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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    oswego, ny, usa

    Default Loss of hive...opinions?

    Well I guess if you do it long enough its bound to happen. I have been at it for 2 years now and have never experienced the loss of a hive. I have 3 hives all wintered with 2 deeps and a shallow, and a candy board on top of that. I winterized this year just after halloween and haven't checked on them too much since. We had an unusual 60 degree day here last week and I noticed one of the hives didn't have the activity that the other two had. Checked it out and all bees were dead, don't really know how long they had been this way. Little to no brood. The bottom box was pretty empty. They still had frames of honey in the top box and hadn't even touched the shallow. I took some pix in hopes to get some thoughts from you folks. I guess the goal here is to learn from what has happened. There are quite a few butts up and heads down but I would think it is way too early in the winter to have them starve. My other thought was weak from mites and I did see what I think is the mite droppings (although picture kinda stinks). Any input would be appreciated.

    First opened up....

    Lotta butts showing....

    Not sure how well this shows up, the frame is upside down so the white "flakes" would be on top of the cells.....

    The aftermath....

  2. #2

    Default Re: Loss of hive...opinions?

    Your mite testing/treating?
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Concord, CA

    Default Re: Loss of hive...opinions?

    With all the bees in the cells head first I wonder if they didn't starve.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Rockford, MI

    Default Re: Loss of hive...opinions?

    Hard to tell from the pics alone. Do you run open SBD all winter?
    I had the same thing (sorta) happen here. 400-500 bees dead (tha'ts all there was in the hive after robbing made the bulk leave), some butts up. Plenty of stores... I know they froze out though. I am wondering if the bees will bury themselves in comb to keep warmer? This may look like the were looking for food.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Newark, Ohio

    Default Re: Loss of hive...opinions?

    That cluster is too big for just freezing. I dont see any honey in the frame on the second picture... starvation

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Peace River, AB Canada

    Default Re: Loss of hive...opinions?

    Bees will enter empty cells as part of the cluster.
    Bees are very hesitant about leaving brood as shown in the 3rd photo with bees clustered around unhatched cells.
    The frames above the cluster in the first two photos are empty, the outside frame seems to be mostly undrawn foundation. The cluster needs to always be in contact with stores or they will starve, which is what I see here.
    As for mites can't tell from pics but you can do an alcohol wash with the dead cluster and get an idea if mites were involved.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Loss of hive...opinions?

    Hi BeeManiac, Question what would you recomend to do to keep that hive from starving, Seems like there was plenty of food ,But why did the bees not go up, I am new at this and I don't quite understand what kept them from feeding . I had the samething happen to me. Not as many dead bees but all of them left I think. Did find a queen cell last week, Not sure what is going on.


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