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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Drain, OR
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    Default Curious what's going on here

    So a buddy of mine got interested in keeping bees and gave me a call. He said he's found a few wild colonies and would like to do a cutout or two. He took me to see one of the colonies that has lived in an abandoned house. There are actually two colonies in this house, one on each side of the house, up around the roofline. One of the colonies had been the stronger one last year, but seems weaker this year. That colony has a huge pile of carcasses under it. I've never seen so many. At first I thought it might gotten poisoned and had a mass die off, but there was no decay or decomposition due to moisture. Instead all the bee carcasses looked in good shape, dry.

    Has anyone seen a carcass debri pile like this? At its deepest it is probably 4-6 inches thick.

    IMG_1666.jpg
    A backyard hobbyist, keeping hives since '09. ~ http://www.sweetthangchocolates.com
    Zone 8a/8b

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Drain, OR
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    430

    Default Re: Curious what's going on here

    The deep part is near the window. At first I thought maybe a swarm came in and died against the window. But there is no start of comb being built, and I can't imagine why a swarm would stay until it all starved when they could have been building comb in an ideal location.
    A backyard hobbyist, keeping hives since '09. ~ http://www.sweetthangchocolates.com
    Zone 8a/8b

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Drain, OR
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: Curious what's going on here

    Here is a shot of the top of the room above the pile.

    IMG_1668.jpg
    A backyard hobbyist, keeping hives since '09. ~ http://www.sweetthangchocolates.com
    Zone 8a/8b

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO United States
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    928

    Default Re: Curious what's going on here

    How big was the pile last year? is it just accumulating? The light from the window may be drawing them down, and then many can't figure out how to get out of the room. The holes on the roof line seems small, wouldn't a mass die off have blocked up the holes? Can water get into the hive when it rains or snows?
    Please excuse me, I am now free to go manage & treat :)
    my ladies the best way I know how.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Drain, OR
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    430

    Default Re: Curious what's going on here

    Great questions that I don't really know the answer to. I'll try to ask my buddy if the pile accumulated over time, I think he's been watching the colonies for a few years. The deep part of the pile is indeed right in front of the window, so I thought about that too. It just seems like an awful lot of bees to have just been from trapped ones hitting the window. And even then, they aren't really trapped here, there is a lot of obvious ways in and out of this structure. I didn't see actual comb from the hive, but I believe it is in in between the roof and the ceiling. There is also holes I think right in the top point that open up into the ceiling area. I though maybe the colony was dropping it's dead out of one of those holes to clean up.
    A backyard hobbyist, keeping hives since '09. ~ http://www.sweetthangchocolates.com
    Zone 8a/8b

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lee\'s Summit, MO
    Posts
    2,190

    Default Re: Curious what's going on here

    I had that happen at a cut out I eventually did. There was a hive in the wall and there were 2 exits, one inside, one out. Any bee that exited the inside was drawn to one of 2 windows where the tried to get out and eventually died. Looks exactly like what's in the photo. The dead were 1 to 2 inches thick. The thickest being closest to the window.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Drain, OR
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    430

    Default Re: Curious what's going on here

    Thanks for the feedback D Coates. That could be it.
    A backyard hobbyist, keeping hives since '09. ~ http://www.sweetthangchocolates.com
    Zone 8a/8b

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Drain, OR
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: Curious what's going on here

    Thanks for the feedback D Coates. That could be it.
    A backyard hobbyist, keeping hives since '09. ~ http://www.sweetthangchocolates.com
    Zone 8a/8b

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