Sunday, December 21, 2008

Naming of Demeter

I have ordered more bees for spring and plan on doing some splits as well. So I believe I should start naming them. Names should be feminine since this is a girls world, ya know?

I'm thinking Demeter, best known for being the Goddess of the harvest. She is also well known for the coming of winter over her sadness of Persephone going to the underworld. And lesser known for being a reminder to us to be firm and unswaying when we are taking a stand for what is right or what we need and deserve.

Ventilation and condensation....

I'm still playing with different theories on keeping the hive warm as well as letting the condensation out.

Now what I have set up is a closed bottom board, 1/3 of the entrance is open, two deeps, then a inner cover (w/o notch) empty super, another super with insulation in it and then the top cover. I little over kill for middle Georgia I know, but till I play with all these things I wont know how best to make them winter maintenance free.

The key to all this seems to be a nickel in each front corner, between the two supers, to let out the moisture. I noticed that my inner cover had wet, slightly swollen corners when I was reconfiguring so I know water was rising to the top and running to the front of the inner cover as well as collecting on the sticky board when in. Even when the board wasn't in I believe this was still happening so I don't think a open bottom board would suffice for ventilation.

No more water on sticky board and the hive smells like it should.

About 30 mites in a 24 hour period. I think they will overwinter fine.

I will add a picture when I can.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Water woes

Yesterday was a warm day for December. Highs in the 60's. The bees were out in full force.

Today was still warm but had rained quite a bit. I noticed a small clump of bees on the ground in front of the hive. I thought they were bees that the mortician bees cleaned out while the weather was so nice yesterday. After looking more closely the bees were still moving. Could they have gotten caught in the storm and were just waiting to dry? Very curious.

I pulled the bottom board out today for the first time in a couple of weeks and was shocked at the mold on the board. Quite a few mites, but for the time it was in I think they are ok. I felt all around the inner part of the bee cozy thinking that might have been the trouble with the water, but it was dry inside. Inside of top lid is dry. It has to be condensation. After looking more closely at yesterdays pictures (see top picture) I noticed two streams of water coming out the front. So the question is open up the front entrance more or remove the bottom board? Maybe put in a half board?
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Tuesday, December 2, 2008


The hive has been prepared for winter the best I know how. Two deeps of brood and stores are on the bottom, then a inner cover that the holes have been blocked so they cant get to the insulation that is on the medium on top and pull it out. The black outer cover is the bee cozy. Hopefully this will prevent any condensation problems and free the bees up to break cluster more frequently.
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