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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Boone County, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Did I starve me bees?

    This was our first winter and it looks like we lost one hive (#1). Hive #2 made it thru and has been active during the past week where we have had exceptionally warm weather for Indiana in March. We started #1 last spring with a 3 lb package and followed up with hive #2 from a nuc a couple of months later. Hive #1 came on very strong and we harvested 2 supers last October. #2 never got going until the end of the summer, so we never placed any supers on it. Both hives have 2 deeps. Anyway, yesterday, I opened the hives and #1 was mostly empty with a few clusters of dead bees, and a few robbers from #2. #2 was very active. Could my removing the supers from #1 last October taken their winter food? I've got replacements on order for #1, but don't want to repeat this next year. Any suggestions from the experts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Did I starve me bees?

    How much honey was in the 2 deeps going into winter? How did it compare by weight to the surviving #2 hive?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,107

    Default Re: Did I starve me bees?

    Classic starvation is some of the bees with their butts sticking out of cells. Often there is enough honey, but their numbers were too small and the winter too cold for too many days in a row that they couldn't move over to where the honey was. Then in the spring the hive is robbed of what honey was left. You can look at it like if there was honey left, it helped your other hive get off to a good start. It's fairly common. I lost 2 out of 20 to starvation this winter. To prevent it next winter, check the stores in fall and feed very well if needed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Palermo, Maine, USA
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: Did I starve me bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by heaflaw View Post
    Often there is enough honey, but their numbers were too small and the winter too cold for too many days in a row that they couldn't move over to where the honey was.
    Should the location of the honey be manipulated in the fall? If so, how? Should it be placed high in the center of the colony so that the cluster can move straight up to get honey?
    Like us on facebook This is the place to bee!
    Ralph

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,107

    Default Re: Did I starve me bees?

    The bees know best about where to place it. IMO, moving frames around in the late fall would do more damage than good.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,025

    Default Re: Did I starve me bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by ol' poke View Post
    Could my removing the supers from #1 last October taken their winter food?
    First, for a typical, Central-Indiana winter, you'll want a colony to have about 80 lbs of honey heading into winter. If you overwinter in two deeps, that's one deep full of honey.

    Second, when did you discover the colony died, i.e., did you check them at all during the winter months? With the unusually-mild winter we had, there were several opportunities for checking colonies and adding feed, if needed.

    Third, are you involved with a local beekeeping club? The West Central club is up your way - there's some good beeks in it. Good place to find some mentors:
    http://www.in.gov/dnr/entomolo/files...eper_assoc.pdf

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Faarup, Denmark
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Did I starve me bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by heaflaw View Post
    Classic starvation is some of the bees with their butts sticking out of cells. Often there is enough honey, but their numbers were too small and the winter too cold for too many days in a row that they couldn't move over to where the honey was. Then in the spring the hive is robbed of what honey was left. You can look at it like if there was honey left, it helped your other hive get off to a good start. It's fairly common. I lost 2 out of 20 to starvation this winter. To prevent it next winter, check the stores in fall and feed very well if needed.
    Be aware that leaving the hive in the apiary can result in more problems. If the hive did not die of hunger but instead of disease, all the other hives in the apiary will be infected when they rob the hive.

    Best solution is to remove the hive immediately after you discover they have died.

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