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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Lexington, NC
    Posts
    68

    Default bees gone and dead

    We have had our first really warm weather this past week and the maple trees are startng to bloom so I decided to check my bees. I have been watchign the hives and there has been moderate activity. Appearently it has been moderate robbing because when I checked the hives today one hive had no bees at all and the comb was empty except or a few stores in the upper super. My second hive had a small cluster of bees that took up about a soft ball size ball around 4 frames but every bee was dead in place. There was what appeared to be a small amount of mold under the bees so it appeared they had been dead for a little while. There were some pollen stores still in this hive but very little honey stores. I also found that an aspen strip had been left in the hive over the winter and wonder if this could have killed the hive or if there may be some other aspect that killed it. Second since all my bees are gone or dead I will be looking for some nucs or packages soon but should I use these same hives and comb since it is in great shape and has pollen already available to not?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Thousand Oaks, CA USA
    Posts
    1,206

    Default

    sounds like your second hive starved.

    I'd use everything again, assuming no evidence of disease.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Townville, SC
    Posts
    151

    Default

    Had the same problem. Had one hive and the bees just basicly disappeared. Had a probably 30 dead bees in it but never found a queen and I had stores left. Those things are getting frustrating. Well maybe this next year we will both have better luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Lexington, NC
    Posts
    68

    Default

    Thanks for the advise on reusing the comb.. I will proabably cut out the part that actually had dead bees stuck inthe cells but it will only be a small portion of the frame so they should rebuild it pretty quickly.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Edgefield County, South Carolina
    Posts
    646

    Default

    No need to cut it out. Kinda knock the bees of --- put it in hive they will clean it up.

    Hive two--Bees in small cluster, dfead with heads turned down in cells is usually a sign of starving. This happens in a hurry in our area because the weather warms a little, bees begin to forage, sometimes begin to raise brood and the the weather turns cold again. The bees begin to consume alot of stores because of the activity and no nectar is available. This sometimes leads to starvation.

    Hive one--- the bees in hive two may have robbed it before they starved? Signs of robbing. Jagged cut wax around the honey cells. Cutting of wax on the bottom board and at the entrance of the hive.

    I have a friend who has lost a couple hundred colonies. Strong one week and two weeks later gone. No bees no honey just empty hives. Some of the hive have no bees, no honey or stores in brood chamber but one to two supers of honey. Seems as signs of CCD but the experts say we don't have it in our area.

    Several producers in your area (NC). Do a search by location (NC) and PM a few. Hope you have better luck this year.
    Last edited by sc-bee; 03-12-2009 at 10:11 AM.
    sc-bee

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lanier74 View Post
    I also found that an aspen strip had been left in the hive over the winter and wonder if this could have killed the hive
    An Apistan strip left in over winter probably didn't cause the hive collapse. On the other hand...next year be sure to remove it according to the directions.....or better yet use a different treatment.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Lexington, NC
    Posts
    68

    Default

    Thanks for the advise. I did think that the hive may have starved due to the lack of stores but I thought they had enough last fall the hive consisted of two hive bodies and the top hive body had about 7 full frames and another partial frame but what you are explaining that did starve. I thought maybe the way they all had their heads in the comb was just part of the way they huddle in cold temperatures. Looks like I will have to do better this year.
    I am hoping to get a couple packages this year since I have plenty of drawn comb so I guess I will just put the bees straight back in these hives and let them clean it out and hopefully get some honey this year.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default

    It's the same for many of us, large or small, if you want two colonies start with four.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Madison Heights VA
    Posts
    396

    Default

    Start feeding them the first of Jan. Use a top hive feeder and they will be fine.
    Curtis
    Curtis

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Erie, PA
    Posts
    2,030

    Default

    I'm sorry, Lanier. I lost both my hives this year also. It was a long winter.
    “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” -Henry David Thoreau

  11. #11

    Default

    Hobie, were your hives insulated?
    Try to learn something new every day and give thanks for all your blessings.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Erie, PA
    Posts
    2,030

    Default

    gingerbee, I had wrapped both hives in tar paper, and nothing else. They did have a wind break behind them, which unfortunately also blocked a good bit of afternoon sun, which may have exacerbated the problem.
    “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” -Henry David Thoreau

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Lexington, NC
    Posts
    68

    Default

    Thanks for the advise. I did not start feeding them at all this year and counted on the stores they had to last them. Partly because I am new and still dumb and my hive last year surved the winter with no problem. I also did not get to inspet the hives until early March due to some family issues that kept me away from the hives. I just wish I could learn the mistakes and not keep killing my bees off..it is getting very frustrating and expensive. Last year I lost one to mites and then a swarm I cought left two days later as well, and even a split I made did not survive. I am still trying though.. at least one more year..

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Auburn, GA USA
    Posts
    117

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lanier74 View Post
    I just wish I could learn the mistakes and not keep killing my bees off..it is getting very frustrating and expensive.
    I hear that. My bees would be fine if I would just let them be, to do whatever it is they do.
    ! ! ! 4 years and STILL a bee-ginner ! ! !

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Delano, California
    Posts
    10

    Default It all stinks

    lost quite a few myself--I guess it doesn't really matter where you are. I see some of you say luck, others say CCD and it all stinks.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,162

    Default Hang in there, it can be done

    Just a word of encouragement. Don't give up it can be done. Position hives where they will get morning sun and start getting ready for winter in August. This is a challenging craft and there are plenty of opportunities to learn no matter how long one has been at it. What works one year may not the next, but if one is tune with their bees and experienced one will know what is working and what is not; and as experience gains reactions and techniques will get better with time. Learn as much as you can from successful beekeepers in your area.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Lexington, NC
    Posts
    68

    Default

    Yeah. things do change year to year.. my first year I started with a package fed them what seemed like 20 gallons of feed throughout the summer because it was such a dry year. No honey that year but they over wintered great.. swarmed the next spring.. I cought hte swarm 2 days later they left..The original hive did not requeen and I ended up with a laying worker which took most of the year to correct only to loose the hive to SHB and mites. I bought two nucs that year.. one did fantastic, filling two deeps for their hive and gave me about 5 gallons of honey then torward the end of the year got mites very badly but I thought they would survive the winter after treatment but I guess they obsconded at some point. The second nuc did fair and filled a deep and a medium and were very aggressive bees. I made a split off of them and the split also got mites and died out before the new queen could realy start laying plus they got robbed veyr badly. The hive I split from rebuilt fantastic but gave no honey that year. They had two deeps and they were the ones I found dead in the cluster with few to no stores. So to make a long story short.. I stated with one hive last year.. built up to 4 and ended the winter with 0...

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