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http://www.growingmagazine.com/article.php?id=4537

not much new but I found some intersting comments. in one instance the the penn state apiarist states data from 2008 shows that beekeepers that moved hives lost fewer colonies than those that did not??
In another part of the story he says that of observed 280 comm. migratory colonies on the east coast, sixty percent of the hives died, the result of queen failure? seems to contridict the first statement to me. I know I don't move many hives and if I lost 60 % of my hives I would go bankrupt.

also refering to ccd hives they said that the dead bees are missing possible ants see these corpses as good food sources. Since from what I have read, ants etc won't touch the honey for what ever reason, would they eat the corpses??

mike syracuse
 

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The seemingly contradictory statements by van Engelsdorp are, I believe, from different years. Though this point wasn't made clear by the author of the piece. I can see how this would appear confusing.
 

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I didn't read carefully but I'm assuming that those 280 were scattered among a number of commercial yards, not one batch of 280. Dave H. told me that 30% is now a normal loss rate; however it was never better than 15%. This is more understandable if you know how they make up the losses. They will take say 600 hives, say, and simply split all of them giving each some honey, some pollen and a couple of frames of brood. Then, without ever seeing a queen, each one gets a queen CELL. It is assumed that the young queen will mate and take over from the old one 80% of the time. Small wonder there are losses! At this time there are a million bees in the air that have had their home moved. By nightfall they have sorted themselves out...but who knows how fairly? (Evenly).
It's a fact that queens are getting less reliable. A few years ago Jennifer Berry at UGA wanted to study the effects of miticides on queen and drone development. She wanted some clean wax for a control.SHE COULDN'T FIND ANY! Coumaphos has been found even in hives where it was never used. All queens and drones are subject to it's influence.
They may never be looked at until they are split again. Someone mentioned the other day seeing colonies that were banded all year.

dickm
 

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dickm; you need to do some research on splits! When splitting, as you relate, there are not millions of bees in the air; the field bees naturally return to the original location but the nurse bees stay with the new split. Most comm guys are knowledgable enough to make sure they get plenty of nurse bees in each split and there's no reason why this way of increasing shouldn't work well. I do it this way and have gone from 20 hives to almost 100 this year with not too many problems. The 80% figure on successful queen cell introduction is also suspect, but even if true, why wouldn't you just put another queen cell in the ones which fail? This is not rocket science; beeks have been doing it this way for a few generations.
 
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