Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Hyattsville, MD
    Posts
    38

    Default Dead bees...was it the cold?

    Hi all,
    I'm a brand new beekeeper with a 47" top bar hive (end entrance) and a 3lb package of bees installed March 30th. Everything has been going along fine so far. I had some cross-combing issues, but have been dealing with that by cutting off the comb and re-attaching using hairclips.

    Anyway, the last five days, the weather took a turn for the worse and it has been cooler and rainy or very cloudy. The highs have been the lower 70s or upper 60s F and it has been dropping into the 50s at night. The bees have been flying, but not as many as before the weather turned and when I would peak through the window in my hive, lots of bees were just hanging out on the sides, seemingly not doing much. My last inspection was Saturday, May 5th just before the weather turned cooler. One thing I noticed was...not a lot of pollen stored.

    Normally I see 1-3 dead bees near the hive entrance on any given morning. This morning there were 40-50. What happened? Last night (Thursday, May 10th) the temperature dropped down to 47 F and it was very windy all day on Thursday. I have noticed with the increased raininess a few bees in a cluster at the hive entrance at night and in the early morning. They aren't there during the day when everyone is coming and going. Did they get trapped outside and get too cold? I'm an urban beekeeper, so most of their forage is going to be landscaped beds, flower gardens, etc.

    Sorry to go on so long, but I'm trying to provide as much detail as possible. Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance,
    Matt M.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Dead bees...was it the cold?

    Mine cluster in the entrance at night as well, especially when it is windy or a storm is on the horizon. I think it's a defensive measure to try and seal up the hive. I wouldn't worry about that. I suppose if it got really cold, the ones on the outside of that barricade could have died and fell to the ground. You're seeing 40-50 dead bees on the ground. Don't forget you should have 6000+ in the colony. Not a big deal there. As long as you still have a laying queen, and the bees are still flying when they can, I wouldn't worry. The bees will bounce back from it no problem. After all, if you installed your package 1.5 months ago, for all you know those bees on the ground outside could have just died of old age.

    No sweat man, just keep an eye on the queen and make sure she is still laying. Everything else will fall in line behind her.
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Denton, TX
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Dead bees...was it the cold?

    Sounds like a normal thing to me. Don't sweat losing some bees when the weather changs drastically. A 3lb package has 40K bees. Losing 50 or so is nothing.
    9/11/01 NEVER Forget! 343

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Peace River, AB Canada
    Posts
    455

    Default Re: Dead bees...was it the cold?

    Off topic but the average bees/pound is about 3500.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Branson, MO
    Posts
    541

    Default Re: Dead bees...was it the cold?

    Was wondering where 40,000 came from.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Hyattsville, MD
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Dead bees...was it the cold?

    Thanks for the responses. Seems like things are back to normal. Since that one cold morning with the 40 or so dead bees, it has warmed up and I'm only seeing 1-2 dead here and there. In fact, the very next day the better part of a brood comb appeared to hatch out. Since all of my comb is new and white at this point, its really easy to tell through my hive window when that happens as the hatched out cells turn yellowish/brown. Now the hive looks really strong. What a difference a few days make.

    Matt M.

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads