Echoes of Colony Collapse Disorder

Interesting in light of our current concerns about Colony Collapse Disorder to happen on this description of "spring dwindling" in A Thousand Answers to Beekeeping Questions by Dr. C.C. Miller, published 1931:

Dwindling.—Q. (a) Why do some colonies (having plenty of stores and a fairly good number of bees) start brood-rearing in the latter part of winter and get a good deal of capped brood and brood in all stages, and when cold weather comes they whole outfit dies? This is happening with me two seasons. (b) How can I avoid this thing?

A. (a) This seems to be a case of what is called spring dwindling. The cause is somewhat in doubt. It looks a little as if the bees were old, had more brood started than they could take care of, then died off with the strain of trying to provide digested food for the brood, sometimes swarming out with plenty of food in the hive. (b) I don’t know, unless it be to have colonies strong with bees not too old the preceding fall.

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