lost 2 out of 3

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wightbees 

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Whilst at work today, a old friend walked past. I told him i now keep bees:)
After a bit of a chit chat it turns out he lost 2 out of his 3 hives over the winter.I was a bit shocked to be honest as hes kept bees since 1988.
Is this a common thing that can happen?
 

gavin 

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Last winter/spring I lost four out of six, and one was very weak and eventually died in June. So one survivor. And I'm meant to know what I'd doing. A local commercial beekeeper lost 800 out of about 1,000-1200, and others had losses on a similar scale.

Several knowledgeable and very experienced hobby beekeepers had similar losses to me. But on the other hand most of the beginners I've been helping in recent years got their colonies through the winter with flying colours (do as I say and not as I do?!).

The keys to good survival seem to be:

- enough stores for the winter
- good Varroa control early enough (ie now)
- if the summer and autumn weather or forage is poor, give extra feed then so that the colonies can raise healthy winter bees
- watch out for Nosema and treat if you have it (not a big issue here, but lots of imported queens have been reported to have Nosema problems)
- if not already in polystyrene, give the colonies top insulation so that they are warm enough in cold snaps to be able to move around in the hive for stores

G.
 

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A local commercial beekeeper lost 800 out of about 1,000-1200
OUCH ! that is going to take a while to claw back again unless buying in.

But then even if buying in there is not a lot of change from selling honey from 2-400 colonies when you need to buy replacements for 800 hives.
 

Frithgar 

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I don't know what happened with them this year gone but a few years ago Quincy bee farm which is one of the biggest in the country had their largest ever loss of 50% of all hives. They managed to build their numbers back up over the summer only to lose 60% the following year.
Big painful losses but they've recoverd now. Guess it can happen to anyone, even when they are prepared, I was speaking to someone there and he told me that the worst thing is a late cold snap. The stores are mostly used up and if the cluster can't move it's harder for them to access what's left. It is also harder to feed when there is a cold snap.
I'm hoping I don't lose any of my four hives, having only just started again this year:coolgleamA:

Prepare for lots of tears and forum rants next spring if I do :nopity:
 

wightbees 

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I went there 2 days ago > Quincy bee farm,, birthday treat (40th)
In the right up it said that they have 1500 hives of which they move to the moores for the heather this month.this must put a strain on them ?
 

darrenperrett 

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I went there 2 days ago > Quincy bee farm,, birthday treat (40th)
In the right up it said that they have 1500 hives of which they move to the moores for the heather this month.this must put a strain on them ?
Birthday treat ?

It only costs £5.25 to go in, lol.

I went there last week and i thought it was very good.

Darren.
 

Hivemaker. 

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Quince........ 1,700 hives.....they appeared last week,say no more.
 

wightbees 

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Birthday treat ?

It only costs £5.25 to go in, lol.

I went there last week and i thought it was very good.

Darren.
but remember where i live. 2 hrs in ferry travel 8 hrs driving plus meals .
I was nackered lol
 

darrenperrett 

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but remember where i live. 2 hrs in ferry travel 8 hrs driving plus meals .
I was nackered lol
So you actually had a holiday abroad for your 40th.
Now that sounds better.

Happy 40th birthday btw :party:
 

wightbees 

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Thanks

we like it down your way, good for fishing as well as the bees :)
 

Mike a 

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but remember where i live. 2 hrs in ferry travel 8 hrs driving plus meals .
I was nackered lol
Charming you drove within 1000 meters of my house as you past junction 9 on the M27 and you didn't pop in for a cuppa.

(Can't say I blame you really) :smilielol5:

Happy belated birthday.
 

TBRNoTB 

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Going abroad

but remember where i live. 2 hrs in ferry travel 8 hrs driving plus meals .
I was nackered lol
Most expensive ferry in the world I'm told!:driving:
 

wightbees 

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I wouldn't know what route we took as the sat nav has a mind of it's own lol.
It doesn't seem to like going straight there ,it likes little lanes and the country side.
I think we drove around in circles for the first hr :(
 

wightbees 

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It cost too much , i would say.
wightlnk on the day £57.00 half hr trip from yarmouth each way
red funnel from E cowes £34.00 1 hr trip each way
 

gavin 

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OUCH ! that is going to take a while to claw back again unless buying in.
He did indeed buy in. He didn't replace all of them but maybe splitting this summer has filled the gaps.

Guess it can happen to anyone, even when they are prepared, I was speaking to someone there and he told me that the worst thing is a late cold snap. The stores are mostly used up and if the cluster can't move it's harder for them to access what's left.
Yes, many of the losses were in March, April and May here. The losses were a lot worse in uninsulated wooden hives.
 

Frithgar 

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I think I'm gonna have to make sure of good insulation on my hives for the winter, I don't want to chance losing them, I've worked hard this year to get four hives:Angel_anim:
 

Dishmop 

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I think I'm gonna have to make sure of good insulation on my hives for the winter, I don't want to chance losing them, I've worked hard this year to get four hives:Angel_anim:

Remember that the cold and damp comes from the ground. I'm thinking of sticking some polystyrene under the floor.
 

gavin 

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Warm moist air rises and if it condenses on the crown board then it may drip on the cluster. Insulate the top, sides not so important, but let the hive breathe and I wouldn't add polythene tunder the floor unless you mean directly on the ground.

Most of the moisture comes from the respiration from consuming all those stores. sugar + oxygen = energy, CO2 and water.

G.
 

Frithgar 

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Mine are off the ground, two on varroa floors, two on wooden floors. If I get time before the end of september I'll build two more varroa floors to replace the wooden floors.
I've heard about the condensation problem from the roof before, is this lessened by keeping the crown board in as well? I take it that I should put a sheet of polystyrene between the crown board and the roof for maximum effect, but will I need to ensure that I keep a channel open to the roof vents?
 

Dishmop 

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3 National Hives & 1 Observation Hive.(Indoors) & lots of empty boxes..
unless you mean directly on the ground.
Yep. Maintain an airflow.

Compare the underside of old cars that have been left for long periods on grass or gravel against those left on covered ground.
 
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