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Thread: Hive loss

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lincoln County, MO
    Posts
    44

    Sad Hive loss

    We went into winter with 36 hives and now have 20. We feed last fall to be sure they would have enough to get through the winter. January we opened the hives, on a warm day. Still had plenty of honey, active, no brood. Added a pollen patty and closed. Last week we finally got some warm weather and found 16 dead hives. All still have honey, none have brood. Some have no bees, not dead or otherwise. Some have a small cluster of dead bees on a honey frame. Anyone have any ideas? The rest are looking good, no brood started yet, but active bees bringing in pollen from somewhere.
    Also had a hive 7 miles from here. It's the same story, no bees lots of honey.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lincoln County, MO
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: Hive loss

    Forgot to say, where there were clustered bees on the honey frame, they were at the bottom of the frame, not at the top, all heads in the cells, like starvation, but honey everywhere??????

  3. #3

    Default Re: Hive loss

    Did you test or treat for varroa?
    If not, I would encourage you to at least test next season and depending on your treatment philosophy act accordingly. Even if you choose not to treat, testing may give you an answer to this question next winter.
    Good luck.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: Hive loss

    Had some of the same. 2 hives alive and well in December, bees gone in Feb., looked like someone hit them with a bee vac. Treated with MAQS like the hives sitting adjacent that are all doing fine. Plenty of honey in the empty hives. It is like they absconded sometime in January on a warm day. IF you fgure it out please let me know.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,416

    Default Re: Hive loss

    dan, have you noticed that losses like these are a recurring theme.

    i wonder if the parasitism from the mites is enough to weaken the bees and cause them to die while in cluster formation? are they just not strong enough to keep warm? maybe it just looks like starvation because they are stuck in the cells, but that's how they cluster and they could have just got cold.

    have any specific viruses been linked to collapses such as these?

    could it be that they have been weakened by n. ceranae?

    could it be a combination of all of the above?

    are losses like these still seen in hives where the mites have been knocked back in the fall?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    San Mateo, Ca, USA
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: Hive loss

    It happened to me this year when we had a three week unexpected cold snap in January. My bees starved, they literally died in the last days of the cold snap as I was able to revive a couple of the dead bees with honey on the first warm day when I opened the hive. After they died, I harvested 2 gallons of honey from the hive. It was just that the honey was not where the cluster was in the hive.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,539

    Default Re: Hive loss

    This theme started way back in late fall. Lost two of my hives to this scenario. My mite load was minimal at the time. I still have one hive that was with the other hives still going strong.... although queenless. Not sure what the deal is why the other ones left.

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