Thursday, August 25, 2016

It's Worse Than We Thought

It's worse than we thought! It's time to make a steady effort to test your bees. Start now and take action.


Hi, I'm David Burns. Sheri and I stay out in front of what's going on in beekeeping. We hear back from hundreds of beekeepers around the world who give us feedback as to what issues they are experiencing. So we constantly stay up on things like the rising prices of EpiPens, oxalic acid (OA) treatment, Taranov splitting etc. We do this to help you!  Thank you for your business because this enables us to stay up on the cutting edge of new information.


By listening to beekeepers across the country here's the conclusion I have reached about why bees are dying:


Death By Varroa Mites


Several talks at EAS this year made it clear to me that colonies dying from varroa mites is worse than we thought. Viruses, spread by mites, are causing colonies to weaken in the fall and to die in the winter. While many people are getting into beekeeping, not as many are diligently monitoring mites by performing monthly mite tests. This is resulting in an alarming number of colonies weakening in the summer and fall and dying in the winter. This may be the major contributing factor for summer colonies having queen related issues. Mite testing and control is essential for colonies to remain healthy. Watch my 60 Second Beekeeper video on how to test for mites.

Death By Protein Stress

With colonies consuming 3.5 pounds of protein a week beekeepers must start feeding their bees protein such as found in pollen patties. We've just produced a video on how to make your own pollen patties. Aug. - Oct. is a vital time to feed your bees protein as they raise new bees with winter physiology during this time. Without protein brood production will fall significantly. A 2:1 sugar ratio is only part of what bees are in desperate need of now! They also must have protein.

Death By Queen Issues

Colonies often suffer from queen issues. The queen herself is rarely the issue. Here's the issue. Beekeepers are reporting that they cannot find their queen and so they give up on monitoring her. Without keeping a close eye on her performance beekeepers are unaware of the colony's brood future. Most beekeepers know what a very strong colony looks like and they know what a very weak colony looks like. But, they cannot quickly diagnosis a strong colony that is starting to show signs of failing. This can be overcome by education. New beekeepers know very little about what to do if they see a failing queen, a virgin queen or queen cells. This often results in mismanagement and failing colonies. Monitoring the queen's brood production is essential in maintain a strong colony.

Death By Neglect

We all have busy and hectic lives. Few of us stay on top of our hive issues like we should. Life happens. Beekeepers are believing questionable information from the Internet and taking it as Gospel. For example, oxalic acid is now the "new trend." Yet, you practically have to be a chemist to mix/vaporize or tribble the corrosive acid in such a way as to not burn your lungs or kill your bees. Too much and your bees are dead. Too little and your mites are unharmed. While oxalic and be effective, it does not kill mites in the capped cells. Female mites that are being produced in your hive in September and October will live through the winter, living as long as 5 months. The winter cluster provides convenient access for mites to spread viruses into February finally crashing the hive in March. In my book on "Getting Your Bees Through The Winter" I lay out a method to reduce mite loads in August and September and then raising a large population of bees with winter physiology. This eBook is available on Amazon or from our website.

To purchase this eBook on Amazon, click here.

To purchase this eBook from our website, click here.

About four years ago I couldn't believe my eyes. I had very healthy and strong colonies but August and September resulted in these colonies starving from a lack of protein. Upon inspecting my hive, they had plenty of honey but young larvae was not being fed royal jelly or worker jelly. That's because young bees were under protein stress. Slapping pollen patties between deeps wasn't working and presented me with several challenges. I needed to find a way to rapidly feed 2:1 and 1:1 at the same time as I gave my colonies pollen patties. That's when I created theThe Burns' Bees Feeding System. 
Burns Bees Feeding SystemThis time of the year, many beekeepers fail to give enough food to the hive for maximum brood build up. Our feeding system places the food strategically over the brood nest area, keeping food where bees can always access it even on cold nights. August - October usually turns out to be a pollen and nectar dearth. Make sure your bees do not eat all their winter stores by November.  Feed you bees.

We'd Like To Feature You On Our Videos
You can have your moment in fame. Please make a small video and send it to us. We want to place these at the beginning of the "60 Second Beekeeper." Simply show yourself in your bee suit or by your hives and say, "Hi, I'm (Name) in (State) and here's the 60 Second Beekeeper in 3, 2, 1."  When using your cell phone make sure the phone is sideways. Email us the video and we'll plug you in to our new series. Send it to: beekeeper.burns@gmail.com
Thanks!

Winter-Bee-Kind
 

Don't let your bees starve this winter. Try our Winter-Bee-Kind winter feeding board. It contains carbohydrates, proteins, insulation and ventilation. The upper slot gives your bees the opportunity to take cleansing flights at much lower temperatures. Click here for more information. 

60 Second Beekeeper

I've started a new series of videos call the "60 Second Beekeeper." I address important beekeeping topics in 60 seconds. I'm creating episodes that you can watch when you are in a hurry, yet still get the insights you need to know what to do with your hive.

We now have over 8,000 subscribers and we hope to reach 10,000 by the end of September. Please visit our YouTube channel and subscribe. 

To make it easy for you, just click here to go to our channel now.

Once we make it to 10,000 with your help YouTube will open up additional opportunities affording us to make better videos! Thank you in advance.  Tell your friends and family to subscribe.




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