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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Chippewa Falls, WI
    Posts
    3

    Default Dead hive, bees outside

    Last week we had a warm up and so we opened up the hives for a look. This is our first winter. Two of the hives (one of which was the weakest I thought) are still alive. But our top bar hive and what I thought was our biggest strongest hive are both dead. The strong hive had almost no dead bees in it. Maybe like a hundred or so. But, outside in the snow, and under the snow were piles of bees. I have done some looking around and it sounds like this hive could have died of nosema. But, I would like some opinions on that.

    It had two deeps and one medium on it. The bottom deep is totally empty. Eight frames of clean empty drawn foundation. The top deep and the medium seem nearly full of honey. My question is, can I move those two boxes of honey onto the other two hives? I expect they need to be fed something in those two. Or, will I spread some disease?

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

    Default Re: Dead hive, bees outside

    Take the time to send them off. You should have an answer in 10 days or less. It's free, and you will know.

    http://ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=7472

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Chippewa Falls, WI
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Dead hive, bees outside

    Unfortunately now all those bee bodies are back under a foot of snow.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon City, Oregon
    Posts
    991

    Default Re: Dead hive, bees outside

    If there are only a hundred or so still clinging to life you would be better off to sacrifice them in the name of science and have them checked for Nosema, because that few a number of bees will not make it through....And then you will no more for the next time.
    Honeydew

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Arcata, California, USA
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Dead hive, bees outside

    Also, the ones under the snow are probably frozen so they haven't decomposed. Nosema spores aren't affected by the cold. So if you dig out a few you can still send them. Put them in alcohol and let them thaw.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon City, Oregon
    Posts
    991

    Default Re: Dead hive, bees outside

    Also, the ones under the snow are probably frozen so they haven't decomposed. Nosema spores aren't affected by the cold. So if you dig out a few you can still send them. Put them in alcohol and let them thaw.
    That may be true of Nosema apis, but according to Randy Oliver on his website http://www.scientificbeekeeping.com Nosema ceranae do not live long in the cold, he says that most of the N. ceranae spores on equipment kept in a fridge for just a weekend appeared to be dead. Look on his website for The "Nosema twins part 6" some very good reading if you want to find out too much about Nosema..
    Honeydew

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,737

    Default Re: Dead hive, bees outside

    Honeydew - I have great repect for Randy Oliver, but have a hard time believing that a few days of freezing kills Nosema c., and not Nosema a. If so, it would not be found much in the north. A hive with it would die, and the spores would freeze, end of infection in the beeyard. They may APPEAR to be dead, where they tested for viability?

    I support him sending off a sample, but also suggest he keeps good notes on where the equipment went, and what happened to the bees effected by it.

    Roland
    .

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