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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I guess it's my turn:
Took advantage of the first day above 50 F up here, jumped in my truck this am and drove the hour plus to get to where my hives still are.

Results as follows:

Yard # 1 = 6 hives,

- 4 of them are triples (3 deeps high), 2 are doubles.
- all are heavy with bees at entrances
- peeked in the tops, could not see clusters in all because bees not in third deep, but believe all are alive.

Yard # 2 = 7 hives,

- 3 triples, 3 doubles, 1 single
- all still heavy
- 3 confirmed deadouts, single was one and 2 others.

Yard # 3 = 9 hives,

- all doubles except for 1 triple.
- all still heavy
- 3 confirmed deadouts, (2 of which I had doubted would make it last fall)

Final Tally:

- Started with 22 going into winter
- 6 deadouts to date (we still have a ways to go up here yet)
- Didn't pull any frames except on confirmed deadouts (mostly very small clusters), did not want to disturb any remaining small clusters.
- Interestingly enough, small clusters going into winter is something I heard from several keeps in this area, hope they are experiencing better results.

Hopefully it doesn't get much worse :beg:
 

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crossing my fingers for you Perry. You are still doing a little better than the overall average in the US.
 

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If it wern't rainin and cold here I would go out and do a nakid pagen dance around the tree out back to bring you better luck, but maybe I'll just wish you better luck . Jim
 

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Sorry to hear of your losses Perry and hope those remaining will pull through. Around here they are bringing in pollen as hard as they can and have seen nectar being put away pretty good too. I still think we will have a late freeze though.
 

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I hate to hear that. Like Omie said, your percentages are better than mine from last year to this year.
 

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Sorry for your loss Perry, hope it ends at six.
 

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given your location and the fact that you do not cellar your bees I would suspect a 1/3 winter mortality rate is pretty good. winter mortality is why a lot of 'very old school' beekeepers moved their hives south. based on casual reading there were some years 'long ago' when a 33% winter loss for a lot of northern beekeeper would have made them smile.

I guess the real question is come spring time do you have enough bees to refill you equipment and go at it once again?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
For those of you expressing your concern, I thank you, but please do not feel that in any way I am complaining or overly dissapointed.
This is beekeeping and as many of you realize there are no hard and fast rules, and certainly no guarantees. Last year I only lost 1 of 18, the year prior I lost 8 of 19.
This is what it is to be a beekeeper/farmer where so many variables come into play. I was apprehensive last fall when realizing clusters/ hive pops were smaller than normal that this may be a difficult winter. I have come to accept that every year may not be a great year despite my efforts. I will use this year perhaps as an opportunity. I will split to make up any losses and perhaps like Omie, try to raise late summer nucs and give overwintering those a go.
You never have to look far to find someone who has lost more (not just hives), not that that is any reason to be satisfied,....................just thankful. :wink:
 

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Hope your deadout days for the year are over, my friend!
 

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Hang tight, Perry, help is on the way...ol' Sol is climbing higher on the ladder! You're sittin' at roughly 27% loss right now...to this newbee's eyes you're looking pretty dog-gone good, especially for your location. But, naturally, I hate you lost *any* bees.

The USDA survey for last winter (2010/2011) shows a total colony loss in the US of 30%, the preceding four years were:

34% for 2009/2010
29% for 2008/2009
36% for 2007/2008
32% for 2006/2007

"Total colony loss" is arrived at by taking the total/entire number of colonies reported by all beekeepers in the survey and figuring the percentage between live and dead colonies with that total number.

Individual colony loss for 2010/2011 was 38.4%, in 2009/2010 losses were 42.2%.

"Average individual colony loss" is figured per beekeeper. A beekeeper has 10 colonies and loses 5...he has a 50% loss. Another beekeeper has 100 colonies and loses 10...he has a 10% loss. And another has 50 colonies and loses 20...a 40% loss. Added together the three beekeepers experienced an average individual colony loss of ~33%.

Here's a link to the article with the figures and a better explanation than what I gave... USDA/AIA Survey Reports 2010/2011 Winter Honey Bee Losses

It will be interesting to see what the 2011/2012 winter losses show...

Best wishes,
Ed
 

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I had JUST read a article where in BC they had imported 3000 packages of 3 lb bees w/ mated queen, and 100,000 mated queens to replace winter losses, and build-up for blueberries pollination, and vegetable crops.
* purchased from New Zealand, something we can't here stateside do. despite New Zealand being free of bee diseases
Barry
 

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Yesterday was a beautiful day 16C, so I opened my hives:

Home Yard
Went in the winter with 20 colonies loaded with honey and bees. Two thirds were doubles and one third triples.
Four colonies(#8,#9 doubles and #13,#18 triples) didn't make it.

Oak Heights Yard

Went in the winter with 10 Buckfast Hives. Nine doubles and one triple.
One colony (#3 double) died.
Total loss - 5 hives, out of 30.

There is a nice weather forecast for the next week with average of 15C + , so I hope there are good chances of not losing more hives. Fingers crossed.
 

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Marbees, sorry to hear the lost, hope the weather holds out that the rest will make it good and may you catch a bunch of swarms to make up for the loses.

Kebee
 

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Kebee, loses are something beekeepers expect to happen. Not happy when it occures, but it`s our reality.
Another reason I advise new beekeepers to start with more than one colony.
 
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