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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    danbury connecticut usa
    Posts
    16

    Default Bees died, what next?

    Hello all,
    I started one hive last year. I tried my best, as a novice, to do all the right things, mostly according to what I read in books. Unfortunately, they died over the winter, probably because it was too cold. I neglected to cover the hive with tar paper as (I think?) one should do.

    Now today I finally got around to cleaning out the hive, removing the dead bees. I scraped up stray bits of wax, propolis and comb, removed 3 frames that were full of honey. I plan to extract these tomorrow. Fortunately I have all the equipment I need, including a 6-frame extractor.

    Next year I would like to get another package of bees for this hive. The frames were brand new last year. Can I reuse any part of the frames, and how would I do this? The current frames have the plastic foundation on them. Or should I just toss them all and start over? If the bees had survived, they would be using this hive again so perhaps I can keep them? If I have to clean them up and/or put in new foundation, what is the best way to do this? Maybe freezing them to facilitate scraping? What about cleaning up the rest of the boxes? Would the new bees reject the hive or suffer adversely if they are in the home of previous bees?

    Thanks for your help.

    Lora

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,204

    Default

    Keep it all. Any frames that were drawn out with wax the bees will love. Other frames will be drawn by the new bees. Next time feed heavily the first season until you have two full deeps or 3 mediums fully drawn and populated.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Default

    There is no need to "wrap" hives in CT.

    The goods news is that the Backyard Beekeepers Association
    meets in Weston every month, and has novice courses, mentors,
    and everything else you need to get up to speed and keep those
    bees healthy.
    http://www.backyardbeekeepers.com

    I am a member, and I attend the occasional meeting when I can
    make it up from Manhattan. My buddy Dick Marron chairs the
    hour-long Q&A session for new beekeepers held before every
    meeting, and hosts many of the apiary programs, so I know that
    they will take good care of you.

    Books and the internet only go so far - beekeeping is a craft,
    and one must see and do with one's own hands to learn a
    craft or an art.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,649

    Default

    If you are only cleaning out a winter deadout in July, maybe you should consider another hobby. Sounds like CCD to me, leftover honey, no wax moths yet?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Green Lane, PA
    Posts
    839

    Default

    Sounds like CCD to me, leftover honey, no wax moths yet?
    How did you get CCD from anything that was said in the 1st post?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,081

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuleluder View Post
    How did you get CCD from anything that was said in the 1st post?
    I agree. The package was probably treated and had low mites as most newly installed packages "magically" survive the first winter with little help. the comb is 1 year old, not 30 as with a lot of the CCD samples being tested.

    IMO, CCD is the end result of many factors playing off each other. Its kind of looking at some reason why bees left (prior to CCD), and suggesting its "Absconding". Absconding unto itself is the description of what the bees did. But bees naturally abscond for many reasons. Now use that some model for CCD. CCD, is the end result, from a combination of mite overload, a suppressed immune system, degradation of health due to pesticides and chemicals, stress, nutrition, and other factors. Nobody will find a single source cause. CCD is the end result of factors. Each unto itself perhaps manageable. But in combination, a deadly concoction.

    And for all the possibilities at play, I see none of them to suggest that this hive died of CCD. Maybe there is a reason for lack of wax moths, (I still have dead-outs from last year with no moths).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,649

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuleluder View Post
    How did you get CCD from anything that was said in the 1st post?
    1. the hive died
    2. no mention of wax moth damage well into the summer
    3. left over honey, no robbing

    #'s 2 & 3 are the unusual symptoms people have been seeing with what they call CCD. In the past, most hives would have been robbed out and mothed this many months after dieing out. I have no Idea what CCD is, I just read Beesource. I have been keeping a few dozen beehives for 38 years. Never in the past have hives died out in winter with no robbing and sit around for six months with no wax moths. Something has changed, and that is called CCD, whatever that is. In the '70s and '80s five percent loss was normal for me, the last two years 50% loss is normal. I used to find dead hives in March that were totally mothed up. I have dead hives sitting out that are only now showing minor signs of moths and no robbing. What gives?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,649

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BjornBee View Post
    stress, nutrition,
    I keep bees in a location where they fly about 360 days a year, there is year round bloom from hundreds of different kinds of plants. I can not attribute nutrition as a factor killing my bees, they die out jammed with honey and pollen. I can not think of any factors that might have "stressed" them. My guess is that CCD is some kind of "plague", a virulent strain of nosema or something of that nature possibly connected with mites. I see an excess of queen losses, maybe it is some kind of female disorder. I see rapid dwindling, but have never suspected that the bees left in mass.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Green Lane, PA
    Posts
    839

    Default

    Out here we have had maybe 2 good months of beekeeping weather. Most of the first part of May was wet and cool, so the bees didn't get out much then. From my experience significant wax moth damage will not occur out here until the later part of summer. Robbing only occurs when there is a lack of rain out here. Fortunately we have had consistent rain, and the flow has continued to produce.

    The hive died during the winter, calling it CCD would be a stretch IMHO. Winter loss could be attribted to many other factors other then CCD.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,081

    Default

    I can not speak for California, but here in Pa., wax moth season normally does not even begin till July, give or take a few weeks. And just last week, was the first time bees even bothered my pallet of fondant that has been sitting in my driveway since last fall, even though the raccoons have been nibbling at it for months. So its just not honey that "sometimes" does not get bothered. And I don't think its CCD in the commercial fondant.

    I have stated from the start and will continue to do so, that this whole "bees do not rob" was a casual observation and comment that was quickly cast in stone, and turned into urban legend status. In yards such as those experiencing large 95%+ kill, I wonder if ANY bees were even healthy enough to rob anything out. And from the CCD samples tested so far, there are so many chemicals being found (many beekeeper induced), I don't blame the bees for not wanting to rob this chemical cesspool.

    But I hardly think that CCD be labeled on every hive that sits awhile without wax moths or robbing going on. There are too many other normal situations and circumstances that allow this "urban legend" to be wrongly applied.


    Lora started one hive. At this point, we do not even know if there are other bees in the area to rob. And Lora never said whether the comb was protected, sealed, or inside protected.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,081

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    I keep bees in a location where they fly about 360 days a year, there is year round bloom from hundreds of different kinds of plants. I can not attribute nutrition as a factor killing my bees, they die out jammed with honey and pollen. I can not think of any factors that might have "stressed" them. My guess is that CCD is some kind of "plague", a virulent strain of nosema or something of that nature possibly connected with mites. I see an excess of queen losses, maybe it is some kind of female disorder. I see rapid dwindling, but have never suspected that the bees left in mass.

    To many people are looking for EVERY duck to be lined up in every situation. The items I mention could be factors or contributors, but not necessarily in every case. Its kind of saying that it takes a number of factors to come together but in different combinations, you can see the same results. (and even if you have ample supplies of honey and nectar, who saying thats it high in nutrition? Remember, we keep bees where we want them, and place bee on crops we choose. If left to nature, I bet bees would not thrive in half the places we keep bees.) Certainly we know a suppressed immune system can be caused by mites, viral issues, poor nutrition, stress, and other factors.

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