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Author Topic: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter  (Read 4405 times)

Offline 1of6

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Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« on: March 12, 2012, 09:42:46 PM »
How have everyone's losses been for the 2011-12 winter been?

Offline c10250

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2012, 09:47:22 PM »
No losses for me . . . 2 for 2.  They are bringing in pollen by the boat load now.

Offline FRAMEshift

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2012, 10:11:21 PM »
Lost 25%.  An interesting thing is that they all seem to have died from late supersedure (no drones around in December) and they were all from the same queen line (which has won the Darwin Award and become extinct).  

Some of these hives were among our best in May and June.  No sign of varroa problems, or any other disease that we can see.  The bees did not abscond... they just withered slowly and froze in February.  Found queen cells with exit hole in the bottom and a dead virgin queen in the pile of dead bees.
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Offline splitrock

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2012, 10:45:54 PM »
So far lost only 2 over the winter out of 33, and they were weak going in........... Lost more last summer and fall than over the winter.

Joel

Offline AllenF

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2012, 11:02:44 PM »
I lost one sometime in the winter, lost 5 of 6 going into winter/late fall.

Offline Joe D

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2012, 12:06:10 AM »

Newbee, got my 3 hives in dec. and they are all still doing fine,so far.  Their previous beek past in feb. 2011, they were in probate until I got them. 

Joe

Offline BlueBee

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2012, 12:15:11 AM »
I lost 10%, but that was probably more due to bee keeper error than anything else.  Beeks around me in Michigan seem to have very low losses this year, under 10%.  My bees are really coming into spring strong.   
 
With the mild winter in the Midwest and Northeast, I wonder what will happen to the package business this spring.  I wonder if there will be a massive over supply of bees?  Will the price of bees DEFLATE too  :-D

Offline FRAMEshift

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2012, 12:36:44 AM »

With the mild winter in the Midwest and Northeast, I wonder what will happen to the package business this spring.  I wonder if there will be a massive over supply of bees?  Will the price of bees DEFLATE too  :-D
Doesn't look like it.  We have been paying $80 for a package for the last several years.  This year it has jumped to $100.  And the demand is so high in NC that our supplier has added an additional late-April delivery.   
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Offline Beaver Dam

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2012, 12:38:53 AM »
Bad  for me. lots of empty hives. 12 of 15 gone. Bad year last for us here. No flowers. I mean Russian MH, sunkist Buckweat, Italian, and six other differant Queens gone.

Offline bulldog

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2012, 12:16:10 PM »
just looked this weekend, 3 out of 4 dead. my one full strength mutt hive made it with flying colors. of the three nuc sized hives the one mutt hive starved. i think this crazy winter weather did them in. of the two italians i had one abscond and another starved on brood with 20 pounds of honey left. oh well, honey for me. now to get replacements i guess.
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Offline jmblakeney

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2012, 12:59:33 PM »
Had to going into winter.  100% loss.  Better luck this yr i hope.
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Offline vmmartin

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2012, 01:11:03 PM »
Lost 10 out of 15.  But Spring has sprung in SE Texas and I already went and rescued my first ones of the year last week. So now back up to 6. :-D

Offline luvin honey

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2012, 01:14:52 PM »
I have 3 out of 3 alive!! So excited, as this is my first overwintering so far. They've already been taking syrup and sugar this spring, so I have high hopes that I can say they pulled through.

It was a very mild winter here in WI, so I was worried about them as they appeared to have enormous colonies and very light stores going into winter. <shrug>
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Offline phill

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2012, 01:28:38 PM »
No losses. I'm 3 for 3, too, and all 3 look strong after our mild winter.

Quite a contrast from last year, when I was wiped out by the bitter cold.

Offline gardeningfireman

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2012, 01:41:06 PM »
Winter of 2010-2011 lost all. This winter lost one out of seven. The remaining six are doing great.

Offline S.M.N.Bee

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2012, 08:02:23 PM »
Lost one out of three. A package from last year that I couldn't keep a queen in. They just never built up and died in January.

On a positive note bees are bringing in pollen today. Nothing blooming in sight.

John

Offline backyard warrior

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2012, 08:08:18 PM »
Have 30 for 30 havent lost a hive :)  Chris

Offline jldoll

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2012, 08:40:04 PM »
No losses.  2 for 2 after this mild winter
They are bringing in pollen by the boat loads.
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Offline skatesailor

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2012, 08:46:44 PM »
Only lost 2 out of 9. One was a very late cutout I did as a favor and the other was a nuc I experimented with. Lost all last winter so I bought some locally bred nucs. Did some splits on them and did some cutouts. Figured the cutouts might make good survivor stock. That coupled with a great winter might be the reason for these results.

Offline salvo

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2012, 09:06:23 PM »
Hi Folks,

Newbee here. I got two nucs on May 21, 2011. I went "foundationless". They stopped making comb in mid August. I used Apiguard in September, 2011. I've had dry sugar on them all winter. It was a "non-winter" sort of winter here in southeast Massachusetts. They constantly chewed away at the sugar. I was worried. I still worry.

Both hives made it! Battin' 1,000. This week is warm here. I put sugar syrup in the hives yesterday.

Now what do I do?

Salvo
Salvo

Offline manfre

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2012, 10:52:11 PM »
Lost 5 of 6 this winter. 3 were killed by the warm/cold cycle in Jan/Feb. Expanded because they thought spring was here and then froze to death.
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Offline FRAMEshift

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2012, 11:12:10 PM »
Lost 5 of 6 this winter. 3 were killed by the warm/cold cycle in Jan/Feb. Expanded because they thought spring was here and then froze to death.
Manfre, I read some of the blog entries linked from your post.  It seems that you were feeding syrup through the winter.  I would expect this to add lots of humidity to your hive which is a bad situation.  Also, since you did not see many dead bees and there were no honey stores left, it sure sounds like your bees absconded.  Putting those two facts together, I think it's possible that your bees left the hive because of excessive humidity.  Just a guess of course.

If you are correct that they expanded because they thought spring had arrived, they may have thought that because they were bringing in sugar syrup.
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Offline manfre

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2012, 11:51:54 PM »
Lost 5 of 6 this winter. 3 were killed by the warm/cold cycle in Jan/Feb. Expanded because they thought spring was here and then froze to death.
Manfre, I read some of the blog entries linked from your post.  It seems that you were feeding syrup through the winter.  I would expect this to add lots of humidity to your hive which is a bad situation.  Also, since you did not see many dead bees and there were no honey stores left, it sure sounds like your bees absconded.  Putting those two facts together, I think it's possible that your bees left the hive because of excessive humidity.  Just a guess of course.

If you are correct that they expanded because they thought spring had arrived, they may have thought that because they were bringing in sugar syrup.

Over winter they were being fed candy and dry sugar in top feeders. The hives have decent ventilation (screened bottom, propped top) and the covers showed no signs of mold. I'm confident that moisture was not a problem for the three that expanded too soon. There were dozens of dead bees face first in cells, which strongly hints at freezing to death. The lack of a pile of hundreds of bees on the bottom board is more likely due to survivors clearing them out over the span of many days. Sadly, most of the days warm enough to open a hive were not on the weekend (or day I could take off).

Two of the Five hives lost were the top bar hive that starved (no stores) sometime before/during the week of frosts/hard frosts and another hive lost their queen at some point and tried to replace her. All in all, this was a year of very bad luck to balance out the previous winter's good luck. It happens. I'm happy that I have one hive doing well and that I was able to order a few packages.
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Offline FRAMEshift

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2012, 12:13:56 AM »

Over winter they were being fed candy and dry sugar in top feeders.

Sorry, I misunderstood what you were doing.

Quote
All in all, this was a year of very bad luck to balance out the previous winter's good luck. It happens.

Yes it does. :-D  Good luck on the coming year.
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Offline Vance G

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2012, 12:58:44 AM »
12 for 12 alive however I have not had weather to inspect for queens or brood and it is at least six weeks till they will have an income.  They have lots in the bank so it is looking good.   Only one may be pretty weak but it was a tipped over cripple that I never thought would make it this far.  I am ecxtatic.

Offline Oblio13

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #25 on: March 14, 2012, 08:03:59 AM »
We had high hopes because the winter was so mild, but we got spanked badly in the local area (central New Hampshire). I lost six of eight. Friends lost two of two, two of two, and one of one. Heard two others lost all their hives, although I don't know how many they had.

A neighbor who moved in two years ago and inherited a hive that she's never touched called and told me she sees lots of activity. That's the only other hive in the local area I know of that made it.

My two surviving hives were both splits I made last year and they went into the winter pretty light. None of the hives that I would have put money on last fall made it.

The Red Maple buds are just beginning to swell, haven't seen any pollen coming in yet.


Offline Francus

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #26 on: March 14, 2012, 09:15:09 AM »
I lost one of two. It was a weak hive and I suspected it wouldn't make it. But in December it was looking OK during a warm spell with lots of activity, but in the end it couldn't make the cold spell. They wouldn't break cluster with gobs of food 2 inches away.
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Offline rufus

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #27 on: March 14, 2012, 12:34:02 PM »
Two for Two this, my first winter.

Offline CapnChkn

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #28 on: March 15, 2012, 12:29:41 AM »
Still have all three.  I made candy boards, but they never got used.  I fed syrup all winter, and yes I thought it may be a bad idea.  Everybody at the RCBA meeting told me they were doing the same.  They all got out at least every three days here.
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Offline BlueBee

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #29 on: March 15, 2012, 02:14:41 AM »
I don't think Finski recommends feeding syrup all winter long  ;)

Offline Indiana Dave

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #30 on: March 15, 2012, 03:11:11 AM »
No losses with 4 hives, but I don't reckon that Mother Nature has surrendered just yet.  2 hives building up very strong, one with 5 frames of brood!  2 will certainly get split soon after drones show up.  Have 2 nucs on order with 2 cut outs to do.  Still have my fingers crossed, as we're not outta the woods yet.  But prospects look great!
Dave Cruser
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Offline msully

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #31 on: March 15, 2012, 07:33:51 PM »
3 of 3 hives are still alive, lost 1 out of 4 nucs.  It was a late season swarm and had trouble being robbed...

Mike
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Offline bwdenen

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #32 on: March 15, 2012, 11:28:38 PM »
Lost 1 of 2.  Things looks great in late January, lots of bees in bothe hives, plenty of capped honey let as well.  Checked last week and one one was dead. Second hive is going strong...so far.  I hope we don't get a long cold snap!!

Offline BlueBee

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #33 on: March 15, 2012, 11:40:30 PM »
It's Ohio, you're going to get some more cold temps and probably some snow  :-D  So is Michigan  :(

Offline bwdenen

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #34 on: March 15, 2012, 11:45:32 PM »
In a normal year I would agree 100%  I still remember the Easter weekend in late April we had 24" of snow in 24 hours.  But this has been the strangest winter I can remember, in the last 50 or so anyway.  So who can say?

Offline annette

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #35 on: March 17, 2012, 11:15:27 PM »
4 out of 4 alive and bringing in tons of pollen. I feel good about them, but we are now getting some snow and rain for this week. Hope for the best.

Annette

Offline brooklynbees

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2012, 05:28:33 PM »
Made it through unscathed!!!  :)
Established my hive just last summer (new bee) in NYC on a garage roof so it was very exposed and didn't seem to build up that much and I was worried. Then we had a freak snowstorm near Halloween, which took a couple hundred of them at the outside feeder and I got more worried (and 2010-11 was a horrible winter here so I was concerned this year would be as rough). And they never seemed to stop taking the syrup even in December...
But, I got the recipe for fondant off this site and put it inside the cover, pulled the syrup, followed the winter prep advice you all put out, crossed my fingers and hoped.
In January I ordered 3lb of bees 'cause I was sure mine were dead.
Last week it was in the 50's and the girls are flying around bringing in pollen but it was too windy (I thought) to open.
So I waited til yesterday, opened it up, and the queen is busy laying!! I'm seeing eggs and larvae and still some capped honey, so I guess I have to order a new hive for the bees that are coming in April...
This is pure beginner's luck!

Offline Shanevrr

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #37 on: March 18, 2012, 08:30:23 PM »
None
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Offline Algonam

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #38 on: March 21, 2012, 07:23:28 AM »
No losses yet. I say "yet" because this recent heat wave is abnormal and the temps are going back down starting Friday with potential snow flurries on Saturday, which is normal for this time time of the year. Nothing for them to bring in yet. I started feeding them Fondant 1 week ago. Started with 2 nucs around June 1st and still hoping for the best. In this heat they appear to be very alive and well!

Oh Canada!

Offline beewitch

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #39 on: March 21, 2012, 09:15:53 AM »
I'm 2 for 2 this year.  Of course, I got very lucky that we had the warm winter we did..  My colony of Carnies was weak going into Nov/Dec and I fed throughout the winter, but they made it and are full bore now.  My mutt colony was strong and is massive now. If they don't swarm, it should be a big honey producer.  Lost both of my hives in the tough 2010-2011 winter, so I feel blessed this year.  And have learned a lot!

Offline rgy

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #40 on: March 21, 2012, 12:37:50 PM »
lost all 4 :? :?  I can't afford 100% loss again.

Offline wadehump

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #41 on: March 21, 2012, 07:01:35 PM »
16 going in 15 coming out 1 that died was a small nuc that was alive mid FEB.

Offline schawee

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #42 on: March 21, 2012, 08:39:42 PM »
i lost 3 out of i think 67 hives and 2 nucs out of 15.           schawee
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Offline syphon1

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #43 on: March 23, 2012, 12:36:20 AM »
I lost 4 hives out of 45.  Had to move 2 into insulated nuc boxes to avoid losing them too.  Also lost 2 out of 12 nucs.

Offline oliver

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #44 on: March 23, 2012, 09:36:31 AM »
6 colonies, all made it..

Offline MTWIBadger

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #45 on: March 23, 2012, 06:32:26 PM »
I lost one out of four hives so far.  Winter hasn't left yet as we had 3 inches of snow earlier in the week.  Proabably won't see dandelions for 3 or more weeks.

Offline Vance G

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Re: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter
« Reply #46 on: March 23, 2012, 10:12:52 PM »
I reported earlier 12/12 well now it is 11/12.  One was queenless so I checked the bottom board and found no mite problem so I donated the geriatric bees to the next least prosperous which doesn't look all that bad.   I am still happy.  At least half of them are two deeps full of bees and i wonder what they are going to be by time for dandelions and that is nearly a month yet here.

 

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