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Author Topic: Survival rates/location/brief description of your hive  (Read 5225 times)

Offline Ollie

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Survival rates/location/brief description of your hive
« on: March 10, 2011, 11:37:49 PM »
I thought that it would be interesting to see how we are all making out after this winter.
A short description of what you have in the spring as the season gets going.
Maybe see what state get's the best/worse survival rates..

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Offline Ollie

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Re: Survival rates/location/brief description of your hive
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2011, 11:39:11 PM »
S.East Connecticut.
3 out of 6 survived.
all 6 came from survivor stock from previous year (splits)
Screened bottoms, open on all hives.
Top entrance 1/2 hole at top.
1" foam insulation above inner cover.
No wrapping around the hives
2 hives starved, they were light going into winter. Beek error!
One had a too small population going into winter, left honey but there was only a hand full of bees on two frames and a handful in the bottom. Again, Beek horror!

50% survival
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Offline Dave360

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Re: Survival rates/location/brief description of your hive
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2011, 12:38:42 AM »
Nacogdoches tx (east texas) lost 4 of 11   2 starved (my bad rookie mistake) 2 the queens died so just dwindled and i just shook out what was left (no brood ) but 7 left are doing real good we have blooms now


Dave

Offline annette

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Re: Survival rates/location/brief description of your hive
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2011, 02:00:55 AM »
2 out of 3 survived. Haven't gotten in yet to see what happened to the dead one although I am feeling a bit sad cause this hive was my original hive from 2006. They were a great hive. Sorry to see them gone.

One of the survivors is from a cut out of a very old oak tree that fell down. They are rocking and rolling. They are so, so strong. My first feral hive and I am loving every minute with them.




Offline Acebird

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Re: Survival rates/location/brief description of your hive
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2011, 09:51:26 AM »
I thought that it would be interesting to see how we are all making out after this winter.
A short description of what you have in the spring as the season gets going.
Maybe see what state get's the best/worse survival rates..



Winter isn't over yet. :'(

We are getting a lot of warm rain that is melting the two feet of snow we got last Sunday.  Between the winds and the rain I can't pop the lid to see if they are alive.  Due to what I am hearing, I don't have a good feeling on survivability this year.  It doesn't look good when experienced beeks are having huge losses.  It is perfectly understandable if I loose mine.
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Offline T Beek

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Re: Survival rates/location/brief description of your hive
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2011, 10:19:31 AM »
Agreed;  Winter is hardly over, especially for us Northern Beeks.  That said, we had a glorious viewing of the NORTHERN LIGHTS last night (gotta love it man) and the show was spectacular.  Yep, you southerners can keep the early warm ups as long as I can still catch the Northern Lights ;).

My only survivor (lost 4 of 5 colonies, most ever for me) was flying yesterday at 37F and sunny.  They seem quite strong, but its still too cold to take a look deep inside.  The only positive right now is that they've found the frames of honey and the sugar I left them in December.  We've still got over a month to go before the dandelions start up and can get snow through middle of May, in fact as I was reading last years notes, we had 19 F on May 9, 2010, a hard frost which also killed our chances for any apples last year.  We hived two packages on April 29th when it was just 36F and raining.

This survivor colony (five years w/ just one queen replacement) was wintered in 4 mediums (foundationless) with two mediums full of honey.  I use both top and bottom entrances (on my Langs) and use 2 inch insulation on top.  I didn't wrap any hives this winter but don't feel that it was a factor in my loses.  November 2010 was VERY warm with NOTHING for bees to feed on except their own stores and the sugar syrup I gave them and I believe this was what caused their demise.

Good thread, thanks for the post.

thomas
« Last Edit: March 11, 2011, 11:38:31 AM by T Beek »
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Offline skflyfish

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Re: Survival rates/location/brief description of your hive
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2011, 11:11:58 AM »
Darn I looked for the northern lights last night and didn't see them.

The absolute worst winter for me. Lost all eight hives. Two were single deeps, that in hind sight I probably should have combined. Thought I would test wintering single deeps. The rest were double deeps with a super of honey too boot. I pulled only two thirds of my supers last fall because the hives were so strong. All had screened bottom boards with the insert in. All had slatted racks. All had the all season inner cover with the insulation installed. The two hives that made it to late February I added outside insulation on the east, north and west sides. Most of the hives were a combination of natural comb (foundation-less), small cell (4.9) and regular cell (5.4).

Only one appears to have eaten most of it's stores and they were the darkest bees I had. Go figure, eh. The rest didn't move the one inch to get stores. None had moved to the top of the hive.

Last year I had a 80% survival rate (4 of 5) and the previous year 50%, 1 of 2.

I also lost 3 hives in October, when they superseded in September and failed to raise good queens. Queens were observed, but not laying.

I am bummed about the swarm hive and all of it's splits and swarms dying. It would fly at 40F, build fast, and the parent hive had survived the previous year with flying colors.

As far as I can recall, 6 of the 8 hives were Italian queens from northern California. One was a late feral swarm, and the black queen was unknown (maybe a dark Italian based on how they ate their stores). I have a couple of Georgia packages coming in late April and Ohio NWC queens ordered for late June to split the packages with. I also have a Russian package coming as well. I think it is time for me to get away from Italians. (Unless of course Finski is selling his line.  :-D )

Thanks to a tip from MB, I dissected some of the late survivors and looked at their intestines. They were clear, so nosema or other intestinal conditions were not an issue. Other than prolonged cold and a few blizzards that were very windy and cold, I can't see any other reasons for their demise.

I am looking at maybe building a wintering shed and possibly more insulation.

Jay

Offline wouldliketobee

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Re: Survival rates/location/brief description of your hive
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2011, 11:24:59 AM »
My hive died must happened in last couple of days. I'm not too surprised I had to requeen late last year,.....
« Last Edit: March 11, 2011, 06:19:19 PM by wouldliketobee »

Offline phil c

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Re: Survival rates/location/brief description of your hive
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2011, 11:46:10 AM »
1/2 way between Cedar Rapids and Waterloo IA. 4/6 survived. the 2 I lost were Late swarms from last year, in single deeps, just too many things against them.
The 4 that survived look to be in pretty good shape.
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Offline diggity

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Re: Survival rates/location/brief description of your hive
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2011, 12:47:30 PM »
Not doing so well here in central MA.  Lost 4 out of 5 colonies.  All starved out.  This is despite me feeding and feeding and feeding as much as I could last fall.  I don't have the equipment to weigh my hives, so if I did I may have known that they were light going into winter.  I fed about 40 pounds of sugar to them, split between all 5 hives.  Guess it wasn't enough.   :?

I partly blame the weather.  All of the nectar flows were early last year... very early.  By the time early autumn came around, there was nothing left blooming.

The only hive that has survived thus far is the one that was fully regressed to natural comb.  I'm not saying this is a factor in their survival, but it is kind of interesting.  I had some leftover honey that I fed back to them in February, and now that temps are warming back up at least a little, I'm feeding them 1:1 sugar syrup again and a pollen patty.  I hope this is the right thing to do.  I'm committed to continuing to feed both sugar and pollen patties at least until the first major flow is well underway.  I'm hoping these gals can rebuild enough so that I can make a couple of splits this year.  I've sworn off packages.  I'll make splits and/or try to catch feral swarms to get back to 4 or 5 colonies.
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Offline Russ p

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Re: Survival rates/location/brief description of your hive
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2011, 01:16:52 PM »
   
   My two hives I started with packages last spring are still alive and seem to be doing good.Each have two deep hive bodies that were really heavy last fall.I didn't wrap just stretched a tarp on the north side for a wind break.Two weeks ago I checked the weight and they seemed lots lighter and the bees were in the top hive body. I put dry sugar over news paper over the frames and they are taking it.Yesterday it was in the 40's and bees were flying like crazy.My bees are Italians from Georgia two pound packages.

Offline bee-nuts

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Re: Survival rates/location/brief description of your hive
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2011, 05:21:13 PM »
Chippewa County, Wisconsin

Lost 8/20 (40%) so far and its not over yet.  I have my fingers crossed.  I lost three of my best five or six.  I think I over feed and they did not have room to cluster.  Lost two right off the bat with first nasty cold snap then all was looking well till we had one last hard cold snap.  I could see they took a good hit after that and the ones that lost a large number of bees died eventually.  I think they got stuck on brood.  Last cold snap took out the weakest colonies too.  If weather stays decent and they can get some foraging flights in soon I think/hope the rest will pull through.

Will try to do some things different next season.  5 of 6 of my 8 frame singles seem in good shape so apparently you can winter single deeps up here.  Thats good news for fall/winter increase.
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Offline garys520

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Re: Survival rates/location/brief description of your hive
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2011, 05:41:31 PM »
South Eastern Connecticut.  Closed SBB, medium opening on the reducer, wrapped with Bee Cozys and extra large shims on top for better ventilation.  Only lost 1 out of 7.  I loaded them all up with fondant this winter and it's a good thing.  They would have all starved without the emergency food. The one that I lost had fondant, but an autopsy of the hive showed that the large cluster moved to an empty frame and it was so cold that fondant was just too far away.  Still very cold at night, but I'm watching them. 

Offline Acebird

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Re: Survival rates/location/brief description of your hive
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2011, 06:26:00 PM »
My wife took a peek today and says they are all right.  She wanted to prop up the cover for ventilation but I told her not to over the phone.  I hope I told her the right thing to do.  It has been raining like crazy but the top cover was dry underneath.
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Offline gunner7888

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Re: Survival rates/location/brief description of your hive
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2011, 07:17:05 PM »
  Western Pa. area - First winter as a beek
  100% alive so far
 
  3 langs- 1 a package (georgia bees) started 1st june, 2 from 5 frame nucs purchased from Bjorn 7/28/10
  All 3  langs were 2 deep 10 frame boxes and had SBB left open all winter, bottom entrance, Homasote 
  placed over IC with popsicle stick spacer between IC and Homasote, 5/8" foam insulation board on top
  of tele. cover. no wrap
 
  1 KTBH purchased from Davesbees in August, full of bees and basically ready for winter at that time.
    this hive had bottom entrance, SBB left open all winter and 5/8" insul board on top

   All four hives went into winter loaded with stores and bees. NO medications at any time were used at all
   I took about 10 pounds of honey out of the hives for myself and all in all feel pretty lucky  :-D

Offline backyard warrior

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Re: Survival rates/location/brief description of your hive
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2011, 07:44:52 PM »
northeast pa here went into winter with 4 hives one weak hive only one  survived so far.  I feed all last spring till fall they had plenty of stores seemed they died due to not being able to move on stores due to the cold.  Starting with 15 hives this year some carnolians and russians we will see how they do this year. chris

Offline NasalSponge

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Re: Survival rates/location/brief description of your hive
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2011, 08:43:04 PM »
Central Oklahoma, lost one of four, apparently went queenless in late Oct. The other 3 are doing well, checked store in Feb and they were fine (caught them all robbing the dead hive) they were bringing in fresh pollen at that time. It was 80 here today so I intend to check on them tomorrow. All Langs, all open SBB, two deeps + one super each.

Offline edward

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Re: Survival rates/location/brief description of your hive
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2011, 08:47:44 PM »
we had a glorious viewing of the NORTHERN LIGHTS last night (gotta love it man) and the show was spectacular.

Mother nature is awesome , a few years back I sat and watched for about 3 hrs 85% of the sky was covered , shifted from orange and green , amazing.

Lost 3 hives so far of 40

Reason , stupid lazy beekeeper who didn't use a strap to hold the roof on.

Still learning ,  :-x very expensively  :-x

mvh edward  :-P

Offline Countryboy

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Re: Survival rates/location/brief description of your hive
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2011, 10:21:30 PM »
I went into winter with 42 nucs and hives.  15 hives were headed by 2010 Wilbanks Italian queens.  The remaining nucs and hives were local stock.

I have lost 11 out of 15 Wilbanks hives.

I have had 6 nucs of local stock die.  (3 were weak to begin with going into winter.)  The remaining local stock is alive and doing well.

Offline Hethen57

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Re: Survival rates/location/brief description of your hive
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2011, 11:15:25 PM »
I think it would also be interesting to note the age of the hives lost.  I had always heard the second year winter was the killer...and it was for me as well. 

North Idaho (near Canadian Border) - I survived 5 of 5 last winter (from 2 first year packages).  I multiplied them to 9 hives this past summer and they produced tons of honey, plus I left each with lots of honey (double deeps).  I lost 7 of 9 this winter because the clusters dwindled down to a size where they froze in a small cluster and left lost of honey.  I blame it partly on Varroa and partly on not monitoring my queens performance well enough.  The only positive thing is that my one hive that still appears super strong is one of my two original packages that has produced about 10 splits and lots of honey.  It has always been my strongest hive so I am hoping to perpetuate those queen genetics.
-Mike

 

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