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Beekeeper on harsh winter: 'It's a 100% loss for me'
wzzm13 ^

Posted on 04/17/2014 10:38:54 AM PDT by chessplayer

HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- A local beekeeper who lost all of his honeybees this winter and he says it's happening across the state.

Anyone can look at Don Lam's beehive and see piles of dead honeybees. However, for Lam, each hive also tells the story of a struggle to survive. "They vibrate their wing muscles and that vibration is similar to shivering," says Lam, a beekeeper in Holland.

It was a fight that his nearly half a million honeybees lost to a long, harsh winter. "They had eaten there way all the way to the top, had run out of food, and they couldn't move over because it was too cold," says Lam. "In some cases they froze to death because the cluster got too small and in other cases they starved to death."

"We are losing one third of our bee population every year and then we scramble that next summer to make that population up again," says Lam. "You can imagine how much we would be concerned if we lost one third of our chickens or a third of our cows every year, and because we don't see bees in the same way we don't realize it is a crisis."

(Excerpt) Read more at wzzm13.com ...


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KEYWORDS: beekeeping; bees; donlam; holland; michigan
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And this before the annual mass die off from colony collapse disorder has even begun.
1 posted on 04/17/2014 10:38:54 AM PDT by chessplayer
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To: chessplayer

This winter is causing a massive die off of bumble bees, too.


2 posted on 04/17/2014 10:41:27 AM PDT by chessplayer
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To: chessplayer

Somehow global warming is to blame.


3 posted on 04/17/2014 10:41:43 AM PDT by dartuser
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To: chessplayer

and the keepers don’t check on the bees and supplement if needed through the winter??


4 posted on 04/17/2014 10:41:52 AM PDT by Chickensoup (Leftist totalitarian fascism is on the move.)
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To: chessplayer

Cause Ccording to liberals, progressives, Communists / socialists, the POTUS, the UN, and the NWO: Global warming


5 posted on 04/17/2014 10:42:44 AM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: dartuser

One third of my chickens or beef would not die of starvation because I didn’t feed them.


6 posted on 04/17/2014 10:43:03 AM PDT by Chickensoup (Leftist totalitarian fascism is on the move.)
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To: jsanders2001

Cause according to liberals, progressives, Communists / socialists, the POTUS, the UN, and the NWO: Global warming


7 posted on 04/17/2014 10:43:09 AM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: chessplayer
welcome to glo bull warming.
8 posted on 04/17/2014 10:43:39 AM PDT by oldenuff2no (Citizen.)
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To: Chickensoup

it’s difficult to check on them; they ball up in the hive. If you disrupt that through the winter you kill the hive.


9 posted on 04/17/2014 10:44:10 AM PDT by Ghost of SVR4 (So many are so hopelessly dependent on the government that they will fight to protect it.)
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To: chessplayer

He’s obviously a Global Warming denier.


10 posted on 04/17/2014 10:44:11 AM PDT by Steely Tom (How do you feel about robbing Peter's robot?)
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To: Chickensoup

No they DO NOT “Check” on them during the winter! The Bees around late Sept and into Oct seal the hives tight with “Bee Glue” called Prophalis(sp?) and if you open the hive during the winter you take a chance on killing them all.


11 posted on 04/17/2014 10:44:47 AM PDT by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: Ghost of SVR4

YOu cannot check the honey holders?


12 posted on 04/17/2014 10:46:26 AM PDT by Chickensoup (Leftist totalitarian fascism is on the move.)
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To: Ghost of SVR4; US Navy Vet
it’s difficult to check on them; they ball up in the hive. If you disrupt that through the winter you kill the hive.

Thanks! I was wondering about that too. I figured there'd have to be a reason. The article read like the Beekeeper's attitude was, 'oh well, you are on your own bees -- see you in the Spring', but I figured there had to be a reason why the Beekeeper couldn't keep his livestock from starving to death.

13 posted on 04/17/2014 10:49:25 AM PDT by El Cid (Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house...)
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To: chessplayer
A local beekeeper who lost all of his honeybees this winter and he says it's happening across the state.

Well, isn't that just too snazzy? The author begins the article with something that is not even a sentence.

Is this the best jourinalist skools can offer?

14 posted on 04/17/2014 10:51:18 AM PDT by upchuck (Support ABLE, the Anybody But Lindsey Effort. Yes, we are the ABLE!!)
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To: chessplayer

This is not going to bode well for a variety of plants.

I’ve notice last year that the number of bees seemed to have dropped off quite a bit. These guys may have to build a greenhouse over the hives just to keep out the chill.


15 posted on 04/17/2014 10:52:40 AM PDT by VanDeKoik
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To: Chickensoup

That’s what I was wondering. If he can tell the bees had eaten through all of their reserve, is there something we humans can supply to them as a temporary supplement? What about providing them with an artificial source of sugar? Some of this was inevitable, due to the severe weather.


16 posted on 04/17/2014 10:54:29 AM PDT by lee martell
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To: Chickensoup

Check for what? The honey has already been harvested from the medium supers (you don’t take honey from the brood supers; that is their food across the winter).


17 posted on 04/17/2014 10:55:31 AM PDT by Ghost of SVR4 (So many are so hopelessly dependent on the government that they will fight to protect it.)
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To: Chickensoup

and the keepers don’t check on the bees and supplement if needed through the winter??


These are bee experts. If it was that easy they would have done it.


18 posted on 04/17/2014 10:56:27 AM PDT by chessplayer
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To: El Cid

My GF lost her hive this year in PA. I haven’t checked on the neighbors down the road. Most bee keepers that are in it for the honey usually keep italian bee’s but the downside is winters take a toll on that species. Russian bee’s produce less honey but are much heartier and can survive our periodic harsh winters.


19 posted on 04/17/2014 10:57:36 AM PDT by Ghost of SVR4 (So many are so hopelessly dependent on the government that they will fight to protect it.)
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To: chessplayer

The extreme cold has positives and negatives. It has the benefit of reducing pests like the beetles that kill trees.


20 posted on 04/17/2014 10:58:57 AM PDT by lurk
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To: upchuck
I am getting a fresh-out-of-liberal-arts-school Communications major with a history of being passed on each year all through their edumacation.

"They had eaten there way all the way to the top, had run out of food, and they couldn't move over because it was too cold,"

21 posted on 04/17/2014 10:59:41 AM PDT by GreenAccord (Bacon Akbar)
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To: Ghost of SVR4
I guess I never really thought about how bees Winter.

I do remember a deep and prolonged cold Winter that killed off the gypsy moth population, knocking them back about twenty years.

Not having tent caterpillars all over the place was nice, not to mention the foliage and food crops that didn't get eaten by them.

22 posted on 04/17/2014 11:00:54 AM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: VanDeKoik

Yup. Expect emptier store shelves and even higher food prices. And the few bees that survived the winter still have the annual colony collapse disorder to get through.


23 posted on 04/17/2014 11:03:01 AM PDT by chessplayer
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To: chessplayer

The harsh winter has even hurt bee populations in the South, but I’m not sure that CCD is as much of a problem as varroa mites or wax moths.

Looks like the beekeeper in this story was going with two deeps for all of his hives over the winter which should always leave enough honey for the bees. Up north he may want to leave an extra super on the hives over a harsh winter.


24 posted on 04/17/2014 11:03:25 AM PDT by Oliviaforever
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To: Chickensoup
One third of my chickens or beef would not die of starvation because I didn’t feed them.

I suppose that the decision of how much honey to take/leave is a tough one, but that decision is never the less the factor for kept honey bees.

I also suppose hive placement after hibernation would be a factor. I'm not informed on beekeeping, but I wonder if the hives could not be placed inside barns or packed in straw to help insulate in the heat. I know that insulated livestock waterers take remarkably little heat to keep from freezing.

25 posted on 04/17/2014 11:08:10 AM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: chessplayer

These bees made it.

They can handle the winter, but need their honey.

26 posted on 04/17/2014 11:08:48 AM PDT by Oliviaforever
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To: Chickensoup

Thought they were supposed to ...feed ‘em pollen packs or even straight sugar.


27 posted on 04/17/2014 11:09:52 AM PDT by Adder (No, Mr. Franklin, we could NOT keep it.)
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To: US Navy Vet

Got it...thanks!


28 posted on 04/17/2014 11:10:58 AM PDT by Adder (No, Mr. Franklin, we could NOT keep it.)
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To: US Navy Vet

No bee-cams allowed?


29 posted on 04/17/2014 11:11:15 AM PDT by treetopsandroofs (Had FDR been GOP, there would have been no World Wars, just "The Great War" and "Roosevelt's Wars".)
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To: SampleMan

Bees do not freeze as if they have enough food they will keep temperature inside the hive at 90 degrees. There beehives in Alaska and way up north in Canada that survive winter.


30 posted on 04/17/2014 11:11:26 AM PDT by Oliviaforever
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To: chessplayer
This winter is causing a massive die off of bumble bees, too.

Ray Liotta is pacing the floor.

31 posted on 04/17/2014 11:11:28 AM PDT by Steely Tom (How do you feel about robbing Peter's robot?)
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To: lurk

The extreme cold has positives and negatives. It has the benefit of reducing pests like the beetles that kill trees.


The ash borer beetle? Not cold enough to even slow them down.

“Indiana’s Cold Winter No Match For Emerald Ash Borer”
http://www.wfyi.org/news/articles/cold-winter-no-match-for-eab

“Expert: Ash borers likely survived frigid winter”
http://wishtv.com/2014/03/27/expert-ash-borers-likely-survived-frigid-winter/


32 posted on 04/17/2014 11:12:44 AM PDT by chessplayer
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To: treetopsandroofs

“No bee-cams allowed?”

If you could afford to place a camera inside a dark hive and even have a light on that camera, the bees would encase the camera in propolis.


33 posted on 04/17/2014 11:14:26 AM PDT by Oliviaforever
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To: chessplayer

Where I live, I’m used to seeing a lot of bumblebees in the spring. This year, after the harsh winter, I’ve seen very few.


34 posted on 04/17/2014 11:14:39 AM PDT by bkopto (Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.)
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To: US Navy Vet

If there is a day where the temperature is above 54 F you can open the hive and take a look, but it would have to be a quick look and you would not it do drop way below freezing that night.


35 posted on 04/17/2014 11:17:45 AM PDT by Oliviaforever
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To: Ghost of SVR4

>Russian bee’s produce less honey but are much heartier and >can survive our periodic harsh winters.

do they ride around in little APC’s taking over neighboring hives?


36 posted on 04/17/2014 11:20:34 AM PDT by RitchieAprile
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To: chessplayer

Lost four hives this winter, all with full supers. That majorly sucked.


37 posted on 04/17/2014 11:27:32 AM PDT by FateAmenableToChange
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To: FateAmenableToChange

Mites, wax moths, starvation or something else?


38 posted on 04/17/2014 11:29:47 AM PDT by Oliviaforever
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To: GreenAccord

your you’re

there their

than then

loose lose

thru through threw

I me

Really, really sad.


39 posted on 04/17/2014 11:30:32 AM PDT by upchuck (Support ABLE, the Anybody But Lindsey Effort. Yes, we are the ABLE!!)
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To: Chickensoup
and the keepers don’t check on the bees and supplement if needed through the winter??

Not possible. The hive can't be opened unless the outside temps are 53degrees or above. Some people might have heated barns, but for most beekeepers it's not realistic.

40 posted on 04/17/2014 11:33:40 AM PDT by FateAmenableToChange
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To: Oliviaforever
All froze -- the bees went up to the top of the super and froze in a ball.

Frustrating because I had 2 italian hives, 1 carnolian, and 1 buckfast. Of them all, the supposed miracle buckfast hive went silent first. A wild italian swarm that my wife captured two years ago lasted into March but died off in the last cold snap.

41 posted on 04/17/2014 11:38:24 AM PDT by FateAmenableToChange
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To: chessplayer

I have 2 questions. I have pot plants on my patio and I cover them or take them in the garage when it is going to freeze. Why can’t the hives be protected in the winter?

Next question. What about wild bees in cold climates, how do they survive the inter?


42 posted on 04/17/2014 11:41:25 AM PDT by Ditter
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To: Chickensoup

Must have been wintering on sunny beaches like all other snowbirds.

Around East Texas the bee keepers supplement with sugar water during the winter.


43 posted on 04/17/2014 11:41:55 AM PDT by X-spurt (CRUZ missile - armed and ready.)
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To: Ditter
I have pot plants on my patio

Seriously?

44 posted on 04/17/2014 11:52:32 AM PDT by Steely Tom (How do you feel about robbing Peter's robot?)
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To: Steely Tom

Not that kind of “pot” silly! Geraniums, Cosmos, Hibiscus, all growing in flower pots! But you knew that! ;)


45 posted on 04/17/2014 11:55:16 AM PDT by Ditter
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To: chessplayer

Impossible! global warming would have kept all those bees buzzing and happy!

This has got to be some right wing plot !

/s


46 posted on 04/17/2014 12:00:48 PM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
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To: All

A friend in GA. has hives set up with internet monitoring. He has the hives on scales. He can tell when the bees return in the evenings by the weight. Also as the season progresses he can tell how much honey has been produced before he goes to the hive. Pretty cool.


47 posted on 04/17/2014 12:02:01 PM PDT by TangoLimaSierra (To win the country back, we need to be as mean as the libs say we are.)
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To: chessplayer
When we lived in Minnesota, we knew a beekeeper who trucked his bees to Florida every winter to make orange blossom honey and then back to MN to make clover honey in the summer.

Grove owners in Florida paid him quite handsomely for the use of his bees. More than enough to cover the transportation costs

48 posted on 04/17/2014 12:02:20 PM PDT by N. Theknow (Kennedys-Can't drive, can't ski, can't fly, can't skipper a boat-But they know what's best for you.)
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To: Ditter

If they have enough honey, they can keep themselves from freezing even in the harshest of climates.

Moving a hive is tricky. First, bees are very set on the exact location of their hive as they orient themselves to the exact location of their hive on their first flight. It is said you can only move a hive less than three feet or more than three miles. There are ways to encourage to bees to reorient themselves when a does have to be moved. Furthermore, if you were to take the hives inside, they would think it was spring or at least think the weather was warm and some would leave the hive for cleansing flights. Some might even leave to forage.

Beehives do survive in harsh climates, but they need food.

Beehives survive winters covered in s


49 posted on 04/17/2014 12:10:04 PM PDT by Oliviaforever
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To: FateAmenableToChange

Did you have two deeps for each hive?


50 posted on 04/17/2014 12:10:43 PM PDT by Oliviaforever
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