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Question: How many colonies (full or nucs) have you lost this winter ?  (Voting closed: June 05, 2010, 09:11:57 AM)
0 - 36 (35%)
1 - 22 (21.4%)
2 - 17 (16.5%)
3 - 7 (6.8%)
4 - 6 (5.8%)
5 - 3 (2.9%)
6+ - 7 (6.8%)
10+ - 3 (2.9%)
20+ - 2 (1.9%)
50+ - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 101


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Author Topic: Winter Losses 2009/2010 Poll  (Read 3656 times)
Somerford
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« on: March 07, 2010, 08:11:57 AM »

Out of interest, post your losses here - world wide results !


If you have suffered badly - or suspect a cause, eg. Starvation, colony too small, Varroa, SHB then please add a note below too.

regards

S
« Last Edit: March 07, 2010, 08:54:00 AM by Somerford » Logged

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bassman1977
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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2010, 08:22:08 AM »

I lost everything this year.  Confirmed yesterday that my last hive his gone.  I'm depressed.   Cry

Correction:  1 hive still remains at my out yard.

What is interesting is this:  After the last winter, and the amount of starvation I had, I decided to go into this winter with an extra brood box.  I gave it to them this past spring to allow them to use it for brood building and honey storage for winter.  The hives were full going into winter.  4 of the 5 hives I had were configured like this.  The surviving hive was 3 mediums tall.  The dead outs were 4 mediums tall.  I've always went into winter with 3 mediums.  Never tried with 4.  I think 3 is apparently the max around here.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2010, 02:37:18 PM by bassman1977 » Logged

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wetland bee
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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2010, 08:40:24 AM »

Rough fall and winter here in Pa. I have never seen hives this light going into winter. Then long cold weeks that started early in late Dec. I had 16 in Nov. down to 8 by Jan 1. which all looked health. Weather turned warm this weekend . 5 hives flying strong
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Diane
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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2010, 09:24:12 AM »

We lost the two hives that we had, first year beekeepers.  Have no idea what they died of, one hive still has honey.  Bees appear to be in all different locations in the hive.   huh
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Gware
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2010, 10:12:48 AM »

i suspect combination of cold weather and starvation, there was small clusters scattered everywhere and they were dead, there was not a big cluster
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CBEE
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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2010, 10:36:08 AM »

only lost 1. looks like they starved fromm not moving to where there were stores but the other hives are doing well.
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Somerford
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« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2010, 02:10:28 PM »

We lost the two hives that we had, first year beekeepers.  Have no idea what they died of, one hive still has honey.  Bees appear to be in all different locations in the hive.   huh

Diane - this suggest starvation - the cluster broke up in search of stores as there wasn't enough close to the cluster to sustain them when it got really cold.
bad luck I know, but this autumn, make sure the hives are really well fed and wrap the hives if that is what is done locally.

best of luck for 2010 !

regards

S
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hardtime
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« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2010, 02:16:20 PM »

i have lost 1   for now. it was a split made to late last year.  rip.  starved  to death. but it is grtting warm here now. hope summer is on it way i hope.
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JP
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« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2010, 03:57:32 PM »

I left a good bit more feed than last winter and it made a huge difference. Looking good and in a warm up trend but my bees are behind numbers wise due to an unusually cold winter.

Did a removal yesterday and the poor darlings were on the verge of starving as they had zero honey capped/open in the entire hive. They are happy and feeding today on sugar water.

This small colony was most likely a late swarm. I have a feeling there are many little colonies out there just like this one that may or may not squeak by until a decent flow is on.

Global warming, my asprin!


...JP
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asciibaron
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« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2010, 04:33:54 PM »

i was biting my nails this winter - we got hit with some big snow late in the season and i was worried the girls would run out of stores.  got in today and checked things out - down to about 2 frames of honey - i've got the 1:1 sugar cooling in a snow bank.  the pollen is all but gone, but they are bringing it in now.  i think it will be a good season.
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Wynoochee_newbee_guy
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« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2010, 04:59:54 PM »

I know that in december we had some real cold weather down in the teens and lower. I did every thing Right I figur? might not work next year.
this is what I did feed 2:1 going in to fall befor the big freez i did mountain camp feeding. I was laughed at by other local beeks but my bees are alive and thiers are chicken feed.
I hope this might help others this year.
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Bee Whisper82
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« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2010, 05:12:35 PM »

I have 3 hives 1 died of starvation from not being able to move to more honey stores. A little depressing for a first year beekeeper Cry (but I have to look on the bright side I still have two hives going for now.  I am going to clean the 1 hive up and start it again.
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manfre
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« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2010, 06:37:39 PM »

Both of my hives managed to survive their first winter. They started as NUCs from a local supplier, I fed them almost constantly because they kept taking the syrup. I also gave the hives lots of dry sugar and hard candy at the beginning of winter and added more to the top of the inner cover a few times when the temperature creeped above 40. I fed about 75-100 lbs of sugar to the 2 hives since getting them last spring. Was that a bit excessive?
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challenger
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« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2010, 06:51:12 PM »

Out of 19 hives I have 12 left. I didn't have enough bees in the hives for this winter which is the coldest since 1917. I can't believe it. I worked my A$$ off making sure all the colonies had plenty of stores and we get hit  with this incredibly cold winter. We typically have red maple flowing at this point but I can see we are at least a month behind. The hives I have look good but it only takes a few cold nights to kill a hive if they are not populated well enough to stay warm and we are looking at low 30's at night this week and it was 27 last night. I am angry off and this hobby is starting to become less fun and more fruitless work than I am thinking I'd like to stay with.
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Ollie
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« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2010, 09:32:25 PM »

6 out of 7 living. I think that not taking too much honey in the fall really helps, but I really think that it was because I gave them a sugar treatment after the queens were done laying, that when all the mites are out on the bees...
Anyway the one that died, I think from the condensation running right in the middle of the inner cover. all the other hives have little shims to tilt them forward, that one was dead level.
BTW, it would be interesting to find out how many over winter theirs on screen bottoms (all of mine) just added one inch of foam insulation to the top of the hive, above the inner cover and of course a BIG rock on top...I also think the rock is key!
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sarafina
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« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2010, 10:44:18 PM »

Both of mine made it, but their numbers are sure down and if it wasn't warm enough for them to be sucking down syrup right now I probably would have lost one by now as they are completely out of stores.  My other hive had more stores and must still have because they are barely taking the syrup right now.

I know our winter doesn't compare to you guys up north, but it took me by surprise.  When the first freeze hit (it hasn't gotten below freezing in several years now) I didn't have the trays in under my screened bottom boards and still had the entrances wide open.  I got the trays in and reduced down to the medium size and kept a nervous eye on my hives.  I did an oxalic acid drip in Jan when it warmed up to the 60's and I was so happy to see live bees when I popped the top because they hadn't been flying and I was worried about the girls.

Our spring is at least 3 weeks later this year but everything is starting to wake up and starting to bloom and the girls are bringing in pollen so we will be ok, I think.
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applebwoi
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« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2010, 11:31:07 PM »

I lost three this winter, one probbaly due to varroa weakened colony ( I don't treat), one from starvation and on one the wind blew off the cover and they froze.  I hated losing the one to Varroa but really hated losing the other two because I felt that those were more a result of my being careless/stupid. Still have a lot to learn.
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Somerford
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« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2010, 05:06:51 AM »

Out of 19 hives I have 12 left. I didn't have enough bees in the hives for this winter which is the coldest since 1917. I can't believe it. I worked my a$$ off making sure all the colonies had plenty of stores and we get hit  with this incredibly cold winter. We typically have red maple flowing at this point but I can see we are at least a month behind. The hives I have look good but it only takes a few cold nights to kill a hive if they are not populated well enough to stay warm and we are looking at low 30's at night this week and it was 27 last night. I am pee'd off and this hobby is starting to become less fun and more fruitless work than I am thinking I'd like to stay with.


HANG ON IN THERE challenger ! 

We all take a few knocks now and then and to be running 12 let alone 19 hives is great. There is nothing we can do about such harsh weather and I hope that, after some reflection, you'll be able to pick yourself up and go for 20 this year !

best wishes

S
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mdbee
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« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2010, 09:01:58 AM »

I lost two of the three i had, one was from a late trap out but the other was strong with two hive bodies and a med with four frames of cap honey. I guess they couldn't make it up in the med.  Is there a way to line the honey or put them in the box's so the bees can cluster and don't have to move? I took the med. with the capped honey off the  hive and put it on the one that is living, it has two med. hive bodies. will they go up for the honey or should i put the in the hive body? we still have allot of bad weather coming before any kind of flow and i sure don't want to lose them.
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Two Bees
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« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2010, 09:13:42 AM »

Manfre, I did the same thing when I set up my two packages in 2008.  I fed them a lot because they were building comb and stores.  I now have six hives that resulted from one split and capture 3 swarms.  Check on them yesterday and all six are doing great!  Put 1.7 to 1 syrup on all hives to ensure that they have plenty of food should we get a cold snap before the real Spring arrives in 2-3 weeks.  Now, I just hope that they don't starve even though they have food available.
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