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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Davis, CA
    Posts
    6

    Default Why did my hive fail?

    First time home hobbyist poster with two hives. Yesterdays quick inspection revealed one thriving colony and one failed. The failed colony has two med supers. Top box had about 5 full frames of capped honey. Bottom box had drawn comb and absolutely nothing else visible, like it had been licked clean. No dead bees outside the hive, maybe a hundred dead bees on the bottom screen with no obvious signs of a problem.

    Any ideas as to why the bees failed and didn't go to the top box for honey?

    Other notes: Last fall fed pollen patty and tried to feed syrup with hive top feeder. Neither of my hives touched the syrup. The healthy hive seemed more vigorous last fall but both hives had brood and stores for winter.

    Any ideas as to why a colony wouldn't touch fresh 2/1 syrup in early Oct.?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Why did my hive fail?

    Did you test/treat for varroa?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,632

    Default Re: Why did my hive fail?

    Welcome to Beesource!

    >Any ideas as to why a colony wouldn't touch fresh 2/1 syrup in early Oct.?

    Bees cannot use syrup that is too cold. Generally, syrup needs to be 50 degrees or above for bees to be interested in it.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Davis, CA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Why did my hive fail?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Welcome to Beesource!

    >Any ideas as to why a colony wouldn't touch fresh 2/1 syrup in early Oct.?

    Bees cannot use syrup that is too cold. Generally, syrup needs to be 50 degrees or above for bees to be interested in it.
    I fed the syrup in early Oct. when it was at least 75-80 degrees here in CA. I "served" it to them warm off the stove.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Why did my hive fail?

    If you manage varroa, in my opinion, your bees can take care of most everything else.
    If you don’t….they will be challenged to survive anything else.
    Good luck.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Davis, CA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Why did my hive fail?

    I had treated both my hives with Mite Away (formic acid) in Aug. last year and both seemed relatively healthy going into winter. Their apparent good health, good food stores, and the way the top super had honey remaining untouched now are what is most mysterious to me. I don't expect answers but I appreciate hearing possibilities.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Why did my hive fail?

    Perhaps you lost a queen last fall?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,437

    Default Re: Why did my hive fail?

    Amongst the remaining bees, was the queen still with them?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Davis, CA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Why did my hive fail?

    That was one of my suspicions as there was less brood in that hive than the my other, more vigorous hive.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,077

    Default Re: Why did my hive fail?

    For whatever reason they dwindled down in numbers. Could be queen issues, could be winter bees weren't healthy enough even though you knocked the mites back in Aug. Varroa are the biggest culprits in hive loss.
    You have the worlds best bee experts just down the road from you, give them a call.
    Dan

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,580

    Default Re: Why did my hive fail?

    Looks like your hive got a loss in population during the middle of the winter here. I had the same issue with dead queens and not enough worker bees to maintain the population all winter long. Luckily, I did a hive check in the middle of winter and bought another frame of worker bees into the hive. Then gave them a new queen. By the time I got finish feeding and maintaining them it is already early Spring time here. My bees are growing everyday now with a good laying queen bee.
    People say not to disturb the bees in the winter time. But I open them up all winter to see what's going on in there. Lucky for me I guess that they are o.k. now.

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