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Thread: Robbed out!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Jamestown, Ohio


    I'm a new Ohio beekeeper as of last spring. I have 3 hives, Italian pkgs from York. 2 deeps on each. This is my first winter and I made a beginner mistake. Entrance reducers on all 3 but noticed wasps coming and going from one hive regularly in Oct. Hive was horribly light in Nov. Finally checked and hive had been robbed of most honey and most bees dead. Queen okay and small cluster left. Closed off bottom entrance and left only top entrance (1/2 moon through edge of inner cover) open. Soon front of hive covered w/brown streaks like nosema. Question: What should I do? There don't seem to be enough bees left to make it? I want to open the hive and put a boardman feeder in with Fumidil. Will the hive ever regain enough strength to protect a reduced fron entrance again? Help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Castle Rock, CO 80104



    You may want to let nature run it's course with this one. When the bees are dead (if?) be sure to close up the hive until you can repopulate it with a new swarm or package.

    Feeding may be all they need to regain strength and numbers - but doubtful if they were demoralized to the point of allowing wasps to come & go.

    If you have a suitable place to over-winter, you could move the remaining frames into a nuc (less hive to protect) and stick ontop another hive. I've over-wintered nucs with 1 & 1/2 frames before - feeding at the right times (any warm days) and keeping the bees relatively cold at all times (40-45, never below, by sticking them half outside a window of an unheated room).

    Good luck with your 3'rd hive.

    Matthew Westall
    Earthling Bees - Castle Rock, CO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Missoula MT


    Mat had good advice, as far as I can tell. I'm not so sure I'd use Fumidol though. Make sure the streaks you're seeing is Nosema and not the dirty footprints of robbing bees. Otherwise, sounds like you're on the right track. Good luck with that baby.


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