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Thread: Month of Death

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Brookline Massachusetts USA
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    88

    Default Month of Death

    in which month during the winter do most hives dies?

  2. #2
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    May 2012
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    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
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    Default Re: Month of Death

    I'd say between Jan. and Feb.

  3. #3
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    Jul 2011
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    Evansville, IN
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    2,473

    Default Re: Month of Death

    I suspect late winter -- in this area, late Feb into mid March. They usually start brooding up then, and are at great danger of starving if it gets warm for a week or two and then cold and rainy.

    We lose most of our hives then, as a general rule, although sometimes a few don't get that far.

    Peter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
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    2,678

    Default Re: Month of Death

    Around here April is the cruel month.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2009
    Location
    Kalamazoo,MI
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    325

    Default Re: Month of Death

    Late March here.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    MILLVILLE, CA 96062 USA
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    40

    Default Re: Month of Death

    Good mourning. I came on here today to ask a question about my dead hive,,, and here is the answer I was seeking. It has been in the teens to low twentys at night for about a month. The days have been mixed with cold clear day to cold wet days. I checked the hive this morning,, and have about 25 bees alive and flying around. I run 2 deeps and 1 medium. The medium is completly loaded with capped honey. The middle deep has capped honey in the 3 outside frames on each side, and empty brood cells throughout the rest of the frames. The lower deep is all empty brood cells. I found 2 empty queen cells and about 12 empty drone cells. The bees that are still on the frames look completly normal,,grouped together,,, except they are dead. (about 100 total throught the hive). So, I guess this is a normal occurance? Could I have done something to save them from dying and/or swarming? Should I re-invest money for another nuc? Thanx for your time. Have a great day.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,092

    Default Re: Month of Death

    Quote Originally Posted by BOYZNUS View Post
    except they are dead. (about 100 total throught the hive).
    100 dead bees in the hive, that's it? Is the queen there too?

    Your cluster is too small to stay warm. And that few of bees would not be able to defend to hive.

    Did you treat for mites? Did you monitor your mites?

    The 25 fling around are most likely robber bees come to get the honey they will be back in full force as it get warmer. Close up the hive to protect the honey. With that much honey a new package will get a good start.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    JACKSON OHIO
    Posts
    485

    Default Re: Month of Death

    late feb to march warms up flowers bloom bees start raising brood cold snap hits bees will not leave brood starve

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kaysville, Utah, USA
    Posts
    384

    Default Re: Month of Death

    I'm told here in Utah it's February.
    Don't provoke a hive full of angry bees.

  10. #10
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    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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    1,973

    Default Re: Month of Death

    March here.

  11. #11
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    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
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    608

    Default Re: Month of Death

    CT here and DONT kill your dandelions if you had been. One of the 1st things to bloom and a good pollen source. Being on the coastal area the winter is almost over for us in another 6 weeks.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    1,586

    Default Re: Month of Death

    I would say Nov., Dec., and Jan. are the worst months here. The queen bee shuts down and not enough bees going into winter is hard. Trying to keep up with the warm and wet weather pattern really had an impact on the bees. We'll see how Feb. is going for them.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Pepperell, MA.
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    3,741

    Default Re: Month of Death

    I lose most of mine in the very late winter and early spring. Just about when you see them flying here and there and think "phew....they made it", they don't.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    1,586

    Default Re: Month of Death

    Ravenseye, why? Can you share the issues as to why suddenly there is a loss?
    Is it foods, weather, bees themselves, diseases, pests, etc?
    I think knowing the problem might be preventable in the future hives.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
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    3,840

    Default Re: Month of Death

    I think mostly bees starve in the spring when they can't cover their brood and still reach the food they tunnelled thru over cold winter. Those are the avoidable losses. 15% of your colonies are going to dies because of queenlessness, pests and disease about every year no matter what you do.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Pepperell, MA.
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    3,741

    Default Re: Month of Death

    The queen kicks in around late winter. Suddenly you have brood in the colony that needs food. Pollen and honey are used up very quickly. Yes, there is some pollen out there in this area. Maybe willow, skunk cabbage. Possibly silver maple. A few others. But maybe not enough. Worst case is that they get geared up and we hit a cold snap. Or a long wet spell. Colony stores get depleted and you crash. I've had many a colony come through feezing cold and driving snow only to starve just when pollen pops. There is something to be said for feeding early and something to be said for feeding late in the fall. But if the spring hits with colder days, a teetering colony around here is likely to be a deadout. Anbd that doesn't take into account mites, disease, etc. It's hard to watch and harder to accept but bees are livestock and you have to develop a mindset around their keeping. You're a steward, not a saviour.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    1,586

    Default Re: Month of Death

    The queen kicks in around late winter. Suddenly you have brood in the colony that needs food. Pollen and honey are used up very quickly. Yes, there is some pollen out there in this area. Maybe willow, skunk cabbage. Possibly silver maple. A few others. But maybe not enough.
    ** To fix, I just put some patties inside the hive during the winter months. They can use at anytime they like to. No need to worry if the queen decided to kick in early. The Italian bee produce all year long when enough resources are available for them.

    Worst case is that they get geared up and we hit a cold snap. Or a long wet spell. Colony stores get depleted and you crash.
    ** Again feed during the winter time since they are not going anywhere either thru the rain or the cold.

    I've had many a colony come through feezing cold and driving snow only to starve just when pollen pops.
    ** I would put a heat pad (on low) on top to keep them warm. Cover the hive up afterward.

    But if the spring hits with colder days, a teetering colony around here is likely to be a deadout.
    ** Always monitor the weather here. When it is sunny I took off the cover and turn off the
    heat pad. When it is cold and rainy I put the cover back on and turn on the heat pad.

    Anbd that doesn't take into account mites, disease, etc. It's hard to watch and harder to accept but bees are livestock and you have to develop a mindset around their keeping. You're a steward, not a saviour.
    ** Get some VSH hygenic bees at least that would help somewhat. I know we are just a steward here but sometimes I like to think I can help them more.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras
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    65

    Default Re: Month of Death

    Winter, what's that?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Athens, greece
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    134

    Default Re: Month of Death

    Here the elders say << in March count your hives>>

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Pepperell, MA.
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    Default Re: Month of Death

    Drakos is right! Again, for me the late winter and early spring is the toughest part of the year.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

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