Q&A – cold/snowy loss

Q – I feel that the very cold/snowy Feb-mid March was very hard on my bees. In late Jan, 5/6 were alive and had good food stores. By early March, only 1/6 were alive. Moisture was a problem too.

A – February was cold and wet but March temperatures were averaging 10 degrees below normal until the one nice week we had (3rd week). However for bees, whatever the temperature, the time after they start brood rearing (in January usually) until they have consistent forage conditions (often not until April) is a critical time and we lose too many colonies during this period. March can be a very “cruel” month for bees and their keepers.

Q&A – Local & Screened

Q – The one hive I lost was a package AND had a solid bottom board.  The two I had that lived were local bees (NUCs) and both had screened bottoms.

A – Interesting observation

Q&A – not rehiving

Q – I was very disheartened by the losses to yellow jackets after fighting them all summer and into the fall. I am not rehiving this year from being exhausted with it last year.

A – Sorry to hear you will not be rehiving. Fighting yellow jackets in fall and mites all year is very exhausting.

Q&A – Mason Bees

Q – Have stopped raising honey bees, now raising Mason Bees.

A – Mason bees are good pollinators. Good luck with them.

Q&A – Mite Treatment is ESSENTIAL

Q – Mite Treatment is ESSENTIAL to Beekeeping success!!!!

A – Your comment is RIGHT ON.

Q&A – preliminary numbers

Q – Curious to see the results!

A – Will have preliminary numbers of loss mid-May. With 150 survey returns (from March survey returns) the loss level is running above 50%. Not a good sign.

Q&A – snow/cold temps

Q – Losses due to snow/cold temps in first of March.  Bees were fine up to that time.

A – March temperatures were averaging 10 degrees below normal. However for bees, whatever the temperature, the time after they start brood rearing (in January usually) until they have consistent forage conditions (often not until April) is a critical time and we lose too many colonies during this period. March can be a very “cruel” month for bees and their keepers.

Q&A – No loss

Q – How many people have zero hive loss?

A – I compute this number each year. I need wait until all the data is in to find this number for 2018-19. Last year 91 individuals (35% of total respondents) had NO LOSS.

Q&A – Packages

Q – Have found over the last 5 yrs that package bees have had the highest loss , and contribute that loss to inferior queens, most packages received from Calf. in April are dead by Nov. of the same yr.

A – Thanks for doing survey. Interesting observation.

Q&A – Splits

Q – A dry and warm spring last year, helped in proliferating so many  successful splits

A – Thanks for doing survey.  Lets hope this spring brings us the same good spring to be able to make colony splits for strong survivors.