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Winter losses?

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Nannysbees 

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How many colonies does everyone have? Over the years of beekeeping how many colonies have you lost each year, or have you been able to manage your bees so well that they have survived?
 

Erichalfbee 

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I try to take my hits in the autumn so generally no winter losses.
I lost two colonies in my early days due to varroa and inexperience and none since then.
I average 7/8 hives
Two years ago I took 16 through the winter
 

The Poot 

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I have maintained four colonies over the last four years after losing my first colony to inept beekeeping.
Other than one colony snuffing it in the Beast from the East, I haven’t lost any others and none to starvation.
I‘m concerned this year though, that one colony, which is robust, is a little light on stores but won’t take the fondant down.
 

Erichalfbee 

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I‘m concerned this year though, that one colony, which is robust, is a little light on stores but won’t take the fondant down.
Put it straight on the top bars if you are really worried.
Lay it on a sheet of grease proof with some slashes at right angles to the frames. It won’t drip down and the bees have multiple access
 

Apple 

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Average 150 including 20 to 30 nucs ( some doubles overwintering to replace losses)
loose around 10% on average per year... some simply do not make it through winter, badgers and wasps probably account for a few plus woodpeckers attacking some of the pollys.... and in many seasons but one mouse!
We have lost some to vandalism... and in that I include colonies destroyed under order of bee inspectorate due to EFB and AFB. The EFB spread by itinerant swarm collectors not having the nouse to isolate for a couple of brood cycles and get them checked by SBI before selling (£100 a pop including foul brood!) Never have found the source of the disease although it was suspected that a beekeeper brought it in from out of county in one year.
AFB almost certain from infected honey being brought in from Cataluna Spain to make up horse feed next to the infected apiary.... colonies and hives destroyed by fire under the supervision of our SBI... the case was investigated and now the people making up the horse feed have moved away....

But of course with notifyable diseases, you can point the finger of blame... but never prove it!!

Bet you wish you never asked!:music-smiley-023:
 

madasafish 

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Average 10% pa. Mainly badly mated queens.
 

Amari 

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Are you on Beebase or maybe you don't have any hives, according to your avatar? The NBU annual survey of hive numbers is open until 31/12. 9,000 beekeepers replied in 2019, reporting a total 264,000 colonies.

I have 10-15 active hives and loose about 10% pa, mainly finding drone-laying workers in spring presumably due to queen failure. I have lost two hives to wasps this autumn - a new experience for me - again maybe queen failure causing poor colony strength. This was despite vaping x3 for varroa in late August. Total honey c. 600 lbs cf. c. 800 lbs last year. BBKA run an annual honey yield survey.
 

Apple 

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BBKA run an annual honey yield survey :icon_204-2:

and
like Jenkins butter should be taken with a pinch of salt !
 

Nannysbees 

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Average 150 including 20 to 30 nucs ( some doubles overwintering to replace losses)
loose around 10% on average per year... some simply do not make it through winter, badgers and wasps probably account for a few plus woodpeckers attacking some of the pollys.... and in many seasons but one mouse!
We have lost some to vandalism... and in that I include colonies destroyed under order of bee inspectorate due to EFB and AFB. The EFB spread by itinerant swarm collectors not having the nouse to isolate for a couple of brood cycles and get them checked by SBI before selling (£100 a pop including foul brood!) Never have found the source of the disease although it was suspected that a beekeeper brought it in from out of county in one year.
AFB almost certain from infected honey being brought in from Cataluna Spain to make up horse feed next to the infected apiary.... colonies and hives destroyed by fire under the supervision of our SBI... the case was investigated and now the people making up the horse feed have moved away....

But of course with notifyable diseases, you can point the finger of blame... but never prove it!!

Bet you wish you never asked!:music-smiley-023:
Really interesting and fascinated by beekeepers experiences, hoping my two hives are going to survive, but it's our first winter and still learning
 

Newbeeneil 

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My first year all 3 came through winter, 2nd year I lost one of 17, 3rd year 5 losses out of 25 but I wasn't ruthless about colony strength and put weak colonies into winter! I've put 41 strong colonies into winter this year so fingers crossed🤞🏻
 

Nige.Coll 

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Generally less than 10% as an average.
Last year I took 50 into winter and had 3 queens fail during winter, the bees were still alive but queenless. They were shaken out and the bees begged into other colonies.
This year I have taken 97 into winter and they are all alive so far and heavy with stores.
 
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35 this winter
Winter 5 for me and I've 35 colonys.
I've concerns for 4 colonys.
Like Newbeeneil maybe should of united them only time will tell.
As yet I've not lost any over winter (true fact) I know its inevitable its going to happen.
Year 1 1 hive
2, 3 hives
3 10 hives
4 10 hives
5 this winter 35 hives. - 24 are my own reared queen's.
 
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Apple 

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Winter 5 for me and I've 35 colonys.
I've concerns for 4 colonys.
Like Newbeeneil maybe should of united them only time will tell.
As yet I've not lost any over winter (true fact) I know its inevitable its going to happen.
Year 1 1 hive
2, 3 hives
3 10 hives
4 10 hives
5 this winter 35 hives.
One winter Quince in Somerset lost the lot... but I believe they decided not to feed them!
 

elainemary 

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Have 10 colonies going through winter. 8 last winter & 4 the previous (now in my 4th season).
Just had losses in my first year, beast from the east & nosema - from the Nucs I bought from a local experienced beekeeper / queen rearer... I did a bailey comb change in the spring on the one that got through & no or very low nosema since. Put that down to monitoring, adding thymol in feed / Nosevit or Bailey comb change if found in high levels.
I now look at microscopy samples of all my colonies in spring for nosema. Make sure they're strong going into winter (unite hives / nucs in sept, give inverted feed, plus Nosevit), treat for varroa in the autumn & oxalic in winter. Change about 1/3rd combs each year. All colonies in WBCs with kingspan on crown board, or Polyhives / double polynucs. WBC Hives at home I convert to solid floors (high up), but leave on open mesh floors in my out apiaries in the valley. All looking good so far & plenty of stores.
 

Apple 

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I love what you call folk apple.
Maybe they opted for natural selection?

18 of my colonys haven't been feed but I will be keeping a close eye on them.
The natives seem to be frugal with stores.... get some fondant in stock just in case and do not be afraid to use it.
You can not steal all their honey and not feed them... especially those yellow stripey exotics!

Chons da
 
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Will overwinter 220 full colonies and about 60nucs...Expect to lose about 10%....
The long term average for me...
As I have only just finished feeding...
Used 4000kg of syrup....more than usual but here the Ivy barely yielded...
I can already see 5 full colonies and a couple of the nucs are failing due to Q failure probably...
 

beeno 

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Will overwinter 220 full colonies and about 60nucs...Expect to lose about 10%....
The long term average for me...
As I have only just finished feeding...
Used 4000kg of syrup....more than usual but here the Ivy barely yielded...
I can already see 5 full colonies and a couple of the nucs are failing due to Q failure probably...
Massive! Fingers X.
 

Bassett 

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Bad year for losing colonies via poor queens. Lost 5 hives from 23, discovering that they had laying worker and drones hanging around in September/October
Whether the bees got the swarming/replacement/mated queen wrong or there is some underlining problem, I'm not sure.
2020 another challenging year, but honey taken off, its been good, not bad and not brilliant.
Also noticed the take down of syrup slow combined with low hive weights, hence I'ved put fondant on before January for the first time and I'ved kept bees for 25 years.
Every year is different!!
 
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35 this winter
The natives seem to be frugal with stores.... get some fondant in stock just in case and do not be afraid to use it.
You can not steal all their honey and not feed them... especially those yellow stripey exotics!

Chons da
I have fondant, how did you know that the 18 colony that haven't been feed are natives.. You my friend are a wizard!
Funny?! one of the exotics have had 20kgs of fondant and counting.. There local Italian mongrels which doesn't sound so exotic does it.

My records show that one of our single brood native colonys only used 9kgs of stores last winter that was our frugalist colony I've raised some nice queen's from her this season.
 

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