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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Rochester, NY, USA

    Default Re: dead bees in front of entrance

    Whenever we spend a gazillion dollars to send some nuclear powered ice breaker to rescue some whales that got caught in an ice hole too far north, or "rescue" a bunch of beached dolphins, or... rescue bees not bright enough to make it back to the hive -- I wonder if we're messing with the natural selection process too much. Seriously -- maybe winter survival depends on a certain % of the bees NOT making it back in order to keep winter populations down. Not that I think those of you rescuing a few bees as an experiment are tampering with the laws of nature, I'm just wondering if these foragers with bad judgement (not making it back to the hive) are, counter-intuitively, good for the hive.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Coatesville, Pa, USA

    Default Re: dead bees in front of entrance

    If you only have 1 or 2 hives it's not as much of an issue, but if you have more than that there just isn't enough time to do this. I haven't done it really at all this year to try to "save" a few bees. My one hive was booming on Saturday and last night I didn't see any outside that were new ones. I did find one that had a mite on it's abdomen though. Perhaps she left to assist the hive. Needless to say I did leave the bee alone, but the mite is DEAD!!! I know there's more going on than what we can understand. So I'm letting bees be bees this year. I would be interested in what some other thoughts are as to why they are out of the hive and die.
    1- mite on her (sacrificing for the well being of the hive)
    2- DWV on another bee
    3- too high of a population
    4- old bee getting out before she dies
    5- poor judge of outside temps and got too cold to fly

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Kaysville, Utah, USA

    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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