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  1. #1

    Post

    Well, I've learned a lot during my first season of beekeeping but I doubt my girls are going to make it through the winter.

    They're on their third queen. They'll work really hard for a day or so after a queen is installed and then slow back down to their typical 1-2 bees going in/out at a time.

    Comb is a dirty yellow color. There's a fair amount of dead brood -- dried, shriveled up larvae with their hind quarters sticking out above the cells. (Chalkbrood, maybe, or just a lack of food and care by the worker bees??)

    I assume that I should start from scratch next spring. Would y'all suggest I kill the hive or just let starvation and winter take care of it, with the hope of a slim chance of revival in the hive?

    Phil

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    hermiston, oregon
    Posts
    458

    Post

    Phil,

    Are you feeding the bees???? Im not so sure that they would be doing much of there is a dearth going on in which case I would feed them to promote egg laying and comb building... Its still not to late for the hive to grow but you probably wont get any surplus honey this year

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643

    Post

    Sounds like they starved. Better start feeding fast and don't stop They will ignore the food when mother nature provides something better.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA USA
    Posts
    119

    Post

    >There's a fair amount of dead brood -- dried, shriveled up larvae with their hind quarters sticking out above the cells.

    There's starvation going on! brood are situated "face first" while they develop. If you're seeing hind quarters, those are the workers who starved.

    Throw some feed on there! 1:1 syrup (equal parts sugar and water) brought to a slight boil until the sugar dissolves. Allow to cool, then serve (best if you have a top feeder)

    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Milford, MI
    Posts
    328

    Post

    Don't boil the sugar in the water, it will caramelize. Boil the water first, turn the heat off, then add the sugar. Continue to stir until the sugar has completely dissolved.

    ------------------
    Phoenix
    http://beeholder.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Freedom, PA USA
    Posts
    222

    Question

    Other then starved couldn't the bees have traceal mites or nosema? I thought both of those also make bees lethargic ect.

  7. #7

    Post

    Yesterday, I made a 1:1 sugar water mixture and put it in a sliced-open ziplock bag on top of the brood frames.

    Hopefully, they'll snap out of their depression and get to work.

    Thanks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Hookstown PA USA
    Posts
    581

    Post

    Boiling actually denatures the sugar into it's component sugars. I understand the bees have a hard time digesting the split sugar. Has to do with some very neat and complicated chemistry. In other words, don't boil any sugar syrup for bees.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    corinth ky.
    Posts
    10

    Post

    Walter Kelly said to plan on feeding your bees a hundred pounds of sugar the first year. I mix mine in cold or warm water.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    kalamazoo, mi
    Posts
    113

    Post

    with the ziplock feeding method; dont lots of bees get into the bag and drown?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Fredericksburg, Va
    Posts
    798

    Big Grin

    >>with the ziplock feeding method; dont lots of bees get into the bag and drown?

    I finally tried this method on one of my hives. I have done two gallons so far and have found 0 dead bees. I am currently using an empty super for spacing but planning to build a few shims. This may become my new standard for feeding.

    When inserting the new bags, the bees do not even get that bothered - just go slow. After the bag is on the top bars cut 3 or 4 2 inch slits in top of bag. Careful not to cut through to bottem layer. I have not been smoking them during this operation.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Post

    >Well, I've learned a lot during my first season of beekeeping but I doubt my girls are going to make it through the winter.
    They're on their third queen. They'll work really hard for a day or so after a queen is installed and then slow back down to their typical 1-2 bees going in/out at a time.

    How many bees are there? They need a certain amount of critical mass to succeed. Certainly if there are no stores you need to feed them.

    >Comb is a dirty yellow color.

    That's normal.

    >There's a fair amount of dead brood -- dried, shriveled up larvae with their hind quarters sticking out above the cells.

    What do their "hind quarters" look like? Larvae are the other way around. Their heads are up not their "hind quarters". Are they pupae? Larvae? Dead bees?

    >(Chalkbrood, maybe, or just a lack of food and care by the worker bees??)

    If there are not enough bees or not enough food then the brood will die from either cold (not enough bees) or starvation (not enough food).

    >I assume that I should start from scratch next spring. Would y'all suggest I kill the hive or just let starvation and winter take care of it, with the hope of a slim chance of revival in the hive?

    How many bees are there? How much stores do they have?

    If you've got three frames of bees and five frames of honey, you might be able to get them through the winter in a five frame nuc. And they might not make it too. If they are not thriving now, it seems unlikely they will thrive next spring.

    Any other symptoms? There must be some cause for them not thriving.

  13. #13

    Post

    Michael,

    No, there really aren't any other symptoms that I can see. The individual bees aren't "staggering" or any thing like that. They just don't have any motivation it seems, but they've really taken to the sugar water, so I guess hunger has been a big factor.

    There aren't a lot of bees in there -- maybe three frames full. And maybe 3-4 frames filled with comb, but this has a lot of pollen in it. The pollen cells aren't following any particular pattern (I was told that a healthy hive should place pollen as one layer of a "rainbow.")

    So, from what I've been reading here, I should have been feeding them steadily since May. At this point, I suppose I should just keep feeding them to see if they can get their strength back.

    I considered getting or making a screened bottom board, too, to see if the extra ventilation might help.

    Phil

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Post

    Are they in sun or shade? I think I'd put them in the sun, feed them and see how they do.

    How many bees are there? Enought to cover two frames with bees? More? Less?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hotlanta, GA
    Posts
    475

    Post

    Sounds like good old fashion starvation. Thats what my bees looked like a week or so ago(the weak hives), cuz there wasn't anything out there and they had no stores. Larvae were all dried...I fed and everything was fine.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

    Post

    <<with the ziplock feeding method; dont lots of bees get into the bag and drown?>>


    No, but if the bag gets cut or chewed through in the wrong place, the syrup can run out and through the hive.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,262

    Post

    I put sugar in a quart jar and add the hottest tap water I have, stir clear, add the boardman lids and place them above the frames and add an empty deep over these, and put on the tops.

    I feed my new colonies for about four months straight their first year.

  18. #18

    Post

    Michael,

    Yes, there are enough bees to cover 2-3 frames. And they're in full sun.

    Phil

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Post

    If you have that many, I'd put them in one ten frame box (or smaller if you have it) and feed them. Try to keep them from getting robbed. They might make it up to enough to winter in a 5 frame nuc. And they might not.

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