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Thread: Winter losses

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    976

    Default Re: Winter losses

    Lost 3 out of 12, so far this Winter. All 3 of the deadouts went into Winter with small clusters due to poor queens. I had replaced the queens, but the replacments were no improvment. I replaced the queens a third time from a different supplier, but by then it was too late for much build up. Should'a combined them in the Fall. Lesson learned.

    "Take your Spring losses in the Fall."
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 12 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

  2. #22

    Default Re: Winter losses

    Quote Originally Posted by shinbone View Post
    I had replaced the queens, but the replacments were no improvement.
    Might this not bring you to consider other causes?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    xenia ohio
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: Winter losses

    Out of 6 hives down to 1 also lost a really strong Nuc all of the dead hives have tons of honey most of the bees never moved up just 1/4 inch or less and they could have full frames of honey and on top of that fondant ready for the taking. First year with my own bees just do not get it. I am not the only one seeing this in our area bees are just on the honey or less than a 1/4 inch away from it and the die from starvation butts out again just do not get it.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Winter losses

    Quote Originally Posted by crewdog61 View Post
    Out of 6 hives down to 1
    End of season mite counts?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    976

    Default Re: Winter losses

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    Might this not bring you to consider other causes?
    Good point. The three deadouts were packages from the same supplier who reported bad weather during his queen mating period in California. All my hives were treated with 3 applications of OA vapor at the end of September/beginning of October. The OA treatments did produce mite falls onto the sticky board insert, but no more than the hives that survived. Each hive had plenty of honey stores, and also had sugar bricks. Top and bottom entrances, with no evidence of excess moisture in the hives. Upon inspection, the combs looked healthy, i.e. no AFB or EFB.

    I am open to suggestions on the cause of death . . .
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 12 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Town of West Monroe, Oswego County, New York, USA
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: Winter losses

    Down to 17 now from 28 going into winter. Finding more small dead clusters than anything else. Only 3 can attribute to insufficient stores... large dead clusters (covering 4-5 frames or more). Good news is plenty of drawn foundation and full supers to checkerboard with as spring gets going...

  7. #27

    Default Re: Winter losses

    Quote Originally Posted by shinbone View Post
    The OA treatments did produce mite falls onto the sticky board insert, but no more than the hives that survived.
    Any number of possibilities. If I found moderate mite loads on 10 hives going into winter....I would expect some to fail and some not. if some had had some queen issues early on, then their recovery would have been an added pressure. It could have been any number of other issues.
    It could also be that all of the old, first and second replacement queens were duds....but what're the odds of that?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,426

    Default Re: Winter losses

    This is my first winter. When can one breath out re winter dead outs? Is there a magic ambient temperature, a magic amount of brood or with experience does one "just know".
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    976

    Default Re: Winter losses

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    It could also be that all of the old, first and second replacement queens were duds....but what're the odds of that?
    I think the odds are quite high - the first replacement queens came from the same supplier of the original queens, and most likely from the same production run of queens, meaning the first replacement queens also did their mating flights during a period of bad weather. The second replacement queens came from a different supplier, but by then it was too late for the new queens to do much, especially considering how dry it was for us last season.

    I blame it on bad queens because these deadouts were from 1st-year packages which never built up. Packages in their first year usually don't have a problem with mites due to the brood break from being a package.

    These eventual deadouts went into the winter with small clusters, and were doomed before the first snowflake fell. If I was a better beekeeper, I would have recognized in the fall that the clusters were in danger due to their small size and would have combined them, and reduced my loses. (Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first and the lesson afterwards).

    A good but costly lesson for this newbie beekeeper.
    Last edited by shinbone; 03-03-2014 at 03:30 PM.
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 12 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Chicago, Illinois
    Posts
    254

    Default Re: Winter losses

    First winter. I had two going in, lost both. One was a little weak but the other was strong. Cleaned out last weekend. Looks like they just could not get to stores and starved. Plenty of honey and pollen in both. I am in central Illinois and the winter has been brutal. Lots of extended sub zero weather and just cold for the last two months. I have three packages and two nus's ordered for this spring.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    796

    Default Re: Winter losses

    I'll be anxious to hear loss counts in the next month or so. Right now it's lightly snowing out and it hasn't been above freezing in a long time, so I'm not even checking them at this point till it warms up a little. I heard a local TV news report from I believe Ohio about high winter losses. This has been a severe winter and my prediction is losses will be higher, at least in the cold states, but we'll see.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Winter losses

    >What is the most winter losses you have had in any given year?

    On large cell foundation:
    1974-1995 average 1% (no treatments)
    1996 100% (no treatments)
    1997 100% (no treatments)
    1998 50% (no treatments)
    1999 100% (no treatments)
    2000 50% (apistan)
    2001 100% (apistan)
    Then I went to small cell and foundationless...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    796

    Default Re: Winter losses

    Wow - are you saying you had 50% - 100% losses every year? And you still stuck with it?

    What about when you went small cell/foundationless?

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Winter losses

    >Wow - are you saying you had 50% - 100% losses every year? And you still stuck with it?

    I had 21 years of only about 1% losses average. It gave me a lot of hope... but back then I always combined the weak ones.

    >What about when you went small cell/foundationless?

    It varies by how bitter cold and how long it's bitter cold. My losses now usually run between 10% to 30% depending on the conditions that winter. But I also started attempting to winter the small colonies where I used to combine them. Now I let them take their chances. The small ones die at a higher rate than the larger colonies, but if they survive they tend to really take off. I could combine them and that would "improve" the loss numbers, but it would mean less actual colonies come spring. A lot of them are nucs and nucs are most of the losses.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    796

    Default Re: Winter losses

    Well, that does seem to speak for small cell.

    I thought of running an experiment: getting 2 (Russian) packages, setting one up in a hive and not even looking at it for a year, while actively managing the other hive, and comparing the two after a year.

    By the way, the change after 1996 was amazing.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,286

    Default Re: Winter losses

    Well MR. BUSH I have most my hives brood boxes are on small cell thanks to you. It has only been a year so far on small cell and I treat for now . Plan on seeing how the mite loads are this coming year and only treat as needed and I guess I'll see how 4.9 works out.
    I all so use brood breaks and drone frames and SSBs. I am only going into my 5th year so I am still learning but I am getting better . I have not had to buy bees for 2 year now and I have honey all year long and even sold some this past year.
    So far this year I have lost 6 out of 25. Four where nucs and two DBL.deeps.
    All starvation I should of combined some I'm learning. I am self thought so I learn from my mistakes.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 32 hives==== T{OAV}

  17. #37

    Default Re: Winter losses

    Quote Originally Posted by GLOCK View Post
    Plan on seeing how the mite loads are this coming year and only treat as needed and I guess I'll see how 4.9 works out.
    I'll be interested to hear when the small cell begins to work its magic.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,286

    Default Re: Winter losses

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    I'll be interested to hear when the small cell begins to work its magic.
    This why I know for sure . I did the same with fogging with FGMO and that did not work.
    I now use OAV.
    I plan on giving it time so we will see.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 32 hives==== T{OAV}

  19. #39
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
    Posts
    471

    Default Re: Winter losses

    Hi Glock,
    Sorry about your losses. I did the FGMO with you and switched to OAV same time you did. I only had six hives but all of them came thru, even two late nucs that I put in single deeps with only 4 frames. They are 8 frames now after feeding the last 3 weeks. Hives are hopping and I'll start splits the end of the month. Going to try some beeweaver queens and go TF with them.
    At least till they start dwindling which is what I did with FGMO, and dusting. Once mite drops reached a certain point I gave up and started treating.

    I'm curious about your OAV. How many treatments over what time frame. I treated 5 times, 7 days apart mid OCT to Mid Dec. This year I'm going with 3 3 treatment sets. One now as brood is really building but before the supers go on. One at the height of the derth and again late OCT. Thou I may cheat and treat 4 or 5 times in late fall as it's so cool and not miserable to be working the bees.

    Despite my great respect for Mr. Bush, I'm not a small cell guy.
    Robbin NW Florida(8A) / 14 hives / 2 nd Year / 4 TF - 10T {OAV}

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,467

    Default Re: Winter losses

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    On large cell foundation:
    1974-1995 average 1% (no treatments)
    1996 100% (no treatments)
    That's a dramatic shift in one year period, and it appears to have been irreversible with large cell. What changed between 1995-1996?
    To everything there is a season....

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