"What was your winter hive loss?" is one of the most embarrassing questions a beekeeper can be asked if they have had significant loss. I'll start by saying I lost all five of my incredibly strong, well honey stocked, treated hives this winter and lost them extremely early (December). Why? Well, I am working on that. You think after 40 years of beekeeping things would get easier or at least comfortable but its' become the toughest type of farming I know of today. Maybe I should try cultivating that new Vermont crop now allowed, fewer pests and if sales slump you can always use the product yourself and not care. But, I want to keep at it, ordered more bees (second most heard phrase by beekeepers only after "is it raw honey?) . So where are we heading with this post? Well, I could have jumped right to it but that would not have been as interesting. The question is how many hives did you loose this winter. Am I wrong in thinking all beekeepers would like to know how there fellow beekeepers have done? Is this data something you would be willing to share. It would be localized information to help all of us get some perspective on how we did regardless of what we did. We could drill down on vast data to collect making all sorts of scientifically grounded conclusions but that is not what I want. Simply, how many hives did you go into winter with and how many made it. Not difficult to know and report but maybe difficult for you to divulge. Therefore, I put forth the idea to have some method in place on the Members only section to report your hive loss anonymously but with location in Vermont maybe by county or North/South, etc. I am sure other beekeepers might have a better tuned system for reporting. Bottom line, I would like to see how my fellow Vermont beekeepers fared. I know some will say "what good is that information" it will only make you feel good, bad or average, doesn't solve anything. But, it's a start. I want to know how you did. These days I will take my small satisfactions where I can, especially after seeing on National news this morning that the Asian Hornet is now officially here. God, does anyone know if High Mowing sells those "special seeds"?
Respectfully submitted, Hugh Gibson