March 21, 2010
The snow I put in the winter shed worked nicely. It kept the temp at 5 degrees while outside temps ranged around 8-10 degrees C. The bees sure stir up while I work in there. Sometimes I wonder if I just left them alone, if they would manage just fine. But I couldn’t risk a warm winter shed. That risk far outweighs the bit of disturbance I caused them. Many hives were hanging outside the boxes, hanging motionless, but slowly one flying off every once and a while. In a warmer shed situation there are many more bees outside the hive and more flying off into the darkness.
The warm temperature had broken nicely. And cooler temperatures are keeping the shed temperature alot more consistent. This week we are expecting some nice warm flyable days, but night time temps lows are reaching -12 degrees. That makes it way to cold to move bees out.
Long range looks promising, with temps increasing to 7’s and 9’s beginning of next month. At that time I will take my best days and get themout of the shed. I am noticing alot more spotting on the fronts of the hives. I hate seeing this. It really discourages me and tells me they need to get out. Its something that I had seen wintering outdoor also.
One thing about this last winter I will comment on. The winter was actually quite nice and I think the bees would probably have done better outside, especially considering they would have exercised a week of flying already. But We all know what type of winter we usually have,
Posted by Ian Steppler at 10:02 PM | Permalink
March 16, 2010
Well, the temp in Winnipeg is going to reach 10 degrees C tomorrow, but they are only calling 4 or 5 degrees here. Any rate I went and filled the winter shed with snow after dark with the skid steer. Tomorrow as the temp rises, I will toss it around in along the isles to help keep the temp down. I am noticing the bees are starting to get real impatient, so I really would dread a over heated winter shed right about now. Even if the high temp doesn’t come, at least I’m ready for it if it does.
Took a peak in to a couple of hives, lots of bees! Hope they all look that good.
Posted by Ian Steppler at 09:40 PM | Permalink
March 07, 2010
The weather has been mild for the last couple of weeks. The large amount of snow we have received over the winter is starting to melt but we have quit a way to go. There is alot of snow stuck to the fields and the snowbanks tower our yard sites. I am starting to get nervous on where I am going to place the hives in 3 weeks time. Soo much snow makes it impossible to dry out by the time I need to set the hives out. I have 3 yards that I can hinge on if nothing else clears up. But I would like to place them further out.
The winter shed is working exactly as I had planned it to. This year I kept the temp to 4 degrees C. The bees seemed more active at this temp yet I think it has more to do with hive population than temperature. Most all hives make a sound when I tap on them, and many are handing out of the front entrance.
One thing I noticed this winter is very little spotting on the front of the hives. Why so much last year and other winters, I dont know,.? Perhaps a good sign.
Just attended a bee convention, and picked up many useful tips. Also gained alot of practical basic knowledge of beekeeping.
Bought my Ezyloader and a F50 truck for my upcoming honey pull. I am switching my operation towards more of a machine lift management. Many different ideas on how to accomplish this, but I think I got things figured to fit my operation. My back is tiered, I need to change something if I want to keep doing this. This machine might just keep me beekeeping for some time ahead.
Cant beekeep if I cant lift a box, right?
Posted by Ian Steppler at 10:17 PM | Permalink