"Cold is not what kills bees," said state apiarist Tim Schuler, aka New JerseyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s top bee guy, at the Department of Agriculture. "Running out of food is what kills bees."
He is right to a point, however I will not agree completely. It seems that when the temp bets down close to zero the bees cluster tightly and eat the honey that is in the cluster and vibrate a bit to generate heat and manage to survive, however if it is a prolonged cold spell, like we had a while back with subzero temps for 23 days, the bees won't move up onto new honey because they are clustered too tight, and run out of honey in the cluster and die, surrounded by honey. Now did the cold cause them to die or did the lack of food cause them to die? My thinking is that the prolonged cold caused it. If it warms up once a week enough that they can move up onto new honey they usually survive if they have enough stores.
Here we have the mosquito abatement program, some farmers spraying crops with bloom on it, canal companies putting stuff in the water to remove moss, and who knows what backyard gardeners dump on the environment. Then there are two kinds on mites, several brood diseases, and nosema, just to name a few other bee plagues.
Wonder why there is colony collapse disorder?
I had problems keeping queens this year. Seems as a queen was failing, the bees would build a bunch of supercedure cells, but they would never get a queen out of it. Why wouldn't these bees requeen themselves? Good question. The colony will just collapse if they have no queen. Someone suggested that the tendency to supercede or raise queens had been bred out of the line so that they would not swarm. Those using thiis line plan to have a queen growing program and requeen the bees themselves. I don't know If I can buy that in this instance though as I sure cut plenty of queen cells early during the dandelion bloom.
Not a lot of corn grown here so can't blame that for the problem.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-