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  1. #1
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    Default Why shouldn’t dead outs be void of bees?

    eight paragraphs down:
    one normally does not find dead bees in hives that have died from parasites, including viruses.
    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/



    There have been several topics on dead outs usually from beginners wanting to know why there bees died. The common reason from most people posting is varroa mites.

    I was lead to Randy Olivers site from a discussion on another topic but I came across this statement that Randy made and now I am wondering. How sick does a bee have to get before it decides to fly away from the hive and die? Do you think that this statement that Randy made is correct and a hive full of dead bees is more likely starvation than mites?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Why shouldn’t dead outs be void of bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Do you think that this statement that Randy made is correct and a hive full of dead bees is more likely starvation than mites?
    I would concur with that.
    It is advantageous to a colony if a sick bee does a captain Oates and takes the metaphorical walk in the snow.
    This saves colony energy as no other bee has to waste resources dragging a dead or dying bee to the hive exit and dumping it several metres away from the colony.

    A couple of inches of dead bees on the floor is nearly always starvation although I imagine some sort of poisoning could produce the same result. With poisoning you will get dead and dying bees crawling at the entrance as well.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Why shouldn’t dead outs be void of bees?

    That is great to know. The newbie was hammered pretty hard about not taking mite counts yet he had a large collection of dead bees in the bottom of his hive. But on the other hand in the winter wouldn't bees that are not sick fall from the cluster and die not being able to leave the hive or have a live bee carry them out?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Why shouldn’t dead outs be void of bees?

    If a dead out has about 1 frame of bees clinging to the comb and a handful or two on the bottom board, and that same hive was full of bees going into winter, the cause of death was mites, I would almost guarantee it. Sure, they starved because the tiny cluster couldn't get to the food when it got real cold, but the main cause was mite infestation to start with. A strong colony going into winter with no mite issues has a real good chance of making it through as long as they have plenty of well positioned food stores, a large cluster can move to food in cold weather because they are larger, if they starve it would be because of brutally cold weather for extended periods, like maybe up in Canada, there aren't too many areas in the U.S. that get that kind of cold to starve bees. Mites are the absolute main cause of winter loss these days. John

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Why shouldn’t dead outs be void of bees?

    If a dead out has about 1 frame of bees clinging to the comb and a handful or two on the bottom board, and that same hive was full of bees going into winter, the cause of death was mites, I would almost guarantee it. Sure, they starved because the tiny cluster couldn't get to the food when it got real cold, but the main cause was mite infestation to start with.
    Agree 100%. I have seen that many times. If the winter bees are compromised in any way they do not live long enough and the colony just dwindles as the older bees die off. It reaches a point where it is too small to be viable and it dies from isolation starvation or freezing.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Why shouldn’t dead outs be void of bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    The newbie was hammered pretty hard about not taking mite counts
    I’d be interested in seeing the thread you are referring to. I’d like to see what you considered ‘hammered pretty hard’.
    There are any number of failures that can be traced to mites. Some include an empty or nearly empty hive and others can have a lot of dead bees.
    If there are a boatload of dead bees and no honey remaining….it was likely starvation. Following a cold snap, if there are a boatload of dead bees, brood and honey remaining…it was likely starvation. If there’s a boatload of dead bees, no brood but honey remaining….it was likely something else that precipitated the collapse. They may have starved but there is probably an underlying cause for a cluster of bees that aren’t trying to incubate brood to starve in a hive with honey.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Why shouldn’t dead outs be void of bees?

    I have witnessed mite fall from nothing on one hive to horrendous on another. Then a month later is switches. I went into winter with three hives. Two just so, so and one very strong. I can't scientifically prove this but the one that looks like a boomer now is the one that had a surplus of honey which is not the one that was strong going into winter. This leads me to believe that it is not varroa that is killing my hives it is me not leaving enough honey. Michael Bush on his site says that the best queen is the one that is fed the best. Could it be that the best hive is the one that is feed the best and by feeding I mean honey?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Why shouldn’t dead outs be void of bees?

    Could it be that the best hive is the one that is feed the best and by feeding I mean honey?
    Feeding bees is easy and sugar syrup is just as good as honey.
    If anything, having a wide and varied source of pollen which contains all the amino acids is more important.
    This is harder to fix than lack of honey in the hive as the honey can be supplemented with syrup.

    The best hive is more likely to be the one with less mites and less mite vectored virus.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Why shouldn’t dead outs be void of bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    I’d be interested in seeing the thread you are referring to. I’d like to see what you considered ‘hammered pretty hard’.
    maybe it was this one but there are others.
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ce-ASAP-Please
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Why shouldn’t dead outs be void of bees?

    I think most problems are varroa mite related not all but alot . I know i lost 4 hives to mites this past fall and they where my strongest hives and they had brood breaks/SBBs and drone frames and still the varroa kicked there butt's .
    This year i'm going with fogging plus what i did last year and see what that does . I know i'll be making splits to be sure i don't lose to many thats a for sure.One thing i did learn last year was how to make more bee's and my own queens so i should never lose all my bee's and it will give me time to see what works for the varroa mite . I want to stay chemical free.
    My goals for this year is SPM and the VARROA MITE control quest we will see soon april is coming.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 30 hives==== T{OAV}

  11. #11

    Default Re: Why shouldn’t dead outs be void of bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    maybe it was this one but there are others.
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ce-ASAP-Please
    Ace....I read the thread. Nobody hammered the guy for not taking mite counts, in my opinion. It actually appeared that he had a colony starve.
    You and I surely see things VERY differently.....but then we've had this dialog before.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  12. #12

    Default Re: Why shouldn’t dead outs be void of bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    I have witnessed mite fall from nothing on one hive to horrendous on another. Then a month later is switches.
    Ace…mite drops are the least accurate test but having said that….they provide some evidence of mite loads.

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    which is not the one that was strong going into winter. This leads me to believe that it is not varroa that is killing my hives it is me not leaving enough honey
    I’ve said this numerous times. The colonies that are the strongest fail the quickest during winter. Understanding the lifecycle of varroa helps explain this. I don’t know if you are not leaving enough honey on your strong hives or not. If you are leaving them short….they will also fail.

    Having said all of that….why would you choose to believe that the problem is the queen not being fed properly as opposed to mites? It seems to me that you don’t have any evidence to support either case…but you’ve made a clear choice of one over the other.

    This is not a criticism….I’m not hammering you….I simply do not understand how you think.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Why shouldn’t dead outs be void of bees?

    beemandan, this last fall and early winter showed me how right you are when you say the strongest (these were untreated hives) fail quickest, my best honey producers from last year are almost all dead, and my least productive weaker colonies are still alive. John

  14. #14

    Default Re: Why shouldn’t dead outs be void of bees?

    One of the many sad quirks of varroa infestation.
    Interestingly (at least to me) in my hives I seem to find that last years honey monsters will be this year's so-so's. And then a year or so later they are back at the top. Go figure. It causes me to doubt the usefulness of queen breeders who select for honey production.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Why shouldn’t dead outs be void of bees?

    If you treat at least they stand some chance of making it through the winter, they may not be boomers, but they live to see another day. Its getting too hard for me to stand by and do nothing when you start losing your best hives to mites every year, so something is going to have to give. John

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Why shouldn’t dead outs be void of bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    I simply do not understand how you think.
    Stand in line, it could be quite long.
    My thought patterns do not follow conventions but in the past (in my field) the solutions I have come up with have amazed many.
    The premise I base my thoughts on are that bees are insects. Like most insects they mutate or adapt quickly and as a result have survived for millions of years without the aide of humans. Why do they need us now? I need to learn enough to not be the reason for their demise. If bees need me or any other human to survive then they will perish. I think that would be a first for the insect world.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Why shouldn’t dead outs be void of bees?

    "Why shouldn't deadouts be void of bees?" Winterkilled colonies are often as not due to starvation. In which case they will still have almost all the bees in them that they did in the Fall when you last saw them.

    Very few times do I find Winterkilled deadouts w/out any bees in them.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Why shouldn’t dead outs be void of bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    It causes me to doubt the usefulness of queen breeders who select for honey production.
    It is beyond my dedication and perseverance to come up with a pure bread bee that will give me what I am looking for. I am not saying it can't be done but in the end how long will the pure bread be pure? If I had a business of selling honey, or pollination contracts I would have to weight the costs of buying what I need vs. raising what I need. My feeling is if a queen breeder gives you what you want then why look down on that?

    When you say "go figure" it says to me you don't have all the answers. I don't think anybody does.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Why shouldn’t dead outs be void of bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Very few times do I find Winterkilled deadouts w/out any bees in them.
    Knowing how well you look after your bees would you say these winter killed deadouts are the result of mites or just plain starvation?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Why shouldn’t dead outs be void of bees?

    Starvation. There is no honey to be found. Or almost none.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

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