Monday, November 22, 2010

Cluster Difference Observation

So i was looking back at my previous post and noticed more than just condensation. I noticed how the garden hive's cluster has reduced in size. Take a look at the 11/7 picture on top compared to the 11/19 picture. The 11/7 picture was about 10 degrees colder than when i took the 11/19 picture but yet the 11/19 picture shows a smaller cluster. Nothing wrong with this. Just wanted to pass on a neat tidbit i noticed based on this blog and the pictures. Of course we are getting deeper and deeper into winter...


  1. It is amazing how clear the glass remains through this whole affair. I suppose that I was assuming it would become gummed up with propolis or whatnot over time. But, now that I think about it, they really aren't roaming all over the hive during the Winter anyway. I am envious of those tops. I definitely would like to be able to compare how different hives are doing with this kind of ease.

    Are these hives in 1 Deep? I guess I am wondering what they are doing clustering at the top of the hive already (or is this what you want)?

  2. I would think that it would get dirty in the summer or fall but not proped too bad. The surface is slick and bees don’t prop up slick surfaces to much. Plus there shouldn’t bee any light or air coming through so they shouldn’t have a need.

    This hive in particular is a single deep and single medium arrangement. It has an open screen bottom board and no ventilation other than the bottom. The medium had 10 frames of fully capped honey along with some frames in the lower deep on the outside and upper rings that were capped honey. I don’t like seeing them in the top especially when they are fully clustered tightly during the teens, but it is what it is. I believe these bees are more Italian than carni’s, they come from Bobby Oakes and are his VSH line. I have noticed (which wont show up in pictures) that when the cluster tightens/shinks they have not touch any of the honey as far as I can see in the medium frames. I assume the main cluster center is in the bottom deep and this is where the “eaters” may be.

    I plan on popping the tops to place Marshmallow fondant on them this weekend if I get the chance so I will be able to see more then.

    I hope this answers your questions. I do like seeing the bees in the lower boxes, but some are different and overwinter in larger clusters and some in smaller clusters… So I can not officially say if this is a good or bad things, we will know at the end of March…