the single digits (F) and below zero for a little over a week and then Friday evening until late Saturday night we got close to 8 inches of snow. Went out and brushed off the entrances and upper vent holes. Tapped on the hives and then proceeded to hear some buzzing. So far so good. Can’t wait till spring so I can open these up and see how they faired the winter!


#2

Those hives look well tucked up with some decent insulation
Good luck :smile:


#3

Yes indeed. I bought four 24 inch x 48 inch styrofoam panels and then cut them to fit the hives. Bought some gorilla duct tape to seal up the edges. I have moisture quilts on the top of both of the hives and then insulation in the roofs as well. Temps are going to remain cold for the next ten days. Highs in the mid teens and lows in the single digits with a couple days projected to be below zero.

At this point the only modification I am going to need to make is to the vent holes in the quilt boxes. The snowstorm filled the 3/4" hole I have in the backside of the boxes and it also closed up the entrance holes in the bottom of the hives. I suppose it wouldn’t be a big issue if the bees got trapped in for a day or two before I was able to clean them. Not likely they are going to be coming out at this point anyway.


#4

Nice Job of keeping it all warm and snug, Keep updating us on howits working.


#6

Its interesting to see the heat at the base of the hives. Do you have a screened bottom that is open? Curious what is causing the heat that close to the ground?


#7

Great photos and nice to see your post - I have missed you! :heart_eyes: I will also be interested in your answer to John’s question.


#8

Not my photos, mine look very similar with the heat coming out the bottom and I do have a screen bottom board. Mine are near my home so when I know it is going to be really cold I slide in the bottom cover two thirds of the way still leaving some ventilation through the screen bottom board. Like yesterday it was over 70° for a few hours. I went out and opened it up a bit more probably better than three quarters open.

Some things I’ve read, concerning buildup of carbon monoxide inside is that it’s best to leave it open year-round even in winter. But I feel like I want to close it up a bit for me here in Dallas I can’t imagine the panic I would go through if I saw this much snow on the ground


#9

Yeah. Getting snow here is the norm. We haven’t had much down low in the valleys for a few years but we are due for a winter to just get dumped on. I remember a night in 96 when we got 27" in one night. Lots of shoveling and plowing that next day or two. I have been in the south when it has snowed. For me it was pretty funny. There was about an 1 1/2 of snow on the ground and people were going crazy like the world was going to end. As long as you have a front wheel drive vehicle or a 4x4 pickup you will be fine. Although knowing how to drive in those conditions is important too.


#10

My Flow Hive picture isn’t as interesting as some others but thought I would add it. We were just supposed to get a dusting of snow last night here in the south end of Seattle but got a little more than that. They are calling for temps to go in the low 20s at nights for the next week so I added a thin moving blanket and tarp to my Flow Hive just as the snow started to fall yesterday. My second Flow Hive didn’t make it thru our last cold snap…it had been attacked by hornets up until our first freeze and I think that took a toll on them. This hive in the picture and one of my other hives seem to be doing well, another was hit hard by hornets too but it is holding on for now. I plan to take the tarp off after the cold spell is over at the end of the week and temps get back into the normal 30s-40s. :blush:

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!


#11

K26kv,

Greeting from Coalfield east of Renton. We only picked up 1/2" over night here in the foothills. Our low: 30.8 dgs F early this morning (pre-dawn)…

. Sorry ! Not sure how those fresh cinnamon roll pix’s fit into a snowy morning. But my fingers were frozen n tingling after the A.M, snow/hive/yard photo-shoot so had couple cups of hot coffee n sweet breakfast !

Yah ! I’m hoping my brother can slide by this week so I can get several infra-reds if possible to see just how n where the “Girls” are !! Does sound like a Puget Sound modified deep freeze sliding thru here ! We’ll have to see how the colonies do. Love to have all three make the winter including my 5 frame Nuc !

Stay in touch. Like your pix with the Snow !!

Cheers n Happy New Years neighbor,
Gerald east of the Sound

. Uploading… Uploading…


#12

Hey Kv,

How’s your food supply … Any guess. Couple weeks ago I was working with a local commercial man. We worked about 100 hives… Many of the hives with our long mild autumn had ate up a lot of honey supplies pre-mature. We were adding double winter patties to help them. We found four hives completely starved out.

I went home n double checked mine. They were still okay but had eat the first winter patties i had given them earlier.

. Here’s two recent infra-red showing my girls were up eating the available patties couple weeks ago. I added addition just incase. I’m hoping the coming cold Wx keeps them clustered yet food available … Just thot I’d give you a heads up if you haven’t checked any upper supplies you might have added above your top super frames.

Ta ta,
Gerald


#13

Have dry sugar on a layer of newspaper that they had just started nibbling on and I added a full winter patty to the top of the three remain hives just the other day when the Temps were a little warmer. Girls in two hives were out in force doing cleansing flights in the warm weather, the third wasn’t as active. The hornets messed with them a lot last fall but there is still a small bundle of them in the hive and an occasional one or two going out to do a cleansing flight. Just not nearly as many as the other two hives.

I was telling my other half about your set up with the hive temps and such. It won’t be as fancy as yours but he bought me some tempreture probes that I can lay in the hive and see the temp inside of the hive. I haven’t installed them yet but I am interested in seeing what kinds of differences there are between the hives.

Cinnamon rolls look yummy. What a nice way to start off the New Year.


#14

Leave the snow on the hives, it makes great insulation :slight_smile:


#15

Yep…We sold off our snowmobiles this fall so we know about being out in it and will leave it on top of the hives. Thanks


#16

So Gerald is the bottom red blob the cluster and the top one bees feeding on the patty? What’s in between and on top?


#17

Red n Kv,

Yah … I leave snow on my plants too. Use to take groups of boys into the high Cascades snow camping. Dig in n stay WarM ! We seldom have snow long enough for snow to do us any good here in Puget Sound !

Thought you probably had food in there but better safer than not ! I try to never assume. That’s the mother of all screw-ups !

Happy New Years guys,
Gerald. Uploading… Uploading… Uploading…


#18

Dee.

Yes, I had a possible divided colony per the infra pix’s. I did confirm both clusters with some bees in between but to few to show up on the pix’s.

I’m hoping to borrow my brothers infra camera again this week if possible. Last pix were taken when it was still in the upper 40’s F here. Starting yesterday our temps started dripping into the upper 20’s F here. There seems to still be honey in both boxes as biggest lower cluster has not moved to either side or up per earlier infra pix’s… Recorded instrument dara shows a constant drop in hive weight now.

Tonight n next few days we are not suppose to have high temps above low 30’s F n temps forecast low’s are on low 20’s or lower for a few days. I’m guess the girls are clustering tighter this morning ! Brrrr !

.
Hope this answered your thoughts n questions. Any further thoughts please send. I’ll try to answer.

Ta Ta,
Gerald

. This last pix is my Wx station data @ 06:30 before dawn. 01/02/17