(Another) Bad day in the bee yard

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by PerryBee, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    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:
     
  2. Omie

    Omie New Member

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

  3. Bsweet

    Bsweet Member

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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
     
  4. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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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.
     
  5. rast

    rast New Member

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

    Slowmodem New Member

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    The blizzard of '93 was March 12 and 13
     
  7. jim314

    jim314 New Member

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    Good luck, hope the rest make it.
     
  8. Marbees

    Marbees Member

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

    Slowmodem New Member

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    I'm glad you had a nice day up there Perry! :) Sorry about your losses. Hopefully it will be a good year and you will recover and gain.
     
  10. jb63

    jb63 New Member

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    Hang in there Perry summer's comming.
     
  11. CharlieB

    CharlieB New Member

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    6 deadouts out of 22 is less than some apiaries in the Bay Area. Some beekeepers here have 50% losses. Having said that I'm sorry for your losses.
     
  12. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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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?
     
  13. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    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:
     
  14. Indiana Dave

    Indiana Dave New Member

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

    Intheswamp New Member

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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
     
  16. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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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
     
  17. CharlieB

    CharlieB New Member

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    Good info Ed :goodpost:
     
  18. Marbees

    Marbees Member

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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.
     
  19. kebee

    kebee Active Member

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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
     
  20. Marbees

    Marbees Member

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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.