Quote Originally Posted by Joel View Post
Cam - I know for us in the past we have seen some our Grade one yards, ones that really thrived during the season, be the yards that suffered higher winter losses. We deduce among other things, more bees, more mites, more interaction with other bees afield, more virus, more bees, higher use of stores. I'd be interested to hear what you find? We had one really great yard we no longer use to winter because we realized it was a cold air drain and in an area very near the Catherine Welands south of Seneca Lake. That yard consistently had high losses due to moisture and cold. Have you considered this?
This was the first winter I used this yard for overwintering. I have considered the cold/moisture drain. It sits on a north facing slope, but is wide open to the sun. Bees have done great there for a couple years. I do suspect mites and their virus issues, maybe nosema problems but most of the bees I checked under my scope had no nosema. Survivors in that yard are strong. Since I didn't treat these nucs [on purpose] I believe they got so strong that mites were abundant and took their toll on the winter bees. Guess I need to revisit not treating strong nucs. I have some weak nucs in another yard doing pretty well. I post the results from Beltsville when I get them.