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Author Topic: Winter losses  (Read 3008 times)
funbee1
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« on: January 24, 2013, 06:03:40 PM »

I've already been hearing about lots of dead hives in Michigan. Way over 50% from experienced beeks all with 30-400 hives. They are saying the queens shut down too early because of the drought and went into winter with bees that were too old, not enough young bees.

What has everybody else experienced so far?

Agree or disagree with explanation?


Scott
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hardwood
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2013, 06:15:58 PM »

I;ve also heard of some severe losses. Enough so that almond pollination contracts might go as high as $180-$190 per hive. I heard that one very large outfit lost 52,000 of 74,000 hives. Of course this just what I've been told so take it as you will.

Scott
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"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907
Vance G
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2013, 07:19:49 PM »

I am close to thirty colonies and much winter is left here but my losses have been light so far.   We are not having a sever winter and bees have been able to fly several times since freezeup.   I entered fall with about half my colonies short of stores and they are doing nicely on Mountain camp feeding.   I doubt they have much stored pollen because they were raising brood very late.  I have nearly a month before I dare start feeding suppliment because the first generation emerging should have fresh spring pollen available to them. 
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AllenF
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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2013, 07:29:15 PM »

Due to my work schedule this fall and not keeping up with the bees I am down from 11 to 4 hives still alive this winter.  I blame me for not checking on them.     
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Moots
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2013, 09:39:47 PM »

As a Newbie just starting out, a week and a half into my beekeeping adventure with 2 Nucs, reports like this scare the hell out of me!  Sad

Actually, long before I got bees, early on into my researching of the hobby, I was shocked to learn about exactly how many things can actually go wrong. 
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"We must reject the idea that every time a laws broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2013, 10:49:47 PM »

Went into winter with 14 hives, one of which is an OB hive, now have 15 hives. Caught a swarm last week. :lo :shock:this past week it went into then 70'a and I went through 11 of them that are here at my house, they all look strong and growing. The swarm did not have a queen so I gave them a frame of eggs. Used a hive tool to cut the cells so that can build the q cells. Might have a new q that was out on her mating flights. All of my hives are full of drones (except the OB hive, it is still recovering from something that killed hundreds of them last fall). The OB went from almost no bees or brood visible on the exposed sides of the bottom frames to completely covering them and looking to restart working on the super frames. Saw the q laying eggs out side the football, that means she is still growing the brood area.
Jim
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divemaster1963
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2013, 11:47:21 PM »

I went into this winter with 10 strong in my yard and 25 in my buddies yard. I have lost my 4 year old hive and have one weak hive. the rest of mine are doing good. my buddie lost 8 hives out of 25 but they all are now bring in dandiloin pollen like mad.

John
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T Beek
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« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2013, 08:52:48 AM »

January is too early to count any colony out IMO.  I've had 'dead' colonies sudden;y 'wake up' (zombees) in May or June.

Went into winter w/ 8, I'm concerned about 2 so far (and 2 1/2 to 3 months to go before the willows bloom). 

Start feeding NOW if you're worried about stores, further South you could even be supplying some pollen right now I believe. 

If you think a hive is too light and its too cold to feed syrup give them some dry sugar or "HONEYBALLS" a mix of honey (from a trusted source) and sugar (thanks BlueBee). 

It can/will save their lives.

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mulesii
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« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2013, 01:07:28 PM »

So far this I have lost three of my four hives.  I checked the last hive last week when it was warm for a day and I do not think it will survive the current cold spell here in the NE.
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bailey
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« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2013, 04:26:58 PM »

We haven't really had enough winter to loose hives to winter conditions down here.
Bailey
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most often i find my greatest source of stress to be OPS  ( other peoples stupidity )

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goatmanbees
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« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2013, 01:15:20 AM »

I've lost 1 out of my 12.  The one was from a late cut out. Won't be doing that again!
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Parksguyy
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« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2013, 07:57:36 AM »

New beek here in Ontario ... 4 hives ... fed heavy in the fall ... went into winter with one weaker hive.  Though it was gone a few weeks back, not a sound from it where as the other three were quite noisy.  Have been doing the Mountain Camp feeding to that one, tomorrow our temp goes to 10 celius and will be placing some fondant cakes on all the hives.  We just went through one of the coldest weeks on record here, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.   
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leandrogcard
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« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2013, 08:45:46 AM »

I'm wondering,

You guys are talking about problems during the winter, but how cold are weather really going, ad for how long? We have no real winter down here, and I'm just curious about the real conditions your bees have to withstand.

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T Beek
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« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2013, 09:35:06 AM »

Well, its not as cold, nor do we get the kind of snowfalls from just a decade ago. 

That said; We're supposed to get down to 20 below zero (F) tonight, but we used to have 20-30 below zero during the day (30-40 below @ night), sometimes lasting for 2-3 weeks or more, along w/ mountains of snow. 

Now we've learned (the hard way) to regularly cover our septic tank with hay/straw because we can no longer count on the protection once offered by ample amounts of snow before the BIG FREEZE.  The last time we had an extended cold snap in Northern Wisconsin was in the late 90's.  Since then our winters have become increasingly more mild, and our SPRINGS have become more unpredictable.  Life (including bees) suffers from these extremes no doubt about it.

Our Spring typically begins (dandelions start blooming) in early April here, but we can get a 'killing' frost well into JUNE.
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D Semple
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« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2013, 10:47:15 AM »

I'm down 5 of 41 hives so far.

Condensation issues are biting me in the butt, as our weekly temperature fluctuations have been a reqular roller coaster this winter. 70 degrees here in KC Monday and supposed to get down to 3 tonight and then back up to the 50's by Sunday.

Next winter I will be insulating lids and going to larger upper entrances. May just go to all upper entrances year round.


Don
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T Beek
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« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2013, 12:30:07 PM »

Although I haven't lost a colony yet this winter, I am having similar issues w/ condensation showing up as frost around the entrances some mornings on all of my top entrance hives.  Its also the 'first' time I've used a foam insulation shell around my hives.  In the past, apparently the wood alone allowed enough moisture to escape as I've never seen frost accumulation before this year.  Hoping its not a bad sign. 

I may be re-thinking insulating my hives after this season.  We'll see come Spring.
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leandrogcard
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« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2013, 01:39:29 PM »


That said; We're supposed to get down to 20 below zero (F) tonight, but we used to have 20-30 below zero during the day (30-40 below @ night), sometimes lasting for 2-3 weeks or more, along w/ mountains of snow. 

Thanks for the info.

This is really way too cold, for way too long. For me it seems amazing even trying to keep bees in such conditions shocked . Good luck with that.


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Vance G
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« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2013, 02:24:29 PM »

It is way too humid and hot for me to consider visiting let alone living in  your beautiful country Brazil!  The bees are made to cluster and eat and doze the winter away.  I do some of that myself.   And when summer comes and you are at your sweltering hottest, my bees have close to 18 hours of light to gather nectar, while you only have 12.  We all have different crosses to bear.   
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Moots
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« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2013, 03:13:27 PM »

It is way too humid and hot for me to consider visiting let alone living in  your beautiful country Brazil!  The bees are made to cluster and eat and doze the winter away.  I do some of that myself.   And when summer comes and you are at your sweltering hottest, my bees have close to 18 hours of light to gather nectar, while you only have 12.  We all have different crosses to bear.   

Vance,
My wife and I did a Jackson Hole/Yellowstone trip this past June.  One of our days in Yellowstone we popped out the North Gate to grab lunch in Gardiner, MT.   I was BLOWN AWAY by how much I enjoyed that vacation and how beautiful that part of the country is.  I've visited my share of neat and impressive places and usually I'm satisfied to check the "been there/done that" box and get back home.  This was the only time I've ever thought that if I could financial pull it off, which I probably can't! Cry, I would be tempted to have a second home there....truly beautiful country!  Of course, I'm sure in the middle of winter, I may feel differently!  grin 
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"We must reject the idea that every time a laws broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
                                                                                                                   - Ronald Reagan
leandrogcard
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« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2013, 03:13:51 PM »

We all have different crosses to bear.   
Yeah, I guess so cheer.

BR.
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