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Author Topic: Winter losses  (Read 261 times)
ApisM
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Location: Red Lake, Ontario


« on: January 18, 2014, 07:32:46 PM »

Hello,

Everyone always talk about winter losses, in regards to how many colonies perished during the winter.  My question is how many bees should one expect to loss during the winter.  For example, if I had 30,000 bees, when spring comes how many bees should be left when spring comes?  10,000? 5,000?

I live in the north where our temps go to -30 quite frequently, and lose alot of bees, due to them flying out on the sunny days.  The warmth gets them active, but when they fly out of the upper entrance the cold instantly freezes them and they die in the snow.  Usually a cleansing flight.

I also have the bottom board full of dead bees at the end of winter, due to the bees dying on the outside of the cluster.

Cheers,

ApisM
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Vance G
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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2014, 08:28:00 PM »

A lot of variables there.  One could take a huge aged population into winter and they will die down to an unsustainable cluster.  A smaller colony that had big production of long lived bees late in the season may come out of winter with relatively small loss of numbers.

Then you have mites, type of honey the bees are wintering on, nosema ad infinitum.  I guess it one of those you will know a successfully overwintered colony when you see one.   a colony with four frames of bees come the beginning of April will usually make you a crop.  That is probably about three pounds of bees.
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Joe D
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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2014, 08:30:13 PM »

Welcome to the forum.  Usually when one talks of loss over the winter, I think it is hives that are being talked about.
Good luck to you




Joe
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tefer2
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« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2014, 07:25:55 AM »

Welcome to the forum ApisM.
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ApisM
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Location: Red Lake, Ontario


« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2014, 09:32:59 AM »

Hello Vance,

Thanks for the reply.  It is often a topic that is not in print, but gained through practical experience.  As mentioned, everyone talks about losses in regards to perished colonies.  It would be interesting to see a study of successfully overwintered colonies and what population loss they experienced.

I have no mites yet.  I live in one of the last areas unaffected by mites in North America, so I believe.  I do wrestle with Nosema each winter, but trying to breed survivor colonies.  I do not use chemicals, trying to develop a hardy stock.......it keeps my colonies numbers down while improving the genetics.  I am only a hobbyist.   
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