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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,306

    Sad Yesterday was a bad day.

    I lost one hive out of the two. The older hive is dead and the newer hive was crazy active when it hit 50 degrees yesterday. To make matters worse my extractor died halve way through the extraction of the honey that was left on the dead hive.
    I am thinking the hive was dead in the fall or shortly after. I saw dead bees everywhere in every box, no brood and no pollen. In the very top box there was a clump of live bees (no more than 100) but nothing looked like a queen. Below that was a solid box of honey and below that was the top brood chamber practically empty. I haven't dug into the bottom deep but I suspect it is empty. Unfortunately the battery in my camera was dead so I didn't get any photos.
    I am back to the drip method for the last box of honey.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    dadeville, alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,163

    Default Re: Yesterday was a bad day.

    A moment of silence for Ace's dead hive......................................Ace, you are going to loose beehives. That is just the short and long of it. It is livestock and they do die. If you figured up every hive that died on me over forty years, it would be enough to make up another commercial operation. And when I croak, I will probably see all those bees that I had a hand in killing through mismanagement. St Peter will probably stick me in purgatory working all those poor beehives for eternity as punishment. So take heart, you are not the only one that looses bees. TED
    ALABAMA BEE COMPANY-A member of the Sioux Honey association -*Sweetening a golden tommorrow*

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,766

    Default Re: Yesterday was a bad day.

    Ace,

    It is hard. Are you going to newspaper combine the 100 living with your other hive?

    When I wrote my first book, I dedicated it to all the fish I killed figuring things out the hard way. I don't think anyone can mess up bees that bad. And my first hive - well it either died out or absconded while I was still afraid to open the lid. Stuff happens..

    Gypsi
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,776

    Default Re: Yesterday was a bad day.

    Sorry to hear that, but not surprised. Hopefully my loss is lower a percentage than yours.

    What are you doing to get the live one thru until Spring?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    527

    Default Re: Yesterday was a bad day.

    Ace, if it will make you feel better (doubt it) I lost 9 of 40 as of yesterday & 1 yard to check.

    Make splits, raise queens from survivors, smile you're still in the game. If you still have frames of honey, feed them back to the survivors if you believe that it is safe. Good luck.
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,590

    Default Re: Yesterday was a bad day.

    Wouldn't it be prudent to save some frames of honey for the other hive?

    I am thinking the hive was dead in the fall or shortly after.
    Really??

    That took a long time to diagnose ...
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,322

    Default Re: Yesterday was a bad day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Kretschmann View Post
    And when I croak, I will probably see all those bees that I had a hand in killing through mismanagement. TED
    Just make sure they check you for mites when you go.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,766

    Default Re: Yesterday was a bad day.

    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,306

    Default Re: Yesterday was a bad day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Kretschmann View Post
    I will probably see all those bees that I had a hand in killing through mismanagement. TED
    This is the part that concerns me.

    I can guarantee you it was my fault but the mites and SHB's are all dead too.

    Does it make sense that there would be no queen cell started if I lost the queen in October? I got through the bottom deep this morning and it was basically empty. My fingers are crossed that the living hive will be the same so I can get that deep out of there this spring. Judging on how I had to jack hammer this dead hive to get the frames out I don't know if I should do a split next spring or not. Of course in February the propolis is a lot harder then it will be in the spring, maybe.

    Mark, it didn't surprise me either.

    Gypsi, the hive had evidence of dysentery and even if it didn't I wouldn't combine them. They were pretty much goners anyway but I wouldn't risk the other hive for 100 bees and that hive is nuts now anyway. I have never seen that many bees around a hive in February. It looked like May.

    I have to talk myself into doing a split in the spring if the other hive makes it. There are so many bees though. I wonder if they did their own combine. There is a possibility that when I put the boxes on the hive in the fall that I got the two queens on the same hive.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,704

    Default Re: Yesterday was a bad day.

    Well if you combined 2 queens in 1 colony rest assured you only have 1 queen now.

    Get your boxes stored so they dont mold up on you and make your splits in the spring.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    527

    Default Re: Yesterday was a bad day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Just make sure they check you for mites when you go.
    mashem up & microscope'm, can't have any vermon spores in the Majesties supers.
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    527

    Default Re: Yesterday was a bad day.

    I have never seen that many bees around a hive in February. It looked like May.

    Sure it wasn't beeeeeing robbed?
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,361

    Default Re: Yesterday was a bad day.

    Sorry Ace. I believe this is your first loss so I feel for you. Now, get your empty boxes and comb ready to catch swarms. I don't know when your season starts up there but ours is coming in about two to three weeks. You'll make up for your loss in no time and have a good season.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: Yesterday was a bad day.

    "I have never seen that many bees around a hive in February"

    Watch their food closely. Checked my hives yesterday and found one that obviously starved already due to the unseasonably warm weather. I have 5 pounds of dry sugar on top ant they had eaten every crystal and then starved before I got back to them. Felt sick knowing I probably could have saved them if I had checked earlier.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Yesterday was a bad day.

    I remember when I lost my first hives. I thought, "Well, it's over, I lost my first hives." Sorta like getting a scratch on a new car. The anticipation or worry about it is done.
    If you did "mess up" welcome to the club. At least mine anyway. You learn, you fix, move on, and become better at what you are doing.
    It's an opportunity to get some more bees

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Tomhannock NY
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Yesterday was a bad day.

    Get the rest of that honey on the good hive. Don't mess with them too much.

    If I had this scenario, I'd guess that all those bees were looking for something to eat, more than likely they found it and you took it away. Feed em up, don't want to lose the good one. If there are that many bees they won't have there own food for a month or two.
    Its between you and your bees. L. Connor

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,306

    Default Re: Yesterday was a bad day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie B View Post
    Sorry Ace. I believe this is your first loss so I feel for you.
    Actually it is my second loss, slow learner. Our first hive we lost our first winter when we only had one hive due to moisture. No moisture this time.

    I don't think it is robbing. Wouldn't think there would be bees flying too far from their hive in February up here.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Drain, OR
    Posts
    424

    Default Re: Yesterday was a bad day.

    This last weekend I finally had time to go through my hives and see how they were fairing.. I've lost 3 of my 7. They all had dwindled down to a baseball size cluster. 1 had totally eaten all of its stores, so I'm sure it just starved out that way. The other two had honey in the hives, but the very small cluster was not on any honey. So I'm guessing they got stuck clustered on empty comb when a cold snap set in. Of my 4 remaining colonies, one is strong and looking great, as is on of the nucs. The other two are weaker, and we'll see how they do. I put dry sugar on the booming nuc, don't want them to run out of food, the other hives all had capped frames in them. My goal this year is 4 colonies run for honey production, so I'm sorta still on track. I keep a journal with my stated seasons goals, and my plans/progress for reaching those goals... Not sure how hard I'll split. I'm thinking I'll raise a set or two of queens during the main flow, and then split with them right after. Plus I'll run an ad for catching swarms, usually good for 2-3 around here. Ya live and ya learn I guess. I've been writing my own management manual (what works for me) so I always update it when I think I've figured something out.. This year I think the colonies were a little on the weak side, and a little on the light side for stores.



    My wife keeps giving me a hard time though, "Seems like you have a hard time keeping them things alive!" I lost my only overwintered hive last winter.. I try to tell her that it is normal to have some winter loss, but I'm not sure she believes me
    A backyard hobbyist, keeping hives since '09. ~ http://www.sweetthangchocolates.com
    Zone 8a/8b

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    782

    Default Re: Yesterday was a bad day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Kretschmann View Post
    <snip>And when I croak, I will probably see all those bees that I had a hand in killing through mismanagement. St Peter will probably stick me in purgatory working all those poor beehives for eternity as punishment.<snip>... TED
    Just be sure you don't take drawn comb with you. No...wait....that's that OTHER place. -james

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    dadeville, alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,163

    Default Re: Yesterday was a bad day.

    James, you talkin about Hell, Alabama or both? TED
    ALABAMA BEE COMPANY-A member of the Sioux Honey association -*Sweetening a golden tommorrow*

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