Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,270 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Someone drug a horror story onto our online bee clubs facebook page about 60% of surviving colonies still being damaged from last winter and pesticides and evil ju ju. Then I read that 60% of Ohio's bees died last winter.

What is the real state of bees nationwide? Did I just not hear of massive die offs on the almonds and other pollination. Mine are fine after a hard non migratory winter on granulated beet sugar surrounded by grain fields doused with Roundup. I don't love herbicides and pesticides but see why the farmers are treating. What is the actual state of things? I ask here on the commercial forum hoping to dodge input from the lonely bird types.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,591 Posts
the title "usual suspects"

I find "most" of the time the suspects are the beekeeper themselfs as to why the bees look the way they do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
The hives I work look fine. Almonds wasn't bad, in and out quick no hives got stuck there for weeks, waiting for them to get back from Michigan. Rest of the hives are in honey production mode and look good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,542 Posts
Weren't there a bunch of hives in CA that got killed or damaged by bad tank mix?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
317 Posts
The reports I have read have varied from 40% to 60%.
I had 100% loss. No for the guy who said it maybe attributed to the Beekeepers themselves, I agree and disagree. Management is part of the problem. But all the other attributing factors out way it.
45 plus in beekeeping and I have seen loses by herbicides and other chemicals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,530 Posts
Yes, last winter was brutal. The report from a S.E. beekeeping meeting was most people lost all their bees. A neighbor to one of our yards lost all of hers, as did a man between two of our yards. It was not so much the cold of the winter, but it started early and ended late. Many hives where full of bees mid march, but died before the first batch of brood hatch. We did bad, but it could have been terrible. Most will be replaced by splitting, but at least 2 yards where lost to outside chemical influences that prevented proper pollen conversion to bee bread.

So it is my opinion that winter losses averaged about 75 percent for this area of the state.

Crazy Roland
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,717 Posts
I'm not sure anyone is in a position to see the whole picture. We know there are agendas out there, we know there is an ongoing battle between big ag and environmentalists that bees and beekeepers have been drawn into. I look with suspicion at the endless stories that pop up in this internet age talking about the massive bee die off nationwide as it really doesn't seem to be confirmed by the numbers. The majority of hives in the US are owned by commercial beekeepers that transport their hives to warmer climes for the winter so I'm not sure how big an effect the harsh winter had in terms of lowering bee numbers. Beesource members are primarily a collection of hobbyists and sideliners which gives us a snapshot of how backyard beekeepers are doing but not much of a nationwide picture of overall hive numbers.
Was there a big die off in the almonds? My guess is what occurred is probably pretty normal, I know I have seen damaged colonies myself almost every year but personally heard only good reports from beekeepers this past year. I'm not saying hive damage from fungicides is acceptable only that it isn't something new. Getting a lot of beekeepers together in one room for a survey at the end of the bloom, when beekeepers are at their busiest probably is though. Had I been there I would have raised my hand as well when asked if I had seen damaged colonies......then I would have been splitting the next day. I know one large beekeeper who was there and testified that he had seen losses who stated a month later that perhaps he needed a few more losses.....he was trying to figure out where to go with his hives as they were boiling with bees and it was still too cold up north to move his bees to the Dakotas yet.
Bee losses have always been cyclical, nothing new there. Beekeeping challenges are greater than they were 30 years ago, we know that as well. Personally, now that we move all our bees to Texas each fall, I see lower losses now than I saw pre-varroa when I mostly wintered up north. Personally I just chuckle at most of the dire news reports as I see truck load after truck load of bees being shipped into the Dakotas for honey production.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,591 Posts
. Had I been there I would have raised my hand as well when asked if I had seen damaged colonies......then I would have been splitting the next day.
QUOTE]

Stop.... we have a winner.

I don't mean to imply that I never see spray damage, but, over all is so minable it's not worth complaining about. I always looked at it as swarm control, always have had bees coming out the waaassooo after almonds.


P.S. gotta figure out the prize for Jimmy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,340 Posts
Personally, now that we move all our bees to Texas each fall, I see lower losses now than I saw pre-varroa when I mostly wintered up north.
This wintering up north thing has its tough years... basically the reason why the package bee operation was developed. It was thought ( at one time) nobody in their right mind would winter bees up north LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,270 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks all. I lost a third and beat myself cause I was not smart enough to do this business. I have split back to my original numbers and things look better. Thanks to pollen patties and granulated beet sugar, I probably have more bees than I took into winter already. Rolands report is sobering to me but I see a lot of trucks full of bees being piled around me that came from somewhere.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top