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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Bement, IL USA
    Posts
    1

    Default Winter death, what should I do now?

    I believe my hive, which had been doing well, has died over winter. I checked for sounds in January and heard the buzzing, so I know the colony was still alive then. Checked on Sunday(March 11) and could not hear anything. I don't want to open the hive and disturb them if there are any still alive, but I see lots of dead bees around the front entrance and there were some houseflies hanging around too. I'm afraid that if the entire hive has died that there maybe flies and other 'vermin' that will multiply inside the comb frames. If the whole hive has perished, what do I need to do before repopulating with a new package this spring? Should I clean the frames at all or let the new bees clean everything out? Would it be wise to completely open the hive and check on it, or should I wait until its warmer? Temperatures are still in the 30's (in general) in this area ( central IL)
    This is my first year with bees. This hive had done very well in gaining population from the original installed package. There are 2 hive bodies and a honey super. What a bummer if they have all perished!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Moyock NC USA
    Posts
    75

    Default Re: Winter death, what should I do now?

    Hey Christy112002, I would check the hive, if it's warm enough for flies I would take a peak. If you don't hear any buzzing chances are it's dead... don't give up though I lost four this winter and it's rough but you will bounce back. Let us know what you find out...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    boxford, mass.
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: Winter death, what should I do now?

    I lost one this winter, they starved /froze. Check for bees real quick, if they're in there great, if not check for cause and repopulate in the spring if ya can. Best wishes

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Winter death, what should I do now?

    If the bees are all dead I'd simply take the hive apart and take out as many dead bees as you see laying around. If they froze you'll have a lot of them stuck inside the comb. The new bees will clean them out just fine so don't worry about them. Just clean up any laying around and add a new package as you did before.

    Then to prevent the issue for next year, do a little research on winterizing hives. I used to lose about 2-3 of my 5 hives each year until I got aggressive with my winterizing. Good luck.

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