Monday, April 12, 2010

Two Swedish Deadouts

Neither of my two hives in Sweden made it through the winter. The kenyan hive in the barn had a wood shelf collapse onto it knocking off the roof and the insulation. The follower board was away from the top bars and inside all the comb had been consumed by hungry rodents.The warre hive in the beehouse looks like it was submerged in the deep snow for too long. I have been told the snow was at least a metre deep in most places which would have covered the entrance. If this was for a short amount of time I don't think it would have been a problem.But the snow was around for months and the ventilation of the hive was reduced to virtually nothing. Lots of mouldy combs(pollen) and lots of honey that I was able to salvage.These bees had plenty of stores (honey not sugar) so they did not starve. It got down to minus 30 degrees but I think it was the damp condensation with no ventilation that killed this hive. Some lessons learned about winter in Sweden and time to start from scratch here so probably not many more posts to this blog for awhile.

7 comments:

  1. I'm sorry to hear about your Swedish bees. The winter was however the coldest and longest in many years.
    Did you get all your bees from catching swarms?

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  2. Thank you. I am philosophical about such things and believe that such deaths are a part of nature. I have learned a valuable lesson about ensuring adequate ventilation and will work out methods for such in the future.The kenyan was a bought colony and the warre was a baited swarm.

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  3. That was one rough winter. I thought you built a shed for the Warrés though - or was that in Spain?

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  4. I think all beekeepers have to be philosophical Norm, still it was a harsh winter. can you tell me if you have any experience of the high density polystyrene hives, I have heard that they are gaining favour in northern Europe due to their high insulation properties?

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  5. It wasn't the extreme cold of this past winter that killed my bees but dampness! When I examined the combs, they were literally dripping wet.The entrances must have been covered by snow and I did not provide enough ventilation within the bee house/box. I have learned a valuable lesson in keeping bees in Sweden. From now on, I will ensure entrances cannot be completely blocked and ensure adequate ventilation within the hive whilst providing top insulation. I must say that I do not think poly hives are considered natural in any way, but thanks for the comment. As I write this, the snow is falling once more as it has for the last few days. Seems like winter here cannot let go just yet!

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  6. I see what you mean about the dampness, that would be more fatal than the cold. The reason I ask about the poly hives is that I want to extend my hobby to earn a bit of income (my wife and I are hoping to move to northern spain) and although not natural or indeed my first choice they are currently running at half the price of a good national and are made from recycled plastic and at the end of their life are also recyclable

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  7. Very good stories~~ Thanks for ur sharing~~!! ........................................

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