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Thread: Winter Surprise

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    N. Huntingdon, PA usa
    Posts
    10

    Sad

    I'm confused, its about 48 degrees outside today so I decided to take the lid off my hive and check things out. Surprise!! All my bee are dead, its as if they froze, there is no main cluster that I can see just several small clusters on some frames but all in the same area. There is plenty of honey,actually there is six frames of honey un-touched on both sides. I'm not sure what went wrong,they seemed healthy about a month ago when I last inspected the hive. Now what do I do? What should I do with the frames of honey?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,481

    Post

    >I'm confused, its about 48 degrees outside today so I decided to take the lid off my hive and check things out. Surprise!! All my bee are dead, its as if they froze, there is no main cluster that I can see just several small clusters on some frames but all in the same area.

    Look on the bottom board where the dead bees are and look for small reddish brown specs. These are varroa and my bet is since they didn't starve it's the mites that killed them. If not, other possibilities are tracheal mites or nosema.

    >There is plenty of honey,actually there is six frames of honey un-touched on both sides. I'm not sure what went wrong,they seemed healthy about a month ago when I last inspected the hive.

    Sounds like typical mite losses.

    >Now what do I do? What should I do with the frames of honey?

    Do you have other hives? You can do a split this spring and give the frames to them. If you don't, you can get a package and install them. They can clean it up. There are bound to be a lot of dead bees in cells that don't come out easily, but the bees can pull them out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Marion, North Carolina
    Posts
    423

    Post

    I would like to add a question to this thread. My father had two hives when we pulled the tops we found completely full super and no bees. There were some capped brood and that was it. No Bees. My guess is that the queen died and the bees moved into one of the adjoining hives.

    Any thoughts on my theory?

    Note: The hives were strong and everything appeared well about 3 weeks ago.

    Thesurveyor

    [This message has been edited by thesurveyor (edited February 20, 2003).]

    [This message has been edited by thesurveyor (edited February 20, 2003).]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,481

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    This just happened in February? It seems odd to have them abscond in February, but the evidence seems to lean to that. If they all died there would be a lot of dead bees still in the hive. Since there is not, they must have absconded.

    But what would cause them to do this in February? I have seen just a handful of bees still living in their hive with no queen and haven't left, in winter. In summer, a small amount of bees might leave because there is no queen, but a strong hive usually won't leave even without a queen. Any clues what would have stressed them out enough to want to leave?

    If queenlessness was the cause, I would expect more of a gradual drifting to a hive with a queen.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Dousman,Wi.U.S.A.
    Posts
    209

    Post

    Hi All: A thought on Surveyor's loss. Any chance of predators feeding on the hive? It seems odd to have no bees whatsoever left. I have had trouble in the past with skunks. Things to look for would be scrath marks around hive entrance. This would depend on the local weather conditions being warm enough for skunks or or others being out and about.

    [This message has been edited by Karl (edited February 21, 2003).]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Marion, North Carolina
    Posts
    423

    Post

    No claw marks, or signs of entry from outside by any varmits. Just no bees and a complete super with about 45 pounds of honey in it. There were about a dozen bees in cells but they were dead. They were facing with their heads stuck inside the cells. But had no bees on the bottom board or anywhere else for that matter.

    Thanks
    Thesurveyor

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

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    Hi Beeboy,

    You say several small clusters. I sign of TM is split clusters. Clusters than drift to the side or front that appear small or dwindled. Yet if there are much varroa on the BB then I guess you will know.

    Clay

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
    Posts
    829

    Post

    Beeboy, your discovery has nothing to do with the cold weather. How, and how often did you treat your bees against the Varroa? What kind of “medication” did you used? How many Varroa’s have you found on the sticky board after the treatment?

    >>There is plenty of honey,actually there is six frames of honey un-touched on both sides. I'm not sure what went wrong,they seemed healthy about a month ago<<

    Sound’s like the result from the Varroa.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    medesto,indiana,usa
    Posts
    257

    Post

    Beeboy it maybe mites but it can be a number of things.Sometimes bees eat all the honey close to their cluster and can starve to death just inches away from a frame of honey.Also was there any capped brood etc. and how big was the brood nest.A large brood nest in the winter can consume alot of honey and stress the hive if there are extended cold spells.Ive had treated hives die next to untreated nucs just because the queen in the nuc delayed brood rearing.

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