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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
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    430

    Default Dead normal for this time of year?

    I've noticed on the colder mornings lately there are more dead bees and pupae on the landing than usual?
    Not only there, but dead or slightly moving bees are clogging the reduced entrances.
    Could that be because it's too cold for the bees to completely drag them off the landing?
    Just guessing here but maybe in summer there are the same amount of bees dying but the living bees a better able to keep the landing cleaned off.

    Should I clear the entrances or let them do it?

    We have a cold morning here and its seems strange to not see see them out like when its warm weather.
    Hope they are ready for winter.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    2,415

    Default Re: Dead normal for this time of year?

    Are they drones? I'd clear it up for them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,861

    Default Re: Dead normal for this time of year?

    As it gets colder they move the dead ones shorter distances. In summer they fly off and drop them away from the hive unless there are many and then they drop them over the edge. In fall and spring on cold mornings they leave them on the landing board. In winter they let them fall on the hive bottom. I always like seeing dead bees on the landing board over winter. It means that the hive is still healthy enough to drag them out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
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    Default Re: Dead normal for this time of year?

    Thanks.
    There aren't too many drones yet.
    Btw, I did a search for this but didn't really find an answer

    Here are some photos.
    The entrance reducer needs to be sanded down to fit the entrance and haven't had time to do it yet.






  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,044

    Default Re: Dead normal for this time of year?

    Have you inspected this hive lately? What I am seeing is a bit troubling.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
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    430

    Default Re: Dead normal for this time of year?

    Hi Jim, could you elaborate more?
    I saw eggs two weeks ago.
    The population seemed healthy one week ago when I was inspecting the top super.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,044

    Default Re: Dead normal for this time of year?

    Does the hive have ample stores, is there a large cluster and why have these bees and pupae died. Is it possible that they have been exposed to any pesticides would be my first concerns along with, of course, high mite counts which can cause bees to drag out pupae and viruses vectored by the mites can account for dead adult bees. It might be normal to see a few dead adult bees drug out of the hive in the early spring but I'm thinking it shouldnt be happening at this time of the year.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,196

    Default Re: Dead normal for this time of year?

    I agree with Jim. Your pictures do not look to be normal attrition. Seeing pupae is normal this time of year, but that many adult bees that appear to be in fine shape would raise a flag for me. It doesn't appear that the dead adult bees have wings deformed or chewed.
    Regards, Barry

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: Dead normal for this time of year?

    Unsure about pesticides.
    I did look for deformed wings and they didn't appear to have any.
    This hive was from a split last Spring that came from another beekeeper.
    They always seemed to lag a bit behind the other hives in bee population until the end of August when they increased their numbers.
    Their honey stores appear satisfactory and were consuming all the sugar syrup I gave them.
    Throughout summer, in the back of mind I felt this colony was not going to make it.

    Tomorrow it's supposed to be 59, rain on Wed and in the low 60's Thurs and Fri.
    Is that warm enough for another inspection on cluster size?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
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    430

    Default Re: Dead normal for this time of year?

    I removed the entrance reducer and peeked in the hive entrance with a flashlight.
    Looks like a massacre in there but I'm fairly sure is wasn't a robbing incident.
    Soon as I can I'll do an inspection.

    If I find very few bees and there is still plenty of honey left, do I spread those honey frames out amongst the other colonies right away?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,044

    Default Re: Dead normal for this time of year?

    If you have other stronger hives nearby that don't have any dead bees then you can eliminate pesticides as the culprit. They may well have been robbed out since you have been recently feeding and you had noted the hive had been smaller than Your other hives. It's unlikely that you will find no live bees but a lot of honey. If you discover an empty hive with some dead bees I would suggest cleaning it out and storing it somewhere safe for the winter after making sure it is free of any shb or wax moth.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
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    Default Re: Dead normal for this time of year?

    Thanks for helping me.

    Besides cleaning out the dead bees and other debris, is there anything else that should get cleaned out?
    With winter coming, couldn't the hive be stored right where it is with the entrances closed off?
    I'm not sure how else to do that.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    Default Re: Dead normal for this time of year?

    Sure as long as you can keep the comb clean and dry and the mice out. Perhaps a heavy block on top as well to discourage any animals like raccoons.
    Ps Love your forge creations.
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 10-09-2012 at 06:40 AM.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
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    Default Re: Dead normal for this time of year?

    Thanks for liking my ironwork!

    I was able to do an inspection on all the colonies today.
    Temps were close to 60 but I didn't dig too much into the bottom super for eggs, saw lots of brood though.
    The colony in question looks good. No robbing and the bee population looks normal.
    All colonies have sufficient pollen and honey.

    I'm going to follow MB's advice and let the bees sort it out for now without intervening.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,044

    Default Re: Dead normal for this time of year?

    Glad to hear things look good and you have a good plan, my advice was based on your statement that "it looked like a massacre inside".
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
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    Default Re: Dead normal for this time of year?

    This colony just won't quit.
    I gave them a local over-wintered mated queen last Spring and really hope they make it.

    Guess that did sound a bit dramatic. LOL
    While looking in I saw dead bees all over the bottom board and they were piled up against the bottom opening on the inside.
    It had reminded me of the swarm we recently caught that got robbed out.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,068

    Default Re: Dead normal for this time of year?

    IMO I would install a new entrance reducer with a much smaller opening. Currently, mine are about 1/2" wide 3/8" tall. This will help the bees defend their territory and provide adequate ventillation for winter. That's a lot of dead bees. Maybe they died in battle.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
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    430

    Default Re: Dead normal for this time of year?

    Thanks Mr Beeman. I temporarily reduced them down with some grass.

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