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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
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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

  7. #7

    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

  8. #8
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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

  9. #9
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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==== 32 hives==== T{OAV}

  10. #10

    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

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