Farm, Garden and The Land > Live Stock, Critters and Aquaculture

Bees, so far so good

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CharlesH:
Ouch.  Very sorry.  I’ve had a string of bad luck myself.  Last year I got a bit more proactive with my care and it seems to have helped.  Dealing with diseases these days is much tougher than it was in the 70’s.  I can tell you that...
 
Last year I bought two nucs that had been created from overwintered Michigan bees.  Once they were built up I split them both and transitioned the splits to Russian hybrids.  In August I treated all of them with ApiLife Var and I fed syrup to all of them in September.  One of the original queens petered out for some reason and I lost that hive before it got cold to robbing from yellow jackets.  The rest seem to be doing fine.  I won’t risk opening them before I get a sunny day in the mid 60’s.  Then I’ll clean off bottom boards and reverse my deeps for a month or so.  I’ll also do an oxalic acid vapor treatment (3x at six day intervals).  I don’t plan to split them this year, but collect honey.  I’ll keep a swarm trap out, though.
 
I assumed I’d lose some over the winter so I ordered four packages of Russians from KY.  Having seven hives will be fun!

LvsChant:
Sounds like things are going very well for you and your bees, Charles. I hope you'll keep us posted on how the plan goes...

CharlesH:
So far so good. Though one hive was definitely looking weak from the outside.  This April chill and storms in MI has definitely not helped.  I gave the weak hive a couple cups of warmed two year old crystallized honey on the inner cover last week when we had a few days of semi-warmth and they lapped it up.  But while the other two hives were out foraging for pollen they were hardly leaving the hive (even After they’d finished the honey).  I’m preparing myself to lose them.  If it happens I’ll make a split from one of the other two and be fine.

LvsChant:
Too bad... I wonder what causes it? Is it just a weak queen, typically?

John Doe:

--- Quote from: LvsChant on April 18, 2018, 08:31:16 AM ---Too bad... I wonder what causes it? Is it just a weak queen, typically?

--- End quote ---
Lack of (close) food, disease, Varroa mites :(

I just finished a beginner beekeeping course with my daughter.
I highly encourage anyone looking for something to do/learn to take a course like this.
It was very enlightening & ultimately I hope to enlist bees in my homebrewing of mead, mmmmmmmm

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