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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
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    4,264

    Default The usual suspects

    Someone drug a horror story onto our online bee clubs facebook page about 60% of surviving colonies still being damaged from last winter and pesticides and evil ju ju. Then I read that 60% of Ohio's bees died last winter.

    What is the real state of bees nationwide? Did I just not hear of massive die offs on the almonds and other pollination. Mine are fine after a hard non migratory winter on granulated beet sugar surrounded by grain fields doused with Roundup. I don't love herbicides and pesticides but see why the farmers are treating. What is the actual state of things? I ask here on the commercial forum hoping to dodge input from the lonely bird types.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,287

    Default Re: The usual suspects

    the title "usual suspects"

    I find "most" of the time the suspects are the beekeeper themselfs as to why the bees look the way they do.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Lee County, Illinois
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: The usual suspects

    The hives I work look fine. Almonds wasn't bad, in and out quick no hives got stuck there for weeks, waiting for them to get back from Michigan. Rest of the hives are in honey production mode and look good.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    28,276

    Default Re: The usual suspects

    Weren't there a bunch of hives in CA that got killed or damaged by bad tank mix?
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: The usual suspects

    Mebee so but this diatribe talked about 60% of the national bee population.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Ashtabula, OH
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: The usual suspects

    The reports I have read have varied from 40% to 60%.
    I had 100% loss. No for the guy who said it maybe attributed to the Beekeepers themselves, I agree and disagree. Management is part of the problem. But all the other attributing factors out way it.
    45 plus in beekeeping and I have seen loses by herbicides and other chemicals.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,812

    Default Re: The usual suspects

    Yes, last winter was brutal. The report from a S.E. beekeeping meeting was most people lost all their bees. A neighbor to one of our yards lost all of hers, as did a man between two of our yards. It was not so much the cold of the winter, but it started early and ended late. Many hives where full of bees mid march, but died before the first batch of brood hatch. We did bad, but it could have been terrible. Most will be replaced by splitting, but at least 2 yards where lost to outside chemical influences that prevented proper pollen conversion to bee bread.

    So it is my opinion that winter losses averaged about 75 percent for this area of the state.

    Crazy Roland

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,276

    Default Re: The usual suspects

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    Mebee so but this diatribe talked about 60% of the national bee population.
    Which diatribe? In your OP you mentioned 60% of OH's bees, not the Nation's bees.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,624

    Default Re: The usual suspects

    I'm not sure anyone is in a position to see the whole picture. We know there are agendas out there, we know there is an ongoing battle between big ag and environmentalists that bees and beekeepers have been drawn into. I look with suspicion at the endless stories that pop up in this internet age talking about the massive bee die off nationwide as it really doesn't seem to be confirmed by the numbers. The majority of hives in the US are owned by commercial beekeepers that transport their hives to warmer climes for the winter so I'm not sure how big an effect the harsh winter had in terms of lowering bee numbers. Beesource members are primarily a collection of hobbyists and sideliners which gives us a snapshot of how backyard beekeepers are doing but not much of a nationwide picture of overall hive numbers.
    Was there a big die off in the almonds? My guess is what occurred is probably pretty normal, I know I have seen damaged colonies myself almost every year but personally heard only good reports from beekeepers this past year. I'm not saying hive damage from fungicides is acceptable only that it isn't something new. Getting a lot of beekeepers together in one room for a survey at the end of the bloom, when beekeepers are at their busiest probably is though. Had I been there I would have raised my hand as well when asked if I had seen damaged colonies......then I would have been splitting the next day. I know one large beekeeper who was there and testified that he had seen losses who stated a month later that perhaps he needed a few more losses.....he was trying to figure out where to go with his hives as they were boiling with bees and it was still too cold up north to move his bees to the Dakotas yet.
    Bee losses have always been cyclical, nothing new there. Beekeeping challenges are greater than they were 30 years ago, we know that as well. Personally, now that we move all our bees to Texas each fall, I see lower losses now than I saw pre-varroa when I mostly wintered up north. Personally I just chuckle at most of the dire news reports as I see truck load after truck load of bees being shipped into the Dakotas for honey production.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
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    3,287

    Big Grin Re: The usual suspects

    [QUOTE=jim lyon;1118164]. Had I been there I would have raised my hand as well when asked if I had seen damaged colonies......then I would have been splitting the next day.
    QUOTE]

    Stop.... we have a winner.

    I don't mean to imply that I never see spray damage, but, over all is so minable it's not worth complaining about. I always looked at it as swarm control, always have had bees coming out the waaassooo after almonds.


    P.S. gotta figure out the prize for Jimmy.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,276

    Default Re: The usual suspects

    U could send him a tub of Nutra-Bee. I liked what he wrote too.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,606

    Default Re: The usual suspects

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    Personally, now that we move all our bees to Texas each fall, I see lower losses now than I saw pre-varroa when I mostly wintered up north.
    This wintering up north thing has its tough years... basically the reason why the package bee operation was developed. It was thought ( at one time) nobody in their right mind would winter bees up north LOL
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,264

    Default Re: The usual suspects

    Thanks all. I lost a third and beat myself cause I was not smart enough to do this business. I have split back to my original numbers and things look better. Thanks to pollen patties and granulated beet sugar, I probably have more bees than I took into winter already. Rolands report is sobering to me but I see a lot of trucks full of bees being piled around me that came from somewhere.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,287

    Default Re: The usual suspects

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    I have split back to my original numbers and things look better. Thanks to pollen patties and granulated beet sugar, I probably have more bees than I took into winter already. .
    Well done Vance, good luck this summer.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

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