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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Posts
    608

    Default dead bees in front of entrance

    We had our first snow in CT last night and this morning there's a few dead bees outside and a few at the entrance is this normal? I haven't put any wrap on the hives because they're against the fence in the corner and the house protects so they can only get a easterly wind.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Sutton,Ma
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: dead bees in front of entrance

    The snow made you notice. That's all.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Peace River, AB Canada
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: dead bees in front of entrance

    I worry if I don't see any dead bees in the snow.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    arvad, colorado, usa
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: dead bees in front of entrance

    I've noticed that when it's below 50 F and cloudy, the bees will drag out their dead and just push them off the landing board. I assume it's just too cold for them to carry off the dead like they usually do, so they just do the minimal.

    I spend way too much time just standing in front of the hives, watching the bees. :-)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Posts
    608

    Default Re: dead bees in front of entrance

    There was a pile about 10 infront too. They're so smart it's amazing.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Brownsburg, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: dead bees in front of entrance

    I've had around several hundred die hanging around the hive on the outside, like stuck to the outside when it's warm, then when it gets cool, like around 45 their dead.
    Is this normal?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kaysville, Utah, USA
    Posts
    384

    Default Re: dead bees in front of entrance

    That worries me, too. We had a cold snap last night and snow all day today (currently it's exactly 32 degrees). There were almost 30 on the landing board this morning. My neighbor assures me his hives are doing the same. If I press my ear up against the hive I can hear a continuous buzz, so I guess everything's OK.
    Don't provoke a hive full of angry bees.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Belews Creek, NC, USA
    Posts
    328

    Default Re: dead bees in front of entrance

    Dave...if I understand you correctly, one of my hives did the same thing the other day, but not as many as yours. It looked like they died exactly where they landed. In the picture, every visible bee, except the cluster at the entrance, is dead. Only happened once and there hasn't been any more dead ones since, but it sure seemed odd to me.

    Dead.jpg

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Posts
    608

    Default Re: dead bees in front of entrance

    I don't think they're dead. I think the cold has slowed they're level of activity.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    307

    Default Re: dead bees in front of entrance

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBuzz View Post
    I don't think they're dead. I think the cold has slowed they're level of activity.
    So, they're only "Mostly Dead?" - Miracle Max

    Tony P.
    There must be a harder way to do that... let me find it for you.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    647

    Default Re: dead bees in front of entrance

    Any insights and thoughts from experienced beekeepers as to why bees are trying to fly when too cold?

    Are they older foragers still heading out for pollen/nectar?

    Are they being helped out of the hive as they are of little value over winter, similar to drone expulsion? Or do they leave on their own accord for betterment of the hive?

    Hive is too warm inside and bees think flying is still on?
    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kaysville, Utah, USA
    Posts
    384

    Default Re: dead bees in front of entrance

    I'm not sure how many (if any) of the bees I rescued made it back to the hive. Most of them just flew up and off in random directions, like they were still foraging. One of them flew up about 30 feet in the air (towards the hive) then dropped like a stone. I found her 7 inches into the snow, completely dead (warming her up again didn't help).

    As has been pointed out, this has been happening for as long as there have been bees. It's probably not something to worry about, provided your hive was strong going into winter. Still, it's unnerving to see all those dead bees! I imagine this will be easier to stomach next year.
    Don't provoke a hive full of angry bees.

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