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Author Topic: Just curious on losses for 2011-12 winter  (Read 4383 times)

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.
"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh

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.
"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh

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.
"Thinking is like sin, them that doesn't is scairt of it, and them that does gets to liking it so much they can't quit!"  -Josh Billings.

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!

 

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