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Thread: the sad truth

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    boxford, mass.
    Posts
    65

    Default the sad truth

    Looked into one of the hives today because there was large numbers dead on their porch and around the hive. They are dead. There was a baseball sized cluster inside with capped brood, but they were all dead. They still had some capped honey and uncapped nectar with pollen too. The strange thing is, they were eating, or appeared to be eating, the comb they were clustered on. Anyone else see them doing this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    591

    Default Re: the sad truth

    Sorry to hear this. It has been too cold for me to look, but it is supposed to be in the mid 50's on Friday, so I may take a quick look then. I have had dead bee's in the snow up to 50' out from the hives. I was hoping that was a good sign that they were still alive and trying to fly......maybe not.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,534

    Default Re: the sad truth

    Same thing happened to me twice. Is there a queen with the cluster?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,833

    Default Re: the sad truth

    jpelley, sorry about your loss, I had one loss myself already this winter, they were slightly larger cluster than yours. There was plenty of honey in the box just above them, but the combs they were clustered on were bone dry, kind of hard to believe they couldn't move up a little bit, the winter temps have really not been that cold yet. I am surprised that the cluster of yours had capped brood already, just seems a bit early for your area and mine, but maybe with the mild weather they are starting earlier this year. John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    boxford, mass.
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: the sad truth

    I didn't see the queen in the cluster but didn't really look for her. There was two days last week that were in the singles. I'm thinking they were trying to replenish their numbers to help the cluster but it was to late. The capped honey was right next to them on the same frame. I just don't understand why they were chewing away on the comb?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,534

    Default Re: the sad truth

    This is getting to sound way too familiar.
    I know of at least 12 of these same exact scenarios, with absolutely no concrete reason as to why they just left so late in the year.
    I thought it was just my bad luck kicking in.

    Sounds like CCD took my bees.
    Last edited by Mr.Beeman; 01-09-2013 at 04:41 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,764

    Default Re: the sad truth

    I'm hearing and seeing this too. I wouldn't call it CCD at this point but I do know that my stores were lighter than I liked going into the winter.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    boxford, mass.
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: the sad truth

    The big problem over here was a lot for swarming. We started with 6, two overwintered and four new packages. The swarming started in may and ended in August! Ended up with 19 hives going then did a couple combines and went into winter with 14. Did lots of feeding and hope for the best.

  9. #9

    Default Re: the sad truth

    Although I was still seeing drones a week or 2 ago (why? how?) dropping in the snow just south of you - there really shouldn't be any capped brood in New England hives right now - or is that why I got an F in Bee School? Maybe the capped brood was old, dead brood that may or may not be related to the cause of the hive loss? Just a thought. My condolences. And to repeat a line of inquiry - your mite treatment/monitoring?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    boxford, mass.
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: the sad truth

    I didn't see any mites, and they didn't have them in the fall. If I were seeing drones at this time of year I'd think that hive they are coming from was in trouble, queenless and lying worker, but I thought they could still rise brood. All of the bees in the dead cluster were super fuzzy leading me to believe they can.

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