We lost two hives, but our other hives are strong

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by milapostol, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. milapostol

    milapostol New Member

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    Tecumseh suggested that I write a post about the differences in the hives that I recently lost and the hives that are doing well...

    Strong hives: One full hive obtained in July 2008 and other one a swarm collected in March 2009
    Dead hives: Both are swarms collected late May 2010

    SH: Already established hives
    DH: Took a while to get them going as they built errant comb that we then had to cut out and rubber band to frames. One mistake we think we made: we put the comb in upside down because we couldn't figure out how to get the comb to stay in. Embarrassed to have made such a rookie mistake...

    SH: Didn't feed for winter. Checked hives and they had more than enough stores.
    DH: Again didn't feed for winter, although I felt we should've given more honey stores. Partner disagreed with me.

    All hives had mites boards. We didn't see any apparent signs of foul brood or hive beetles. Seemed like the usual amount of mites, not too many.

    SH: Highly populated
    DH: Not highly populated when we closed up the hives for the winter.

    What do you think? Hope that makes sense...
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Sounds like the normal "too few bees and food" to produce heat.
     

  3. rast

    rast New Member

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    Did you feed the DH's when you hived them? If so, how long?
    I currently agree with IDDEE's diagnosis.
     
  4. milapostol

    milapostol New Member

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    Unfortunately no, I realize now that maybe they didn't have enough time to build up stores.

    We had gone away in January someone told us there were a couple of days that were below freezing. I think you guys are right.

    I wish I didn't have to learn these bee lessons the hard way.
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    These bee lessons are easier when learned in that manner. :Dancing:
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    there is nothing above that I would disagree with...

    I think this exercise is useful in that at a given geographical location you can begin to see pattern as to why some hives die and why others survive. milapostal paid the fare here and hopefully others may profit from his loss.

    at this junction and looking backward with 20 20 vision some feeding of the weakly populated hive in the early and late fall might have allowed this hive to make the winter. once a larger population was established, some extra stores may have been called for to insure the hive's survival.

    thanks for the bearing of bones milapostal. I never have found such exercise easy... but sometimes they can be useful as learning exercise.

    ps... milapostal is located in a very unusual geographical location with any number of unique problems including unusual cool and foggy weather in the summer months (which may limit the prime nectar collecting season). based on casual conversation with other bee keepers the humidity along the pacific coast may make keeping of bees there difficult.
     
  7. milapostol

    milapostol New Member

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    Hi Tecumseh,
    Thank you. I wasn't sure if I'd be called lame or something cause some of my bees died.

    We did a couple things wrong with these two hives. Another thing I learned, fill the box with frames, even if there's no foundation in them. The bees used the unfilled space, and ignored the frames with foundation, to build comb off the cover which we then had to cut out.

    We do have a lot of foggy weather in my area which makes for trickier gardening, but I live in a place with lots of flowering plants, so I'm lucky in that way.
     
  8. Murrell

    Murrell New Member

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    Thank you. I wasn't sure if I'd be called lame or something cause some of my bees died.

    Let me tell you, theirs not a person who has kept bees for any time at all who has not lost hives.
    Sometimes it just nature, other times from goof-ups.
    Mine are mostly from my goof-ups [ Well this last time 12-31-10, lost 5 and it was all Mother Nature ]

    Good Luck
    Murrell
     
  9. Beaver Dam

    Beaver Dam New Member

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    3 here, last cold spell got them. Won't happen again. I'll put them in the shed and feed. Put them out when it's warm. I understand it can't be done by everyone, but I can. Other 14 are doing well. 70's comming up. Planing splits.
     
  10. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    As my friends mom use to say... if you got 'em, you will loose some. the more you have the more you will loose from time to time... and that ain't idle speculation. as Murrell stated if loosing hive qualifies you as lame... then we are all lame.

    ps to milapostal.... do not confuse flowering plants with a nectar flow. you can witness all kinds of plants flowering without ever having bees remove one drop of nectar for any number of environmental conditions. one of my old commercial mentors use to call some places 'a fools paradise' simply because by casual visual observation they looked SO good with flowering plants everywhere yet bees set down in such places would quickly starve.
     
  11. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    So far only a five frame nuc, others are looking good so far.
     
  12. milapostol

    milapostol New Member

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    Good to remember. At least it was a learning experience...

    Hmmm...yes, that's right!