people hate having blame laid on their lap
people hate having blame laid on their lap
Keith: You best stay in beekeeping. You would never make it in politics. ;)
I have lost 1/3 of my healthy hives. All due to starving. I didn't put candy on and so I own it. I don't count the two hives that was not doing well.......
starving is a hard one, Im getting some of that too
Soupcan, I have a freind that grades bees for three big almond brokers the names you would know, So I talked with him last week, he says the SAME keepers that have good bees last four years have good bees this years, and the same goes for lousy bees.
He says the lousy bees you try to crack the boxes the get a better look at the grade and they haven't been broken apart in quite some time. So SoupCan, it's not an opinion, these bees have come to Cali from mid west to east coast .
Bottom line it's the keepers that make the difference.
I have lost none over winter, but did have one that was queenless but still had ample bee population. I went into winter with 9 and have now split to 17. I started feeding to stimulate brood rearing mid January.
I took 16 colonies to cotton mid summer. Had lost down to 13 when I went to retrieve them. All had very low populations. Before I could get them ready for winter towards the end of October I was down to 9.
I am small cell treatment free except screened bottom boards.
But 15 years ago we started to see a divide among farmers who were able to adapt to the on coming challenges and manage the issues accordingly to who did not see the problems until it was too late and would not adapt because of an old school approach to farming.
Those farmers who didnt adapt disappeared as they lost interest and sold off the land.
The ones who are farming today are right up to date with the latest breeding programs, disease control, tech , and sustainability.
Like I have been preaching on this forum loud from the roof tops, farming is business, every problem can be managed, got to know whats going on and react to the conditions. Beekeeping is just as much as a business as everything else, why many rely on nature to guide them around is baffling to me. We are working this industry completely away from natures way, yet many figure they can get away with not paying attention to whats happening in the hives.
I find it interesting that you produce a specialty product that you sell to beekeepers and then inturn do not attend such meetings to promote your wares.
I would think that would be an easy sell for your product?
Soupcan, other than Beesource I do no advertizing. My deep beliefs are, the keepers that have purchase my product with there hard earned money, they are the judge & jury of my product, I don't want to hassle keepers at a bee meeting sounding like a used car sales man. The product has grown strickly by word of mouth.
P.S. the judge & jury have been very good to me, the product & the bees it produces speaks for itself, the last thing it needs is Keith's "straight pipe" messing everything up. :)
After 2 winters with zero losses. I lost 9 out of 11 this winter.
Huffman, do you feel last summer & fall flows were any different than the two years before that you had zero losses ?
Last year I also lost 3 hives before winter to starvation because I took to much honey off. So yes the flow wasn't as good as the previous 2 years.
Now if you could make that song play when you open the post, that would be cool
So far we have 22 of 24 survive. Of the two that died, it was fairly obvious at least one of them was going to have a tough time as it was low population(result of a failed experiment.)
So that puts us at 8% loss. I don't think we've ever been over 15%.
Our bees are a good distance from industrial ag. No re-queening unless queenless. Do our best not to feed (maybe just 3 colonies got a light feed in the fall.), Formic if counts are high(1 hive is 2 winters no formic). Ventilation boxes with straw on top. We had a poor honey year last year and only got a light harvest.
WellI'm a fairly new beekeeper so take this for what it's worth. I did notice that this past summer (July / August) that there seemed to be very few drones in my hives but I didn't know why. Now I understand that there was a lack of pollen. I was feeding some hives seeking to help them through, and one hive even died as I was feeding it late fall. Not due to mites, but due to lack of pollen. 2 hives that I lost this winter were due to not enough ventilation. I had dry sugar on top, and it was soaked and dripping down on them. So I think I can say I agree with Keith saying at least for me it was beekeeper error. Not obviously on purpose, but none the less my fault. (Currently I'm at about 55% loss.) It's my job to know what's going on and deal with it. The problem is just not knowing. I don't remember reading about a lack of pollen in the summer. I still saw some bringing it in, but didn't check the combs. It may be that they wern't able to bring enough in, or it may be that they brought in "bad pollen". I'm not sure, but I also have learned from a hard winter. I was hoping to have a great honey crop this year, but it seems that I'll be short again. Well we'll see what swarm season brings.