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Winter loss rate in my Treatment Free hives.  RSS feed

Michael Cox
Posts: 1682
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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I am based in the UK and took 14 colonies into winter last year. Half of those were full sized, and the rest were smaller nucs that were made up late summer. None of my losses were varroa related.

I don't treat my bees for varroa, instead I follow a path of natural selection and breeding from my survivors each year. This is my first year taking large numbers of nucs through winter and I would do it a little differently next time. That said:

9 colonies have survived to this point.

Of the losses:
1 colony lost its lid in a series of windy and ice storms. They got wet and chilled.
1 nuc was incredibly tiny going into winter - it was made as an afterthought so that I had a backup queen. I never expected them to make it, and they eventually starved.
2 others were active a week ago, but as spring warmed up they burnt through the last of their stores and starved.

Next year I will be giving all nucs a large block of fondant in the Autumn.

I'm really pleased with how this winter has turned out.
Of course, I found a very beautiful couch. Definitely. And this tiny ad:
Video of all the permaculture design course and appropriate technology course (about 177 hours)
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