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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Adell, WI, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Winter Kill - What to do?

    Sad day in the bee yard.

    Checked my bees and found that they did not make it through the winter. Both hives. I knew that they were light going into the winter even with feeding. It seems that they were separated from their food source.

    Now, what is the best way to clean them up and prepare the equipment for introduction of new package bees in the spring.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Lake County, Indiana
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: Winter Kill - What to do?

    I'm assuming that starvation was the cause of death not disease. I just remove as many bees as possible but don't go overboard. I will check frames and equipment for replacement and scrape off the bottom board. The bees do an amazing job cleaning up the hive. If you decide to clean up the hive when its cold, be cautious, the wax is extremely brittle.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Genola, Ut
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Winter Kill - What to do?

    I clean up the hive as soon as I can after I determine they are dead. If they are left the hive really start to stink. Don't worry about the bees that are head first in the cells. When you place these combs in a new hive the bees will clean everything up. I also close up the entrances when I store the supers, so mice don't get in.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Posts
    608

    Default Re: Winter Kill - What to do?

    If the hives is staying outside be sure wax moths can't get in either once it warms up.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,277

    Default Re: Winter Kill - What to do?

    sorry to hear about your bees morgan. do your best to figure out what happened, chalk it up to learning, and try to avoid it next time around. the drawn comb and honey will get this year's bees off to a good start. if your temps are below freezing up there don't worry. if it warms up before you get your bees, try to keep the frames in a freezer, or at least take measures to keep the wax moths and hive beetles out of them.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,009

    Default Re: Winter Kill - What to do?

    I just scrape off the burr comb and propolise chunks from the frames and put them in a plastic bag as a precaution. This year I have left my unused equipment outside to see how it fares. I don't know if that is right to do in your area or not.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,617

    Default Re: Winter Kill - What to do?

    Scrape the bottom board , and install new bees.

    Crazy Roland

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Southbury, CT
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: Winter Kill - What to do?

    Just out of curiosity:

    Were these 1st year hives?
    Were they started from Nucleus or Packages?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,789

    Default Re: Winter Kill - What to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    I just scrape off the burr comb and propolise chunks from the frames and put them in a plastic bag as a precaution. This year I have left my unused equipment outside to see how it fares. I don't know if that is right to do in your area or not.
    I close mine up and wait for spring to clean up when I make my spring splits. No danger of wax moths until June here. Freezing kills nosema and helps keep virus down IMO.

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