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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Perryville, Missouri.USA
    Posts
    4

    Angry

    I have tried to raise bees for three years now and cannot overwinter them. I have taken a 8 hour class through the Missouri Extension, to familiarize myself with problems before starting. Hives still have ample supply of food, and it has been a very very mild winter. Bees are clustered and very DEAD. The hives seem to be strong going into fall

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    Could this be isolation starvation? This is when there's food in the hive, but the bees can't reach it because of the cold. I don't know what a 'mild winter' means to you, but it doesn't need to be that cold to stop the cluster moving across.

    Alternatively, could it be disease? Tracheal mite, perhaps? I'm guessing, but if you can find someone more experienced tolook at the hive, they might be able to give you a more definite answer.

    ------------------
    Regards,

    Robert Brenchley

    RSBrenchley@aol.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    Hi,

    Could you give more history? Is the hive singles, doubles, triple brood chamber? Started from package? Bought from beekeeper? Are the heads of the bees stuck in the cells? Look in the hive has the cluster drifted off to the side? Has the cluster split in two directions? How far away from honey are they? Did you treat for mites? With what? Any other info?

    Clay

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Perryville, Missouri.USA
    Posts
    4

    Post

    This winter temp has dropped into the teens at night only for a few days at a time and day temps into the 30s and 40s other wise night time temp 30s daytime 50. My hives are doubles started with both 2lb package and split one hive last year with bought queens. The heads of bees are stuck in cells with remaining cluster surrounding them. Treated with apstan strips and using Italian bees. (Considering changing to another breed possibly more hardy?) Any more questions just ask. Thanks Randy

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    This sounds, at least on the face of it, like isolation starvation. Your 'mild' temperatures are more than cold enough to stop the cluster moving across to new stores, and my guess is that they've eaten all they had where they were and starved. What weight of stores, roughly speaking, did they start out with?

    ------------------
    Regards,

    Robert Brenchley

    RSBrenchley@aol.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Perryville, Missouri.USA
    Posts
    4

    Post

    They had a 9 inch brood chamber full of pollen and one full of honey. The Missouri Extension entomologist told me that two 9 inch boxes was sufficient for this area. Should I leave an additional 6 inch (or two)on top to help overwinter them?
    Last year I even tried to wrap the boxes in 1/2 inch styrofoam insulation to help overwinter. I have been ordering Italian bees any preference in breeds that overwinter easily.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    Do you buy your bees locally? If they come from a distance, they may be unsuited to your climate. The best bet might be to get local bees, and raise your own queens, that way you'll get bees adapted to your specific conditions. I've no experience of package bees and buying in queens; the former don't exist in the UK, and there are only a few part-time queen breeders. But I do wonder about the possible effects of introducing bees to a climate which could be very different from that which they originate from. what do most beekeepers do in your area?

    ------------------
    Regards,

    Robert Brenchley

    RSBrenchley@aol.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Perryville, Missouri.USA
    Posts
    4
    Thanks Robert, I have been buying bees from a supplier about 400 miles south of me. I do not know of any other beekeepers personally in this area, but finding a supplier closer to me could help. I will try again and see what happens.

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