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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Granby, MO
    Posts
    76

    Default Weird hive death

    Had two hives going into winter, one weak and another strong. The strong one died. Today it looked like they were bearding, and since it was only in the high 30s, I went to check it out. All dead bees. Tapped on the box and nothing. Opened it up and still some sugar left from feeding them, but all the bees are dead. Not really clustered -- bees were evenly distributed throughout the hive like they would be in the summer. A lot of bees, plenty on every frame and everywhere in the hive.

    Most of the sugar was gone -- maybe I didn't give them enough. Maybe they couldn't reach it. But our days have been warm and both hives have had regular activity. It doesn't seem like they would have starved and definitely not have gotten too cold. How did I kill them?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,260

    Default Re: Weird hive death

    Sorry for your lost but don't be too harsh on yourself. There are many factors at play
    here for a lost hive. Sometimes not your fault at all doing the best way you can already for them.
    Nature is sometime very mysterious it seems. If you cannot find out what is the issues here then
    have to rebuild for the future.
    Did you see the dead queen bee too?
    And what hive body did you use for overwintering them?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,507

    Default Re: Weird hive death

    Do you have large numbers head first in cells? That is the usually giveaway that they starved. Could be a disease that they will call ddb123 disease since it first happened to your bees--but that still doesn't mean you killed them. Send some off to Beltsville MD and they will tell you if a poison or pathenogen got them. The service is free.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    fairfield,ohio
    Posts
    640

    Default Re: Weird hive death

    Did you do a mite treatment last fall

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Granby, MO
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Weird hive death

    I did not find the queen bee. There were thousands of bees, looked like a full hive. I just used one hive body. Here in southwest MO the winters are short and generally mild (this one was). There were some head first in the cells, but they were the far minority. Not even as many headfirst in cells as there were clustered on the outside of the hive. The frames are all completely empty of honey and pollen, so I'm guessing I starved them. The sugar that was left on the top cover was in the corners and maybe they couldn't get to it. I checked my other hive and though it was alive, the sugar situation was the same so I quickly added some. I suppose I should have fed them more when I did it the first time. Or wintered in double deeps or a deep and a medium. Red clover is already starting to bloom here, so I didn't think I'd need to worry about them any more. I did not do a mite treatment; I was told that Russian bees are largely mite resistant and that first-year colonies rarely have mite issues.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Volga, SD
    Posts
    2,791

    Default Re: Weird hive death

    I think of Russians as overwintering with comparatively very small clusters.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,260

    Default Re: Weird hive death

    All I can say is to learn from this situation so to improve on the next one. There is nothing you can do now.
    What had happened already done. All you can do now is to let go and focus on your next strong hive. Maybe do a split when you have more bees later on. I would feed more on your stronger hive now maybe give them a patty and some syrup too. On a warm day they will come out to take the syrup in.

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