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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    122

    Default Winter cluster surrounded by dead bees?

    I wish I had taken a photo, but what is going on in a few hives is that the winter cluster is surrounded by a 'donut' of dead bees.
    It is really cold here, and has been about -5 F, plus or minus for the last month and just warmed up to about freezing.
    It is very common here for winter clusters to die in their winter cluster with plenty of honey available.

    Any ideas what might cause this? And what to do? Flip around a few frames so they don't starve? It's too cold to open them but sometimes you gotta just do it I'm thinking?
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Peace River, AB Canada
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Winter cluster surrounded by dead bees?

    Are you still in Vancouver? That seems pretty cold.
    If temps are above freezing you can rearrange frames to get honey against the cluster but I would avoid moving any frames in the cluster.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: Winter cluster surrounded by dead bees?

    Actually not in Vancouver, much colder here. It is bordering on freezing right now as it has warmed up.
    I will switch frames around a bit- not something you'd like to do mid winter of course.
    Any ideas what may cause this?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,194

    Default Re: Winter cluster surrounded by dead bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtslinger2 View Post
    Actually not in Vancouver, much colder here.
    Where is "here"?

    Your posts show you as in Vancouver. You can PM Barry with your new location and ask him to update your account. Offering advice is difficult without knowing a location.

    You haven't offered much detail about your hive setup, but I would wonder whether condensation is an issue. And if the available honey is not on the frames that the bees are clustered on, consider using the Mountain Camp method to place granulated sugar directly above the cluster
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

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