Hive survival over winter

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BeeBelle

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Hi,

Was just wondering how everyone has done over the winter with their hives, I've lost a few and was wondering how others have faired with the incredibly wet weather we have had and whether that's a factor. Is there an average expectancy of how many hives are generally lost over winter?
 
My 12 are still alive, but I suspect one is queenless & dwindling - it produced a very late swarm (probably a supercedure gone wrong).
One of the others is flying much less.
So maybe 1-2 losses out of 12 (so far).
I haven't inspected yet.
 
3 into winter so far 3 going into spring .had to feed them .but all good so far ..still alive ..not inspected yet..far to cold hear..hope alls well in the hive come late aprill may ..one was a swarm .fingers crossed .
 
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0 - 50% isn't uncommon range so no there is no definitive guide, sometimes we do here or know of figures much higher.

What does go along way to decide on survival is prepping colonies in the the previous Autumn correctly so decent varroa treatment and not to early and feed , make sure they have enough feed but not before the winter brood is laid up.

And no winter fiddling except to provide one external varroa treatment in early/mid Dec and for those who haven't fed correctly provide fondant in an insulated set up above the CB .

I went in to this winter with six colonies up till Tuesday all are fairing well, pollen and plenty of orientation flights seen on sunnier days. Nice warm CB's /clear CB's and plenty of movement of the bees , however until the first inspections in April or May then one will not know the true stroy.

Just because I have six I don't count my chickens or bees, one can still lose colonies going into April /May as I did last year. DLQ from survivng winter clusters accounted for two and CBPV claiming a third.
 
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We have seen over the last week or two those who are too eager to jump in already and even some have done so, it is far too early to fiddle . Demeree and Bailey change /feeding all ready been mentioned and itching to fiddle.
The only fiddling to be done is to fiddle exteranlly by watching and fiddling with your thumbs . Hefting is the most fiddling I do and every fortnight now we are in to brood rearing. The ramping up of bees emerging, as it is now onwards that stores will deminish and the colonies become lighter.
 
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The only fiddling to be done is to fiddle exteranlly by watching and fiddling with your thumbs
Or if you read elsewhere in the threads a little bit of leg jiggling will fill in the time before the first true inspection. As a rule of toes, If you are jiggling your legs to keep warm it's too cold to inspect your bees.
 
Already posted my disaster. Two down out of four. New beekeeper near me lost his one and only too. My belief is the really warm autumn followed by a cold wet snap somehow prevented enough winter bees in preparation but ...... I am looking for any excuse
 
I think 1 out of 2 here in South Wales. I caught a swam late last year and knew it would be a close call as although showing promise with the collecting activity, once homed bees the number remained low going into the cold months. It looks like it did not make it as no activity showing from Hive at all.
 
Went in with 8 one of which I didn't expect to make it but looking OK so 100% success for the last 6 years.
 
I went into winter with 97 and seem to have lost 8, five of which from starving. So I’m hefting and topping up with fondant regularly.
86 I went into winter and I’ve lost 10
24 at home and I’ve lost one so far
All mine are set out in 4-6 per apiary I wonder if this has made a difference?
Rather than clubbing apiarys together at work ?
 
I went into winter with 97 and seem to have lost 8, five of which from starving. So I’m hefting and topping up with fondant regularly.
10% isn't bad with so many to feed , one can't always expext 100% survival rate. I have had bees in the past litterally romp thru the stores but now have now via improving my lot got a reasonable bunch when it comes to eating thru stores.
 
I went into winter with 97 and seem to have lost 8, five of which from starving. So I’m hefting and topping up with fondant regularly.
Nice to see an honest post. There seems to be a stigma against those who admit a colony starved.
 
So far I have lost 10% which I’m happy with. The weather has been so warm down here though but extremely wet at times too. I would rather nice and cold !!
 
I went into winter with 97 and seem to have lost 8, five of which from starving. So I’m hefting and topping up with fondant regularly.
Nice to see an honest post. There seems to be a stigma against those who admit a colony starved
We have seen over the last week or two those who are too eager to jump in already and even some have done so, it is far too early to fiddle . Demeree and Bailey change /feeding all ready been mentioned and itching to fiddle.
The only fiddling to be done is to fiddle exteranlly by watching and fiddling with your thumbs . Hefting is the most fiddling I do and every fortnight now we are in to brood rearing. The ramping up of bees emerging, as it is now onwards that stores will deminish and the colonies become lighter.
if on a warm day a couple of colonies aren’t showing any activity then I’ll crack the CB and take a look. Like to identify dead outs ASAP so can clear any dead bees before combs go mouldy. Then decide whether I can reuse the combs. Checked 2 inactive nucs last week, both alive & kicking inside.
 
Nice to see an honest post. There seems to be a stigma against those who admit a colony starved.
Finding a starved colony is gutting, even worse when they are big but it can at least be explained. My colonies were way too big for this time of year.
 
I lost one of 7 over winter, but winter losses vary amazingly between one location and another 5 miles away. Our group looks at our losses each year, about a hundred colonies in all kinds of hives scattered across, approximately, one county. This was the latest results (haven't surveyed this year):

https://oxnatbees.wordpress.com/2023/11/05/winter-losses-not-quite-what-they-seem/

The interesting thing here is that at first, the losses last year seem high. Then we drilled down into the data and found they were almost all in a small area, the city of Oxford. Possibly because it's in a valley. So don't be discouraged by one bad year, microclimates have a huge impact and losses vary a lot from year to year. This is one reason bee farmers distribute hives across multiple apiaries.
 
I lost one of 7 over winter, but winter losses vary amazingly between one location and another 5 miles away. Our group looks at our losses each year, about a hundred colonies in all kinds of hives scattered across, approximately, one county. This was the latest results (haven't surveyed this year):

https://oxnatbees.wordpress.com/2023/11/05/winter-losses-not-quite-what-they-seem/

The interesting thing here is that at first, the losses last year seem high. Then we drilled down into the data and found they were almost all in a small area, the city of Oxford. Possibly because it's in a valley. So don't be discouraged by one bad year, microclimates have a huge impact and losses vary a lot from year to year. This is one reason bee farmers distribute hives across multiple apiaries.

I went to Oxford University.

I learnt whilst I was there (only a few hours), that it is a very wealthy place. I think the answers are all in the link you provided. Lots of ivy in the autumn (nice valley to grow it) with the workers packing out the areas in the nest where the queen could lay. ....then not enough bees and winter bees. Perhaps being wealthy, the local beeks were more likely to spend money on sugar syrup and feed to make sure the bees didn't starve, but didn't take into account the bumper ivy flow?
https://theoxfordmagazine.com/news/...-in-pwcs-annual-good-growth-for-cities-index/
 
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