Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Dead hives

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Center Line, Macomb, MI., USA
    Posts
    67

    Default Dead hives

    Well three dead hives so far this year out of four....kind of bummed but so far we've got one strong one left...they've been doing a lot of flying on the warmer days.

    Anyway a few questions....

    Hive #1 somehow my entrance reducer got pulled off and as I looked through the hive I saw lots of pulverized bee bodies on bottom board, minute pieces of wax on BB, and some farely sizeable hole throughout the foundation. I'm thinking from what I've read so far is that this is indicative of mouse damage. When I checked them a month ago they seemed fine. Not much honey really left in combs not damaged.

    If I super these on other boxes.... I'm thinking that the girls will repair them at some point. Is it safe to use the comb?

    Hives #2 & # 3
    Again they were looking fine a month or so ago. (I checked all real quick on one of those almost 50 degree days.) Nice heavey hive lots of stores. We got a bad cold snap a few days after I checked them. Last week when I peeped inside on once again a decent day...50 ish, it appeared as if the cluster was on the outer most frame. They were all dead and the hive appeared to be wet so I am thinking that they got wet and then got cold.

    I believe from what I've read in here, that I can feed leftover stores to other bees. Am I correct in that assumption? How best is it done? How long can I/should I keep honey from those deadouts? Right now there're all still in the hives. If there are cells that were left upcapped, can I feed those as well? I have read about fermentation and am want to make sure I don't endanger the ones left or ones that I purchase by feeding fermented honey.

    I gues I need some advice as to how to go about the process of cleaning out a deadout, honey storage, and if I can feed, how is the best way to do it?

    thankks all, you've been a big help so far.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,207

    Default

    The comb should be safe to use and yes, the girls will repair the damage. I wouldn't be too quick to super up your remaining hive. It makes the bees work harder to maintain their environment. Wait for a flow. If your remaining hive needs stores, then consolidate all the frames with honey into one super and put it on them. Any honey will keep indefinitely in the comb as long as wax moths and mice don't get to it. Fermented honey won't necessarily hurt them either.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    piperton,Tennessee,usa
    Posts
    369

    Default

    Before placing any of the comb in another hive I would make every attempt to find out why the others were dead. I would hate to spread anything to another colony. However, that said if the dead outs are close enough they have probably already been visited by your strong colony and the clean up has began. IMO.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Center Line, Macomb, MI., USA
    Posts
    67

    Default

    Thanks for the advice so far...
    If I don't use it for bee food can I spin it off for me?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Default

    Just wooden entrance reducers cannot be depended upon to protect a hive from mice or other "varmints" from entering. I had the same experience last spring. Mice can gnaw the space wider to gain entrance at will. When hives are located near [as most are] an environment that is good for mice such as tall grass, near woods, corn/wheat fields, etc.,.. mouse guards, such as small size hardware cloth or the all metal guards need to be applied in the autumn/fall. My bees [cluster] have been in the bottom box in late fall and are quite "aggressive" if disturbed at that time of year. I am assuming they can "deal" with mice at that time. As the cluster moves up during the winter they may be less likely to "defend" a,.........sneaky mouse. Better luck next [2008] year I hope!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    central mn
    Posts
    244

    Default

    by wax on the bb you mean the little bity pieces of wax more like grains ,,, that is from the caps that the girls take off the capped cells of honey....
    the kid

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,985

    Default

    sprocket 58 snip 1:
    Hive #1 minute pieces of wax on BB, and some farely sizeable hole throughout the foundation. I'm thinking from what I've read so far is that this is indicative of mouse damage. When I checked them a month ago they seemed fine. Not much honey really left in combs not damaged.

    tecumseh suggest:
    mice didn't kill the hive. small bit of wax are sometimes associated with robbing. sounds like the hive starved.

    sprocket 58 snip 2:
    Hives #2 & # 3
    Again they were looking fine a month or so ago. (I checked all real quick on one of those almost 50 degree days.) Nice heavey hive lots of stores.

    tecumseh replies:
    you didn't make any indication of (when you checked these hives) exactly what or how you checked them and their condition relative to brood rearing.

    sometime when a mass of dead bees stack up they can look greasy or wet (this of course does not eliminate the possibilities that the hive body-usually at or around the top- did not leak).

    my guess (and I am most definitely guessing here) is that all three hives had moved into the top of the box (essentially abdoning an empty bottom box) and starved.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,118

    Default

    Sproket58:

    Sorry to read about your losses. Hives that seem robust in late January can crash in March for various reasons, the queen might have died and they aren’t able to produce another, then the cluster will dwindle eventually reaching a tipping point and will not be able to generate enough heat to stay warm enough.
    If there is no apparent dieses and you think you hive is in trouble of running low on food reserves I have had good luck on sorting out frames of honey and pollen and adding the super on top of the hive in need. They will just move up and take advantage of the new food.
    I will also use frames of comb and honey from dead outs to start packages on, they will get a good head start in development because as soon as the queen is released she will have nice cleaned cells to get busy in.
    If you are not going to use the frames form the dead hives right away protect them form wax moths or they will surly find them and destroy them. I have had great luck using B-401 you spray you stored comb and moth problems solved. You can get the powder form from Sundance on this forum, for a very good price.
    Hang in there bad years happen for a lot of different reasons.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Powhatan, VA
    Posts
    99

    Default As a followup question?

    I have 2 packages coming tomorrow. I had a 2 deep hive die out on me in Feb. The upper box has dead bees in the cells, lots of honey stores (mostly capped), dead brood (capped/uncapped) and some pollen. The bottom deep has more frames with pollen that looks slick (like a film), some uncapped honey and empty frames. I have the frames from the bottom box in a freezer (been in for 2 days) and will be taking them out tomorrow, adding the frames from the top deep into the freezer.

    Would you mix new foundation and old frames with pollen and honey with or add new foundation by itself?

    Thanks!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Boone County, West Virginia, USA
    Posts
    908

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vajerzy View Post
    I have 2 packages coming tomorrow. I had a 2 deep hive die out on me in Feb. The upper box has dead bees in the cells, lots of honey stores (mostly capped), dead brood (capped/uncapped) and some pollen. The bottom deep has more frames with pollen that looks slick (like a film), some uncapped honey and empty frames. I have the frames from the bottom box in a freezer (been in for 2 days) and will be taking them out tomorrow, adding the frames from the top deep into the freezer.

    Would you mix new foundation and old frames with pollen and honey with or add new foundation by itself?

    Thanks!
    What to do with a dead-out? That's a queation I'm sure everyone has had when they discovered a colony which had died out over the winter. The main thing to do is protect the comb so you can use it for something. I would be careful about using comb if I wasn't sure why the bees died. You can use the frames for a Bait Hive, for Strengthening a Weak Colony, for Installing Packages (coming soon), or for Making a Nuc (also coming soon).
    I would put the packages on the comb if I knew it was safe. You can give the packages some frames of comb and foundation. The comb will allow the queen to begin laying sooner than if the bees had to draw it so it always good to have drawn comb handy.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Powhatan, VA
    Posts
    99

    Sad Very informative!

    I believe it died due to starvation and possibly Nosema- never found the queen. I found some light staining on the top bars of the lower brood box- where the cluster was- leads me to Nosema. It had a screened bottom board all summer and winter and I used Apistan strips in the fall for varroa. I'm freezing the frames in the event something dormant was in the frames. I like the idea of using frames for bait hives. I may use some frames with a majority of new foundation. Guewss I'll decide when I'm ready to install them.

    PS- don't know what the unhappy face is there.......I'm happy!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Center Line, Macomb, MI., USA
    Posts
    67

    Default

    Tecumseh...all bees still in bottom box but moved to outside frame between most outer frame and box.

    Left all with one deep and two meds.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Center Line, Macomb, MI., USA
    Posts
    67

    Default

    Oh sorry..forgot to add that both upper supers were full of honey.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads