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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Panola County, TX USA
    Posts
    117

    Default How many hives did you loose? How do they look now? Are they still going backwards?

    I am looking for some updates on hive strength and overall losses.
    Commercial guys only please.
    Looking for reports out of california and texas.

    Its been cold in both places and wondering how things are looking.

    Our bees have not got much worse but have not got any better either.

    honest reports only.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,248

    Default Re: How many hives did you loose? How do they look now? Are they still going backwar

    Quote Originally Posted by benstung View Post
    honest reports only.
    Ben, that quote is price less, sounds like you've been to a few bee meeting in your time.

    My bees are as I expected them to be avg, losses are up a little 5-7% but the cold weather here has slowed them down in the brood department.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,441

    Default Re: How many hives did you loose? How do they look now? Are they still going backwar

    Quote Originally Posted by benstung View Post
    I am looking for some updates on hive strength and overall losses.
    Commercial guys only please.
    Looking for reports out of california and texas.

    Its been cold in both places and wondering how things are looking.

    Our bees have not got much worse but have not got any better either.

    honest reports only.

    When this question is asked the first thought in the back of my mind is "What date are people basing their answers on?" When you answer the question its best to answer this question from a certain starting point. Is it from splits or packages? Is it from when the honey was pulled? How about when the last feed can for winter was put back in the shop?

    In Keith's case his starting point is always "the last time the hive got a fresh coat of Blue paint"?

    Your "start" date helps give us all a relevant reference point to base comparisons on.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    277

    Default Re: How many hives did you loose? How do they look now? Are they still going backwar

    Shoulda waited couple weeks before posting sure there is a lot of texas beeks that wont go down till the end of the month or begining of february
    Last edited by Brian Suchan; 01-15-2013 at 12:28 PM.
    AKA BEEMAN800

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    981

    Default Re: How many hives did you loose? How do they look now? Are they still going backwar

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey-4-All View Post
    Your "start" date helps give us all a relevant reference point to base comparisons on.
    This is a very important issue that I wish we could standardize as an industry.
    Every year I am subjected to at least 4 surveys that include questions about winter losses.
    There is all together WAY too much room for variation and fuzzy math without a standard definition that we all understand and apply to our situation.
    So here is my formula, one that soley has to do with hive numbers and almost nothing to do with the calendar:

    When I give you my "winter loss" I am actually taking the highest number of hives that you had in the previous year and comparing that number to the amount that sucsessfully makes it through winter.
    What I am really reporting is ANNUAL LOSS.
    My loss from peak numbers this year is 5.5% There is no fudging or waffling. The number going to Almonds is subtracted from the highest amount in the prevoius year right down to the swarm hived behind the barn.
    No artificial dates or excuses.
    Any thing short of that really gives us an unknown number because the dates and rules for counting are all over the place.
    If you have 2000 hives on June 15th or when ever you hit your high number, and no more boxes are filled and take 1800 to almonds you have a 10% loss for the previous year.
    Simple and meaningful.
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Panola County, TX USA
    Posts
    117

    Default Re: How many hives did you loose? How do they look now? Are they still going backwar

    very amazing Harry. And i agree with your formula

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,248

    Default Re: How many hives did you loose? How do they look now? Are they still going backwar

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryVanderpool View Post
    My loss from peak numbers this year is 5.5% There is no fudging or waffling. The number going to Almonds is subtracted from the highest amount in the prevoius year right down to the swarm hived behind the barn.
    No artificial dates or excuses.
    Ah, gee Harry, now your making me look bad. Here's my high/low numbers, I max out in May with 3,000 then I run the bees having a few bad licks along the way(summer/fall) then about late oct I'm down about 2600-2700 so then I make up about another 300-400 singles. Then come ALMOND time I'm about flush +/- 5%.
    I always seem to have about 20% or so queen failure, been fighting this for a while now, Harry I would love to have 5-6% high to low avg.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,402

    Default Re: How many hives did you loose? How do they look now? Are they still going backwar

    I think 25-30% is my average and this year is going to be about the same. A little more I am not counting from bear strikes. Lost a dozen in one yard due to a bear in the fall.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,441

    Default Re: How many hives did you loose? How do they look now? Are they still going backwar

    "This is a very important issue that I wish we could standardize as an industry."

    Another item on the standardization lost would be if you filled deadouts in the summer and fall.

    Say you do 100 splits in April and by the end of August 20 of them have queen failures. Now your at 80. Split 20 of those on September 1 and all 100 make it to the almonds. What's you data now? How are you different than the quy who didn't make up fall losses..... Besides being up $2800 in the almonds that is?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Falls City NE
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: How many hives did you loose? How do they look now? Are they still going backwar

    Started in spring with 1350 lost 100 or so through the summer, made a decent honey crop, everything looked great late august. Then apiguard arrived late and treatment was delayed until late september. Now 850 or so, 600 look ok 7-8 framers, the rest at least 5 frames. Took to Texas a month ago and hope they are holding up.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,248

    Default Re: How many hives did you loose? How do they look now? Are they still going backwar

    [QUOTE=Honey-4-All;885644 How are you different than the quy who didn't make up fall losses..... Besides being up $2800 in the almonds that is?[/QUOTE]

    I don't know Phil, you've seen my bees in the almonds how does that blue paint look like.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,441

    Default Re: How many hives did you loose? How do they look now? Are they still going backwar

    As I was typing I see Keith was thinking the same thing about Harry's loses. Having a equal playing field would help when answering questions. Unfortunately we all hold our hive tools at a different angle and given the disparity in how most people judge things its no wonder that there is "clouding" in all these "surveys." An objective and true answer can only be gathered by a silent team of people who do not divulge the questions to be answered as they gather the data. Best if they do not have a hive tool in their hand during the whole year as they "watch" over the people they are surveying.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,466

    Default Re: How many hives did you loose? How do they look now? Are they still going backwar

    Im not from Texas or California , but right now I wish I were, . . . burrrrrrr, . . .

    Anyway, I count my "winter losses" from the number of hives into winter, and simple math with the alive hives out of winter.
    I rather not count my annual losses. From my peak spring time numbers, June, til fall, I tend to have 10% to 20% fall off. And then usually another 20% during the winter.
    But its busy busy busy building back those hives during spring

    5% Harry, now your probably not counting the June nucs that are filling those losses are you,
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,555

    Default Re: How many hives did you loose? How do they look now? Are they still going backwar

    Now you guys have me so confused I don't know whether I have any losses or not.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    981

    Default Re: How many hives did you loose? How do they look now? Are they still going backwar

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    Now you guys have me so confused I don't know whether I have any losses or not.
    So many good responses, all very different but point clearly to the fact that over wintering surveys say NOTHING OF VALUE!
    Eastside's bees were all perfect and a bear wiped them out. Come on,,,;we're not going to count that ;are we?!!
    Keith and Harry get on the bees and stay on them, stay on them, stay on them right up till it's too late: CHEATERS!!!
    And how about plugging in nucs? Is that a combine that would mean one loss or is it a seasonal beekeeping manipulation?
    And here is another >>story<< for you to digest:
    If I were to honestly answer many winter loss surveys by their oddball parameters, my answer would normally ZERO. Even in the years that I have suffered 17% loss or 20% loss, those losses were taken in the fall.
    My 5.5% losses were all taken in the fall this year. Mainly queen issues.
    Last year I had a 17% loss. All in the fall.
    Year before, broke my record of 2.8% , at 2.6%. All taken before the hives were wrapped.
    What I see in the last look in November when the hives are wrapped are what I have in the spring, year after year.
    Sorry to say this to my fellow beekeepers, but....
    If "winter losses" come as a surprise, your outfit is out of control in my opinion.
    It's not CCD, not Disappearing Bee Syndrom.
    Its a bad case of TOO MANY BEES TO KEEP TRACK OF syndrom.
    Don't hate me but I see it all of the time. :/
    Last edited by HarryVanderpool; 01-15-2013 at 01:54 AM. Reason: Have to always get the last word in.
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Maricopa, Ariz, USA
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: How many hives did you loose? How do they look now? Are they still going backwar

    So, I'm curious Harry......how many hives do you run, how many employees do you have and how much pollination vs honey production do you do?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,466

    Default Re: How many hives did you loose? How do they look now? Are they still going backwar

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryVanderpool View Post
    If "winter losses" come as a surprise, your outfit is out of control in my opinion.

    Yes I agree, to a point. A couple of years ago our area had severe losses. I missed out on the complete wipe out event, I encountered 35%. Many suffered through 80%-100% losses.
    And it was by surprise. The bees went into winter looking good.
    I blame a viral infection. Even good beekeepers cant battle viral infections.
    Many say it takes a couple of years to shake an infection
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    981

    Default Re: How many hives did you loose? How do they look now? Are they still going backwar

    Quote Originally Posted by dback View Post
    So, I'm curious Harry......how many hives do you run, how many employees do you have ...?
    Exactly one hive more than you. One employee more than you.
    Thats my standard answer to those questions when they magiclly appear in these discussions.
    That way, no one can use my answer to fall into excusism.

    "Really! You have only half the bees I do?!! Why, If you were running as many bees as us you would be losing bees like crazy!!"
    My answer saves a lot of people a lot of typing.
    I run just as may bees as fit my operational scale, and that I can TAKE CARE OF PROPERLY.

    You're welcome!
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,555

    Default Re: How many hives did you loose? How do they look now? Are they still going backwar

    Harry: just having a little fun with you. Actually I agree wholeheartedly with your statement about losses although I assume that what Benstung is really getting at is if anyone else is seeing abnormally high losses from their strong summer hives.
    Losing hives is a normal part of beekeeping and has been as long as people have been keeping bees. Our yearly "high water mark" is after all the nucs are made up in early April. It is pretty common to have in the range of 10% that don't catch a queen in the first 6 weeks a few of those attributable to the move north, another 5% attrition through the summer and fall, another 5 to 7% attrition from late fall throug the winter. Of the remaining hives usually about 70 % grade out good enough for Almond pollination the other 30% are mostly 4 to 6 combers the majority of which will grow quite quickly into a "splittable" single by mid March.
    So I suppose my annual losses among queenright colonies are somewhere North of 10%.....or maybe it's 20%. Frankly I don't really care, I only know that we always have more than enough bees to make up our empty stuff. As far as this year is concerned our bees have been running a bit better than those numbers.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Fruitland ,Idaho
    Posts
    423

    Default Re: How many hives did you loose? How do they look now? Are they still going backwar

    [QUOTE=HarryVanderpool;885860]Exactly one hive more than you. One employee more than you.
    So what your saying is , you run a lot of bees and put up with with a lot more bullshit?

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