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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Denton, NC USA
    Posts
    93

    Default Sick Hive after Package Installed

    This acutally is unfortunately a continuation of a previous post in reference to two packages installed March 31st. The sick hive actually died -- in five days. Bees never did much flying -- they either crawled around on the ground or were found dead with bees on their backs and feet moving before dying. My first thoughts were drawn comb/honey/pollen comtamination --- I had used drawn comb from two hives that succumbed last fall -- froze the comb and then kept it in sealed containers until I used some to install packages this spring. Here again remember, two packages were installed --one died and the other is looking good with bees bringing in pollen etc. They both were fed with 1:1 sugar water.

    Now the picture gets more confusing -- I purchased another package from another vendor and installed them April 15th. The only thing that was in common with this hive installation and the previous one was that I used the same hive body and wooden frames -- I destroyed all comb and replaced it with new foundation. Again almost from start I had bees dying and crawling around -- very limited flying. They were fed with 1:1 sugar water but a new batch because the 2nd package had used the remainder of the 1:1 sugar water that I had made for the 1st hive that died.

    I called the state inspector and she came and examined the hive and said "that it was very sick". She took a couple of samples to send to the state lab to determine cause of illness. The only common connection between the two hives that were sick would be the hive body and wooden frames -- I hive two older hives that are doing o'k and showing no signs of illness--so far. Also as of this posting, the 2nd package installed 3-31 is doing ok.

    Package 3-31 was installed in an 8-frame deep using drawn comb w/ some honey and pollen on some of the frames. A hive top feeder w/ 1:1 sugar water; screened bottom board; reduced hive enterance; and screened inner cover.

    Package 4-15 was installed in an 8-frame deep using probably same wooden hive body(deep) w/ new foundation on same wooden frames w/ screened bottom board; reduced hive enterance and screened inner cover; 1:1 sugar water -- I did mist the package on 3:31 with HBH and 1:1 whereas on 4-15 I did not mist package while installing. This is the 3rd year I have installed packages and the first I have had any problems with packages failing???

    All I know to do is wait for the lab results which are suppose to be back today. I don't see how it can be anything but the wood frames and/or hive body picking up some type of contamination -- but who knows, time hopefully will tell. I have read other posts where packages have failed and I feel for your problems. Thanks for any thoughts or observations.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arlee MT USA
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: Sick Hive after Package Installed

    Thanks for keeping us updated.

    Did the hive boxes or frame have any kind of weird smell or coloration?

    This is a very strange and disturbing situation, I hope you can at least find out what happened.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    597

    Default Re: Sick Hive after Package Installed

    Your bee issues sound very similar to the problems I had with 2 packages. I had all new equipment and no drawn comb/brood since I am new to beekeeping. I will be interested to see what they say about your bees.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Denton, NC USA
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: Sick Hive after Package Installed

    I didn't put it in my post, but this is my 3rd year of beekeeping and I have two healthy hives plus the new hive from 3-31. Thanks for the comments and plan on waiting to see what poop I can get before venturing out again to install new packages--Ha Ha.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Denton, NC USA
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: Sick Hive after Package Installed

    Thanks again for the concern, no there was no unusual smell or coloration. Everything looked normal. I will post any poop from the lab when I hear from the inspector. Thanks again for the interest.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    526

    Default Re: Sick Hive after Package Installed

    At this point, I'd do some simple math.

    Cost of a deep, with inner and outer cover, set of frames, and a new bottom board, all purchased at full on retail pricing, just a tad less than the cost of the package going into them. Your equipment has now been tried twice, and, two packages sick / dying out of the exercise.

    If it was me, at this point I would invest in one cup of gasoline, and a match, to 'heat treat' that whole stack. One thing I would absolutely NOT do, is keep the equipment kicking around, to use with other hives as they grow. I would NOT allow those frames, or that hive body, to come in contact with a healthy hive after this exercise, just not worth the risk. If you are absolutely convinced it's not a problem with the equipment, then set it out as a swarm trap, and let some 'free' bees prove the equipment is ok, but, I certainly wouldn't do that test with another package, or, a healthy hive.

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