This winter has been very hard on the bees. It is very confusing to the bees to have the temperatures continually changing up and down. They want to sleep in the cold and when it warms up they start to eat and we consume all their winter stores.
So far I have lost 19 of the 20 hives that were here in the yard in Oxford. I am not the only one that has felt the loss this year.
We treated for mites this year with Mite Away and Fumigilin with the hope of saving at least some. The losses here and everywhere are huge. It is believed that this die-off is due to pesticides and the unusual weather we have had this last fall and winter also Mites are the main culprit lowering the resistance of the bee and making them susceptible to viruses and disease
I purchased 10 packages of three pounds of bees and a laying queen from Adam Fuller down in CT. It is my hope that I can get them started in new equipment and somehow keep them safe from Pesticides. That being said…. the bees never performed the way that they should have. They didn’t pull the foundation or store food for winter. I used over 500 lbs of sugar feeding them for the season and they still did not perform. Ken Worchel the bee inspector suggested that I should have fed them Fumigellin and treated them for mites with Mite-a-way as soon as they came in and in Oct a second treatment with Api-var in Oct for 45 days.
In other words I should have fed two Gallons of sugar water with Fumigillin to each hive in the spring and again in Oct. Live and learn… I would have had a much better year they say.
Better luck this year!