I live in upstate NY and the weather has been as you know down right cold. I had no signs of life from any of my 8 hives I went into winter with. I'm not going to rule anything out just yet. If my hives fail I want to check them for Nosema ceranae.
Randy at http://scientificbeekeeping.com/ does an interesting explanation of the possible effect of Nosema on a colony. It fits well with what I see in early spring faltering hives and would also fit well with losses of hives in spring when bees are attempting to build up.
I general he looks at a colony as an entire organism itself. Basically not a collection of tiny insects but as a single animal that grows to approx 12 lbs. He then selected another animal that has had it's growth studied that is comparable weight. what he came up with was the broiler chicken that is grown from hatching to about 7 lbs in 6 weeks.
in just the weight of chicken versus weight of bees the bees blow the chicken away. He then goes on to explain that this weight to weight measurement may still be way off indicating the the bees in fact make a chicken look like it knows nothing about how to grow. basically in the same time a chicken can grow to be 7 lbs a honey bee colony can grow to be around 50 to 60 lbs. Not only that but it will do so while expended vast amount of energy working to find the food for that growth in the first place.
Now whether your agree with this assessment or not there is no denying that bees can and will grow at a tremendous rate. and disruption of the process of nutrition would be devastating to such growth. And disruption of processing nutrients is exactly what Nosema does.
I thik it is a valuable idea to keep in mind when I find that hive that is just not keeping up. Disruption to that need for nutrients becomes far more serious if I think about it.
Everything gets darker, as it goes to where there is less light. Darrel Tank (5PM drawing instructor)
I did not test for mites.
So, basically, all of you are saying that there is more than one way to keep bees? There is more to keeping bees than people ever imagined? A beekeeper should know what's happening with his/her bees? Are you all saying that it's beneficial to learn the ins and outs of the pests and diseases just as we do with the bees themselves? I have to apply what I read, observe, and learn to keeping bees? You mean there is real work involved?
All of you are hitting the nail on the head. It's frustrating when I see folks trying to put everything in life inside a box. Then, they expect those things to act within the parameter of the box, which they created. It's madness. Beekeeping is no different.
All you have to do is be observant, and know what you need to be observant for. If one cannot do this, then it will be to their demise. In a sense, natural selection doesn't just apply to the bees, but it also applies to Beekeepers who fail to observe and act on what they find. There are MANY ways to act. Stop putting beekeeping in a box (lol...no pun intended!).
A man is worth just as much as the things about which he busies himself- Marcus Aurelius
I was monitoring varroa with SBB. Still have to work on my timing. Also, I did not use any QE, hence the ton of honey and a good flow for us last year. I actually HAD to harvest honey!
I am entering my fifth year of beekeeping and I have come across allot of different things that that all us beekeepers come up against. From 300 plus Ib black bears to little mites that appear as tiny specs of a reddish brown on the side of a bee. An then there was that second swarm I caught was all excited to get them going so I feed it with a division feeder only to check on them about 10 days later to see the wax moth had taken out 4 frames of comb. That same hive was taken out by a bear shortly after. So I had since made investments in fencing and so far I have been able to deter the bear. I had two hives coming out of Winter last year, I split one to build a nuc and wanted one as a honey production hive but did rob a few frames of drawn comb to help out some packages I started. Both of my over wintered hives swarmed, this was my fault for not completely going through the entire hive and catching Queen cells. Last years build up was super fast for me but on the bright side I caught two of the swarms. The nuc I put together swarmed as well. Swarmy year? Being it was my fourth year I look back and see allot of mistakes I have made.
Two packages on the way with Russian queens this spring.
Oh yeah I am trying to be TF but have feed global patties in the spring.
here is a link to the head bee inspector in Main about how to diagnose a dead out.
mike syracuse ny
Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan
Good link. Should be a sticky.
"Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker
Today hit 53 degrees I think or around that. Confirmed my fears all my hives lost. I need to take pics to display the damage.