Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?
bummed. after three winters of zero losses and treatment free (by my defintion), in this fourth winter i have 6 losses out 18 colonies that all looked perfect on their fall inspections.
by perfect i mean queenright, healthy brood, excellent stores. all have been on a honey only diet.
more posts to follow, perhaps in other threads, but 5 out of 6 dead outs were queenless.
the sixth loss was a fall 'dead out' that still had the queen with about 150 bees and a 150% (by alcohol wash) mite infestation. i shook them out and froze the comb.
three of the five queenless hives had no bees, minimal stores, very little mite feces, very few if any mites on the bottom board. only one of these three showed sign of getting robbed out.
the other two had laying workers, decent cluster sizes, and were foraging and raising nice patches of drones.
the mystery wrapped in an enigma is what happened to those queens.
beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf