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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Clarksville, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    216

    Default Lost all my hives! :-(

    Finally got to check the hives temps were great. Opened every one and all that I have in every hive is a hanful of dead bees laying in the bottom of every hive and a few dead scattered through the hives. Almost all of the reserves are still in the hives. Double Deep hives heavy with honey.

    No bugs no goo, no mess what so ever. They wer all doing well and were strong when I put mouse guards on in the fall. It is like they just left the hives sometime in the winter.

    So I guess I will not be doubleing in size this year, but using my packages to rebuild what I had.
    Dont understand it..... the year before i had 100% survive and i did everything the same this year.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: Lost all my hives! :-(

    So sorry, that must be terribly disappointing.

    How many hives are you talking about that you lost?
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Clarksville, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    216

    Default Re: Lost all my hives! :-(

    Lost all eight.

    Big setback.... still pretty confused wha happened.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Maricopa, AZ
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Lost all my hives! :-(

    When I went to see my friends hives who lost 2, we went through the frames and this is what we believe happened to him. He also had plenty of frames with honey and they are all still fine.

    It looks like the temps got colder than usual, as there is what appears to be a cluster shape of bees where they are head first into the comb. They are pushed into the comb in a cluster at the top of the frames where it looks like they had a choice. Stay with the cluster and starve to death, or leave to get food and freeze to death. Eventually the cluster died of starvation and this we determined because the comb is filled with bees head first in the shape of a ball trying to get every last bit of honey out of the comb. They died in this position. Their butts sticking out.

    Look at your comb and see if you see a ball shared area on several frames where you see their butts sticking out.

    I took pictures of it but can't upload them right now.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Pinehurst, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: Lost all my hives! :-(

    It seems like every post involving mass losses is coming from Michigan this year. Any Michigan beeks out there have a successful over-winter?
    ...This, and my heart, and all the Bees
    Which in the Clover dwell.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,960

    Default Re: Lost all my hives! :-(

    I really sounds like mites to me. The first year I have usually been able to get them through without any treatment. The second year the mites are much harder on the hive and the population will die out over winter. Counting mites is much more important after the first year.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ludington, Michigan
    Posts
    648

    Default Re: Lost all my hives! :-(

    Quote Originally Posted by NCSUbeeKEEPER View Post
    It seems like every post involving mass losses is coming from Michigan this year. Any Michigan beeks out there have a successful over-winter?
    I would say I had success. I went into winter with 25 and have lost 4. One was hit hard by mites before I treated it. Many bees with deformed wings. Hoped they would make it but wasn't suprized when they didn't. One was a late swarm that I should have just combined but kept my fingers crossed. Two starved by just being in the wrong part of the hive at the wrong time. They both had food just inches away. What is suprising to me is how strong most that made are. The next couple of weeks they are going to be eating machines. I have feed them fondant because its still winter here and I dont want to add all the moisture yet. Jay as for northern Cali. queens my Olivarez queens have done very well. My hive that died from the mites was going on it 4th winter and although they have swarmed at least twice that I know of so they still had the genetics but weren't original

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Hudsonville, MI
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Lost all my hives! :-(

    Quote Originally Posted by NCSUbeeKEEPER View Post
    It seems like every post involving mass losses is coming from Michigan this year. Any Michigan beeks out there have a successful over-winter?
    We're in Hudsonville, MI and our bees did quite well this past winter. So far we are 10 for 10 which is better than expected. We normally see some over-wintering losses and haven't been this successful in quite a few years. I've posted a writeup with some photos on our blog:

    http://www.hudsonvillehoney.com/2011...the-survivors/

    Enjoy,
    Jonathan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Hesperia, Michigan
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Lost all my hives! :-(

    I feel for ya. I am in the same boat.

    Last year, 4 of 5 survived. This year lost all 8. Like you I had the same setup as last year. Last two died around the first of March. Those had a bit of dysentery. A couple maybe I should have combined, but didn't based on last years results. The rest of the hives had bees that were scattered about the hive. I wonder if the warm spell at the end of the year caught them off guard. I was too sick then to check them out.

    I also had 4 hives supersede in September and only one did successfully, so I lost 3 in October.

    Were your bees from packages or nucs? Most of mine were from nucs from the same beek. I am wondering if they inbreed too much. I don't have any feral bees robbing the hives right now. Or maybe the Nor Cal Italian queens just don't make here in Michigan.

    I have a couple of packages from Georgia coming in late April and NWC queens ordered from Tim to split with in late June. Plus a package of Russians. I am going to get away from Italians.

    I feel for ya. Believe me, I do.

    Jay

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Dousman,Wi.U.S.A.
    Posts
    209

    Default Re: Lost all my hives! :-(

    Yeah, that sucks. Feel for you as I've been there myself. I had a very good winter here in S.E. Wisconsin. Put 10 to bed last fall and had 8 make it through looking incredibly strong. Recently had by pass surgery and knowing that was coming up I had decided not to order a few packages as I normally do. Glad I didn't now. Good luck to you this year.
    Trying to age gracefully, don't think its working!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,001

    Default Re: Lost all my hives! :-(

    What is not making sense to me is where are all the dead bees? If it is mites wouldn't the bees be dead in the bottom? It is like they all swarmed in the fall and you didn't notice it.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

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