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Thread: dead hive

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bunker Hill, IL
    Posts
    504

    Default dead hive

    last week We had a warm 55deg day and sunny. 2 of my 3 hives were out flying, so i decided to check on the third.

    Dead.

    decent cluster in the middle of the second box, right under a full med super of capped honey. I did not tear into it. I will when its warmer still and take pics. THis hive was inspected by the local state IL inspector as part of my yearly inspection per IL rules late in the year and found the queen, and had low mite load. It was non-treated for mites like the other 2 hives i have. It was also the new 3lb package i bought in the spring. It did well in the spring, putting up at least 2 supers of honey. (i took one) with the successful late inspection i did not expect it to die like it did.

    I opened up the second hive next to it to check it out, after i opened it up i remembered i had moved some foundationless frames (starter strips) into it in between honey frames hopeing hey would draw them out toward the middle of summer (after july 4th when i took honey). They hadnt done anything with those frames so i went through that box, removed any empty frames and back filled with full capped frames from the other hive. that have now has one less super on it (less dead space) and a full super of capped honey right above the brood box were the cluster was, i expect it to make it thru to spring fine.

    the third hive was strong and didnt want me messing with it, so i left it be. Ill do a more through check on it in feb and move the last 4 frames of capped honey to if if i need to.

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

    Default Re: dead hive

    It's always tough losing a hive. Keep us posted with the pics and your best quesstimate of how/why they perished.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: dead hive

    The ones that I have lost that sound like yours were due to moisture. Bees survive cold but wet is deadly. Sometimes the cluster can't move to the honey and they starve with honey just inches away. We can do everything right by the bees but we still loose them. I have come to the belief that just because we put them in a nice box and watch over them, they can still perish despite our best efforts. Happens like that in the wild. It is still good info to find out, if you can, why.
    For me, I like new hives and have limited space a equipment. I look at this as an opportunity to make a split from my other hives and improve my bee lines Best to you
    Rick

  4. #4

    Default Re: dead hive

    Quote Originally Posted by schmism View Post
    had low mite load.
    How does the inspector test for mites?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bunker Hill, IL
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: dead hive

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    How does the inspector test for mites?
    he picked up drones and check them for mites. spent about 2 min doing it. out of 20 or so drones he picked up he found like 3 mites total.

    I generally dont have issues with moisture. I have peaked tops i use. (like the copper ones only not copper) and the moisture collects on the tin, but then runs down the inside slope to the edges, so i never get moisture directly dripping back down into the hive.

  6. #6

    Default Re: dead hive

    Quote Originally Posted by schmism View Post
    he picked up drones and check them for mites. spent about 2 min doing it. out of 20 or so drones he picked up he found like 3 mites total.
    Not a very relevant mite testing protocol.
    I would strongly encourage you to do some research on mite testing methods. 3 phoretic mites on 20 drones is high.....15%...... and likely that the levels would be higher on the nurse bee population.
    Good luck.
    Last edited by beemandan; 01-17-2013 at 06:47 AM.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,901

    Default Re: dead hive

    I'm fairly certain most package bee producers treat for mites, so having a hive that was started from a package die in the first year from mites is not common, but there are always exceptions I guess, I have never had an issue with high mite counts the first year when buying packages, the counts tend to increase substantially the second and third years though without treatments. John

  8. #8

    Default Re: dead hive

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    so having a hive that was started from a package die in the first year from mites is not common, the counts tend to increase substantially the second and third years though without treatments. John
    This is an interesting study….part of the CAPS grant.
    http://www.beeccdcap.uga.edu/documen...umnDec2012.pdf

    They set up 7 separate beeyards in different states with 30 hives each….started from package bees in the spring of 2009. A total of 210 colonies. They were fed as needed but otherwise untreated.
    The first season losses ranged from around 3% (1 hive) to 40% (12 hives).
    It appears that by the end of season three, 5 colonies out of the initial 210 remained.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

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