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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Casey, Il, USA
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    4,018

    Default not dead until they are warm and dead

    A lot of new beeks are finding dead colonies this time of yr, remember they aren't dead until they are warm and dead, don't do like this guy and shake out a live colony


    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ys0WzCMYWDI

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    6,412

    Default Re: not dead until they are warm and dead

    I was out hauling home the dead the other day. It was fiftyfive and little wind and the air was filled with bees. A wrapped double and no sign of life. I rappedit sharply, i stuck a screwdriver in the upper entrance and didn't get a quiver. I loaded thehive on my tailgate and bees started coming out!

    Found seven more just like it. Clean bottomboards, quietly clustered and not out wearing out wings. When unwrapped and i can see who they are I will have to add that to their resume. A good trait as Mr Palmer points out in one od his videos

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    2,491

    Default Re: not dead until they are warm and dead

    We've got one "dead" colony. Actually, there is some traffic at the entrance some days, and a little weight loss. I'm not sure they actually are dead, though what I am seeing may robbing out the last dregs of their stores. My wife asked if we should clean out the woodenware. I think I'll wait to spring. As you say, warm and dead.

    Seriously, what's the rush?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    1,667

    Default Re: not dead until they are warm and dead

    I completely agree. Even if you carry the nuc to the garage and let it warm up with a heater, it might take the bees up to 5 days to come out of torpor with no sun to shine on them. I am babying along a couple of very small nucs (just for the queens) and find this to be the case.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
    Posts
    943

    Default Re: not dead until they are warm and dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Harley Craig View Post
    A lot of new beeks are finding dead colonies this time of yr, remember they aren't dead until they are warm and dead, don't do like this guy and shake out a live colony


    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ys0WzCMYWDI
    Thanks for the video, I wouldn't have believed that without seeing a video.
    Robbin NW Florida(8A) / 14 hives /10 Nucs/ 4th Year / T {OAV}

  6. #6

    Default Re: not dead until they are warm and dead

    As much as I hate to say it, if your clusters are unable to generate enough heat to give the appearance of living...and there's still another month or so of cold weather.....they aren't likely to survive.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    2,491

    Default Re: not dead until they are warm and dead

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    As much as I hate to say it, if your clusters are unable to generate enough heat to give the appearance of living...and there's still another month or so of cold weather.....they aren't likely to survive.
    Granted. They are probably doomed. But what is the benefit of going out in the cold of February to clean out the boxes?

    They might be only mostly dead. If I might quote Miracle Max, "Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive."

    Cleaning them out can wait. Who knows, you might get a miracle.

  8. #8

    Default Re: not dead until they are warm and dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoebee View Post
    Cleaning them out can wait. Who knows, you might get a miracle.
    Agreed. I only point out the fact that if they're in such a state it'll take a miracle for them to survive. Just making a sad reality check.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    5,496

    Default Re: not dead until they are warm and dead

    We hear this all the time. But is there any evidence to support that bees like that are going to survive? The warm and dead thing I get... But what are the odds of them actually surviving and amounting to anything at that point? Seems that this state is just a precursor to eventual death.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
    Posts
    943

    Default Re: not dead until they are warm and dead

    I guess it depends on where you live. I only have one freezing night in the next 10 day forecast. tomorrow the low is 29, after that lows in the 40s, highs in the upper 60 or low 70s.

    All mine where flying yesterday, so I haven't lost any yet.
    Robbin NW Florida(8A) / 14 hives /10 Nucs/ 4th Year / T {OAV}

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    5,496

    Default Re: not dead until they are warm and dead

    Climate certainly has a lot to do with it -5*F here tonight.
    Even so. Would the cluster shown in the video be viable anywhere in the US at this time of year?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    5,496

    Default Re: not dead until they are warm and dead

    Forgot to throw in that sperm viability is directly effected by temperature extremes both high and low. The details of the study I just read a few days back are hazy. They simulated shipping queens and sperm viability took a hit outside of certain temps.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Blacksburg, VA
    Posts
    592

    Default Re: not dead until they are warm and dead

    I don't see a drop of honey in that hive. If the bees were on honey they likely would not be showing signs of torpor. These bees were just on the virge of completely dying, it was only the sun that brought them around. Feed up before winter.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Chicago, ILL. USA
    Posts
    75

    Default Re: not dead until they are warm and dead

    Been there, done that. Few years back on a sunny 50 degree March day, I started disassembling a hive that was dead because it wasn't active when the other hives around were flying. I put some bees in a jar to send them in for testing and started removing bees from the frames. A friend came by and asked what am I doing with the bees in the jar, I explained and he asked why am I sending live bees? As soon as they were warmed up by the sun they were alive again. I scooped up as many bees from the ground as I possibly could and closed up the hive. Lesson learned - a bee is dead when it's warm and dead.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    1,667

    Default Re: not dead until they are warm and dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoebee View Post
    Granted. They are probably doomed. But what is the benefit of going out in the cold of February to clean out the boxes?

    They might be only mostly dead. If I might quote Miracle Max, "Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive."

    Cleaning them out can wait. Who knows, you might get a miracle.
    Having just experienced this last month, I'll chip in with what I learned. Most of the cold nights, my small clusters have been fine (I have windows in the 5 frame nucs and peak in every morning, also have temperature sensors in them). The last really cold spell we had made the nuc on the north side of my cluster of 4 seemed dead the next morning. Brought them inside to warm up with a heater, held the queen in my hand until she started moving again. Set the nuc back out the following day because it was to be 50. The cold night of just 40 degrees did 'em in. But when I cleaned out the box 4 days later on a 55 degree day, I did have moving bees, just not the queen.

    Fast forward to 2 days ago, one of the other small nucs exhibited the same symptoms. Took it inside and put heat on it until it was reading 65 degrees in the hive and almost all the bees are moving around in that hive. Bottom line, I think if you catch it quick enough, you might be able to take some action to save the hive. (I did read that article on the affects of cold on the stored sperm and that has to be a whole nother topic).

    Best Management Practices say go into winter with a strong, big, healthy cluster. And all my big hives have no problems. The ones I struggle with are the small clusters of fall-made queens that didn't have time to build up to full size. (I'm certainly loving the warmbees.com heater I have in the other 2 nucs. No problems at all with them.)

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Utah, USA
    Posts
    198

    Default Re: not dead until they are warm and dead

    Ruthiesbees, thanks for the plug

    I had a very revealing incident 2 years ago. I inspected my hives mid February on a 15(F) day, and found my Carnies were dead, but only recently. I did try to warm them up. With my horror, I immediately inspected the rest of my hives and found one of my strong hives in the act of collapsing due to hypothermia. I had 4 hives all pushed together side-by-side, up against my shed, with foam pads across the top and down both outside ends. My two strongest hives were on the outside ends, with a NUC and a weaker one in the center. The Carnies were alone off to the side. My strongest hive on the right end, appeared well but above their honey stores. My strongest on the left were in trouble, and also above their honey stores. As I began peering down between the frames with a flashlight, starting from the left side, all appeared dead until I got 5 frames in, then some movement in the remaining 5 frames. Seeing the collapse in progress, sent me in to finish another prototype warmer I had in progress. In an hour I returned and quickly placed it in the collapsing hive. Upon inspection the next morning, all I could see was lots of active bees. I figured the dead ones were all below, having fallen to the lower box. It was still cold, so I did not open further to inspect until a day in the 50's about 2 weeks later. I was anxious to get out and remove the dead bees to prevent disease. I was very pleasantly surprised to find almost no dead bees. It was then apparent that the seemingly dead bees had in fact revived. I then quickly swapped the top box for the bottom, to get the honey back on top. I have been observing hives throughout the winter extensively in my research, and it is my opinion that bees that are actively contributing to the creation of the heat from the cluster, are able to move and respond to stimulus. Bees that appear dead, are in the throws of death, or already gone.

    Therefore it is my suggestion that upon observing hives that appear to be dead or near dead, as many have described in this thread, you should take immediate action and apply some mild heat (as measured internally and without fans. Use Radiant source if possible) by any means, to assist them in recovering. It is then obvious that there is one or more underlying causes for the impending failure, which must also immediately be addressed. I have successfully won this battle many times now, and attest that it is possible to correct the problems and keep from losing your investment, rather than sit back and hope for the best. Treat for mites, disease, and augment feed, or insulation as needed and appropriate. Successful rescue, brings opportunity to continue evaluating and resolving the underlying causes. Don't let opinions of weather heating a hive is good or bad, stop rescue efforts. Once they're dead, none of the prior opinions and guesses from afar, matter much, and doing nothing has brought you to this kunundrum!

    Sorry, that was 4 cents, not 2.
    Beekeeping 13 yrs, 10 Hives - 6a - Engineering Solutions for Honeybee Survival! - WARMBEES.COM

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Champaign, Illinois
    Posts
    1,647

    Default Re: not dead until they are warm and dead

    If the bees I had die were still alive they'd be flying around in my house right now. I took a dead-out away from my apiary because it was getting robbed out. Went and got it early one morning last weekend and set it in the living room. 70 degrees and they ain't coming to life. I'm giving the honey to other colonies. That one just didn't have the strength last fall and I didn't treat them because I feared the MAQ's would kill the colony.

    About 1/3 of my colonies are from cutouts or swarms I got in September or October. I figured either they'd make it or not. Surprisingly I've only lost one from all them swarms and cutouts. 600# of sugar had something to do with them surviving.
    Had to go thru the checkout line 25 times to get all the sugar. 6-bag limit.

    Fed every colony until it weighed 120# or better.
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Lake County Illinois
    Posts
    281

    Default Re: not dead until they are warm and dead

    All my deadouts were in a big pile on the bottom board. I took all mine in to freeze frames and re paint boxes and bottom boards.

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