Winter kill rates

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by BjornBee, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    In the mid-40's here this afternoon. Some hives out and flying. So I checked my home yard nucs, and this is what I found.

    11 nucs dead. One of these was knocked over, due to a failure in the "contractor" to built the stand properly. :roll:

    26 nucs alive. Most did not need feed, which was a concern since I have not been in these hives since early November.

    I know many would not be happy with a 30% loss at this time of year. But I am thrilled... :yahoo:

    This home yard is where I bring all screwed up nucs in the fall. Many are late summer swarms, late requeens, and situations where over wintering is going to be a challenge. And these are stand alone 5 frame nucs with booster boxes on top. No wrapping, no bundling, etc. And we just had a very cold long snap of about 4 weeks.

    I normally anticipate at least 50% winter kill on this particular yard. I could of picked about 8 out of the 11 dead, as being dead before winter even started. But I like to push as hard as I can. My other yards normally have lower nuc winter kill rates, so I am very happy to see this in this yard. If this is the worst yard, and it always is, this bodes well for this winter.....so far.

    And all had small dead clusters. No hives empty or void of bees. So it looks as if it was NOT CCD...... :lol:
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Are you sure. It sounds to me like it WAS Cold Colony Death. :wave: :D
     

  3. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    I'm going to use that..... :thumbsup:
     
  4. Bitty Bee

    Bitty Bee New Member

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    My brother and I just fed our (5) hives today and all of them are alive and looking good!!!!!! :yahoo: :D
    We just put some sugar on news paper and watched for a bit as the girls buzzed around! It was soo good to get into the hives again!!!!!
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Maybe next fall WBB can teach BJ how to prep hives for the winter. :rolling: :rolling:
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    the cold snap here has eliminated the hives with weak or poorly mated queens. it is a blessing of sorts. no need to waste resources or time on those. kicked two or three dead one's myself yesterday. two quite predictable and one caught me by surprised.

    I suspect if the winter is harsh enough a lot of beekeepers will be happy with 50% winter loss.

    although I do think iddee was makin' something of a ha, ha above... I suspect the topic of 'proper fall configuration' of the hive would be a useful topic for a lot of newer beekeeper. perhaps more important the farther you moved northward?

    Cold Colony Death... yep ya' got a winner there iddee.
     
  7. Bitty Bee

    Bitty Bee New Member

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    That would be an interesting topic, however I'm in no place to teach it. We've only had bees for goin' on, wow, 3 years now. I didn't realize it's been that long!
    We started with 3 hives and only have one of the originals left. The other 2 are 2 years old. They were both from splits. The last two are 1 year old and my grandpa gave them to us!
     
  8. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    What a mean old grandpa. Giving poor kids boxes full of stinging bugs. He ought to be ashamed........
     
  9. Bitty Bee

    Bitty Bee New Member

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    :lol: :lol: No,no, he is a good grandpa for giving us bugs that make yummy food and can be very profitable if we treat them right!!!!!!
     
  10. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    I'm glad that WBB and Little Man brought good news back inside when they fed the bees today! All but the 2 hives of Wayne's bees that we have were looking pretty woefully weak going into the winter. We put an abundance of homemade bee candy on each hive and fed syrup on the warm days trying to help them out. I was hoping we wouldn't have to feed bees this winter but the extra cool and wet late summer and fall really messed up those plans. We still have a little ways to go until things start blooming around here so I guess we'll see what the true outcome is as far as winter survival goes.
     
  11. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    3 out of 3 living. One is a swarm Wayne gave me in 2001. From it, we started raising what we call Wayne's bees. It, nor the subsequent swarms and splits, have been treated with anything. If they make it to spring, it will be their 9th summer. The hive they came from had never been treated.
     
  12. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    We love Wayne's bees around here! They are some seriously sturdy bees, and VERY productive too. We are planning to requeen the other 3 hives this year with queens raised from Wayne's bees. We've never treated them with anything and they have produced abundantly when other hives were just barely making anything at all.
     
  13. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Checked on my bees today and all were out flying for the first time in two weeks. I can't believe the little five frame nuc has made it this far, there were maybe thirty dead bees that I raked out of the front entrance and scads of dead verroa mites (this might be why they never took off last year).

    The next hive over is the strongest hive and as I was sitting there watching them, in flew a single bee with bright yellow pollen from somewhere, who knows. There is some rubber roofing in front of the hives and as I was watching I noticed some bees balling and fighting another bee and to my surprise it was a young virgin queen, almost black in color, who knows on that one either.

    I mixed up some syrup and fed them all, susposed to make it into the 50's for the next several days. High today of 58 and felt like summer, last 10 days were not above freezing.

    G3
     
  14. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    Just checked the second nuc yard today.

    8 dead.....42 alive! And I did not lose one single 5 frame nuc in this yard... :thumbsup: (If you want a challenge...overwinter 5 frame nucs, no wrap, and no stacking or bundling.) I actually did not want to allow them to go into winter in that manner this year...but all good plans sometimes fall short.

    :Dancing:

    No empty nucs. Just dead small clusters.

    No CCD.... :thumbsup: I keep mentioning this as rather big operator told me last November...."If you don't think you have CCD problems....you're probably too stupid to know what your looking at!" :lol: I swear....I can't see any CCD! :D
     
  15. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Sounds like you have it going your way for the time being.

    I hope you don't loose any more, that should leave you sitting pretty for the spring.

    G3
     
  16. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    I always sit pretty..... :queen:

    :rolling:
     
  17. rast

    rast New Member

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    So far, only the one "good riddance" hive.
    Most of the other 20 are eating the pollen patties well and taking syrup faster than I can afford to make it.
     
  18. cow pollinater

    cow pollinater New Member

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    Less than ten percent and all but one are hives that I pretty much knew were gonna crash and didn't help at all. Considering how hard I split last year I think I'm doing okay.
    I did have about a thousand commercial hives placed next to me last month that have gone downhill fast. My bees went backwards fast when they first arrived but recovered with new queens(Hawaii) and weather to cool for robbing. I may have a problem as the weather warms if the commercial hives near me continue to crash and my bees rob them out.
     
  19. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    bjorn writes:
    No CCD.... I keep mentioning this as rather big operator told me last November...."If you don't think you have CCD problems....you're probably too stupid to know what your looking at!" I swear....I can't see any CCD!

    tecumseh:
    why didn't you ask the fellow exactly what he thought CCD is... since no one else on the plant seems to know.

    cow pollinater writes:
    Less than ten percent and all but one are hives that I pretty much knew were gonna crash and didn't help at all. Considering how hard I split last year I think I'm doing okay.

    tecumseh:
    a totally destructive split may be at least one effective strategy to limit varroa.

    why do you think the commercial hives have gone done hill so fast?

    ps each and every year I have yards of bees set down next to me by the weavers. the first few days after they set them down robbing will begin and yes an occasional hive will perish during the looting<my pet preference of a name for robbing. robber guards on all the small stuff really makes a big difference.
     
  20. cow pollinater

    cow pollinater New Member

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    Well, nobody seems to know what is going on with the commercials but pretty much everything from the Dakotas so far that I know of is having problems... That's my dilema, I'm not worried about them looting me, I'm worried about me looting them and bringing something home.