Monday, February 1, 2016

FEBRUARY 1ST HIVE CHECK by beekeeper Fred

Its now about half way through winter.  Today warmed up to 39F.  Bees were out on cleansing flights and making those nice gold spots in the snow.  Although November and December were warmer than average, January was about normal with at least three nights with temperatures lower than -10 degrees F.  At this point my overall survival this year (68%) is not as good as last year (97%).  Part of this is probably beekeeper error.  Of course I shouldn't cry, because so far I have enough hives surviving  to make splits and make up my losses.  I hope your winter survival rates are better than mine. I've heard some beekeepers with 100% and some with 0% survival.  

In a little more detail

Italian hives, which I treated with a full dose of MAQS miticide, have a 58% survival rate.

Russian hives, which I did not treat with anything, have a 66% survival rate.

Russian hives, which I treated with a 50% dose of MAQS, have a 80% survival rate.  

Wrapped versus unwrapped hives are still even.

"Fall fed" versus "unfed" hives have the same survival rates.  

Now I get to think about my plans for spring and also my mite treating procedures for next fall.  

                                                       Bees at the upper air vent
                                                        "Golden spots" in the snow

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