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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Whitewater, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    141

    Default Why did my bees die?

    I went to my hives the other day and found 3 of 8 gone. I brought them in to extract the honey and on inspection I found: Two of the hives had brood emerging and all the other bees huddled the brood. The brood was well formed and most had emerged. Many of the cells you could see the tails as they were deeply embedded the cells. December had unseasonable low temps. I figure all the brood was not done emerging and they got did not leave the brood to move to the honey. These two hives were the strongest of the bunch going into winter. I guess they should have stopped laying sooner? both hives were packed with bees.

    The 3rd hive I am not sure of the cause. There did not seem to be any real cause that I could see. There were not as many bees in that hive. I did find a lot of powder or chewed up comb all over. The hive did not do well all summer and I suspect mites got the best of them? Either that or I had too much venting. I noticed the two 1mm. thick sticks I used to prop open the top in the summer were still there which made a slight hole around most of the top. I did insulate the outside. I had SBB and a 1 inch hole in the front for normal vent. I think the added vent in the top did not do them any favors. There were a lot of tails sicking out of the comb but I did not find any emerging brood?
    Any suggestions?
    Did I forget to check for something?
    I am just a beginner.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Seneca, sc
    Posts
    830

    Default Re: Why did my bees die?

    Head down in cells is a sign of starvation. Starvation happen when there is not any feed in the hive, or if there is feed in the hive, bees can't move to it. If the bees got wet from condensation that is one reason that prevents them from moving to feed. Be sure to protect the comb it is worth more than the bees. It is easy to make bees but replacing comb is the hard part.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,496

    Default Re: Why did my bees die?

    Classic starvation. Brood require lots of feed and the bees have to stay close to keep them warm. They will try and protect the brood when the temps go south and then can't move to stores. What kind of queens are you running. Try Carnis as they shut down sooner and seem to do better in northern areas.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid.” John Wayne

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,729

    Default Re: Why did my bees die?

    My guess is the first 2 starved, the third was robbed out and then was to week for the cold wind blowing thru the SSB and out the top, We try to have out extracting done whiler it is still warm, mid spetember. Why did you still have honey supers on?

    Roland your niehbor to the north.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Whitewater, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: Why did my bees die?

    Quote Originally Posted by alpha6 View Post
    Classic starvation. Brood require lots of feed and the bees have to stay close to keep them warm. They will try and protect the brood when the temps go south and then can't move to stores. What kind of queens are you running. Try Carnis as they shut down sooner and seem to do better in northern areas.
    Thanks everyone. It was really helpful. I have Italians but have considered others like Russians. I might try carnolians. Where can I get some and will they interbreed with my Italians? Not a bad thing I guess.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,496

    Default Re: Why did my bees die?

    Italians and Carnis mix well so no problems there. Check around for a good Carni queen. I get mine from CF Koehnen & Sons. Check out there web site. I notice no difference in honey production between the Italians and Carnis I run, but the Carnis do shut down quicker in the fall. Had problems last year with Italian hives starving in late fall because they were not shutting down soon enough. Good luck.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid.” John Wayne

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,695

    Default Re: Why did my bees die?

    I have noticed when I let the bees clean out drawn comb they will make a bunch of saw dust type comb pieces on the bottom. I would assume this is exactly like it would look inside a hive that had been robbed out.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,729

    Default Re: Why did my bees die?

    Where did you buy your bees from? Nucs or packages?

    Roland

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Littlerock, California, USA
    Posts
    949

    Default Re: Why did my bees die?

    I am using the RUSSIAN-"YUGO" CARNIOLAN from Tabers.
    http://www.honeybeegenetics.com/order.html
    I bought three pound packages to rejuvenate my two "dead outs" this spring. They took off really well in the established comb!
    “Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end”

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chippew County, WI, USA
    Posts
    650

    Default Re: Why did my bees die?

    I check a yard with nine hives the other day and two of the hives that had very good honey stores died for no reason either. Im guessing the cold snap took them out while trying to keep brood warm. Next time I get out to this yard I will tear the dead-outs apart and see if they still had brood.

    My three weakest colonies in that yard were still alive. I left one yard wrapped and one yard unwrapped to see if it made any difference because of claims that it makes no difference but I have to believe the two dead outs would still be alive if I would have wrapped and insulated them. If all 9 colonies in my other yard are alive I will be convinced because 6 of them are only one deep strong nucs I made in August.

    From what I have read they cluster head first inside of cells and third does not necessarily mean starvation but they froze to death in cluster. Again thats what I read.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,113

    Default Re: Why did my bees die?

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-beek View Post
    I check a yard with nine hives the other day and two of the hives that had very good honey stores died for no reason either. Im guessing the cold snap took them out while trying to keep brood warm. Next time I get out to this yard I will tear the dead-outs apart and see if they still had brood.
    Just curious - did those hives have open screened bottom boards?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chippew County, WI, USA
    Posts
    650

    Default Re: Why did my bees die?

    No they did not have screened bottoms.

    I checked my other yard of nine colonies that were all insulated sides and top, wrapped in felt, wind breaks with felt to absorb sun, 6 of nine were only one deep strong or less and all were alive and well.

    This tell me that insulating and wrapping hives has benefits. Last season I had only six colonies and did the same as mentioned above. All survived. Im guessing all nine that are wrapped and insulated will survive again.

    I do treat for mites, nosema, and fouldbrood.

    Apistan, fum-b, Tylan

    I have two other colonies that I did not wrap or give a windbreak. I will not be surprised if they are dead.

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