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  1. #101
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,395

    Default Re: worst winter ever?

    susan, not enough info. any bees left? find the dead queen? any honey left? do you how to see mite feces on the brood frames?

    jd, not bad considering the rough winter. way to go!
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  2. #102
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: worst winter ever?

    Quote Originally Posted by JD's Bees View Post
    Finally warmed up enough to check half the hives last week and have 15% loss so far.
    nice ! I see on the weather map you guys are enjoying some nice bee weather,
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  3. #103
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    1,874

    Default Re: worst winter ever?

    [QUOTE=papar;904067
    Mike- I used the MQS for mid-Jan, it was in the 70's at the time[/QUOTE]


    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    We have some hives that we used one strip and 10 days later a second strip, and pete used the recommended treatment on his, and both were done around the middle of Oct.
    so if we see the same issues in those hives, mite be a clue.
    I know it took awhile but finally could check the hives we treated with MAQS.
    The yard had 20 hives, the 10 treated with MAQS lost 50%, the 10 treated with Apiguard are all alive and doing very good.
    so bob's hives 71 lost 12 about a 17% loss, exclude the MAQ hives 61 lost 7 around 10% loss.
    I can't get into some of my yards yet but checked 76 lost 1 starved, all Apiguard
    now I owe bob 5 hives as it was my idea to try the MAQS on his hives?
    we also checked Pete's hives but I don't know the #'s so you might want to check with him.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  4. #104
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Chiloquin, OR USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: worst winter ever?

    My hive went into the winter with gobs of bees (carniolans), two year-old queen, two deeps: 1 brood, 1 honey; and one western super: all honey.
    I insulated it with foamboard with a vent in the rear top of the hive. About 3-4 times this winter I had to wipe out the bottom of the hive of dead bees.
    Each time I wiped out about two cups of bees. On good days the bees would come out and fly around. At the end of January, I put bee candy on the
    inner cover because I feared they might be getting hungary, and there were lots of bees coming up throught the inner cover's hole and out the vent.
    But a month ago things started to slow down. Three weeks ago the weather was really nice here, so I popped the top and took a look see..... and
    there were hardly any bees left....about a hundred plus the queen-all walking around. Some of the bee candy was gone, but 99% of the honey in the western was still there, most in the second super was still there, and bottom super was plugged with dead bees.

    I took off the bottom super so I could clean it out and left the other too on. Ten days later all was quiet. I popped the top again and found the rest of them dead with the queen-in a small cluster. Not terribly surprised, though. It looked liked starvation...bee bottoms sticking out of cells. Weeks before I had scored several of the frames with honey so as to help them get to it. No signs of mites (had treated hive in the fall), but possibly
    dysentery...because we had several long cold spells 0 - 20 degrees for 2-3 weeks with 2 ft. of snow. No mite poop on frames, no beetles, no moths.
    Now...no bees. Tracheal mites? May be.

    It gets pretty cold here....late spring, early fall, long cold wet/dry winters.

  5. #105
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,395

    Default Re: worst winter ever?

    sorry to hear about that susan. sounds like more of a dwindle than a sudden collapse. mite treatmeants aren't 100% effective, and nosema ceranae doesn't always show dysentery. there's been a lot of talk about viruses lately.

    was all of that real honey or syrup honey?

    sounds like you did everything right, have you thought about having the dead bees analyzed?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #106
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Chiloquin, OR USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: worst winter ever?

    I forgot to mention that it seems the queen was failing in the end....in the western super I discovered evidence of laying workers...about 20 or so cells with two eggs in them. I don't know if that happened before or after the queen died.
    The western super has 6 full frames of capped honey. which I think is still good and I'll keep. The second deep had two partial frames of capped honey but mostly syrup and empty cells. The brood box was mostly empty with a little syrup, some of the corners had capped honey. There was very little if any pollen cells in the hive. I've ordered a new package of bees and I think I'm going to purge most of the foundation/frames and start over with new. I know it is a crap shoot either way....new bees and possibly disease coming with them, or my hives being diseased and infecting the new bees. So starting on an equal playing field seems the best thing right now. I'll have to analyze my frames/foundation this week to see which ones to keep and which to pitch. I did save some of the last of the dead bees. I don't know yet if I'll have them analyzed.

    What is really odd, yesterday the wild mongrel bees showed up and tried to rob my dead hive. They usually don't show up until June around here. But somehow they survived this weird winter. Go figure. The mosquitoes and hummingbirds appeared too, all on the same day.....

  7. #107
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,395

    Default Re: worst winter ever?

    sounds like there's at least part of your answer susan, queen failure. it was the reason for several losses in my yard this past winter.

    what i meant by honey vs. syrup was whether the stores are from natural forage or feeding sugar water.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  8. #108
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    829

    Default Re: worst winter ever?

    This may have been one of my problems also this past fall, however if there's no pollen in the hive I also found this to be a reason of collapse. a couple hives had no pollen and I was seeing that the drone populations in my hives dwindle significantly to the point of about non existant come the fall. Lack of pollen can be a reason for them "thinking" that the queen is bad and seeking to replace. Just a thought.

  9. #109
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Chiloquin, OR USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: worst winter ever?

    I hadn't fed the bees sugar water since early October and that was one fill up of a one gallon feeder. Perhaps the "honey" did not have time to ferment properly before the coldest weather hit....

  10. #110
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    928

    Default Re: worst winter ever?

    SusanM - was there any pollen in the hive, or was it all gone?

  11. #111
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Chiloquin, OR USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: worst winter ever?

    There was hardly any pollen left....under 20 cells for two deeps and one western.....

    How much pollen should there be in the hive going into winter? And, how do we encourage them to get more? Do we supplement?

  12. #112
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,166

    Default Re: worst winter ever?

    food for thought, the avg hive consumes 100-125lbs of pollen a year.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  13. #113
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,470

    Default Re: worst winter ever?

    Holly cow! A whole frame feels like it doesn't even weighs a pound!

  14. #114
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    829

    Default Re: worst winter ever?

    Susan, Most likely you now know the problem. They died from no protein. Yes if you need to you'll have to supplement their pollen. I realized the same for my hives this winter and the first opportunity I put a patty in each hive early Feb. Now they're bringing in pollen about 3 of 4 bees coming back have pollen. So I'm not concerned now as when I inspected yesterday they were storing it meaning that they have enough for now. Definitely need to keen an eye on drone levels in the late summer early fall before they kick them out to make sure they have enough pollen. If there's no drones then they don't have enough pollen. That's what I've understood from my past year.

  15. #115
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,778

    Default Re: worst winter ever?

    We have a relatively short winter. A deep of pollen is what I like to see, typically it's the bottom box. Gotta watch it though, frames will go quick in fall if they're not bringing in much and then you go into winter light.

  16. #116
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    928

    Default Re: worst winter ever?

    SusanM - sorry I was away from cyberworld a few days...but I guess you get the idea. The big, sad lesson of 2012 was CHECK YOUR POLLEN LEVELS! They can't make winter without it. the bad news is that pesticides and fungicides are only getting worse and they greatly exacerbate the problem.

    The answer to it all is lick your wounds, learn from it, and keep on beekeeping! Best of luck!

  17. #117
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: worst winter ever?

    Quote Originally Posted by soupcan View Post
    I have my ideas & thoughts but can not prove any of it!
    Darn tough to prove when the tests are negitive!
    What were they tested for, if I might ask?

  18. #118
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    omaha nebr. USA
    Posts
    494

    Default Re: worst winter ever?

    Just about every chemical & it's cousin the USDA machine is set up for.
    I have had other beeks have the same testing done ( not sure were it was done ) with the same results.
    We all agree it's a waste of time & money at this point!

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