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.

Q&A – oxalic acid

Q – treated multiple times 7 day apart started late Sept with oxalic acid vaporizer.

A – Thanks for doing survey. We think this frequent of treatment with oxalic is harmful to bees.

Q&A – necropsy

Q – Thought we treated both hives the same, so loss inexplicable. Dead bees showed no sign of disease, no deformed wings. So I suspect queen loss.

A – Sometimes our necropsy of a dead colony doesn’t reveal a clear-cut probable reason for our loss. Queen events can be serious and colonies don’t recover to get through our winter.

Q&A – dead-out

Q – The hive that died had plenty of honey, but came from a cereal source with a small population at the end of the season. Our hive that survives experienced a large die off mid season, likely from a pesticide.

A – Sometimes there doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to surviving or not surviving. Trust the surviving colony gets strong enough to split and you can put bees back on the combs from the dead-out.

Q&A – egg laying interruption

Q – My queens stopped laying after using Formic Pro and dwindled down in number and unable to stay warm when frost warnings were broadcast.

A – That has been noted – but usually they recover. However queen egg laying interruption with a  later fall treatment means not enough time for hive to recover and overwinter successfully.

Q&A – herbicides in logging

Q – What herbicides are used in logging?  Before replanting.

A – Herbicide use is heavy in replant management. I am not sure the exact compounds used. Will need to research that question.