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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Leslie MI USA
    Posts
    32

    Default heavy overwinter kill in MI

    I have had a severe winter kill over 40%. how clean, do I have to have the dead outs, and what do I do with all of the old dark comb,just scrape it off down to the foundation. Bee died surrounded by honey, and I also put up wind blocks last year.
    I seen a video on u tube where fat Bob used a fogger and some mineral oil to kill veoria mites,he says it will not hurt the bees but will kill the mites, so, I will try that next, I am trying to raise bees with no medication.
    Any and all help is always welcome.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,586

    Default Re: heavy overwinter kill in MI

    Sorry for your loss.

    You did not mention how many hives still living now. Store the honey frames or feed them to your existing hives if they
    are low in stores. If you have too much honey frame you can extract them as well. But using them to rebuild your
    colony is better. Feed your existing hive patty too.
    Do not destroy the dark comb off because you need the dark comb to rebuild with splits of your many hives later on. These
    black combs will help you rebuild them faster for the queen to have a place to lay her eggs. Also good for opening up the
    hive so your bees have extra space to live so they will not likely to swarm too soon. Clean up the dead bees off the bottom board.
    Then use a bleach solution to wash off these hives inside and allow to air dry in a sunny location. Reuse everything if you can.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,839

    Default Re: heavy overwinter kill in MI

    Comb gets black in just a season of brood rearing. It may very well be a good idea to cycle out old comb, but do it when it suits you, not fashion. Start by culling damaged ones with too much drone comb. Mark the year you put in service and get rid of them after five years in the brood comb. Many commercial outfits have fifty year old comb floating thru their operation. The bees will clean up the deadouts just fine. Brush off what you can and leave it to the experts to clean up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,621

    Default Re: heavy overwinter kill in MI

    Vance wrote:

    Many commercial outfits have fifty year old comb floating thru their operation. The bees will clean up the deadouts just fine.

    True that, more bees is the best cure.

    Crazy Roland

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Dorr, MI
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: heavy overwinter kill in MI

    I would say save any honey/pollen stores and feed back to your other hives, provided there are no obvious disease clues present. The bees will clean any deadout very well. Sounds like a rough winter here in Michigan. Some of the numbers I heard were 32 of 63 lost, 18 of 22 lost, and 19 of 20 lost

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Carrollton va
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: heavy overwinter kill in MI

    I am not that good at inspecting hives for disease as there are some diseases I have not seen yet. If they have not been through a hard freeze yet then I would put them in the freezer for a few days to get rid of wax moth and SHB (which are problems for me). Do you know why they died?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    919

    Default Re: heavy overwinter kill in MI

    Just curious, were there dead bees in the hive? I had a couple of hives where the bees disappeared in January. Honey left but no bees, just gone.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ludington, Michigan
    Posts
    612

    Default Re: heavy overwinter kill in MI

    I am at 15 out of 70 here in michigan. I can live with that number

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ludington, Michigan
    Posts
    612

    Default Re: heavy overwinter kill in MI

    Quote Originally Posted by reef10 View Post
    I am not that good at inspecting hives for disease as there are some diseases I have not seen yet. If they have not been through a hard freeze yet then I would put them in the freezer for a few days to get rid of wax moth and SHB (which are problems for me). Do you know why they died?
    Dead outs in Michigan have already been in the freezer and will not have SHB or moths or mites for that matter

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,586

    Default Re: heavy overwinter kill in MI

    I think they die because of the long cold winter. And they cannot reach the honey so probably starved to death.
    Not sure how many bees cluster inside though.

    When there are a few bees dies inside the hive while they completely disappeared, I think they call this CCD. For
    some reason the bees just decide to pick up and leave their hive. Still a mystery to the scientists who investigate
    this issue now. Best you can do is to get a new hive again. Bees do strange things that we human not understand why.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Macoupin,Illinois,USA
    Posts
    355

    Default Re: heavy overwinter kill in MI

    Corker u can put that dark comb out in the sun ,the sun will bleach it out.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,033

    Default Re: heavy overwinter kill in MI

    Quote Originally Posted by corkerjoe View Post
    I have had a severe winter kill over 40%.
    What was the summer like? It is easy to blame the winter but if the bees had enough honey I am not to quick to blame the winter.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ludington, Michigan
    Posts
    612

    Default Re: heavy overwinter kill in MI

    Quote Originally Posted by mrqb View Post
    Corker u can put that dark comb out in the sun ,the sun will bleach it out.
    the dark color comes from cocoons and cant be bleach out

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