Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here I am in Nth Is New Zealand & Near disaster this winter from 50 > 2 hives still going.
Queens appear to be steadily collapsing from autumn on.....could be a myriad of problems. The two that are still going and are ramping up as at August 6th seem to shoot a lot of theories down. ....anyway, what would you do to increase hive numbers as quick as, forget honey for the season. I suspect I might go with 3 frame splits + Q/C ( mated queens are massively expensive ) and original queen on 1 frame in same position in aparary

Ta ...robbie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,408 Posts
Hi Robbie.
From 50 to 2 - over one Winter ? Well, the last thing I would do right now is to divide those remaining colonies and so make them weaker in order to have bigger numbers, until I'd established what had gone wrong with the others.
Varroa is a favourite candidate of course, as too is starvation - have you any photographs of the brood combs ? What do you treat Varroa with ?
LJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,683 Posts
The only way you can go from 50 hives to 2 in one Te Puke winter is total ignorance of beekeeping.

To be blunt.

You need an experienced beekeeper to help you. Find one.

And don't stress about how to turn those 2 hives back into 50 "quick as". Buying queens and making splits is for you, throwing money away. Cos if you don't improve your beekeeping all those bees and bought queens will die and the money will be wasted. Have a realistic goal which for you, would be keeping those 2 hives alive for 12 months. Work hard at that, study, learn, and do whatever it takes to achieve that. If you succeed, then start thinking about increasing numbers slowly. Which for you, will be the fastest way.

If you disregard this advice and focus on making increase, instead of focusing on learning how to keep what you already have alive, it's highly likely you will regret it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The only way you can go from 50 hives to 2 in one Te Puke winter is total ignorance of beekeeping.

To be blunt.

You need an experienced beekeeper to help you. Find one.

And don't stress about how to turn those 2 hives back into 50 "quick as". Buying queens and making splits is for you, throwing money away. Cos if you don't improve your beekeeping all those bees and bought queens will die and the money will be wasted. Have a realistic goal which for you, would be keeping those 2 hives alive for 12 months. Work hard at that, study, learn, and do whatever it takes to achieve that. If you succeed, then start thinking about increasing numbers slowly. Which for you, will be the fastest way.

If you disregard this advice and focus on making increase, instead of focusing on learning how to keep what you already have alive, it's highly likely you will regret it.
12 years of beeking, and i've never seen anything like it ! ..as I say just compounding problems, queens just falling over from autumn to now, am sure some of it is leaving V/strips in to long, bad mating weather , pollen supply and poor performing DRONES
Yet the 2 hives left are really ramping up and (look strong) in a separate apiary by themselves ?
one suggestion was using small mating nukes and Q/C's
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,683 Posts
Agreed, Ladoak if your losses were all in a particular location and the 2 survivors were in a different location, I take back everything I said.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,773 Posts
I would take a review of Dr. Keith Delaplane's book, a rewrite/update of Camille Pierre Dadant's 1920 book titled First Lessons In Beekeeping, and compare photos to the deadout colonies.

It has many photos of the most common diseases, and descriptions of what happens.

I would also try to read the pollen bands on the formerly open brood frames. This gives a pretty good starting point as to what was happening at the time they expired - was it sudden? did they desperately try to feed young brood? was there a final hatchout, or did a lot of capped brood die in place suddenly? any evidence of robbing?

Put on your detective hat and try to figure what they were up to at the time they failed. I feel your grief, but I would certainly want to learn every lesson I could from it. I would write down every mistake I thought I made in my beekeeping journal, just like Dr. Charles C. Miller did from 150 to 100 years ago. His book, Fifty Years Among the Bees is a good read as well, also published 1920. He certainly had his share of difficulties, and wrote them down, and contributed them to Gleanings in Bee Culture magazine for many years.

I doubt that you are an awful beekeeper...you're still here and still call yourself a beekeeper. The good ones just keep on trying and learning. Beekeepers are not "flash in the pan" types that get in, get stung, and quit. I reckon you must be made out of some tough fibers. ;)
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
2,522 Posts
clean your tools before going to the live hives in case of spreading the "something"
don't rule out any thing
they need a clean source of water, could it be contaminated.
any spraying near (4 miles) there
did queens stop laying or disappear.

may also temporarily abandon that site and try another.
dead bees in from of the hive
Any body not "like" you a man on a mission at night if only hitting a hive or 2 a night can do some damage.

agree with above try to find the why before "expanding" some pics of the brood combs may be help full.

GG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you everyone for good thoughts ....I see no common disease, not even chalk/B ( 8 different apiaries ) but I will qualify that statement in that I have had bad bee poop on entrances, which is very uncommon here in NZ and looks like it maybe Nosmia whether that is a queen killer ?? and I don't think the working site had the problem ???

will have to read up on Nosmia
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,487 Posts
Are there farms around you, ant new people/businesses that have opened? Odd that the queens are dying. Did you raise them yourself? I am reminded of a lecture by Robert Patterson on the UK honey show video series, I believe in 2016 or 2014? It was a good lecture I believe titled “What is wrong with our Queens” or something like that. I will post the link.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,683 Posts
Ladoak are you aware of the NZ bee forum at https://www.nzbees.net/?_fromLogin=1

There you may find other Te Puke beekeepers who could advise if they have had similar issues or may even know the cause. You may also find someone close who could take a look at your hives, establish cause of death, and thereby know the solution.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top