BIP HiveCheck Results for Jan 19th – Feb 2nd

37 Days til spring? I don’t buy it…seriously. For those of us in the North we’ll be having another winter storm this week and then again on the weekend. My jadedness aside, this was a fantastic HiveCheck response cycle, thank you to everyone for staying strong in these cold months and providing great insight into your hives and management.


An exciting addition to the HiveCheck survey this week was a word cloud! Below is an assembly of the top 250 words in response to the question “What are you doing to prepare for the spring?”. Personally I can identify with the many who suggested “Praying” as a primary technique. Jokes aside, Now is the time to order equipment, plan for splits and start building! Exciting times are ahead and the beekeeping season is about to begin!




Another exciting addition is the question “Did you lose any hives?”. We added this questions after many requests and its an important vector of hive activity across the nation so we’ve officially added the question. When you look at these results note that we’re only asking if something happened or not, we’re not recording severity. Keep this in mind as you interpret the results. What we hope to shed light on here is what’s normal for specific geographic regions. You’re encouraged to take these reports to your local bee club for discussion and please share results with your friends. Know that you’re not alone, we’re all in this together! Until next week….stay warm.

Your National Reports, Click to Download PDF



Written By: Alex Jones

Michael Wilson has written 13 post in this blog.

  • susanrudnicki

    I keep saying this—you need to ask WHERE bees are sourced—local survivor stock or package bees. Everything I have learned and heard indicates local survivor stock not treated tends to be most resilient to pests and disease.

    • Alex Jones

      Hey Susan, hope you saw the latest wordcloud that one was for you 😉 I certainly agree local survivor stock provides a great advantage for seasonal acclimatization of the colony.

  • Ronald Bartemy

    the last two months have been very cold in north west Vermont,how ever a few bee keepers have reported their hives are doing ok.
    They have all so stated they wher very strong going into winter.

  • Blackcathoney

    Hi 1 year keeper and I lost both hives that I started in spring 2014 they were lost in sept and out the one was a queen brak down but the other one was very strong I don’t know what happened so going to try and start new this year with one hive can anyone say if it’s ok to us the old frames ? Thanks and good luck to everyone

    • Alex Jones

      Blackcathoney, you can certainly use old frames. You may want to tear out the comb if it’s discolored with age as comb does build up chemicals over time.

  • Eric B

    I am just starting out this spring and I am getting a local overwintered nuc, figuring that the stock is winter hardy, acclimated, less stressed, and less likely to have been exposed to to who knows what in FL or GA. With the queen already accepted and laying brood, I hope that the bees will be able to pollinate my gardens and orchards this spring and summer and go into next winter far stronger than a package and queen cage. It cost a lot more but less than starting over or quitting in disgust.

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