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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    chilliwack, bc
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    642

    Default 2010 winter mortality rates?

    Just got back from the yards and done the counting, turns out that with all that have died and those that will probably die, I'm looking at about 15% mortality. this is higher from the norm i'm used to. perhaps the perplexing part about it is the fact that most that have died are vacant with not a bee to be found. I'm use to the odd hive starving to death and seeing a large cluster of dead bees but this is strange. Anyway, anyone wanting to post there mortality rates once they've done the final count please post them. It would be intresting to see how the winter has treated all our bees.

    I think I did rather well this winter considering some reports I've heard from other beeks in the area, Once again the same senario of disappearing bees. thank you and best wishes for 2010.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    syracuse n.y.
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    Default Re: 2010 winter mortality rates?

    I checked 55 hives the other day. Two were dead, another has a dwindling cluster, these three are in a yard that had all purchased queens in 2009, I expected to lose 5 out of eight as the queens just would not shut down, I kept feeding until too cold, and finally put full frames of honey on them in Nov. Strangest thing I have seen, the two dead hives, that in Nov. had a cluster ready for a honey flow, had some dead bees on either side of the top deep, a few dead bees on the bottom board, and five full frames of caped brood in the lower deep, no cluster or any bees. the snow on the entrace had been opened by the bees and dead bees hauled out, now it had snowed two days b/4, so there had to bee bees alive two days before. none of the other hives had the snow opened up. but no cluster in either hive, I would bet that they had swarmed in the last couple of days but temps never were above freezing?? plenty of stores as I moved the top deep full of honey onto two other hives. can't wait the weather is going to get up to around 45 f, got to go look again.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Erin, NY /Florence SC
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    3,361

    Default Re: 2010 winter mortality rates?

    Chill, I'd be pretty happy with those estimates. Remember when we thought 15% was bad? How was your season there? Good late summer crop for buildup or much feeding?

    Won't know with mine for a couple of weeks but will check in when I find out. Of course it's only January!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
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    440

    Default Re: 2010 winter mortality rates?

    Looking really good right now but hey, we're only half done winter in Manitoba.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lancaster, Ky. / Frostproof Fl.
    Posts
    985

    Default Re: 2010 winter mortality rates?

    Wildbranch...Kinda sounds like ccd to me or traechel mites. WIth ccd the bees will just fly off and not return home leaving brood ext....I think caused by systemic pesticides if you read how they work. Not all losses are CCD....there are many other things causing problems too(mite control residual, weather, mites, viruses and nosema)

  6. #6
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    Dec 2008
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    syracuse n.y.
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    Default Re: 2010 winter mortality rates?

    Quote Originally Posted by suttonbeeman View Post
    Wildbranch...Kinda sounds like ccd to me or traechel mites. WIth ccd the bees will just fly off and not return home leaving brood ext....I think caused by systemic pesticides if you read how they work. Not all losses are CCD....there are many other things causing problems too(mite control residual, weather, mites, viruses and nosema)
    I'm thinking ccd more than anything else. not systemics as there is nothing in the area thats planted, treated with formic so shouldn't be mites or traechel, but since they were bought queens not sure about resistence to tracheal. also since new hives treated three times with fumidil. Since i couldn't verify if they would be robbed out since its so cold, thats why I put the honey on other hives, see what happens to them. My partner had hives 3 years ago that looked the same, he lost 50% that year, so we will have to check some of his hives also. also all new drawn wax from foundation so shouldn't be residual chemicals. very interesting. If i get a few more with same symptoms will send some bees off to be tested. thanks for the post.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    chilliwack, bc
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    642

    Default Re: 2010 winter mortality rates?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joel View Post
    Chill, I'd be pretty happy with those estimates. Remember when we thought 15% was bad? How was your season there? Good late summer crop for buildup or much feeding?
    The 09' season was better then most for me around here. I made a lot of late summer queens to requeen and fed fairly heavily on those that needed it which was about half the hives though. This winter has been very mild compared to most with maybe a total of 3 weeks of below 0 degrees celsius one period of snow that lasted 3 days. Right now the hazel nuts are out and the bees are bringing in the pollen with day time temps getting to 12 -13 degrees celcius (58 Fahrenheit). I treated with fumigillan and treated for mites with formic and oxalic. Consequently, the mite levels are very low.

    The thing that has me freaked out the most is that quite a few of the hives that have died are ones that, in my opinion, should not of died and the manner in which they had died.

    In one case I had 2 singles in the front row of one of my bee yards. For singles they were my best with a full box of bees, young queen, medicated, and fed to good wieght. At the end of November the population was unchanged, I was still looking at 7 frames of bees. 2 weeks later when I was putting the winter covers on they were gone, not a bee to be found. Considering the the short time in which they disappeared and it happening so early in the winter, gave me forboding thoughts of what I would be looking at at this time of year. Thankfully, it's not as bad as I thought it would be but I still feel uneasy about these unexplianed deaths and not only in my bees, but other beeks bees too. I know it's CCD but it still doesn't make me feel any easier since that which causes CCD is still largely unknown.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
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    2,549

    Default Re: 2010 winter mortality rates?

    Quote Originally Posted by chillard willard View Post
    I know it's CCD ....
    UMMM, how do you know it's CCD? Did you do spore counts on your bees after treating for Nosema?
    Sheri

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
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    1,347

    Default Re: 2010 winter mortality rates?

    Will:

    May I be so bold as to say, the dust has not settled yet. I would if I were you send samples to the MOAFF (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Foods) for Nosema analysis. Take 10 bees from 7 hives (total 70 bees), take fly bees or bees outside the cluster and place them in a paper bag. Freeze them. Take them out of freezer and deliver them to the Abbotsford office. Knowing approximately the size of your outfit 3 such samples should be big enough. The service is FREE.

    Jean-Marc

    P.S.-I'll be back from Brazil in 10 days or so. They are very civilized here, they sell cold beer on the beaches.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    2,729

    Default Re: 2010 winter mortality rates?

    Chillard Willard - with all respect, I must agree with Sherri. In these unsettled time, it would be appreciated if all parties use precise language. "It is possible you have CCD" . It is impossible to KNOW you have CCD, because it is yet to be defined. It is entirely accurate to say "I have all of the symptoms of CCD", if indeed you have all of the symptoms. One of the symptoms is that the other bees do not , or are much less inclined, to rob out the hive. This includes wax moths. I doubt if that enough time has expired to express this trait.

    HOWEVER, if next year you put new clean bees in the old deadout, and in new equipment, and they fail in the former deadout, but not new equipment, I will be sold that you are right, and I am wrong.

    Again, with all respect,

    Roland

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    chilliwack, bc
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    642

    Default Re: 2010 winter mortality rates?

    To Roland and Sheri

    Point taken. I will say as much as that I do not know what killed my hives. We heard what the symtoms of CCD are and it might or might not be this. The deaths of these hives are as unexplainable to me as that what causes CCD. We just don't know enough about it.

    To Jean-marc

    Your missing the nice weather here. The hazels have fallen and the bees are bringing in pollen by the bucket load. I've already fed one round of juice and would be hard pressed to beleive that I'd loose anymore than I have excluding the smaller ones that might die which are few. For the most part, the majority of my hives are looking mighty fine. I will bring samples in though to be sure. Oh, and say hi to your brother for me while your down there, I enjoyed the talk that we had together when he was down here.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  12. #12

    Default Re: 2010 winter mortality rates?

    I was interested in Wildbranch's problems with his bees. I'd be interested in knowing what part of the country his queens came from. I live just southeast of Syracuse. I moved here from California in 1988, hauled 100 hives across the country. When I first got here, some of the queens that I brought had no idea how to deal with this winter though they would have been great bees in California. I did not feed them and a lot of them were dead by January.

  13. #13
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    Nov 2004
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    Owen, WI, USA
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    2,549

    Default Re: 2010 winter mortality rates?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Johnston View Post
    When I first got here, some of the queens that I brought had no idea how to deal with this winter.... I did not feed them and a lot of them were dead by January.
    OK, I just can't let this opportunity slip by. It sounds to me maybe the beek had no idea how to deal with winter.
    J/K
    Seriously though, I always wonder what our bees feel about the situation when we bring them home from warm CA and drop them down in Wisconsin late March or early April. Talk about climate shock. Good thing bees are so very adaptable.
    Winter in NY must have been a shock to both of you, unless you were previously acclimatized. From what I understand about CA, (and it's probably a lot different north/south, high/low elevation, etc) feeding must begin much earlier in the season, (probably months before the NY flow is over?) but "winter" doesn't last near as long.

    Will, you are killing me here. I want my illusions back that Canada is a cold place! It will be months before we see much pollen here.
    Sheri

  14. #14
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    May 2005
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    chilliwack, bc
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    642

    Default Re: 2010 winter mortality rates?

    It's unbelievable sheri, It's been years since I've seen pollen from the hazel nuts like this and this early too. usually the hazel would be out around the second week of janurary. Canada is a cold place for the most part but not here on the west coast, er, I mean wet coast. we certianly don't see much sub zero temps but we get way to much rain. we are in day 8 of some of the nicest weather i've seen for janurary in a long time.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    854

    Cool Re: 2010 winter mortality rates?

    Sheri,
    I bring my packages up from GA in the last week of March. The temp's are in the high 80's to 90 when we load and 16 hours later when I get back to shop we have frost on the ground. You talk about a shock! The colder weather makes easier to shake in. They don't drift.

    Ron

  16. #16

    Default Re: 2010 winter mortality rates?

    To John K and Sherry-
    I guess that I still haven't learned how to deal with winter in NY but maybe my bees have. I still don't feed them and now they make it through the winter (with extra honey getting in my way the following spring). If they have young queens, overwintering success is close to 100%.
    Those California queens didn't make it here after a whole growing season so they had plenty of time to store enough honey.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    2,729

    Default Re: 2010 winter mortality rates?

    Chillard Willard - you are a big man. you just earned my respect. I would do some tests next year like I suggested. Do NOT mix the deadout equipment in with the rest. Make a matrix with different combinations of different variables. With all due disrespect for the "testers in a lab", they seem to have less of a clue than we do, and are about 3-4 years behind with what they do know. Not that I am above average, but rather they are........ well, ya can't teach common sense. You are the best man to solve your own problems, and most motivated.

    Roland

  18. #18
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    Dec 2008
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    syracuse n.y.
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    Default Re: 2010 winter mortality rates?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Johnston View Post
    I was interested in Wildbranch's problems with his bees. I'd be interested in knowing what part of the country his queens came from.
    queens came from wilbanks, we have been trying different breeders for 6 years trying to find an early source that has acceptable queens. these were/are excelent queens. This is also a new yard and didn't have a very good golden rod flow so the queens had more room than they should have and I couldn't feed them fast enough even though some hives eventually had four feeders on at a time. Bob has another 40 of the queens in established yards that we are going to check this weekend. If you don't feed, you don't put fumidil on?
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  19. #19

    Default Re: 2010 winter mortality rates?

    This winter and last winter, I've fed sugar syrup and fumidil to my specialized queen rearing hives that have baby nuc frames that are about 40% of the length of a regular frame. The frames run the other way and there are 24 to a box with a divider board in the middle. I just finished a SARE grant and figured some things out that I was doing wrong with these beehives. I have 16 of these hives.
    So far, I haven't fed any syrup or fumidil or any sugar to my standard hives and my two colony hives in the past 22 years. I am totally open to feeding if it looks like that's the best thing to do in order to deal with Nosema ceranae, especially as it first comes through the area.
    I bought some global patties this fall and gave some to my 70 two colony hives and my queen rearing hives. Didn't have time to give any to my 110 standard hives.
    If you look at my web site, www.johnstonshoneybeefarm.com, you can see the hives that I'm talking about.
    Last winter, Paul Cappy was telling me that hives with Nosema ceranae keep making brood for a long time in New York. I haven't heard him say that more recently.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    syracuse n.y.
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    Default Re: 2010 winter mortality rates?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Johnston View Post
    Last winter, Paul Cappy was telling me that hives with Nosema ceranae keep making brood for a long time in New York. I haven't heard him say that more recently.
    well mine kept making brood, but I have found that hives with nosema ceranae normally will stop taking sugar syrup, and alot of bees die in the feeders. These hives would empty feeders in record time, and took down the fumidil with no problem so I'm pretty sure that they didn't have NC. but then again since the queen weren't mine, I have heard of different symptons between the east coast and the west coast, so they could vary between north and south I would guess. sposed to be above freezing tomorrow, if sunny will open up a couple of the other hives and look around.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

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