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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Liberty, Maine
    Posts
    197

    Default Dead Bee Blocking enterence

    One of my colonies went in to winter with a big cluster. They're still alive but I've twice had to pull the entrance reducer and scrape out a bunch of dead bees just so those that are still kicking can get out. Once I've done this I do get activity coming and going where as before they there was nothing while my other colonies were flying.

    I'm worried that my bottom deep is just chalked full of dead bees (at least it looks that way from the entrance slot) and I'll keep fighting this until I can remove the top brood box and give the bottom box and the bottom board a good cleaning. Is there anything else I can do until I get the weather to do this?

    They have a top entrance (groove in the homasote) but don't really seem to want to use it. Moisture doesn't seem to be a problem and the are still pretty heavy so I don't think they're going to starve.

    It may be that I'm fighting a losing battle but this was my top producer last year so if I can get them through it would be great.

    K

  2. #2

    Default

    Keep an eye on the hive and keep the entrance clean until you can clean the bottom baord? When it warms again I'm going clean mine and I'm going to try to do it before the main honeyflow starts so I'm not disrupting them.
    Last edited by gingerbee; 03-16-2009 at 09:38 AM.
    Try to learn something new every day and give thanks for all your blessings.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Phelps Co. Missouri USA
    Posts
    856

    Default

    What kind of bottom board do you have ?

    Can't you remove the entrance reducer and reach in with a stick an
    pull some dead bee out ?

    PCM

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,735

    Default

    Yank the reducer and let them have at it. Not too much worry about mice right now. Check for moisture as well. I've noticed that the bees have a much harder time moving dead, wet bees and they often kinda give up at the entrance. Make sure you don't have too much moisture inside. Pulling the reducer may help if you do.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,497

    Default

    A top entrance avoids this exact problem.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,261

    Default

    If they are already only using a top entrance, then you never get it blocked by dead bees.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm#topentrance

    But now, I suppose it is an issue. Some people make a bent wire thingy to reach in and pull out the dead bees. Some get even fancier and come up with something to rake them out with that works even better.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Liberty, Maine
    Posts
    197

    Default

    I brought my longer hive tool and pulled out a bunch more. I was able too look up into the frames (bit better light and better angle) and I didn't see as much of a mess as I thought I would, it looks like most of the mess is just crammed on the bottom board.

    The good news is a couple of bees came out to look and see what was going on, so they have some sort of path.

    I didn't pull the reducer but I did put it in it's more open position, that should give them a much clearer path to get out.

    I figure by the end of the month we should have some warmer days and I'll get the deeps off the bottom board and get it cleaned off. Until then I'll just keep and eye on them.

    Thanks!

    K

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