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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lancaster, Ky. / Frostproof Fl.
    Posts
    983

    Post

    For those interested there is a large number of colonies dead/dying. Alot of these have died in the south in the last 2-3 weeks when they should be brooding up. See my post in out of packges for more info. Rick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    mountain home, ar, usa
    Posts
    378

    Post

    I wonder if a lot of bees in the south are dying more from cold starvation than mites. We've had an unusual cold snap lately, and almost no one in the south bothers to insulate. I insulate even here in Arkansas for two reasons; to prevent cold starvation (when the bees have plenty of honey, but can't get to it due to the cold), and to reduce honey consumption.

    Late year I had a weak hive make it all winter long, only to die in late February after I left it's insulation off accidentally (for less than a week)... it died of cold starvation. Florida is having freakishly cold temps... just a thought.

    It is true that mites have pretty much become Apistan resistant in many areas. My Russian bees keep the mite populations in control without using chemicals- so mites are no longer an issue for me. Behind my house I have about 24 Russian hives and had 1 Italian. The Italian was attacked by yellow jackets and destroyed, but funny how none of the Russians was attacked. I think they are a little more defensive toward ANY invader, including mites. I always breed strong, defensive hives. I'll let everyone else have bees that have been bred to be docile for 200 years.

  3. #3

    Sad

    I live in northern indiana and I don't insulate my hives. From what I have heard it is a virus that mites spread that are killing the bees not actually mites.
    Columbia City, Indiana

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lancaster, Ky. / Frostproof Fl.
    Posts
    983

    Post

    greenbeekeeping is omn right track. The bees in Fl may have a cold spell by Fl standards (lows in30 highs in 50's) but only for a few days. Clusters will move about in 40's so thats not a problem. The bees that have died are from all areas....some with temps in 80's when they died. Bees can winter without winter wraps unless you are in extreme north. I have kept 100-400 colonies for 30 yrs and never wraped in Ky. In the worst winters I lost 5-10%. If the colony is strong with ample stores bees will do well even at sub 0. The three main things are a break in the cold to let cluster move and bees fly for defication, wind break with ventilation and not alot of holes for wind to blow on cluster, ample stores with cluster size big enough not to chill or get trapped away from stores. Rick

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,427

    Post

    I've never wrapped and I'm in Nebraska. This winter, for the first time in 30 years, I did wrap a group of 8 frame nucs with styrofoam. I've had bees in Laramie, WY (7200 feet) and didn't wrap and they did fine.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Lula, Ga. USA
    Posts
    33

    Post

    I really don't think that the issue is over the wintering of our bees, or the large amounts of package dealer being sold out of their stock. I think is it a combination of the West Coast having mite problems real bad lately and trying to get enough bees there for pollination purposes on the West Coast. Dealers are selling their stocks of packages to those who stand to profit over these losses on the West Coast.
    So it will be a good year to sell bees for those who yards are set up for selling bees.......

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