If he claims bees as his assets, then he can fully depreciate them when he looses them. But I bet he treats them as simple expense, thus he writes off his purchase price the moment he buys them, kind of like hives, sugar, feeders etc.
His loses sort of come in the form of income that he cannot realize. So he bought the nucs for $120 but they all died so he did not make any honey and could not sell any honey. So he has -$120 net income. If the bees did not die, then he'd maybe have $300 worth of honey sales. In that case he'd have net income of $180 on which he'd pay taxes in schedule C.
On the side note, you can expense for tax purposes most all of your assets the year you buy them. Why anyone would care to depreciate them over several years and add hassle to their life is something i do not know. If you have another job, losses from bee business will simply decrease your tax liability from that job's income.
You are trying to write off possible income. That simply does not happen with IRS. It can be done with insurance claims, but not with IRS.