View Full Version : How are your bees doing?

29-01-2011, 07:25 PM
Anyway back to the bees!
Taking advantage of the settled weather today I had a quick look at my hives, first to check stores and second to see if they had survived through the last cold spell. Ten colonies inspected with 1 loss. The one loss was starvation and not enough bees. This colony was a late mated queen and was not very strong in the Autumn, therefore did not take down as much food as the other colonies. I thought it was worth a punt to get it through the winter anyway as it had a morph result of 95% for Amm.
Also checked the club apairy with 5 colonies with 1 loss. This is averaging out at about 10% colony losses.
Anybody else checked their colonies?

29-01-2011, 07:47 PM
Hi Jimbo
I lost two small nucs just after Christmas out of 21 colonies, one of them with 100% AMM wing morphometry based on a sample of 70 bees. :mad:

Isolation starvation in both cases although one of them was headed by a queen they had tried to supersede 6 times, so no surprise there. She was dead on the floor and this may have preceded the starvation.
These two never built up. I also suspect nosema and have samples in the freezer which I will test later.
We had a week of temperatures ranging from -14 min at night and -6 max during the day.
I have been out of the country for the last month and don't get back home for another 3 weeks so hopefully not to many more losses.

Pete L
29-01-2011, 10:07 PM
Not had any losses yet this winter,even the little mini Kieler mating nuc's appear to be doing very well atop there posts,did kind of expect a couple of the five frame national nuc's to of perished by now,but each time i go round inspecting,about every 2/3 weeks they are still looking just fine & hanging in there,but i suspect it would be a different story if they were in the much harsher enviroment of NI or Scotland.

Where i am located is a bit of a microclimate,usually quite mild,athough we have had a few minus double figure night time temperatures.

If they can all survive the next five or six weeks then it should be plain sailing hopefully,athough i expect to find a few drone laying queens when inspections begin with the arrival of the warmer weather...usually find a few failed queens each spring.

29-01-2011, 10:53 PM
Mine were ok a week or so ago. Having just taken delivery of what feels like several tonnes of fondant I'm going to give them another look see tomorrow and just make sure that they've got sufficient stores to tide them over until the flowers make an appearance. I did get sent a photo of one colony that I haven't looked at for a bit longer and did notice that the mouseguard appears to have been removed, but I'm hoping it might just be an old photo.

[edit] And all three are still going. One gave me a little scare when I stuck my ear to the sidewall by keeping quiet, but a quick rap confirmed them as still going.

All the hives were still nice and heavy with stores but I've added a little bit of fondant anyway just to make doubly sure.

The mouse guard on the one I mentioned had been removed, but I don't know whether by someone who thought they were being helpful or just someone mucking around. Either way they seem to be ok, but we'll find out if there have been any visitors later in the year.