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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,014

    Default When do hives crash?

    Based on your experience rank the seasons in order that hives are most likely to fail...

    Winter
    Summer
    Fall
    Spring

    That's what I think.

    Here's why I'm asking - I suspect that everyone will say that hives are most likely to fail in the winter, but I'm thinking that southern beekeepers will say that the next most likely time for hives to fail is during the summer. And I think it has as much to do with nutritional stress as anything. Of course mites are strong after the flow stops too. I don't really know about up north. That's how come I'm asking....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,810

    Default Re: When do hives crash?

    I think it varies by location. You may be right regarding nutritional stress.

    For northern coastal Maine: (Washington County)

    Winter
    Fall
    Summer
    Spring

    (Though this year I did see some very weak colonies (untreated) make it through winter but not have enough stored pollen to build up their population - and so technically they died in spring, but as for when the real blow was delivered, who can know with certainty?
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,620

    Default Re: When do hives crash?

    My hives start going bad when they start the aerial mosquito spraying once a week in my area.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    new castle delaware usa
    Posts
    169

    Default Re: When do hives crash?

    Can you get on the Don`t spay list ? We have that here in Delaware. They turn it off when they come down my street. I see them coming around with the yellow lights flashing while I`m partying with a neighbors, and believe me we party hard. I chase them down and they say "we know" cool

  5. #5

    Default Re: When do hives crash?

    I lost my bees in March after it had been in the 70s then got down in the 20s. Wild temperature swings can't be good for them.
    Greg Whitehead, Ten Mile, TN
    Blog - http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,620

    Default Re: When do hives crash?

    Quote Originally Posted by oldiron56 View Post
    Can you get on the Don`t spay list ? We have that here in Delaware. They turn it off when they come down my street. I see them coming around with the yellow lights flashing while I`m partying with a neighbors, and believe me we party hard. I chase them down and they say "we know" cool
    So, what about the many foragers who spend the night out in the fields and come back at sunrise the next morning? They are bringing mosquito spray chems back to the hive huh? I personally think this is the problem with bees since the mid 00's. Mites have been here since late 80's, and did not cause the year after year die offs that have been happening ever since the push for mosquito spraying around the country. The neonic news is just redirection from the real problem, as they started in the 90's.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,643

    Default Re: When do hives crash?

    I loose more in Late summer early fall. But, things have been better since I started staying on top of the mites. March can also be a hard month.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Default Re: When do hives crash?

    Winter (cold, stuck on brood/starving)
    Summer (dearth and robbing and queelessness)
    Fall (dearth and robbing)
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,661

    Default Re: When do hives crash?

    I think it is late Fall.
    Summer they are fine now.
    All are thriving with a few dozen borage plants blooming now.
    They supplement with the canola field by the local farmers here.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    benton ky
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: When do hives crash?

    Thanks. Fornthe heads up on mosquito spraying. We have had so much rain that they are asking you to call if you have mosquito issues. Ill see if they can put me on a no spray list.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,014

    Default Re: When do hives crash?

    From the limited response so far it looks like pretty much everyone has experienced the most hive loss by season in this order:

    Winter
    Summer
    Fall
    Spring

    Which is exactly in inverse order of natural forage availability and brood production. Even those who I know from other threads that leave a lot of honey on their hives experience the most loss in Winter and the least in Spring.

    So Is it nutrition, or brood production, or just general stress that is the key factor? Whatever it is the one uncontroversial factor that the bee keeper is actually able to do something about is nutrition. And leaving honey on the hive apparently isn't sufficient in times of dearth or the second major loss season would not be summer.

    I know this is probably over simplified. On the other hand I would speculate that Keith Jarrett might say that it's not.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,124

    Default Re: When do hives crash?

    All my unexplained crashes have been Jan-Feb. The population dwindles until there aren't enough bees to do the job.
    Dan

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Havelock,NC,USA
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: When do hives crash?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Modem View Post
    I lost my bees in March after it had been in the 70s then got down in the 20s. Wild temperature swings can't be good for them.
    March is our worst month for loss... build up followed by freezing.. not good.

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