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Thread: Empty hive

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Oakland, CA
    Posts
    6

    Default Empty hive

    Today I found my hive completely empty. The top 2 medium supers are full of capped honey. Can I extract this honey and reuse the frames? I will likely get new frames for the brood chamber. thanks for any advice!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,659

    Default Re: Empty hive

    Yes you can.

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

    Default Re: Empty hive

    Yes. Have you any clue as to what happened to the bees?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Oakland, CA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Empty hive

    Quote Originally Posted by westernbeekeeper View Post
    Yes. Have you any clue as to what happened to the bees?
    A few possible theories: 1) not enough space in the hive (was going to get into the hive this weekend and get ready for the warm weather); 2) lots of ants; 3) AFB. the more I look at photos online of AFB I think that's what happened. Just 3 days ago I took a look inside and queen had started laying brood above the bottom deep super, so I thought everything was OK.

    what an awful feeling to lose the whole hive after they seemed to have survived the winter. this is my first year as a beekeeper and I thought I got through the first year.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,403

    Default Re: Empty hive

    My guess would be a heavy mite load caused them to abscond. Just curious if you did any treatment or checked the mite drop in the fall?

    I had two hives that succumbed to mites, one absconded and one died out. I thought it might have been AFB due to pictures I seen in books and on the Internet, but the ropy test showed otherwise.
    Coyote Creek Bees

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Oakland, CA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Empty hive

    I was pretty good about regular mite checks and doing powdered sugar application when the count was higher than it should be. But you're right- the pictures of varroa and AFB look really similar.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,921

    Default Re: Empty hive

    How many bees were in the hive 3 days ago? If she was laying and population looked healthy, why would you suspect AFB and did you ever monitor for mites?

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