NY State Winter losses - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Default Re: NY State Winterlosses

    a friend and I picked up 44 from mann lake yesterday for the canton bee group, more than half were to start to rebuild from losses. 4 were for me. I lost 7 of 7, 3 of these made it well into feb. all had a lot of capped honey left, full deep frames. others have told me 43 percent loss on about 60 I think, 25 lost out of 40, 60 percent lost, 75 percent lost.. all these guys have been doing it awhile. some others in the 20 to 45 percent lost on ny wintered bees.
    Last edited by mathesonequip; 04-27-2014 at 04:26 PM.

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  3. #22
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    Westchester NY
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    Default Re: NY State Winterlosses

    Mark,

    Westchester county NY here.

    Started winter with 10 hives (2 of which were 10 frame nucs)

    One large hive lost to starvation in March had to feed the rest sugar bricks for the last 2 months most hives low on stores.

    One nuc queenless last week, combined with another nuc

    Started with 10 now I have 8 20% loss. Not too bad
    Pachysandra King of the Ground-covers!

  4. #23
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    Default Re: NY State Winterlosses

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    I lost 39 out of 90, all to starvation and I feed from sept until to cold,
    I find my bees will take down 5 gallons of feed in a week, so I wonder how you are feeding. Small amounts over time or a lot all at once?

  5. #24
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    Default Re: NY State Winterlosses

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    I find my bees will take down 5 gallons of feed in a week, so I wonder how you are feeding. Small amounts over time or a lot all at once?
    Because we can't open feed in the fall, I was putting as many feeders as I could on a yard, feeding 2:1 sugar water and uncapped honey that you would probably use for mead normally but I fed back to get more weight on them, then moving the feeders on to the next yard. Since I don't usually feed I was short of feeders, I figured if I had been able to feed another ton to ton and a half I would have had normal winter losses. Most of my hives are three deep or 2 1/2 deep normally, the mistake I made was I left on a full extra honey super on most hives, so when lifting them they were heavy, not as heavy as normal, but I actually left more room in the hive so the queens didn't shut down as much as they normally would have. the hives that starved had nice clusters, absolutely no honey in the hive, the hives with smaller clusters survived. the reason I feel that the larger hives kept laying is that I always have new hives in two deeps, and they were feed the same as the others, most of the two deeps survived fine and had less bees going into winter.
    just PPB on my part and the bees suffered.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  6. #25
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    Default Re: NY State Winterlosses

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Or competition from other suppliers?
    I supply a lot of the "competition" in the area. If they sell them or I do doesn't make a bit of difference to me I also go later which picks up a huge amount of procrastinators.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  7. #26
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: NY State Winterlosses

    I know a guy in another State other than NY who lost package customers to a bigger package supplier new to the North East. That's what I meant.
    Mark Berninghausen

  8. #27
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    Default Re: NY State Winterlosses

    Oh.. Mann lake is 3 hrs from me and 6 hrs from my delivery location in VT. So I don't think they had an impact on my sales.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  9. #28
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    May 2011
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    Oswego, NY
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    57

    Default Re: NY State Winterlosses

    Out of 4 hives I lost 2. And one of the guys on my golf league had 2 hives and lost them both.

  10. #29
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    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
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    Default Re: NY State Winterlosses

    @ Wildbranch:

    I was wondering if I understood what you wrote correctly. You mentioned you had 90 hives at the start of winter and left them with 1500 lbs of excess honey for winter stores. Dividing 1500 (lbs)/90 (hives) means you had a bit less than 17 lbs of honey per colony. Isn't that just a deep frame, or two, of honey per colony?

    Please undestand, I am not trying to cross-examine you, just as a new beekeeper last year I was really stressed and worried that my new colonies went into winter with only 4 to 8 frames of honey apiece, which didn't seem to add up to the often-quoted 120-150 lbs hive weights needed for winter. I fed them all Fall as much as they would take, as well, so some of that "honey" may have been capped syrup. I ended up feeding them sugar bricks from mid-December onward, (which they gobbled up). And a month ago I started feeding them miscellaneous small chunks of cut-out comb with left over honey in it (mostly just to use it up and salvage the untreated wax). When I did my first inspection last week I was really surprised to still find 2-5 full frames of capped honey (or syrup) in each hive. While a little might be fresh this Spring, we've been very cold (I am north of Albany) with little early bloom, so I think most of what I saw was laid up last Fall. My wily bees had me anxiously providing extra food all winter when they apparently still had full larders.

    How many deep frames of honey (or capped syrup) do you consider necessary for good survival in a single or double deep in our northern climate? My hives are well insulated (not just roofing paper wrapped), if that matters.

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Enjambres

  11. #30
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    Default Re: NY State Winterlosses

    I am only a mile from Peter B, if that. I have been hearing of major casualties here in the Finger Lakes. All four of my hives have made it through the winter, though it appears I lost 2 queens. I replaced them and we are now off producing more Bees, and gaining strength.

  12. #31
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    Default Re: NY State Winterlosses

    Quote Originally Posted by mathesonequip View Post
    a friend and I picked up 44 from mann lake yesterday for the canton bee group, more than half were to start to rebuild from losses. 4 were for me. I lost 7 of 7, 3 of these made it well into feb. all had a lot of capped honey left, full deep frames. others have told me 43 percent loss on about 60 I think, 25 lost out of 40, 60 percent lost, 75 percent lost.. all these guys have been doing it awhile. some others in the 20 to 45 percent lost on ny wintered bees.
    Apparently y'all had a really good and well attended workshop and a nice package bee retrieval. Congratulations to the Bee Group in Canton,NY. I'm sorry I couldn't be there w/ you, but I have been busy.

    "Local Living VentureTo Local Living Venture TeamMe

    Today at 1:39 AM

    Hello All,
    We have a Spring in our step! Just a reminder that the Bees & Beekeeping Discussion Group meets this Wednesday, April 30 at 7 pm in the Community Room (left hand entrance, in new wing), E.J. Noble Medical Bldg., 80 E. Main Street, (next to Best Western, across from Price Chopper Plaza), Canton, NY.


    [SIZE=5][SIZE=6]
    [/SIZE][/SIZE]
    We have a lot to talk about! Aside from the usual questions and answers and information sharing that goes on (everyone is welcome, no matter how "beginner!") we can also cheer the successful workshop on the 19th, the delivery of our bee order, the hiving and mentoring that went on around that...it's been a great couple of weeks for the group as a whole!

    I thank each and every one of you who helped make these successes real and good!
    Special thanks to Don Matheson, Roland Moore, Paul Johnson, Jeanine Crosby, Suzanne Smith & Danny Clark, Johanna Kingsley, Greg Kalacin, Bonnie Corse, John Tyo, Luke Martin, Beau Bushor, Rajiv & Geetika Narula (bee delivery spot) and all 19 bee package co-op members, and the nearly 40 people who attended the workshop -- plus Mann Lake Ltd. for the beautiful bees and the UU Church for the use of their wonderful space! The Local Living Venture appreciates you all! Please, I beg forgiveness if I forgot someone; truly unintentionally!



    Please join us on the last Wednesday of most months at the Bees & Beekeeping Discussion Group! Hope to see you there! If you'd like, take a peek at my most recent press release below...


    PHOTO: The youngest member of the Local Living Venture Bees & Beekeeping Group, Danny A. Clark, 13, meets the delivery van carrying 44 packages of honey bees in Canton, NY last weekend. Each wooden box contains three pounds of bees, for a total of 132 pounds of live bees that were transported by Bee Group members from Wilkes Barre, PA. Nineteen members of the Bee Group will be populating new hives or re-filling hives that did not survive the unusually long and harsh Winter season. The Bees & Beekeeping Groups resource-rich website is www.sustainablelivingproject.net/bees-beekeeping.
    (This picture and description was sent as a follow up today to the press release that went out last week, below)


    Press Release

    Contact: Chelle Lindahl

    Local Living Venture

    315.347.4223[email protected]


    BEEKEEPING GROUP EXPANDS ROLE

    CANTON, NY --
    As happens every month, an informal "Bees & BeeKeeping Discussion Group" will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday,April 30 at the Betty Evans Community Room in the new addition to the E.J. Noble Medical Bldg. at 80 E. Main Street, Canton, NY.

    All levels of beekeeper are welcome to join in the discussion group events, from those just interested in the idea, to those with a home hive or two, to those who have many or wish to expand. The idea is to provide a comfortable setting where participants can share valuable information about local beekeeping with each other.

    This session begins the fourth year that the Local Living Venture's "Bees & BeeKeeping Discussion Group" will meet on the last Wednesday of the month, and the group has grown to take on more projects.

    Buying cooperatives are a new feature of participation in the group. Forty hives in the St. Lawrence River Valley are now the recipients of "package bees" (a swarm of bees, all packaged up with a Queen bee) in the first cooperative venture the group took on this Spring. Many hives were lost over the harsh Winter, and group members are benefiting by
    a group ordering discount and insharing the otherwise quite high delivery costs for some group members to pick up the order.

    Workshop for beginners are also being scheduled for appropriate times over the summer, including Honey Harvesting and Re-Queening Your Hive for Winter Hardiness. Workshops are presented by knowledgeable Bee Group members, highlighting local knowledge and resources.

    "We certainly appreciate and want to hear from the 'experts' when we put on workshops on the dozens of topics that we cover,
    including beekeeping," states Local Living Venture coordinator Chelle Lindahl, "but what we find so often happens is that local people who have a lot of knowledge show up too, and then it becomes a great discussion and information-sharing session, instead of some kind of straight lecture!"

    All are welcome to attend and share their questions, successes and challenges in a casual group setting at the Bees & Beekeeping Discussion Group gatherings that are sponsored by the Local Living Venture, a non-profit community group coordinating "resourceful living skills workshops" in the St. Lawrence River Valley.

    A pass-the-hat small donation is requested of participants who are able to contribute.
    Please write to [email protected]or call (315) 347-4223 for more information and to get on the e-mailing list for future notices.Many resources are available at the web page www.SustainableLivingProject.net/bees-beekeeping.

    The Local Living Venture (LLV) coordinates near-weekly resourceful Living Skills Workshops promoting traditional rural and simple living skills as part of their vision for an even more capable community. Listings of other upcoming workshops and events can be found on the Workshop Schedule page by clicking through to the current site at www.LocalLivingVenture.org"







    Mark Berninghausen

  13. #32
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    Default Re: NY State Winterlosses

    Quote Originally Posted by enjambres View Post
    @ Wildbranch:

    I was wondering if I understood what you wrote correctly. You mentioned you had 90 hives at the start of winter and left them with 1500 lbs of excess honey for winter stores. Dividing 1500 (lbs)/90 (hives) means you had a bit less than 17 lbs of honey per colony. Isn't that just a deep frame, or two, of honey per colony?

    Please undestand, I am not trying to cross-examine you, just as a new beekeeper last year I was really stressed and worried that my new colonies went into winter with only 4 to 8 frames of honey apiece, which didn't seem to add up to the often-quoted 120-150 lbs hive weights needed for winter. I fed them all Fall as much as they would take, as well, so some of that "honey" may have been capped syrup.

    How many deep frames of honey (or capped syrup) do you consider necessary for good survival in a single or double deep in our northern climate? My hives are well insulated (not just roofing paper wrapped), if that matters.

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Enjambres
    cross-examine all you want, I hate to write and don't do it well. depends how you do the math on the extra supers I left on. 1500lb/30lbs per super=50 supers. So I left 50 of the 90 hives with an "extra" super in addition to what they normally have. I figured even with what I could feed out these hives wouldn't make it. I never weigh the hives going into winter, but I consider them heavy enough when I can't pick them up from the back. Having Italians this normally causes the queen to slow down brood laying in the fall, but I get enough winter bees that were treated for mites around the 1st of Sept. So for weight this year the bees had whatever they already had in the 2 1/2 deeps or 3 deeps plus an additional honey super. plus I fed all the sugar water I could plus another 6 or 8 hundred lbs of uncapped honey that was spun out. The hives weren't as heavy as they would normally be, but everyone was well over 120 lbs as hefted from the back, I'm getting older so they are feeling heavier each year.
    as to how much in a two deep? I help two other beeks pull honey and don't heft their hives any more as I can't figure out how there bees survive on the honey they leave them.
    hope this helps? actually I did heft one beeks hives in Dec. and added sugar on top for any that were light, I figured only 10% of his hives were light, put sugar on those, they all died and another 40% that I figured were heavy enough also died. All the deadouts we have gone through except for a few had nice clusters, just needed more food for heat than they had.
    Last edited by wildbranch2007; 04-28-2014 at 05:12 AM. Reason: added last two lines
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  14. #33
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    Default Re: NY State Winterlosses

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    I had a 30% or more die back myself, even here in my NY bees in SC. Another, larger, commercial migratory beekeeper lost hundreds, 25%. I have been hearing this sort of report from NY beekeepers here in the South for the Winter, those in SC and those who pass through here for more southern climes.
    so what do you attribute the 30 % losses to? this fits with the normal commercial migratory beeks losses in most years doesn't it?
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  15. #34
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    Default Re: NY State Winterlosses

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    actually I did heft one beeks hives in Dec. and added sugar on top for any that were light, I figured only 10% of his hives were light, put sugar on those, they all died and another 40% that I figured were heavy enough also died. All the deadouts we have gone through except for a few had nice clusters, just needed more food for heat than they had.
    Many years ago, I used the heft method to determine my bees had enough feed for winter. One year…1986 if I remember correctly...I thought they had enough feed…and I lost 25% to starvation. The trouble as I see it is, after hefting hives in a couple apiaries, all the hives feel heavy.

    That's when I began weighing my hives prior to feeding. With an adequate target weight, starvation all but disappears. While I had a few starve this winter, the total loss from starvation over 30+ apiaries was less than 10.

  16. #35
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    Default Re: NY State Winterlosses

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    so what do you attribute the 30 % losses to? this fits with the normal commercial migratory beeks losses in most years doesn't it?
    PPB, starvation, I don't really know in some cases, just to be honest. If bees were dead w/ heads in the cells and no honey in the hive, it seems like starvation is likely the cause of mortality. The other cases could well have been small adult populations. I did treat w/ apigaurd as the last of the honey was stripped from the hives in September and October.

    "normal commercial migratory losses in most years"? I guess so. Higher than I like to see. Especially since those that didn't die were anywhere from just strong enough to hold on and endure to strong enough to rob brood from in March. Still no swarming. Which should indicate something.

    Today I took 20 pallets of hives from here to NC to get on the semi Wednesday night. When I got to the yd to pick them up a number of those hives, in a deep and medium, were hanging out some. Temps in the low 60s. I liked seeing that.

    I wish I could leave them all here another week or more, but I have been away long enough. Gotta get back to The North Country. I hear mud season is in full swing.
    Mark Berninghausen

  17. #36
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    Default Re: NY State Winterlosses

    mark you would not want to miss any of mud season.

  18. #37
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    Jan 2012
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    Victor, New York, USA
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    Default Re: NY State Winterlosses

    I had all 8 hives survive in Victor NY, although one hive is weak. I can't explain it, just lucky. I don't requeen or do much of anything consistently across all hives. Maybe they will all be gone next week.

  19. #38

    Default Re: NY State Winterlosses

    Interesting thread. Few comments from icecold Finland where we have severe winters, like your last one, every now and then. (-30 for several weeks, sometimes several months continous under freezing point temperatures, sometimes up to 6 months with no flying possibilities for bees)

    1. Recently imported beematerial from warmer regions causes big losses. On the other hand if you have suitable bees, winter is no problem. It doesnīt matter how cold, how long. Bees do not die from cold, they die from moisture.

    2. The weather in autumn has much more importance than winter weather. There has been studies, that beekeepers who put their hives in "winter mode" early (= all feeding is done by mid septemper) have less losses than those who start and continue feeding late. We once had a very warm and long autumn, and then winter came suddenly. The losses were big. Bees need time to settle for the winter.

    3. Suitable, acclimatized bees consume about 1- 2kg/winter month. In spring the consumption of course incrases up to 10kg in April. Temperature has something to do with the winter consumption, but not so much as one should think. Unsuitable bees have not the ability to settle down in good time and they move around in the hive as it were summer. Thats why they consume more and die.

    4. As Michael Palmer stated, good practises are everything. Weighing colonies, feeding them, using good own stock, enough ventilation etc. It is actually very simple to get good wintering results no matter what happens.

  20. #39
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    Default Re: NY State Winterlosses

    Juhani,
    Seems to me that what contributed to the losses had something to do w/ the Summer of 2013 and maybe the Summer of 2012, two of the poorest honey crop years for NY in almost anyones memory. Your points are good ones.
    Mark Berninghausen

  21. #40
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    lafargeville ny usa
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    Default Re: NY State Winterlosses

    mark and juhani have a good points. I ended up with no pollen stores in the hives, the pollen sub patties that I put in the first week in febuary never got touched. the problem started last fall with no goldenrod flow. I use quilt boxes with wood shavings, moisture is not a problem as long as the hive is alive, it seems like it gets a bit damper after the colony is dead a few weeks.
    Last edited by mathesonequip; 04-30-2014 at 09:50 AM.

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