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And so begins a new Front Range roller coaster thread. So named because of the wide weather swings us beekeepers along the Front Range of the Rockies experience during Spring.

Unfortunately, my first report of the new year is unusually large losses in my apiary - 7 out of 10 hives have died in the last two weeks, during a cold snap. The cold snap went down to 6F, and so wasn't all that bad. The hives sure suffered, though. A brief post mortem showed that all the hives still had honey reserves. Some hives had dead clusters on the combs, and some hives were simply empty of bees. The hives got a later-than-usual mite treatment in the Fall, though, so that may have been the cause of the high mortality rate. I'll probably be feeding them hard and doing some splits this Spring to make up the losses.
 

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Unfortunately, my first report of the new year is unusually large losses in my apiary - 7 out of 10 hives have died in the last two weeks, during a cold snap.
ouch,

Both of mine that were alive in November appear to be still alive. I lost 2 in October, so I am at 50% loss. I saw several (5-10) bees flying from one have and 1 bee fly into the other hive today. The one hive (with more flying) has been stronger all winter and flying a lot more.
 

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Shinbone, Sorry to hear your numbers. You got hit pretty hard.
Elmer, hope you remain 2 for 2.

I went into fall with 7 10/10/10 Medium Langs and 3 5/5/5 Medium Nuc's. The severe infestation of YJ's took out the NUC's before it got cold. I have checked with a "pop top & add sugar cubes" philosophy ~every 2 weeks through the winter and had all 7 talk back to me when I gave them puff of air during the pop-top. All are insulated with 2" rigid foam 4 sides and top.

Cheers,
Steve
 

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Hi everybody!
Shinbone, sorry about your heavy losses.
Same thing happened last winter when I thought I was being clever and bought a Lega heat gun vaporizer. Piece of junk!

This year is different so far. All 22 hives are alive.

We'll see, in about 3 weeks they'll be using up all their winter stores.

I have a few hives that are 4 ten frame mediums for the permanent home. Those never need feeding and are great for splitting to make a few queens.
I really like that setup. The one downside is the 40 frames to check when hunting for the queen. But it never comes down to that!

Anyway, hope you're all doing well.

Hi Steve! How you been?
 

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Here on the north end of the front, we haven't had a lot of winter. We are having flying weather about every week now with some near zero nights. The last two winters have humbled me with disastrous winter losses. My percentage is nothing to shout about this year but I have pollen patties on and bees are starting to consume them so brood expansion is on the way. At least I can get to my bees this winter without a tracked vehicle,
 

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My bees found the Easter lilies outside the door at the local grocery store. There were a bunch of bees in the flowers, my bees are bringing in pollen, and the grocery store is less than 1/2 mile away. It was 15 F Tuesday night so I am fairly sure there is nothing blooming in the "wild".
 

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I had pale yellow/tan pollen coming in yesterday. I think the earliest maples are starting. Could be willow down in the creeks as well.
 

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Sorry to hear of your losses. We experience a similar roller coaster spring here. Less than 2 weeks ago we were @-13 F......yesterday we hit 49, and a “dusting” of snow last night. The girls have to dress in layers.....never knowing what to expect! memtb
 

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We’re warming fast. Last 2 or 3 mornings were above 20 F.....today’s high is around 48 or 49, little to no wind. I just went to visit the girls, and “wow” are they active. With only 2 hives, there must have been a couple hundred around the hives. I wanted to give them a couple of sugar bars, to be certain they’ not getting hungry. When I removed the top, bees were wall to wall about 3/4” thick across the frame tops. Put on a couple of “bars” (had to do a bit of sweeping), then placed an empty medium box, on top for food/sugar bar space. Crossing fingers that they continue to thrive! memtb
 

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^ yep
No pollen coming in yet for me, and they are ignoring the dry sub feeder :kn::waiting:
 

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No pollen coming in yet for me, and they are ignoring the dry sub feeder
That's surprising, pollen started coming in last weekend in my neck of the woods (at least four weeks later than last year), so it should happen for you this week, based upon the forecast.
 

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Ya I usually see sliver maple mid feb
 

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March rains bring April Blizzards

We got about .2 to .25" of rain at my house last night. This seems a bit early to me, but we will see what happens.
 

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3 out 5 alive 2 weeks ago. Checked when we had +10C, bees doing cleansing flights. Truck got well bombed!
All hives sugar boards still good. 3 tall 10 frame deeps, 2” Styro insulation, 4 sides and top.
We’re a good ways out from pollen, but surprises happen. Still real Winter up here. About 18” of snow in the bush and apiary.
Best to all,
Brian
53 N, 115 W (West-Central Alberta)
 

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We were at 57f last week and headed to -15f on Saturday and back up to 40f on next Wednesday. Does that qualify for a roller coaster?
 
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