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  1. #361
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    903

    Default Re: Are you ready for the Odfrank overwintering challenge?

    If I am remembering properly, I started with a total of 11 and have 10 left now. The one I lost was a nuc and as with all my hives was food challenged this year due to a drought and they just didn't have the # of bees to handle some of the cold snaps. That's a little under a 10% loss rate which I guess I'll be happy with. No mite treatments going into this winter either bTW.

    rod

  2. #362
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,178

    Default Re: Are you ready for the Odfrank overwintering challenge?

    I started with 4 and am now at 5. is there a bonus for mid winter increase?
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  3. #363
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,410

    Default Re: Are you ready for the Odfrank overwintering challenge?

    Went into winter with 8 hives, lost two strong double deep ten framers. No treatments going into winter. Treated remaining hives in February with OAV. The other 6 hives had a big brood break over last summer due to no forage, only fed enough to get them through summer and then fed heavily in September.

    So, I am 6 for 8.........25% loss.

    Went to see them in the almonds yesterday and man were they ever pissy!! I was greeted by a face bumper before I even got within 30 feet of the hives. Kinda weird since they are all normally docile. All heck broke loose when I popped the tops and was inserting the frame feeders, ended up having to use the cover to block half the open top so I could pour the syrup in the feeder, it was the only thing that kept them calm!! Took one sting through the sweat pants, first sting of the year and hardly any reaction, so that's good! I checked infront of the hives and didn't see activity of skunks. Did find out that the farmer had sprayed a pheromone on his crop to attract bees, maybe that's the cause?
    Coyote Creek Bees

  4. #364
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    903

    Default Re: Are you ready for the Odfrank overwintering challenge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    I started with 4 and am now at 5. is there a bonus for mid winter increase?
    Probably not because the winner is the one with most losses. You're the biggest loser.
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  5. #365
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Baden Wurtemburg Germany
    Posts
    185

    Default Re: Are you ready for the Odfrank overwintering challenge?

    12 hives in summer, took some loses in autumn, bad queens. Down to 8. Winter was so warm like a heat wave until Feb, trouble is trees, birds and bees thought it was spring, a month of frost n snow has left me with no live bees. Just loads of sealed dead brood.

  6. #366
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,905

    Default Re: Are you ready for the Odfrank overwintering challenge?

    ouch, so sorry to hear that stephen. spring came a month early here last year, luckily we didn't get the killer freeze after everything bloomed.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  7. #367
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Rowley, MA
    Posts
    253

    Default Re: Are you ready for the Odfrank overwintering challenge?

    Started winter with 23 hives, lost 2 so far but a couple more looking a little weaker than I like. Still have March to go.

  8. #368
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    627

    Default Re: Are you ready for the Odfrank overwintering challenge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colleen O. View Post
    Glad it isn't too late to join! As of October 1st I had (still have) two hives. One NWC and one Buckfast. They are top bar and both small enough that they could be considered nucs. They are both pretty good on honey/sugar stores, maybe a little low on pollen in one, and I tried to manage pests but stay chemical free. The one that was low on pollen has a smaller cluster but is doing okay so far.
    It was warm enough out today when I got home to check if they were flying and look in the observation window on the hive that has one. An inspection will have to wait for a better day, but it looks like I lost one of the two. The Buckfast hive (this was the one low on pollen) was flying and had bees busy in the hive. The NWC hive wasn't flying and I pulled out a cork that is filling an old entrance near where the cluster was and all I could see was dead bees so I am pretty sure they died out.

    That gives me a 50% loss but I really won't be secure in that until I know the queen made it, is laying, and it is past April 1st rather than the March 1st of the challenge.

    In December I made "candy bars" with a small percent of pollen in them and put them in the hives. In February in the waning light the last 50+ day before the temps dropped and weather hit I moved the candy bar in the Buckfast hive right next to the remaining two bars of bees because I had seen through the observation window they were really low in stores and the cluster refused to move. I didn't do the same in the NWC hive because the last inspection they had moved next to the candy. I won't know until I inspect if it played a role but it could have.

  9. #369
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Collinsville, VA
    Posts
    447

    Default Re: Are you ready for the Odfrank overwintering challenge?

    Well here is my report out. I started the winter with 6 hives and finished with 6 hives. One is very weak but looks like it will pull through. This was much better than last year when I went into the winter with 7 and finished with 3.

  10. #370
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,905

    Default Re: Are you ready for the Odfrank overwintering challenge?

    way to go hbd! did you do anything different this year?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  11. #371
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    386

    Default Re: Are you ready for the Odfrank overwintering challenge?

    I'm disappointed but not discouraged. Lost 1 out of 7 or 14%, but was going for zero loss. Better than last year though when I had 17% loss. Had two 60 deg. F days over the weekend when I inspected, tore down, and scraped all the wooden ware from the dead-out. Had fed 30# of 2:1 syrup through the Fall plus some "Ted's mush" during the early winter. Maximum V-mite in early Fall was ~5 per day on a 72 hour mite drop count. Housed in a double deep plus medium, insulated and tar paper wrapped. All Italians or degraded Italian muts. All colonies are medication free.

    Postmortem: Low population (softball sized ?), honey/syrup on opposite side of occupied frames, minimal V-mites, well protected from the weather and cold. It is possible that they went queenless. Determined to get to my zero loss in 2013-14 winter.

    March is the snowiest month of the year here in Colorado. Have 2 inches already today and it is still coming down.

    Bear Creek Steve

  12. #372
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Are you ready for the Odfrank overwintering challenge?

    Started with 2 hives and 2 nucs in fall. Both hives are entering their 4th winter. Lost a queen in one so combined it with a nuc. It's doing great. The nuc has been converted to a standard hive. The other original hive may be on its last leg. Not much activity - but some. And still bringing in pollen. I'm figuring I may lose it.

    Final talley - lost 1 nuc.
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  13. #373
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Collinsville, VA
    Posts
    447

    Default Re: Are you ready for the Odfrank overwintering challenge?

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    way to go hbd! did you do anything different this year?
    Thanks squarepeg and I did. I treated for varroa mites three times last year (three different kinds of treatments) - April, late July, and late October.
    Last edited by Hokie Bee Daddy; 03-04-2013 at 07:37 PM. Reason: spelling

  14. #374
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Vernonia Or
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Are you ready for the Odfrank overwintering challenge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hokie Bee Daddy View Post
    Thanks squarepeg and I did. I treated for varroa mites three times last year (three different kinds of treatments) - April, late July, and late October.
    What were the 3 treatments - do you have a preference of one yet?

  15. #375
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Clinton, MS, USA
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Are you ready for the Odfrank overwintering challenge?

    Took 3 into winter. Came out with 3. All 3 in double deeps busting with bees. Treatment free. For me it seems harder to get through the summer and fall because of the SHB. I lost 5 hives last fall.

  16. #376
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Collinsville, VA
    Posts
    447

    Default Re: Are you ready for the Odfrank overwintering challenge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joel_T View Post
    What were the 3 treatments - do you have a preference of one yet?
    MAQS in April, ApiStan in late July, and Oxalic acid dribble in late October. The Apistan in late July didn't do a thorough job which is why I had to do the late October treatment. I like MAQS in spring, before doing splits, because I believe it hinders the hive from swarming and cleans the hive up well for splitting. I'll look for another option for the late July treatment this year. I also liked the Oxalic acid dribble in late October. It was cheap and easy insurance going into winter.

  17. #377
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Pottstown, Pennyslvania, USA
    Posts
    420

    Default Re: Are you ready for the Odfrank overwintering challenge?

    ApiStan is Fluvalinate which I understand the mites have developed resistance to over the many years it has been used. Why not get away from the "hard" chemicals and use something like Apiguard for your post flow treatment?

  18. #378
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Athens, greece
    Posts
    140

    Default Re: Are you ready for the Odfrank overwintering challenge?

    Late summer, I had 8 hives with 10 frames of population.
    On september the 4, I have made 4 walk away splits .
    3 of them had a new laying queen, the other was laying workers and off.
    1 more get robbed of wasps , because it was upside down (animal or bandalism) and the lid was out.
    So I went in winter with 4 hives and 6 nucs.
    But I had not feed in fall with pollen patties , because I thought there was natural pollen , and there wasn't any, so no fall brood, no winter bees, low population , big losses.
    Final result . 5 overwintered hives/nucs, with 6 frames of population and 3 frames of brood now.
    LESSON IS LEARNED.

  19. #379
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Are you ready for the Odfrank overwintering challenge?

    Sorry, Drakos. The upside is we don't usually tend to forget those costly lessons!
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  20. #380
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO United States
    Posts
    419

    Default Re: Are you ready for the Odfrank overwintering challenge?

    Sorry about my delay in reporting. Went in with 15, and currently coming out of this challenge (Lord knows the winter is not over here) with 13. Lost a first year hive to starvation, although they had about nine full frames of honey in the super underneath them, should have caught this in the fall. My other lost was a second year hive that absconded, they originally came from a cutout, but their genetics will live on (time will tell if this is a good thing or not) because I made a split from them last spring. I can't believe they didn't like my accomodationsSo my lost was 13.333 percent.

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