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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
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    2,267

    Default Re: First Winter Deadout! (plus photos)

    A pertinent aside. I use Mann Lake PF's, and Michael Bush explained to me in another thread (a year or more ago) that the reason that there is a lot of burr comb between the boxes is that the narrow plastic top and bottom bars are not an impediment to comb building. I believe that whilst in the summer this is a PIA, in the winter it is a benefit because the cluster can travel up more easily.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,572

    Default Re: First Winter Deadout! (plus photos)

    what kind of space do you have between your boxes Benjamin?

    unless your space is a gap, they will have no trouble crossing over
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
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    1,693

    Default Re: First Winter Deadout! (plus photos)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    what kind of space do you have between your boxes Benjamin?

    unless your space is a gap, they will have no trouble crossing over
    There is a 3/16" gap between the top of the bottom frames and the bottom of the top frames, with plenty of burr comb to span.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Peace River, AB Canada
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: First Winter Deadout! (plus photos)

    Did you have any empty cells in the center frames in the top box for the cluster to move into?
    The Hive and the Honey Bee mentions, "A colony may starve if the upper food-brood chamber is honey-bound since the cluster often fails to move up but remains in the lower chamber(s)."

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: First Winter Deadout! (plus photos)

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    They are not that expensive. I bought one and do free do the exam for free for local beekeepers.
    We at Cheyenne Honey Company are thinking about starting a bee research lab here in Cheyenne, WY. I am quite interested in research on various honeybee ailments and diseases.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    A cluster that size, all else being well, would have been quite capable of moving to the honey. As an aside, I'm often reading about bees "starving", right next to honey. Unless weather is REALLY extreme or the bees otherwise sick or in poor health, this doesn't happen. Usually when people say that it's actually mites but in this case I don't think so.

    From the pics, can probably rule out mites. By definition, a hive that collapses from mites leaves behind a lot of dead brood. It has to be that way, or the hive wouldn't collapse. While the hive is collapsing from mites the bees do not clear up the dead larvae because they are weakened themselves and are just not up to it. Unless there's brood hidden under those bees, it's not mites.

    I'm with Squarepeg, Nosema Ceranae. It would definately be worth testing for. Unlike Nosema Apis, (normal nosema), that causes dysentry and is obvious, bees with Nosema Ceranae don't get dysentry, but get sapped of their energy, go off their food, and in an extreme case can end up exactly as per your pics.
    Oldtimer, I am definitely heavily taking N. Ceranae in as a factor. I have done some good research on it, some of that being with Michael Andree of Bee Informed. Great guy, lots of great info, with up-to-date research on up-to-date problems. I may get them tested. Can I put more bees into the equipment without great concern?

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: First Winter Deadout! (plus photos)

    Quote Originally Posted by JD's Bees View Post
    Did you have any empty cells in the center frames in the top box for the cluster to move into?
    The Hive and the Honey Bee mentions, "A colony may starve if the upper food-brood chamber is honey-bound since the cluster often fails to move up but remains in the lower chamber(s)."
    No. Pretty much every cell is full in the upper story. There are a handful of empty cell on the outer frames, but only one cell here and there on the center 7-8 frames.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,355

    Default Re: First Winter Deadout! (plus photos)

    S peg,
    Out of reach is out of reach when they are locked down in a tight cluster.
    Walt

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,127

    Default Re: First Winter Deadout! (plus photos)

    Don't think I've ever seen a "locked down" cluster.

    Will admit though that I haven't experienced winters as cold as some of you guys.

    However, to the case in hand, have another look at the pics. You will see the cluster, with bees clinging to the top bar, and on top of the top bar. There is also bridging comb on the top bar that would have been connected to the frame above, with the odd bee on that. The evidence would be that the bees were connected to the top comb, I think the problem is not a gap they couldn't cross, they already crossed it.
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 12-13-2012 at 03:57 AM.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: First Winter Deadout! (plus photos)

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Will admit though that I haven't experienced winters as cold as some of you guys.
    The coldest temp we've had so far this winter is about 0 F.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,572

    Default Re: First Winter Deadout! (plus photos)

    there would of been lots of opportunity for the cluster to re locate further up
    If bee could not cross over between boxes many of us would be in trouble,

    yesterday I did some work in my wintering shed, and did a hive assessment. Peered down into some of my doubles, most all of them are holding a cluster inbetween the two boxes
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,572

    Default Re: First Winter Deadout! (plus photos)

    Quote Originally Posted by JD's Bees View Post
    Did you have any empty cells in the center frames in the top box for the cluster to move into?
    The Hive and the Honey Bee mentions, "A colony may starve if the upper food-brood chamber is honey-bound since the cluster often fails to move up but remains in the lower chamber(s)."
    With disease aside, this might be my next guess to why the bees would not of moved up. Is that honey hardened canola honey by chance? When that honey granulates, it forms as hard as a rock, and smaller hives like the one you showed will have trouble using it. But anytime I have had that trouble, it was with smaller colonies, but they were actively trying to use it,..
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,900

    Default Re: First Winter Deadout! (plus photos)

    ben, did you see any brood at all underneath the dead cluster?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  13. #33
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,743

    Default Re: First Winter Deadout! (plus photos)

    Last Sunday you had a low of 2. It's hard for me to believe mites killed all your bees at once. Your other hives are doing well in the same location from what I'm gathering.
    Looking at the clusters, it seems as if they all died within minutes of each other. I've seen or heard of five hives dying off in this manner so far this winter, mine included.
    If they starved, I would think you would see piles of bees that died off over days on the bottom board.
    This still has me scratching my head.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    brownwood, TX, USA
    Posts
    862

    Default Re: First Winter Deadout! (plus photos)

    I'm new to beekeeping, with only 20 months of experience, and I live in hardness zone 8a, so I do not have clue as to what happened to this bee colony. The one thing I am sure about is that Westernbeekeeper did a wonderful presentation with the start of this thread. The pictures with the brief explanations were exceptionally good. That this was done by one so young is a testament that this man is a keeper. I pray that there are many other youngsters out there of this caliber.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
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    1,693

    Default Re: First Winter Deadout! (plus photos)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    With disease aside, this might be my next guess to why the bees would not of moved up. Is that honey hardened canola honey by chance? When that honey granulates, it forms as hard as a rock, and smaller hives like the one you showed will have trouble using it. But anytime I have had that trouble, it was with smaller colonies, but they were actively trying to use it,..
    The only nectar sources available that I knew of was irrigated alfalfa. The honey is still very liquid, and I could extract it if I wanted, but I'll plan on keeping it for feed.

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    ben, did you see any brood at all underneath the dead cluster?
    The was no brood of any stage at all in the hive.

    Quote Originally Posted by lazy shooter View Post
    I'm new to beekeeping, with only 20 months of experience, and I live in hardness zone 8a, so I do not have clue as to what happened to this bee colony. The one thing I am sure about is that Westernbeekeeper did a wonderful presentation with the start of this thread. The pictures with the brief explanations were exceptionally good. That this was done by one so young is a testament that this man is a keeper. I pray that there are many other youngsters out there of this caliber.
    Thank you for the compliment. I just love working with bees, and I plan to make it my career. I would like to do bee research work too.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: First Winter Deadout! (plus photos)

    I have brushed all the loose bees off the comb, but what do I do with all the bees that are stuck headfirst in the cells? If I install a package on this comb next spring, with they clean them all out? Any suggestions?
    On second thought, maybe I should just stick the frames in the extractor and try to spin the dead bees out!

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,267

    Default Re: First Winter Deadout! (plus photos)

    Ben, just put the comb that has the "headfirst" bees in a dry place and when you add that comb to a colony they will clean it out in no time. Is this the first wintering dead-out you have come across? If your winter losses are low I wouldn't buy a package - just make a split and add a queen as it is more economical.
    Maybe you'll need to alter your tag line to "beekeeper since 2009, 92 hives"

  18. #38
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: First Winter Deadout! (plus photos)

    This is the second deadout I have had in three years. The first one was in my first winter and it also starved. No honey at all in the hive, so I could understand starving then, but not now. Yes, my signature used to be 94, but I just edited it to read 93. Nice catch though!

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,267

    Default Re: First Winter Deadout! (plus photos)

    That is a great record. Good job.

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Old Town, Maine, USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: First Winter Deadout! (plus photos)

    I just banged the bases of the frames containing dead bees on a solid surface. Most of the corpses that were in the cells ejected. Those that didn't were hauled out in short order when I put it in the active hive. Congratulations on this only being your second deadout man! I think I've got 2 out of the 4 hives in the yard right now.

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