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Joe B

NZBF Wintering down

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Removed Bayvarol strips from my 2 Hives today & down to 1 part frame of brood in 1 hive and other 2 part frames.Both Queens reduced in abdomen so shutting down for next 2 months.

Fingers crossed Varroa treatment has worked before Apivar in early August.

Stores are good but number of bees are much reduced from Summer.

Any thing else I should do?

Have insulated roof.s with 12mm foam.

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Full bottom board or mesh floor?

Hive Doctor Floor.

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Hi Joe. Is there any reason why you put your apivar in in early August?

Standard spring varroa treatment.

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Hive Doctor Floor.

 

Do you use plastic sheet to cover your frames?

 

I have mesh floors and I have a plastic sheet over the frames to keep the warm air in the hive while all the moisture, if any, goes out at the bottom. Very good results.

 

I have a 25mm polystyrene sheet in the lid too and a hive mat.

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I

 

Do you use plastic sheet to cover your frames?

 

I have mesh floors and I have a plastic sheet over the frames to keep the warm air in the hive while all the moisture, if any, goes out at the bottom. Very good results.

 

I have a 25mm polystyrene sheet in the lid too and a hive mat.

Is the plastic sheet just over the top of the frames with hive mat above?

These hives are wintering as 2 full depth box,s

One has queen in bottom box.Other queen had brood in both box,s a month ago but has decided to concentrate in the top box.

Iam not prepared to reverse situation at this time of the year.

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The plastic sheet seals the top properly creating a BELL. The bees will go higher if is too cold out there or lower if needed while all the moisture goes out at the bottom.

Less food needed and more brood in the spring.

 

The hives mat is important too. The bees will push up the plastic sheet(with bits of burr comb) a bit to create a space above the frames to circulate the air.

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On 28/05/2017 at 7:33 PM, Kiwi Bee said:

The plastic sheet seals the top properly creating a BELL. The bees will go higher if is too cold out there or lower if needed while all the moisture goes out at the bottom.

Less food needed and more brood in the spring.

 

The hives mat is important too. The bees will push up the plastic sheet(with bits of burr comb) a bit to create a space above the frames to circulate the air.

Do many beeks use this technique? How many frames of honey is safe for winter in a single brood box no supers?

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12 hours ago, Tanijak said:

Do many beeks use this technique? How many frames of honey is safe for winter in a single brood box no supers?

I have a propolis mat directly on my frames that the bees fill with wax and propolis creating the same effect as a impermeable plastic sheet.  The hive mat on top of that then a closed cell foam mat then a tin lid, I have open mesh floors on the bottom. As far as honey stores go the more the merrier as this also acts as insulation, if the area you have your hives in has very little winter forage or lots of bad weather you need to keep an eye on the food levels.  A heft test is a quick way of checking food stores, do this when the hive is full and heavy a change in weight is very noticeable.  I understand that carniolans go thru less food than the yellow Italians so your bee type will make a difference to food requirements too.

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4 hours ago, Oma said:

I understand that carniolans go thru less food than the yellow Italians so your bee type will make a difference to food requirements too.

As will your microclimate/winter floral sources. 

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@Tanijak up there Far North you may have humid winters so ventilation is a must.

While I had full bottom boards(ages ago) I encountered dump frames covered with mold and it was a nightmare to recover those hives in the spring.

Then I changed to mesh floors and I started to use the plastic sheet + 25-30mm polystyrene sheet in the lid. I had great wintering while the hives were on 1 box and the stores were like 60% of frames full. Then in August I started to give them some 1:1 syrup.

 

Most recently I switched to 18mm marine ply lids(no plastic sheets) and still mesh floors for 1 box. Stores will last till August and then the syrup comes. No problem if the hives are booming too early because I can add the second brood box, so I prevent swarming. Plus I use some brood from the very strong hives to equalize and to rebuild the lost hives over the winter.

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Thanks, my hives are single brood box on HD bases 5 6 frames honey inside, I have feed them yesterday 2:1 sugar syrup (top feeder). Was waiting for todays rain to help with robbing. I have wood rim hive mats. Should I matchstick the mats for ventilation? Cut a groove in the mat rims? Or keep hive sealed with a plastic sheet inside. All may work but what's the favourite out there. Moisture is my main concern. Thanks in advance.

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On 11/04/2019 at 9:14 AM, Tanijak said:

Moisture is my main concern. Thanks in advance.

You could always try a hessian mat with 10 or 15cm of wood shavings above it below the lid. ...like a Warre...... 

 

 

 

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@TanijakI will add the plastic sheet after feeding below the hive mat.

Also reduce the entrance if not done yet.

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Moisture's a funny thing ..... some hives do and some hives don't ...... there's a song about that somewhere... not about hives, but anyway ..... we cut  entrances in all our mats and make sure they go down with the entrance down as a breather ....

On 26/05/2017 at 9:57 PM, Joe B said:

Removed Bayvarol strips from my 2 Hives today & down to 1 part frame of brood in 1 hive and other 2 part frames.Both Queens reduced in abdomen so shutting down for next 2 months.

Fingers crossed Varroa treatment has worked before Apivar in early August.

Stores are good but number of bees are much reduced from Summer.

Any thing else I should do?

Have insulated roof.s with 12mm foam.

Oxcalic dribble mid winter ....in the winterless north  ...? 

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Use a division board, with the cut out scoop entrance down.  A division board is just a hive mat with a small scoop in the wooden frame.

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On 14/04/2019 at 6:48 PM, jamesc said:

we cut  entrances in all our mats and make sure they go down with the entrance down as a breather ...

 

Do they not bung it up with propolis?

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8 hours ago, Hellsbelle said:

 

Do they not bung it up with propolis?

Our bees down here generally don't make a lot of propolis.

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