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  Monday, 10 April 2017
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I lost all my hives this winter. Today I started dismantling them, cleaning them out and hauling them up to the garage, I was amazed at how much honey was left in them. I'm going to be doing a lot of extracting tomorrow. As I was stacking them in the garage the silence was interrupted by a familiar sound. Sure enough, there was a forager checking out the drips and spills. Oh - the irony. At least some colony in the area made it through the winter. Probably one of the swarms that got away and is living in a tree across the road somewhere.
5 years ago
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#2393
Any idea why all the colonies died? Got any photos of the deadouts we could diagnose? This was an easy winter and losses shouldn't be very high. Here, with 27/30 apiaries checked, we're running 3% loss. Clusters look excellent.

So, how were the bees managed? Where did the stock come from? Did you treat for varroa? When and with what? Did you feed light colonies in the fall so they had enough feed for winter? The drought we experienced last summer really took a toll on the bees. Reduced brood rearing and increasing mite population knocks the tar out of the bees.
A number of folks treated for mites in Oct they have lost their hives , poor timing .
A few pulled honey off in Oct as well ,they pulled to much and ther hives starved.
From many reports I have had in the local area the colonies that died out where caused
By poor varroa mite control and hives to light with winter stores ,also a few with moisture issues.
I think this past years poor flow in the fall caused many new Beekeepers management issues
That they didn't see coming .
We need to do more work with our new Beekeepers to help them understand and use a good sold Varro mite management plan .
5 years ago
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#2395
I had heavy losses this year, too, but can cop to inexperience.

Last year, I had 1 out of 4 hives die because I stupidly left a box of foundation on top, they all moved up and left honey in the box below. I didn't get around to early spring feeding and they died late. Was told they could likely have also been week due to mites.

THIS YEAR I know I should have combined weak hives and done one more late treatment but was hesitant about the first and late on the latter. Couldn't get some of the hives to take in a lot of sugar late in the season, and I think the weakest colonies were robbed. I live in mostly forest, so we have less late season nectar, and I will feed earlier next season and definitely leave some fondant under the cover.

2/12 that survive SEEM ok, with lots of stores left and lots of bees still flying. As of early Feb I still had 4 alive, but 2 of what I consider my strongest hives (I left all honey on them from August on) didn't make it through the very warm spell/very cold spell in Feb.

Looking for temps to stabilize (at 1500' we can be 10 deg colder than the valley this time of year, and we're always about a week behind on maple buds and dandelions) so I can feed sugar water (have fondant on right now as insurance) and give pollen. I saw a Michael Palmer post that said it was ok to start on 2:1 now-- does that hold for 1500'?
It could be a little early for you as I'm near the lake so I'm a little warmer.
As my days are in the 50 s for the most part and low 40 s at night you may want
To wait until the 20 th just to be safe.
That's just my thought.
Thanks
Ron
5 years ago
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#2397
As long as they can fly occasionally, you can feed syrup.
5 years ago
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#2398
Thanks to both of you. I'll monitor their flying. I know it's supposed to get seasonally cold again after this warmer spell, so it may be a few more days, to be sure.

I put in the extra fondant that I had made for the hives that died in March, so they should have something until I get feeders in.
5 years ago
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#2399
Most of my losses were starve outs in early April...they were:looking strong in March...there was almost no goldenrod\late season honey here and I knew I might have some problems..on a few it .looked like the bees got to the food I gave them but never got back into a cluster,there was one night it went to 5 or 10 degrees after a 55 degree day....I .went into winter with a bunch of nucs and 5 normal sized colonies, came thru with a 6 framer and a full size...
5 years ago
·
#2400
Most of my losses were starve outs in early April...they were:looking strong in March...there was almost no goldenrod\late season honey here and I knew I might have some problems..on a few it .looked like the bees got to the food I gave them but never got back into a cluster,there was one night it went to 5 or 10 degrees after a 55 degree day....I .went into winter with a bunch of nucs and 5 normal sized colonies, came thru with a 6 framer and a full size...
5 years ago
·
#2401
I lost my single hive too, and ordered two new 5 frame nucs. I would like to change over to 8 frame hives. Can anyone tell me if I can load the 5 frame nucs into 8 frame hives or will the 8 frame hives be too crowded?
5 years ago
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#2402
Sure you can. I did two nucs to 8 frame last year. You'll be adding another box on top sooner is all. I made my deep boxes to match supers from Mann Lake. That size will fit 9 frames snug. I like it as you can have full brooder boxes without as much side comb and space out 8 frames for honey supers.
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