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Thread: Lost My Hive :(

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Norfolk County, Massachusetts
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    1

    Default Lost My Hive :(

    I live in the Northeast and we have had a 'wicked' cold spell. I lost my 1st year hive already. I had a feeling that it wouldn't winter well. It was very weak.

    I am going to extract the remaining honey. My questions are: what should I do with the capped brood? Should I use tweezers and remove what is in them? There is no doubt that all the larve froze and died. Should I do this before or after I attempt at extracting the honey?

    Without bees to cleanup after the extraction process, will my frames get mouldy over the winter?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Lost My Hive :(

    Just store the combs in an aerated situation so they don't go slimy and messy. The brood will deteriorate and mouldy, but a healthy hive will be able to clean the combs next season.

    Just also pay to check there is no brood disease such as AFB.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
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    717

    Default Re: Lost My Hive :(

    Sorry to hear of your loss. Just clean the debris from the bottom board and keep the mouse guard on. You can actually just leave everything in place during this cold weather. Your new bees will quickly take care of cleaning up the brood frames, no need of tweezers. Later as it warms up, you might spray the frames with BT (to prevent wax worm damage). OMTCW

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Fairfield, Virginia
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    1,002

    Default Re: Lost My Hive :(

    Sorry to hear that but don't get discourraged it happens.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Brady, washington
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    708

    Default Re: Lost My Hive :(

    First of all i would get rid of all the dead un cap the brood and nock them out plus there should not be any brood in the hive this time of year. And I would leave the honey for the next package of bees. I don't know if harvested any honey from them this past year or not. something I do and teach is to leave your news hives be check them inspect them don't harvest from them the first year. I know sometimes its hard to start with more then one hive. But this why I recomend two hives to start so if you have a weak hive combine them. i do feel for you and better luck in the spring.
    99.99% of questions can be answered by Just reading books.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Belews Creek NC
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Lost My Hive :(

    sorry to hear about the hive lost. I have been fortunate and being a rookie,just three winters in it,have not lost a hive yet. I have one that as much as I fed just wouldnt build up. They are alive for now but not long. Take care Dave

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,115

    Default Re: Lost My Hive :(

    Leaving the brood in the deadout will develop mold from the decomposing brood. The bees will most likely never use it. If you are using wax foundation replace it. This will eliminate possible disease comb that may have caused the demise of the hive in the first place.
    If you are using plastic foundation scrap the comb off the foundation pressure wash it. Re coat it with wax and re-use it. I have an old dishwasher that I wash plastic foundation from old and nasty comb that I am rotating out of use, that works very well.
    I was told at a queen rearing class at the University of Minnesota never use honey from brood comb for human consumption. It’s OK to feed it back to the bees like honeydreams mentioned.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Green Lane, PA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Lost My Hive :(

    You can just leave the dead colony sit until spring. Throw a nuc or a package in it during the spring and they will clean out the dead brood and bees. I cant imagine there being much brood in a weak hive at this time of year. I'm guessing a small patch or two. Worst case you can just scrape the dead brood out if the bees dont clean it out. The new bees will rework the scraped portion.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Baltimore, OH
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Lost My Hive :(

    I suggest that you find another bee keeper in the area that sells nucs or has queens from the area for your next hive next year. I really dislike packages from the south because I don't believe they have characteristics suitable for northern climes. I am in central Ohio and likewise we have been very cold.

    I fed some candy today and while I had one opened I put an indoor outdoor thermometer in one. Tonight it was 39 outside and 77 inside the hive. I am now anxious to monitor and learn. Next week we are down into single digit temps.

    Use this winter to read and talk to other keepers. There is a lot of information out there that will be of help.

    God rest their souls. THe good they die young. Pife

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Lost My Hive :(

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Bean View Post
    I was told at a queen rearing class at the University of Minnesota never use honey from brood comb for human consumption.
    There goes your Warre hives!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
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    Default Re: Lost My Hive :(

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Bean View Post
    I was told at a queen rearing class at the University of Minnesota never use honey from brood comb for human consumption. It’s OK to feed it back to the bees like honeydreams mentioned.
    If it's OK to feed it back to the bees, what makes it not fit for human consumption? I'm curious what their reasoning is on this.
    To everything there is a season....

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,637

    Default Re: Lost My Hive :(

    I've heard some people say not to use brood honey because of mitecides(sp) But if you don't treat for mites I see no reason to worry about it. Expecially on a first year hive on brand new foundation. I would not worry about extrating the frames of honey. Just put them in the new hive come spring and let the bees use what they need. JMHO

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