Apiary Inspectors Report
August 8, 2011 by Kathleen Prough
August 31, 2011
Southeastern Indiana Beekeepers work in the apiary over the 2011 season.
In the inspections I have done this year I have seen less deformed wings on bees. Varroa mites are still there. Do check your mite population and treat if you have to. Lots of people are using the Miteaway quick strips this August. It is easier to use then the original Miteaway. I did notice that the queen does not like to lay eggs in the frames that the strips are sitting on. That should be fine for the short time they are in there. With the weather being hot in July and scattered rain I was surprised that beekeepers are getting a good amount of honey off their hives. The honey does look darker then the light clover honey. This August the bees have been putting a lot of honey in the second deep already. I usually see this in September. Just have to see if we are going to have an early winter! We had swarms in May and June anytime it stopped raining. Most swarm calls stopped at the end on June. There have been a couple of reports of swarms this August though. This may be queen problems or SHB problem. There were still queen problems this year. Queen swarmed and the replacement did not make it, new queens taking longer to start laying, queen laying drones only, or just poor queen. Several beekeepers tried to requeen and the bees killed the new queen.
The results for the 2010-2011 Nation Honey Bee Survey covering 13 states (including Indiana) can be found at: http://www.in.gov/dnr/entomolo/4557.htm or click here to view the PDF now. The 2011- 2012 USDA survey started July 15th this year. I am still working on getting this done. Anyone interested please call me at 317-232 4123. You have to have at least 8 hives in the apiary that can be sampled. For information on how the samples are collected go to the following link: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/honey_bees/survey.shtml. The link does have a U-tube video showing how the samples are taken.
I finally was able to go through the data collected at the IBA and ISBA spring meetings on “How are your bees doing”. 48 beekeepers handed back the survey. The results are as follow. For percentage of dead hives at time of meetings: 17 had more then 30% loss, 12 had 30% - 20% loss, 5 had under 20% losses, and 13 had no losses. It looked like the more hives you had the higher loss you had. For when they feed: 23 feed both fall and winter, 11 feed fall only, 7 feed winter, and 7 did not feed hives. 8 of the
ones that feed both fall and winter had no winter loss. 3 that did not feed had no winter losses. One that did not feeding, put down that they do 3 deep brood boxes for the winter. There was no big difference between if you feed only in the fall or only in the winter. Types of feeding- 15 did candy boards, 6 used top feeders, 5 other (entrance feeder or dry sugar), 4 division board feeder, 2 left honey, 8 used two types of feeding. The two types of feeding were mostly candy board and division board. 27 provided
some type of wind break. Mostly this was a tree windbreak. 10 people wrapped their hives. As to queen problems: 5 were yes and 5 others said they may have had queen problems. 15 reported not getting any honey off their hives last fall. What this tells me: Make sure you have a good queen in that hive in August or early September. Last year was dry, so no surprise that some people did not get honey off their hives. You may need to keep feeding fall and winter if supplies are low in the fall. I do like the 3 deeps for winter. I talked to a beekeeper this summer that does three deeps. He said he does not feed them sugar water and has good winter survival rates. Come spring he can split them easily. Sounds good to me! Go to the following link to find out about the on-line national winter loss survey results: http://beeinformed.org/results/winter-loss-survey-results/