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Welcome to the site. You are right about bees in our WI winters but they are tougher than you think. The big sressor comes from viruses vectored by varroa mites. Keep the mites numbers low starting about now and they can raise a healthy population of long lived winter bees. Cold itself does not kill bees. There are a large number of good beekeepers here to help out.
 

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Thanks, Roger. I'm wondering if Nosema is also coming in to play. I had heavy losses last year, so this year I am really looking at everything I do with a microscope. No, really, I bought a microscope. I want to be able to check myself for Nosema spores. I'm also treating more aggressively for varroa. Like you say, they are killers. I was trying to not use so many chemicals and treatments on my hives, and I think that approach is not working. So far this year, I have not seen any mites.

Now if I can figure out how to use my microscope...

Welcome to the site. You are right about bees in our WI winters but they are tougher than you think. The big sressor comes from viruses vectored by varroa mites. Keep the mites numbers low starting about now and they can raise a healthy population of long lived winter bees. Cold itself does not kill bees. There are a large number of good beekeepers here to help out.
 

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Welcome, have you looked into or joined the Brown County beekeepers association? Also UWGB is starting a beekeeping club this fall, they received the approval for the club, and their bees, just as this past spring semester was ending.
 

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I was trying to not use so many chemicals and treatments on my hives, and I think that approach is not working.
Welcome to Beesource!!
I thought I'd be able to go treatment free too but am rethinking that. Just to kill the SHB alone, iwill be needing something. Oil only goes so far.
Wisconsin huh? Brrrrrrrrrr! Think I'll take the bugs over the winters. Winters in Florida are.......nice!
 

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Howdy hello from this side of the state...... glad to see even more from the North.." Dallas cowboy country" troll bait
 
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