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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Denver, CO

    Default Please help me identify this problem. (pics)

    I just opened the hives today to feed and medicate for the spring, was greeted in one hive by a pretty grim picture. As I looked down through the gaps between frames, I noticed that between the three frames pictured, the gap was completely clogged with non-moving bodies. I lifted the hive body from the bottom board, and found a pile of (I'm estimating here) several thousand dead bees on the screen. There appears to be life still in the hive, just not in the area of these three frames.
    In the center, I'm seeing a green-gray fungus or mold. I do not know if that is the cause of the problem, or grew on the dead bees due to lack of ventilation in the clogged space.
    The dead bees are almost all facing toward the center of the pack. I do not know if this is significant.
    I do not have time today for a full inspection, so I have not confirmed presence of a queen.
    The scene here does not closely match any pictures or descriptions of diseases I've read about, but I would love to hear your ideas on what the problem could be.
    (edit- more information to follow)
    Two additional pieces of information. The area of carnage is accompanied by a slight foul decay type smell. The area where the dead bees are clustered also has a full grown bee in almost every cell, facing in, butt sticking out into the pack.
    In addition to a diagnosis, what is the general consensus on the re-usability of these frames? They're cheap, should I trash these as a precaution?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA

    Default Re: Please help me identify this problem. (pics)

    It looks like they starved... imo.
    Trying to think inside the box...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Medford, Oregon

    Default Re: Please help me identify this problem. (pics)

    That's what I see. I see a couple mites, but nothing major. Lack of brood would not indicate brood disease. Comb is young.

    I would reuse it. Another colony will clean out the bees and the mold. Fairly straightforward unless I missed something.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Evansville, IN

    Default Re: Please help me identify this problem. (pics)

    They starved, absolutely no food anywhere around the cluster.

    Should be OK to re-use.

    Next year put a candy board on any hives that you cannot feed up to weight in the fall, it will at least give them a chance to make it through to spring.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Sacramento, CA, USA

    Default Re: Please help me identify this problem. (pics)

    Probably had a mite problem, cluster shrank, they froze out. You see any stores in the hive at all? If it's completely empty, probably just slowly starved out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    mineral county,Montana USA

    Default Re: Please help me identify this problem. (pics)

    the activity you are seeing is probably robbers. looks all dead to me. i'd reuse everything.


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