Only 5% winter loss!
That was the text we received from Martin at Slide Ridge Honey the other day. He had been down at his winter holding yard to start checking the bees and preparing them for pollination next month and when he realized how low his loss rate was, he just had to tell us! He also had some smaller beekeepers with him that were wintering their hives together. If they hadn't been there, they wouldn't have believed him!
Slide Ridge Honey has been using our Bio Minerals Technologies probiotics and trace minerals in their beekeeping nutrition program for just over two years now. Their bees have been so successful that other beekeepers and beekeeping suppliers have been asking about it. The demand was so high that Slide Ridge even created a nutritional product line for the beekeeping supply channel!
As Slide Ridge took their bees into the almond pollination last year (2016), their hives were among the highest graded hives in the orchards. The hives were full and the bees were active, and they received top dollar for their services. People have noticed.
Martin, at Slide Ridge, has always been generous with his help to smaller local beekeepers. He has frequently taken their hives along with his as part of his pollination contract, allowing them to earn some revenue from their hives in addition to their honey. As Martin’s bees continued to show such strong results, many of these smaller beekeepers wanted to benefit from his advanced beekeeping techniques and protocols. So Martin sold his premixed nutritional products to those who wanted them, and many of their hives began to look just like Martin's, strong, healthy, and vigorous.
When Martin went down to the winter yard to check his bees, he took about 16 of these smaller beekeepers with him. Their hives were pooled with Martin’s at the wintering yard in preparation for the almond pollination in February. The loss rates for Martin’s small beekeepers varied significantly. Those who had been following the nutrition and mite treatment program had loss rates similar to Martin’s. There were others who did not follow the nutrition programs or mite treatments, and some of those beekeepers lost all their bees!
For comparison, average loss rates for the winter of 2015-2016 throughout the US were approximately 38%. Martin’s losses were far below that average last winter too. National loss rates for this winter (2016-2017) are predicted to be around 45%. A 5% loss rate is almost unheard of in our modern beekeeping environment. It just goes to show how important proper nutrition is to the health and strength of your hives!
If your hives are struggling, or even if they are “average,” you need to get some of Slide Ridge’s Fat Bee formulations to boost your hive nutrition and health. Don’t wait any longer. Your bees are depending on you!