Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Lodi, ca
    Posts
    15

    Default help with dead hive

    This was my first winter with my hive and im a little confused. I thought i had plenty of honey left for them and something still happened. I see dead bees with their heads stuck in the cells and the ones on the bottom board and outside have their tongues sticking out. the hive is completely gone but there is still probably 40-50# of honey left. What i want to know is is it safe to use the same hive again for a new package or do i have to start from scratch again and what could have possibly done this to my hive. Thanks in advance -Jake


    there are only a few capped brood cells and they are dried with a small hole in them, i did not treat for mites in the fall and i am not sure if its uncapped brood or honey in the brood area of the bottom deep but its jelly like in the cells if it is brood.
    Last edited by Jd's beez; 02-09-2013 at 02:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,017

    Default Re: help with dead hive

    Unless the hive died of AFB you can use it again. Is there any brood in the hive and if so can you post a pic of it? If the hive died of AFB there will be dead brood because AFB kills the hive by killing the brood and towards the end the bees do not have the strength to clear out the remaining dead brood. But don't panic if there is dead brood, other issues can cause this too, that's why we need a pic.

    Re - what you could have done to save the hive, a recent study has found that varroa mites are implicated in the majority of winter losses. So, the obvious questions are did you monitor varroa or look for danger signs last fall, and did you treat the hive for mites and if so with what?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,505

    Default Re: help with dead hive

    Take a good look at the cells in the brood area. If they have a tarry residue in them that you cannot easily dislodge with a toothpick, and stink, you need to have the hive checked for AFB. If that residue is rubbery and can be fairly easily popped out of the cell intact, you probably had European Foul Brood -- it was a problem last year, cost me my only hive in the spring. AFB means extract and use the honey, burn the hive (you can save the boxes if you scorch them with a propane torch). EFB, you should be able to re-use the hive, although some people will say not to.

    If, on the other hand, you find lots of tiny white specs in the brood cells, you had mites really badly last year, and the bees died off after the weather got cold because they were all sick. This happened to my brother last year, after 7 years of no treatments and no problems, a large, healthy hive full of honey was empty in March, just a few dead bees in it.

    The most likely cause was mites -- when you have a large number of mites in the hive, as the brood area shrinks in the fall in preparation for winter, all the pupae get heavily infested with mites, much more so than usual because the number of mites is at it's highest and the amount of brood is very small compared to summer. The result is weak, often deformed bees from having mites feed on them in the pupae stage, and quite often a number of viral diseases carried by the mites. The weak bees, instead of living all winter as winter bees are supposed to, die rather quickly, the cluster gets too small to stay warm and to cover adequate stores, and they starve or freeze.

    This seems to happen most to large, active hives, probably due to their ability to sustain themselves with large mite populations, then when they reduce the hive size, they are overrun.

    In the future, doe a powdered sugar roll or dusting with a sticky board in August and verify the mite load. If you have more than minimal numbers, you will need to treat or the hive will likely fail in December or so.

    Peter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: help with dead hive

    "instead of living all winter as winter bees are supposed to"

    I thought that the bee life span was 6-7 weeks.
    2nd Year New-Bee - 15 Hives, 11 Nuc's, 26 Swarms, 3 Cut outs in 2014
    Zone 10 - B - Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: help with dead hive

    Oops
    2nd Year New-Bee - 15 Hives, 11 Nuc's, 26 Swarms, 3 Cut outs in 2014
    Zone 10 - B - Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,017

    Default Re: help with dead hive

    Lifespan depends on seasonal activity. Summer life can be short, but they can live several months in the winter, we know that because some hives have no brood for several months in winter.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    greer south carolina USA
    Posts
    156

    Default Re: help with dead hive

    it could be that your hive was healthy but could not get to that honey because it was too far away! if there is honey on the outer part of the hive but none next to the cluster it was a starve out. to make a trip around a frame is just too far because the bee gets cold

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads