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mikethebee 

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Why some hives are affected by insecticide poison and others not?
The time taken for foraging bees to collect nectar/pollen and return to the hive and regurgitate it into the combs takes time and involves other bees.

Last year a experienced beek came to me complaining he had lost most of his bees on one site containing 10 hives the most he had ever had. Averaging two three per year.
WHY he asked?
He had bought them from me as 5 frame nucs early spring I asked him the history he told me he had fed the same to all and they done really well considering the weather and floods of 2007.his crop of honey averaged 40pounds each
He had never kept 10 hives in his life mostly 2/3
At the end of the year 5 was big 2 small 3 average, Yet they all started out the same, the 2 small died through the winter the 5 big hives just disappeared in the spring, left him with the 3 average ones
WHY is it so obvious but blind to others what happened.
All the best mike
 

Chris B 

Queen Bee
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This is like one of those riddles. "Whoever shall answer correctly shall have my daughter's hand in marriage and half my beekeeping kingdom".

You obviously have a theory Mike. Big colony stores more poison as winter feed that kills them later? Interesting.

How about this alternative: in bigger colonies queens lay more eggs per day so they just run out of sperm quicker. If that's in the winter then it's curtains.

Is she a beauty or like the back end of a bus?
 

random 

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My theory would be the smallest were too small to survive the winter unaided and the largest starved as the queen started laying in spring when there was little forage for them and very little stores left after the winter.
 
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