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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Narrowsburg, NY
    Posts
    2

    Default Winter losses, new packages.

    Hello,

    I had 4 hives going into fall of 2010, all did very well with lots of honey and strong numbers. I did and inspection today, April 3, 2011 and found one hive completely dead and two with very low numbers, the fourth was super strong. I suspect starvation was the cause although there was still honey in all of the hives. I plan to load new packages in May however is it ok to reuse the hive that died out? Should I use new frames and foundation or can I use what's left? The hive that died was 3 years old and never had any major problems with mites or other diseases. However I'm unsure if the old foundation from a previous hive will affect a new package of bees. I'm a relatively new beekeeper and never had a hive die over winter, Any advice would be much appreciated thanks!

    Charles

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,440

    Default Re: Winter losses, new packages.

    The answer to that depends on what the hive died from. If it was an infectious brood disease such as AFB then you cannot re-use the combs. However if it was starvation, or mites, then you can re-use the combs.

    The two weak hives are probably the biggest worry as whatever they had be it mites or whatever, may still be with them and possibly spread to your other hives. Have a good look at their brood is there any dead or unusual looking? if so try to get a good pic of it & post on the forum so it can be diagnosed. Also the adult bees, any sickly looking ones or ones with deformed wings?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Narrowsburg, NY
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Winter losses, new packages.

    Oldtimer,

    Thanks for your reply! I didn't see any deformed wings or sign of AFB. I did see a lot of bee stuck head first in the comb though. A sign of starvation, yes? I did treat all of my hives last year for mites and the all seemed string with plenty of honey on my last inspection in the fall. I also did not see the queen in the weak hives so I'm uncertain on her status. The bees that were left did seem fine and active for a 52 degree day. I will check on them in a week and try and take some pictures. Thanks for your help!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,025

    Default Re: Winter losses, new packages.

    Quote Originally Posted by Two Queens View Post
    I plan to load new packages in May... is it ok to reuse the hive that died out? Should I use new frames and foundation or can I use what's left? The hive that died was 3 years old and never had any major problems with mites or other diseases.
    Shouldn't be a problem. The package bees will get a quick start since they already have drawn out comb.

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