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Author Topic: reserve bees for the spring, do it now!!  (Read 1802 times)

Offline TJ

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reserve bees for the spring, do it now!!
« on: March 21, 2005, 01:40:47 PM »
I just attended the Fingerlakes Bee Club meeting in Ithaca New York. We talked about many things, but the big and sad message was "A LOT OF BEEKEEPERS ARE LOSING A LOT OF BEES" this winter. Lots of conjecture as to why this year has been so difficult to overwinter bees. Everybody in attendance (20) save one reported dead hives already. One of our members has heard of widespread loss all over the US. One beekeeper in N Dakota found 14 live hives out of 3200 recently. I hate to be the harbinger of bad news, but you will all hear it soon enough. If you plan to buy nucs or packages for this spring, I suggest you act now. There will be lots of beekeepers looking for bees this spring. I would like to know if members of this forum are experiencing any losses yet. Go check your hives soon. As for me, I was the one with no losses. Opps, hurt my arm patting my own back:)

Offline Jerrymac

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reserve bees for the spring, do it now!!
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2005, 05:01:15 PM »
I got two more than I had going into winter.
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Offline Beth Kirkley

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reserve bees for the spring, do it now!!
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2005, 07:27:37 PM »
My hives did really well. I'm really pleased with it. I don't plan to buy any hives. I have two right now, and plan to do splits.

Beth

Offline Butterchurn

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reserve bees for the spring, do it now
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2005, 01:03:23 PM »
Beth,

I like to do splits myself.  Get's expensive to keep ordering packages.  I decide to let my bees create the increase for me.  

Actually, here in Minnesota the U of Minnesota recommends, beginning with a package and letting it build up the first season.  Then in the second season, split it.  Use the parent colony with the old queen as a honey producer.  Take everything from it and kill it at the end of the season.  The split with a new queen you let build up and over winter.  Split it again in spring etc. You always overwinter fewer hives and still get a good honey crop.  Of course if you want to increase the number of hives you have, don't kill the bees in the fall.  This system will also cut down on tracheal mite loads.

Ron
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Offline Robo

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Re: reserve bees for the spring, do it now
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2005, 02:24:19 PM »
Quote from: Butterchurn
This system will also cut down on tracheal mite loads.


Please elaborate
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Offline Butterchurn

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reserve bees for spring, do it now
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2005, 07:37:55 PM »
Robo,

The theory is that when you make the split and put the new hive on a new stand the old workers with the heavier tracheal mite load will return to the parent hive leaving younger bees with a lower mite load in the split.  Tracheal mites infest bees after they emerge as new adults, so the idea is to get most of the mites into the old hive that is being managed for honey and will be eliminated in the fall.

Anyhow, that's the notion.  This is what Basil Frugala and now Marla Spivak and Gary Reuter are advocating at the U of Minn.

Ron
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Offline Robo

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reserve bees for the spring, do it now!!
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2005, 09:09:21 PM »
Thanks for the explination
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison