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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Calvert County, MD
    Posts
    18

    Sad

    Hi all...I am very new to beekeeping, less than a year. I am so happy to have found a bee forum. I have tried unsuccessfully to contact people around me for information on bees. I don't get returned phone calls or replied emails. So I rely on a book and just doing it.
    Unfortunately, I have a problem. I went to the hives today, I have four, and one was dead. I have no idea why, I suspect they starved. I won't be able to take out a frame today or tomorrow, so I don't know anything. But they must have just died because they were still soft. I am so worried about my other ones. I don't know what to do yet until I can inspect the dead hive.
    I am not living near my hives. They are 40 mins. away from where I live. I will be living where they are by the end of next summer. We are trying to build a house.
    Today is Sunday, so after church my husband and I went down to the property to see how the construction road was coming along, and I put my ear to each hive. One had no sound at all so I took off the top and found them all dead. I had no tool to pry out a frame. I last fed them sugar syrup, I believe before Thanksgiving. And last Sunday they were very active because it was close to 70 dgrees. But this past week has been very very cold. Yesterday and today were record lows. So...here I am.
    I am so inexperienced. I have read a lot but I really don't know anything. I know I have already made a couple mistakes. And I feel stupid for any questions I might ask in the future. So, I apologize in advance. But I love forums, I learn a lot from them.
    Thanks for listening

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Post

    I wouldn't feel bad unless you stole all their honey and they starved because of it. Otherwise they are wild animals who know how to take care of themselves.

    Without details, it is difficult to say what killed your bees. But cold does not kill bees. It was 10 below zero several days last week here. The bees were flying today because it was 50 degrees above.

    Likely suspects in winter loses:

    Starvation. Symptoms are bees in cells dead and no stores near where they were. They will sometimes starve with stores in the corners or somwhere where they were not, but if there was honey where they were, they didn't starve. Of course if there are no stores and they are dead, it's a safe bet they starved.

    Varroa Mites. Symptoms are lots of dead bees in cells and on the bottom. Also lots of dead Varroa mites. Plenty of stores left.

    Tracheal Mites. Symptoms are harder to say. Mostly the bees age before their time and a lot die overwinter. Sometimes too many. They still have stores, there are not that many Varroa on the bottom.

    Secondary Viruses. Harder to diagnose. The mites carry viruses and the bees get them. Some cause deformed wings, some cause bee paralysys. Some just seem to make them all die. A wave of this comes through the country every couple of years.

  3. #3
    BILLY BOB Guest

    Wink

    Hi Rubybee,

    Welcome to beesource!

    Let us know what you find when you go back out to check them. What are the temps going to be next week. You may have the chance to feed if the temps are high, and the bees start to fly again.

    BB

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Calvert County, MD
    Posts
    18

    Post

    Thanks MB and Billy Bob.
    I believe next weeks temps are going to be below 40 for highs. There may be one day that might be 50 or so. I have terra patties, checkmite strips and Mita-thol. I can also get sugar to them when it's warm enough. I don't know what to do for them. I have not treated them with anything.
    I will definetly post as soon as I come back from checking them. I will take my digi with me too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Enfield,Ct.
    Posts
    469

    Post

    RuBB,
    Keep your meds at home.It sounds like you need some local help.
    Try this link for a local club.
    http://www.beeculture.com/beeculture/who/who.htm#MD
    or this for the state org.
    http://iaa.umd.edu/mdbee/mdbee.html
    or this for the state bee inspector
    http://iaa.umd.edu/mdbee/State/MdBeeInspector.html
    For a small state,Md. has a lot of bee resources.
    Who knows,you might be right down the street from:
    http://www.barc.usda.gov/psi/brl/
    Good luck, Jack

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Calvert County, MD
    Posts
    18

    Post

    Ok Jack..I'll try 'em. Thanks.
    I haven't had much luck with anyone wanting to answer my questions. I've been made to feel like I have no business with bees.

    I'm heading to the hives tomorrow. It's going to be 52 degrees. I'm taking some sugar water with me I guess. Or just plain sugar. If the one dead hive looks as if it starved, I'll feed the others. I dunno.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,262

    Post

    It'll be easier when you get moved onto the place.

    Some don't recommend it but on days my bees are flying I give them syrup.

    I did it last winter not knowing any better and they survived to produce some great tasting honey for me last year, albeit not very much because we were only second year with a bad dry spell....

    They're getting syrup again this afternoon and a frame of honey is set outside for them as well....

    Good luck... This is a very nice place to get help with your bees. Try not to feel to bad, this sort of happening just goes with the territory...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Post

    >I have terra patties, checkmite strips and Mita-thol. I can also get sugar to them when it's warm enough. I don't know what to do for them. I have not treated them with anything.

    Well now is not the time they will be having AFB problems (what the terra patties are for, which I never use). The mites will probably have done their damage and I think the checkmite is POISON for people and bees, so I don't use that.
    I will definetly post as soon as I come back from checking them. I will take my digi with me too. I've never used menthol for the Tracheal mites. I've used grease patties in the past, but have just gone to FGMO fog now. The menthol (mitethol) won't work unless it's warm out anyway.

    The sugar might save their lives. It's winter. The only thing you can do right now, is try to keep them from starving.

  9. #9
    BILLY BOB Guest

    Post

    I agree with MB, I think the biggest problem you have with them now is starvation.

    BB

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Arnold, Peoples Republik of Maryland
    Posts
    31

    Post

    Hi RubyBee,

    Welcome to Beesource!

    Sorry for not responding sooner. Been on the road a lot lately.

    Jack already sent you the link to the MD State site. From there you can find info. on local organizations, including one in southern MD; http://gworrell.freeyellow.com/asmb.html
    I don’t know anything about them but their POC is listed as Jerry Worrell; worrell@chesapeake.net

    I am also a beginner and joined both the state organization and Anne Arundel County Beekeepers. The AA county group has regular meetings and hands-on training sessions in the spring. If you need any additional info. on either of these org’s please let me know. The Bowie/Upper Marlboro assoc. offers similar training; http://iaa.umd.edu/mdbee/local/BUMBA.html

    Chances are the southern MD assoc. offers similar meetings/training, but if it doesn’t, both Bowie and AA county shouldn’t be too far for you to go and I know you would be very welcome.

    I’ve also found a couple local sources for equipment and supplies if you need any stuff.

    Good luck and I hope you don’t lose any more hives. I didn’t find out until after I started that MD is apparently a pretty tough area to keep bees. Don’t know why, but even some of the most experienced folks I’ve met around here have had severe winter losses some years.

    Cheers,
    Bill

    BillKP71@aol.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Calvert County, MD
    Posts
    18

    Post

    thanks Bill!
    I will check all the links and see what I can beecome a part of.
    I have given all my hives sugar. The one hive I thought was completely dead, cleaned the dead bees out and I guess are barely surviving. I won't be able to inspect for, who knows how long.
    I wonder if I should order bees and try to unite them with my weak hives...
    Anyone do this?

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