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  Tuesday, 24 February 2015
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so with the extremely long cold spell my bees have made no cleansing flights even last Sunday when it reached close to 30 degrees. A fellow beekeeper had flights last Sunday about 10 miles away
I wrapped on the hives and heard nothing. I cleaned out a lot of dead bees We may of lost our hives again. :sick: Has anyone else been checking hives...are you seeing signs of cleansing flights? I have to believe this could be one of the deadliest winters Vermont bees have seen. If most lost half of their hives last winter hate to see what this spring brings. Then again if any survived we may be breeding extremely (northern hardy survivor stock). Would love some feedback.
7 years ago
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#1177
So far so good! They're all looking good
5 hives one nuc
7 years ago
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#1176
Yep, I snowshoed out to mine this past weekend. What a workout in the deep snow!
7 years ago
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#1175
Great news Anne! Yahoo indeed!
7 years ago
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#1174
checked them today and all 3 are alive….one I thought was dead started to exit the back entrance..fed them more fondant….one very vigorous and swarmed out when I jostled them..gave them more fondant..the biggest one looks well fed with honey on top and fondant not yet touched and all were down in the middle of the hive…wahoo
7 years ago
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#1173
Looks like we had a cleansing flight today. I also open the cover and it looks like both nucs are still alive. Not a lot of bees but there were some. I need to get them some feed.
7 years ago
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#1172
We lost two hives looked like they starved but still had honey worked themselves into a corner. Of The two first times Nucs we created one is still hanging in there.
7 years ago
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#1171
Hey Janice - I've got 4-6ft drifts in the field where my hives are and will have to snowshoe to get to them.

gsmela@ssvt.net

7 years ago
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#1170
I'm here up in the high hills of Fletcher and have snow 4 ft deep in places. All of my hives have signs of cleansing flights and dead bees around them. My single Nuc didn't make it but so far so good with the others... But now is the time to stay on top of things with your bees as I have lost hives to the last cold snap of the winter. I put winter patties on all last Sunday and will be checking them regularly until this bad winter is well behind us. My fingers are crossed!
7 years ago
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#1169
I have the same…checked them last weekend but it was barely 30 deg here ..no flights and no noise…it was windy so I am hoping …I had checked them in mid January when we had a freak half day of 40 deg…of 3 hives 2 were flying and one was silent at that time..the silent one was weaker going into the winter but there was honey on top so maybe they were more tightly clustered but doubt it…added fondant then too although there was honey in all on top (my work schedule sometimes means I miss that sporadic warm day to check bees so have to do it proactively when I can)..also had several dead bees at entrances and cleaned this away…still too cold here to check inside..may be this weekend (?Sun) or next week..anyway..what's done is done and I can't help them now but hoping they are tough enough. Anne
7 years ago
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#1168
Knock on wood! The 6 behind the house here in Shelburne are all doing well. Lots of cleansing evidence everywhere. Stethoscope on the side of the hives with lots of buzzing. I've also been diligent cleaning the upper opening of frost and the dead from the fully open entrance. Looks like we could have a day soon to take a peek.
7 years ago
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#1167
Sounds promising for as cold of a winter we have had. I'm hesitant to open the cover and chill them I've read if you plug the bottom entrance temporarily, is stops the chimney effect of drawing up cold air into the hive also if you are going to peek and have snow at the entrance wait to clean it out after you lift the hood.
7 years ago
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#1166
I have 3 hives and live in Corinth. We have not had any days above the 20's. A few days ago, temp in 20's, 2 of the hives made cleansing flights and I lost a lot of bees. Today, same weather, the third hive was flying, and quite a few didn't make it. I managed to get some fondant on all 3, and the bees were at the top of 2. At least I know as of today, all 3 are still alive.
7 years ago
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#1165
I'm in Fletcher (Franklin county) and my bees were trying to cleanse this past Sunday. Poop right outside the upper entrance and in a few places in front of the hive and on top. They pooped on my good ski jacket , too! :lol: I'd gone out to check them since Iit was 30'ish over here and I didn't know when I'd get another opportunity. (I described this on another thread.) Many bees on the very top so I made and fed them fondant. I had to put a shim on to make room for the fondant and although I used the shim last winter, the bees made a mess of comb between the tops of the frames and the underside of the inner cover, but I'd rather clean that up later and make room for a thick piece of fondant which will hopefully last them til the next warm spell when I can check them again. They jumped all over it so I presume they are close to being out of stores and/or can't get to any, if they actually have any left. I was amazed (as always!) and encouraged by the number of bees so I'm hopeful that if we can get a warm spell going, they will make it. Tough-ass bees indeed!!
7 years ago
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#1164
I have a double nuc and the last time I peeked at them was right after the winter meeting in January. One side of the nuc the cluster was still in the bottom chamber and it looked like they hadn't touched the four frames of honey in the top box. The other side I saw just a golf ball size cluster in the top box. So I'm assuming that I lost that side. I'm planning ahead and ordered another nuc for the spring. I think anything that can survive this winter are some tough-ass bees.
Well looking at the long range weather we should see a little break the first of March,
I'm sure the Bees will be happy to have some warmer weather we have had two very cold months in this area frost is over six feet down
With all this snow cover.
7 years ago
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#1162
Yup....it is a wait and see scenario.
Here in Monkton/Hinesburg/Fairhaven there have been limited cleansing flights.

Assuming the bees are alive what do you think the cluster behavior is?


Scott
7 years ago
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#1161
I am in MOntpelier. My bees are behind the house facing south so they are pretty protected. The fe warm days we've had this year the bees have been making cleansing flights and kamikaze runs out in the snow. This past Saturday I put in winter patties around noon and when I came home at 5:00 the snow was almost yellow for ten feet in front of the hives. Lots of crashed bees as well. So, mine are taking cleansing flights but I will say it is only on days with no wind and strong sunlight. Below freezing doesn't seem to matter as much if those other two conditions are met. Still there are a lot of them in the snow but I understand that is normal. We definitely could use a break though - A couple of days of thaw would certainly make their life easier.
7 years ago
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#1160
I'm in Hinesburg, and I don't think my bees have had a cleansing flight for weeks or months. I don't see any spots in the snow in front of the hives. On Sundays, there were a few dead bees in the snow. So I think any that ventured out didn't make it back. I did put an ear to the hive and still hear humming inside, so I still have some alive. Time will tell.

Mike
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