Author Topic: Over wintering results.  (Read 3498 times)

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Offline Perry

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Over wintering results.
« on: March 28, 2016, 06:19:23 pm »
Just got done putting patties on all my hives and nucs, so I have a better idea how 2016 is shaping up.
Went into winter with 88 colonies and 6 nucs.
To date, 2 dead-outs, with 4 or 5 having small clusters, maybe 3-4 frames of bees, the rest look good.
3 nucs look great, 3 looking weak, maybe due to drift cause they're all pushed together? As long as the queens survive I can give them a boost later.
"It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor."      
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Offline apisbees

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2016, 06:47:05 pm »
That is a way better than average survival rate. Did you go into the 2 to see what happened.
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Offline Perry

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2016, 07:26:25 pm »
Yeh, one obviously had queen failure late in the fall, found lots of hatched out emergency queen cells. Obviously failed to re-queen itself in time. The other one I'm not sure, but I suspect it suffered the same fate but later in the fall/winter. I do not re-queen my hives at all and let nature and the bees decide when they need new queens so it is not surprising that I have a few failures over the winter.
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Offline townson

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2016, 07:39:39 pm »
Have you taken all your wraps off yet perry

Offline Perry

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2016, 07:52:54 pm »
Just the 2 dead outs. Too cold yet to remove them from the rest.
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Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2016, 08:23:31 pm »
Well done!  Thats an impressive feat right there.
   So far I have lost five of ten nucs and five hives. All four of the Old Sol Queens/Hives that I got last spring and built up, and one of the hives that I couldnt get at to winterize I finally managed to get to them. No bees in that particular hive. They must have left not long after my last inspection.
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Offline Chip Euliss

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2016, 08:42:27 pm »
Outstanding!
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Offline Perry

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2016, 09:13:06 pm »
This will make the 4th year where I have suffered less than 5% winter loss (fingers crossed). I don't treat in spring either, just the fall.

# 1 - I believe I can attribute most of my success to having the ability to "play" with my bees, not having so many that I cannot catch things as they happen rather than dealing with things after they happen.

# 2 - I stopped taking my hives to blueberries (or any pollination gigs) at about the same time as my results started improving. Moving them, and a crappy diet when they're out there, takes its toll.

# 3 - Luck. This may well be my biggest ally. Without it the rest won't matter. ;)
"It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor."      
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Offline Lburou

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2016, 11:35:40 pm »
Perry, Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.  Congratulations!
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Offline capt44

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2016, 11:53:16 pm »
I lucked out no dead hives.
The state inspected them 3 weeks ago and no mites or small hive beetles.
I did keep dry feed out and 2-1 syrup in 5 gallon feeders out all winter.
Hive beetles are posing a lot of problems here in Central Arkansas already.
Heard several folks loose there hives to small hive beetles already.
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Offline Slowmodem

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2016, 01:10:57 am »
This will make the 4th year where I have suffered less than 5% winter loss (fingers crossed). I don't treat in spring either, just the fall.

# 1 - I believe I can attribute most of my success to having the ability to "play" with my bees, not having so many that I cannot catch things as they happen rather than dealing with things after they happen.

# 2 - I stopped taking my hives to blueberries (or any pollination gigs) at about the same time as my results started improving. Moving them, and a crappy diet when they're out there, takes its toll.

# 3 - Luck. This may well be my biggest ally. Without it the rest won't matter. ;)

#4 - You're experienced and knowledgeable, and familiar with the local conditions and your bees and their conditions.  You play a big part in your success.  :)
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Beekeeping at 26.4 kbs

Offline vincent

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2016, 10:58:40 am »
Thats awesome news Perry, thanks for the post mortem!

Offline Mikey N.C.

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2016, 07:27:38 pm »
Perry,
Sounds like another good year ,do you think the pollination gig hurts the build up in spring?, knowing it's still early there

Offline apisbees

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2016, 08:31:38 pm »
With pollination it depends on the crop, what is being grown close by and most importantly how well informed the area farmers are.
Pollination can cause a hive to double in size / population in 3 weeks. Can provide all the nectar and pollen to get the hive through to the main honey flow. It can also seduce the hive to swarm if the colony is not properly managed.
not all crops are equal when it comes to their attractiveness to bees. Fruit trees produce both pollen and nectar and the nectar is higher in sugars and are attractive to the bees. the trees only secret nectar in the early afternoons though. luckily the dandelions secret nectar in the morning so the bees do get a full day of nectar gathering in.
Blueberry and cranberries are not very attractive to bees and colonies can loose ground while in the farm doing the pollination. Hives have starved in the past while being in the fields for pollination. 
The biggest risk in pollination is hive theft, Vandalism, and spray damage. The spray damage is preventable if the farmer works with the guy who is your doing his pollination and is also aware of hives that may be in adjacent farms


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Offline Perry

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2016, 09:51:08 pm »
I don't think the pollination hurts in the spring build up, but I think the bees spend a good part of the summer recovering. This just my opinion, I am sure others may disagree. Bees come out of blueberry at the end of June, have July to recover and go into August which is close to a month of dearth. Goldenrod and then Aster are their last kick at the can, usually starting sometime in September.
Pure anecdotal on my part, but there seems to be a bit of a connection.
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Offline CBT

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2016, 10:08:43 pm »
Perry do use a whole pollen patty. Down here if you give a full size patty the hive Beatle will lay eggs in it before the bees can finish it.

Offline Perry

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2016, 10:15:10 pm »
Perry do use a whole pollen patty. Down here if you give a full size patty the hive Beatle will lay eggs in it before the bees can finish it.

I do, and some even use 2. Some guys will even throw in a patty as they go off to blueberry to help them through the pollination. SHB will probably change a lot of that.
I am still fighting our provincial government, speaking out wherever I can about their decision to allow hives from areas with established SHB into our province for blueberry pollination. I am probably not making too many friends in some fields, but then it isn't their livelihood being threatened so I really don't care.
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Offline Dunkel

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2016, 11:33:55 pm »
Congrats Perry that is awesome.  :occasion14: :eusa_dance: :eusa_clap:

Offline apisbees

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2016, 01:51:28 am »
Pollination needs to be examined on a crop by crop basses. The price per hive coincides with the how taxing the pollination will be on the bees. Blueberries and cranberries can be hard on the bees. Apples and cherries are a good spring build up for the bees, but if your bees are in the middle of dandelion fields the bees will have lots of forage anyway. Now if someone wanted me to pollinate 6 acres of raspberries I would move 12 hives in and only charge him $100 transportation fee. The honey you would get and the trimming (between the dandelions and the main honey crops of clover and alfalfa hay fields) money can be made and the bees can be protected while doing pollination, but precautions need to be taken and you need to get informed to the buzzards and risks. get informed and inform the grower as to what is acceptable and expected.
I have never had a problem with doing pollination, The bees have always came out in much better condition then they went in. That being said I have never done Blue or Cran pollination and I don't think I ever will.
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Offline Perry

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Re: Over wintering results.
« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2016, 06:16:01 am »
I suppose if a person had tight control over what happened in the fields one might be OK.
The largest grower (and beekeeper) here has developed a pattern where instead of sticking say 2 hives per acre and leaving them there for the duration, has apparently found that by saturating a field with say 6 to 8 hives per acre and moving them every 4 or 5 days to different fields, the over all harvest is better. I suppose if blueberry is your primary business that works for you!
Many other keeps lease their hives to this operation.
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