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Thread: Dead Bees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Mason, MI, USA
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    1,015

    Sad

    The night before yesterday the tempature dropped down to -18 F degrees. Then yesterday it was 21 F degrees and bright sunshine. There were many bees flying around 1 of the 2 hives I am regressing down to 4.9 mm. The other hive was not flying. Both were wraped with black thick tar-paper. In the late afternoon when there were no bees flying I picked up about 50 dead bees. 2 drones, many workers 3 of which were about 1/2 the size of the others. I am using unlimited brood and these hives are 3 deeps high. Is this normal for this to happen ? My other hives that I have not regressed are not flying at all for the last 2 weeks.
    Clint

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    Clinton Bemrose

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    I think they are just getting too cold. They shouldn't be flying. I would try taking the black wrap off so they don't think it's warm out. 21 degrees F is too cold to be flying.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
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    Mason, MI, USA
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    Exclamation

    Here in central Michigan if we do not wrap the hives we may lose up to 50% of the hives due to the extended cold periods.
    my other hives I have not regressed are not flying and hive 2 near hive 1 that I have regressed is not flying like 1
    All my hives are wrapped the same.
    Clint

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    Clinton Bemrose
    just South of Lansing Michigan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
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    Mason, MI, USA
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    Lightbulb

    When I found all the dead bees around the hive I collected 25 of them to inspect them. I found no mites but this morning I found that 5 had come back to life in my basement. I filled a the feeder in a bee shipping box and placed a light bulb close to the box and captured all 5 bees. Will I be able to re-introduce them to their hive if it warms up where the hive starts to fly again ?
    With the dead bees I think I will start a new bug/bee colection.
    by the way these were Italian bees and the smaller workere are much darker than the larger.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    I admit I've never wrapped my hives. Partly I have had the experience you are now having where they fly when it's too cold out and I was always afraid if I wrapped them in black they'd get warm and think they could fly when it was too cold and do it even more than they already do.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
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    Post

    I have been using black felt paper wrap on my hives for 7 years. It helped cut winter losses, I am in a very windy location and fairly cold.
    The bees don't seem to fly when they shouldn't as they sense the outside temperature when they approach the hive openning.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
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    Mason, MI, USA
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    Lightbulb

    I created some shade for this hive after seeing about 30 dead bees this noon. The shade will filter the strong sun from this hive in late morning to late afternoon.
    the 5 bees that thawed out died sometime in the night.
    Clint

    ------------------
    Clinton Bemrose
    just South of Lansing Michigan

  8. #8
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    Oct 2001
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    Mason, MI, USA
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    Post

    today is overcast and on hive 1 I found 2 dead workers and 2 dead drones the temp only got to 25 degrees but there was no bright sunshine to test out the shade

    ------------------
    Clinton Bemrose
    just South of Lansing Michigan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Dousman,Wi.U.S.A.
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    209

    Big Grin

    Hi: Just wanted to add my 2 cents on wrapping. I'm a hobbyist in S.E. Wisconsin and I have tried various wraps. What I like to do is wait till it gets cold enough to keep the bees in. At that point I push the hives together in a line facing south. On the east, north , and west sides I place some sheets of roofing styrofoam I got from a friend for nothing. Sheets are approx. 2 " thick and measure about 2'x4'. Also place sheets over the top. On top of the frames I place a piece of styrofoam about 1/2 " thick. I cut a about a 2" square out of the front center for airflow. this has worked well for me. Good luck. Karl

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Festus, MO
    Posts
    33

    Post

    Yesterday, here in The St. Louis area the temp. was close to 50. I walked out to look at my bees, which were flying, and found a number of dead bees in front of the hive. As I watched the coming and going there were bees cleaning out the hive of dead bees.Since I had just cleared the snow away from the front of the hive the day before, I know that these dead bees came from the inside of the hive. I am using an open SBB year and I sure hope that this isn't killing my bees. Any ideas?
    Bigearl

    [This message has been edited by Bigearl (edited December 08, 2002).]

  11. #11
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    Oct 2001
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    Mason, MI, USA
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    Post

    finding the bees cleaning the inside of some dead bees is normal. Some bees die during the winter and get cleaned out by others. This helps prevent disease in the hive.
    Clint

    ------------------
    Clinton Bemrose
    just South of Lansing Michigan

  12. #12
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    Oct 2001
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    Mason, MI, USA
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    Lightbulb

    Today it reached 40 degrees and was bright sunshine. At hive 1 there were no signs of bees trying to fly or any dead bees so I think the shade that I built for the hive cooled it back to normal. The samples sent in to Michigan State University showed no mites of any kind and no diseases that they could find. They said the bees probably died from the cold after being in an extra warm hive.
    Clint

    ------------------
    Clinton Bemrose
    just South of Lansing Michigan

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Neodesha, Ks
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    623

    Post

    Clinton, You say that the samples showed no sign of mites. Are you using FGMO on this hive. If so it must be working. Dale

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Mason, MI, USA
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    Big Grin

    I have been using the FGMO cords on the top bars and have purchased a fogger to use next season. This hive has been regressed down to 5.1 mm and this spring I will try to regress it down to 4.9 mm allong with my other experimental hive. Both hives are run as unlinited brood and are 3 deep hive bodies tall. Last season each hive produced 52 lbs of honey for me despite a severe drought here.

    ------------------
    Clinton Bemrose
    just South of Lansing Michigan

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