Author Topic: The winter browns (not blues)  (Read 199 times)

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Offline Perry

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The winter browns (not blues)
« on: February 12, 2017, 02:49:22 PM »
I went out today, it was cold but nice and sunny. Found 1 hive that was quiet, but left it alone cause there's not much else to do for now anyway. Lots of bees in the snow, lots of brown stains all over the place. I suppose I can understand when a newbee sees scenes like these for the first time and freak out, it is kinda sad. We haven't had near the snow we normally have but that may change over the next few days as we are supposed to get pounded.

First pic is 2 pallets holding 12 nucs

















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Offline Wandering Man

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Re: The winter browns (not blues)
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2017, 04:28:45 PM »
Thank you for posting those. The snow is beautiful.  But apparently also deadly.

This is something I will likely never get to see in person.

From the disturbed snow around the bees, it looks like they were still alive when they hit the snow.  Did they fly themselves out to die?  Did they just get too cold once they left the hive to relieve themselves and couldn't make it back?  Or were they carried out by their sisters and dropped in the snow kicking and screaming?

It is not the road that is hard. 
The road just sits ...
It is how we approach the road that makes it hard.


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Offline Perry

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Re: The winter browns (not blues)
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2017, 06:09:52 PM »
I would say that the vast majority of them fly out on their own. Some will have done so to die, some will have gone on a quick cleansing flight but were unable to make it back. I don't believe we have had any days warm enough where any serious undertaking took place.
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Offline Wandering Man

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Re: The winter browns (not blues)
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2017, 07:28:21 PM »
Thanks, Perry.
It is not the road that is hard. 
The road just sits ...
It is how we approach the road that makes it hard.


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Offline Nugget Shooter

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Re: The winter browns (not blues)
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2017, 08:36:31 PM »
Wow what an eye opener.... Guess ya just got to do what ya think best and cross your fingers?  :o
Learning to manage without meddling....

Offline Perry

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Re: The winter browns (not blues)
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2017, 08:49:30 PM »
Worry, that's about all you can do, and we all do it! :D

This was 2 years ago. There are all double deep high, on pallets.








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Offline CBT

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Re: The winter browns (not blues)
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2017, 08:53:27 PM »
Pulling for ya. Keep the BEE faith.
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: The winter browns (not blues)
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2017, 07:40:49 AM »
That is a dramatic difference in snow fall.  Fallen comrades in the snow would be a good sign, I think. It is a sign that they are alive in there and they are moving around enough that they can get to food stores.  I think some beekeepers would be surprised at the little micro climates that the bees create inside the hive.
We have our own winter browns here in Kansas.  Everything is brown.  No snow, no rain.  I do expect the willow buds to start opening any day now.

Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: The winter browns (not blues)
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2017, 07:50:06 AM »
Perry, it would be interesting to know if your losses could be attributed to lack of insulating snow.  Did that make sense?  Snow in the second set of pictures had to provide a wonderful insulating effect.

Offline Perry

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Re: The winter browns (not blues)
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2017, 08:19:51 AM »
Hey B12
I think it helps really. I remember years ago reading about keeps in the prairies actually shoveling snow around their hives.
The pictures from 2 years ago illuminated how well snow insulates. The hives that were completely buried (most of them) all had about a 3 to 4 inch hollow around them that had been created by the warmth emanating from the hive itself. With the exception of the snow on the roof, each hive had a cavity around it, sort of like an igloo.
I welcome this latest snow, if only for that reason. If they have enough food, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
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Offline Wandering Man

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Re: The winter browns (not blues)
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2017, 09:16:14 AM »
I'd always heard snow makes for a good insulator:

https://nsidc.org/cryosphere/snow/science/characteristics.html

Snow is such a good insulator that some animals dig snow caves in which to hibernate through the winter. New snow is composed of a high percentage of air trapped among the accumulated snow crystals. Since the air can barely move, heat transfer is greatly reduced. Fresh, uncompacted snow typically is 90 to 95 percent trapped air. Many animals take advantage of snow's insulating qualities, and burrow into the snow to hibernate through the winter.

Snow depth and temperature

The snow surface temperature is controlled by the air temperature above. The colder the air above, the colder the snow layers near the surface will be, especially within the top 30 to 45 centimeters (12 to 18 inches). Snow near the ground in deeper snowpack is warmer because it is close to the warm ground. The ground is relatively warm because the heat stored in the ground over the summer is slow to dissipate. In addition, snow is a good insulator, just like the insulation in the ceiling of a house, and thus slows the flow of heat from the warm ground to the cold air above.

Snow water equivalent

It is not the road that is hard. 
The road just sits ...
It is how we approach the road that makes it hard.


Visit my Blog:
https://30yrsdog.blogspot.com/ (Life Lessons from Dogs, Bees, and Others)
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