The Bee Guy

Monday, March 26, 2007

4 years of beekeeping without chemicals

Sunday, sunny and 50 degrees F, I checked the condition of my colonies. At first it looked like 8 of nine survived. It turned out live hives were harvesting from the dead ones. Looking more closely I lost two—one showed signs of laying workers during the winter. The other came from a late swarm that lost its queen in the Fall. A third has dwindled to only a handful of bees. A smart beekeeper would break up the colony. I’ll probably put them in a nuc just to give them a chance.

For no mite, foulbrood, or nosema treatments, this is a good survival rate. Later this spring I’ll graft a batch of queens from the healthiest hives (no I don’t count mites. I’m too lazy).

Now that we have a new “disease”—colony collapse disorder, or CCD, I imagine it will be blamed on a lot of dead colonies that died of other causes. I think I’ve suffered from CCD for years.


  • At 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    That is great, but how did you do it?

  • At 10:17 AM, Blogger NJTS said…

    The author is having trouble with his username/password combination and gave up adding to this site several years ago.
    I let the diseased colonies die and remove wild colonies from houses and barns. There are lots of wild and untreated colonies in this area.
    Last year's mortality was 20% compared to the NYS and national averages of around 29%.


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