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.

Q&A – find a remedy

Q – I feel the survey was well put together.  My concern with overwintering losses is to soon find a remedy.

A – Thanks for doing survey and complementing it. You are absolutely correct – we need to halt the heavy losses with a better remedy. Right now it takes a lot of effort – and we sometimes still find heavy losses. No one single thing works – combinations of efforts help but we do not know the best combinations for control.

Q&A – Yellow jackets

Q – I had 100% success for overwintering but the yellowjackets last year decimated my hives (6 full size hives –>2 and 3 nucs –>0, all in Sept/Oct)

A – Thanks for doing survey. Yellow jackets were a real serious factor in taking colonies down last fall. Sounds like your losses were heavy.

Q&A – Edge of woods

Q – 66% of hive losses due to my leaving colonies too close to the edge of woods.

A – Unfortunately there is little research on hive siting and pest and disease incidence. We know bees in sun have fewer mites (on average) than those in shade. Colonies near hedges have more woodpecker damage than those located further away from hedge (in England). If you had the colonies further from the woods would they have better survival?? I am not sure. At one time (pre varroa mites) it was standard to locate bees within wooded areas. Thanks for sharing.

Q&A – Split Survivor

Q – One hive starved by getting into a corner on top, one hive of 3 years died I think from mites that I treated too late.  3rd hive also new is doing well minimal mites.

A – Tough year – lost 2 of three – one starvation, one mites. Sounds like the survivor needs to be split this year to repopulate boxes.

Q&A – Survey Results

Q – I would like to eventually see the results from everyone who participated.

A – I prepare a loss survey for total OR and WA and for individual club responses soon after the survey closes (in May). It takes longer to analyze the management and reconcile managements with losses and do the statistics but I prepare those reports in June and into July – initially for the larger data bases of total OR and WA respondents and then for the larger club responses (beginning with PUB, our survey host). I do not do an individual club report if there are fewer than 18 responses for a club (data base is too small to be really meaningful and for use of statistical analysis) but I do look at some specific managements (those for example that are significant for the larger data base). All reports are filed in same location as the survey itself www.pnwhoneybeesurvey.com . You can see reports from last several years by looking under Survey results – slide sideways for Individual Club reports

Q&A – high varroa levels

Q – The hive I lost was due to high varroa levels. Even with treatments in July and September (it was a purchased nuc in late April) the varroa levels rebounded quickly, although the treatments knocked the levels down to below 3 per 100.

A – Thanks for doing survey. You commented that you lost 2 hives to high varroa even though you treated in July & September. The treatments knocked mite level down.  I wish we knew what was gong on – best guess is  virus epidemic took hives down? We have no treatment for virus so we go after vector (mites). If we knock mite numbers down that should reduce the epidemic of virus! Others are stating same thing – the last couple of years. Mite controls bring numbers down in Aug/Sept but colonies still are lost. NOT SURE WHAT IS HAPPENING.