Hi, This is my 3rd season with bees. I was doing my spring checks today and found four dead hives . It appeared that they had starved. Their back ends sticking out of empty cells. The thing that confuses me is that there was at least 80 lbs of honey in those hives. All they had to do was move the cluster about 6 inches Second question, can I split some of my stronger hives and put them in those hives after I remove the bodies. Thanks Dan
6" is a long ways for a lethargic cluster in the cold and dark.
I have had hives cold starve with honey only an inch or so from the cluster. An inch or a foot, does not matter if they can not break cluster or don't move as group.
Clean the frames and equipment as much as possible and store till you are ready to make your splits. The bees will finish the job when you install them.
Colony strength is very important. Strong colonies w/large number of young bees and a productive queen are essential. A colony may appear to have adequate fall population, but if bees are old, it will weaken rapidly as winter advances and may starve to death, even w/ abundant honey in hive, because cluster is too small to cover honey stores.
BEEKEEPING: A PRACTICAL GUIDE, Bonney, p122
Dave W . . .
A NewBEE with 1 hive.
First package installed
I have heard it say that cold bees can move UP, but not OUT. Once they reach the top of the hive, they are stuck unless it warms up.
I do not know from my own personal experience that that is true, this is what my bee instructor claims.
>I have heard it say that cold bees can move UP, but not OUT. Once they reach the top of the hive, they are stuck unless it warms up.
I have a horizontal hive that is three boxes long and medium depth and they did fine in a winter that was worse than typical. The seem to be willing to move horizontally