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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Coventry, RI
    Posts
    4

    Angry Just checked on Top Bar Hive...and the hive is DEAD!!! HELP???!!!

    Hi there..so this is my first post on the site. Hope its helpful...so good so far. I have had a TBH since May. Bees have always been healthy, and lively....i checked on them about 3-4 weeks ago (im in Rhode Island) and they were great...there was some honey reserves...some brood...all good.

    So I looked at them today and saw there was no activity. Weather has been in the 40s at night lately, so i thought maybe the colder weather was slowqing them down. I looked at their entrance...and there were dead bees. I opened the top...and everything is dead. the wax is brittle, and there are piles of dead bodies at the bottom of the hive. There are some hangin onto comb, and crawling a bit...but a few, and thats it...and they are crawling slowly and clumbsily.

    can someone give me some ideas as to what happened? I have no clue. They have been taken care of and i didnt rob honey this year (there wasnt alot and i didnt want to rob winter food). I have no clue what happened?

    thanks for the help!
    Last edited by Barry; 10-26-2011 at 09:30 AM. Reason: language

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,995

    Default Re: Just checked on Top Bar Hive...and the hive is DEAD!!! HELP???!!!

    Hi there,

    How many bees were in the hive (dead or alive) I mean does it look like the number dwindled away, or was there a sudden, mass die-off?
    Did you see any honey or capped brood in there? A queen?

    Adam

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Coventry, RI
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Just checked on Top Bar Hive...and the hive is DEAD!!! HELP???!!!

    Its a mass killing. They are inches piled up at the bottom of the hive. it was one package that I started the hive with. none on top of the bars or flying around...most dead on the bottom,,,,some clinging to comb and crawling real real reeeeeeal slowly. Comb was brittle but it has been in 40s-60s. i saw the queen earlier this year. no reason to think she died or left. there was honey capped and brood, but i would say I wouldve expected to see more honey reserves for them....but nothing out of what i woudl thi nk is the ordinary. im dumbfounded.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,338

    Default Re: Just checked on Top Bar Hive...and the hive is DEAD!!! HELP???!!!

    Do you have any neighbors close by who might have a dislike for bees, sounds like it could be a poisoning, all one would have to do is empty a can of Raid into the entrance.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

    Default Re: Just checked on Top Bar Hive...and the hive is DEAD!!! HELP???!!!

    If there are stores, I would guess pesticides. If there are no stores, I would guess starvation.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Coventry, RI
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Just checked on Top Bar Hive...and the hive is DEAD!!! HELP???!!!

    no..it wasnt pesticides...no one cand get near them...but I inspected it today and the combs are bone dry...nothing in them at all..bo brood, no pollen, no honey...bone dry. Do u think it was starvation? I mean..i live in the wooded burbs..plenty of flowers, landscaping, gardens and water. I dont get it...they were busy 2.5 weeks ago.
    Last edited by Barry; 10-26-2011 at 09:31 AM. Reason: language

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lancaster, Ky. / Frostproof Fl.
    Posts
    989

    Default Re: Just checked on Top Bar Hive...and the hive is DEAD!!! HELP???!!!

    Very simple, they starved. just because you have flowers doesnt meant they have nectar in them. I have seen lots of clover bloom and no honey...dry bloom. If you have
    brood and lots of bees and it rains a few days then they can eat all their stores up....doenst take long for a good hive to eat a frame of honey if raisin brood. Bees are like
    humans, gotta have groceries. some years are good. some bad, gotta feed in nectar dearth.... bloom or no bloom! You have to care for bees....and watch stores, especially
    in cooler wet weather and bad years

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,338

    Default Re: Just checked on Top Bar Hive...and the hive is DEAD!!! HELP???!!!

    Sounds like starvation was the cause as MB and sutton has stated, since they were doing so well 2.5 weeks ago then robbing could have been the likely cause, I have been hearing from several people who have had robbing problems this past month. If you need to leave them unattended for an extended period then it would be best to reduce the entrance as a precaution.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,995

    Default Re: Just checked on Top Bar Hive...and the hive is DEAD!!! HELP???!!!

    I have had the entrances in both my tbh's at about 6 inches all season, and reduced them to 2 inches about a month ago - as robbing tendency has gone up with the cooler weather. I use dense, nylon scrub pads for reducers, so that air still passes through freely.

    Adam

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: Just checked on Top Bar Hive...and the hive is DEAD!!! HELP???!!!

    I've no experience in this (new beek), but you might check the honeycomb and see if the cappings have been roughly chewed away...that could be another sign of possible robbing, from what I understand. If you could post a couple of pictures of the situation it might help folks get closer to determining what happened.

    Sorry about your loss, definitely a tough part of your bee education.

    Best wishes for the spring,
    Ed

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,496

    Default Re: Just checked on Top Bar Hive...and the hive is DEAD!!! HELP???!!!

    Your bees starved. Do you realize that they would need between 70-120 lbs to survive a Northeast winter? I am wondering how many bars have drawn comb? Did you feed to help them draw the comb when you hived them? If not, then much of what could have been used for stores was utilized to build comb. This years wet and cool temps (at least in our area) produced huge flower crops but little in the way of nectar. You need to really start looking at your honey stores the second week in Aug. If they are not heavy at that time you need to get feed on them and keep it on them until they won't take it any more. The bright side is that you can clean out the hive and plan for spring next year. Hopefully you will learn some good things on this sight and your bees will do better next year.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Coventry, RI
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Just checked on Top Bar Hive...and the hive is DEAD!!! HELP???!!!

    Thanks for the replies everyone. I think thats what it is...stavrvation. That really stinks! I looked at all the comb, and its bone dry...no pollen, no brood, no honey. I didnt realize that I should continue to feed them as a supplement. I will take aeverything that was said to heart, and remmebr next year. This really sucks...oh well. thanks again.

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