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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Hartville, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Can you identify this?

    Today it was warm enough for the bees to be flying--mid 50s. Three weeks ago my hives were all very active, but today no activity. I opened them up and all three were dead. Dead bees on the bottom. A cluster of dead bees on empty comb in each hive, with other bees buried head head-first into cells. They were on empty comb, with lots of honey just a few inches away. I guess it was too cold for them to move the cluster. There was some brood, but not a lot.

    In one hive I found two bees that looked like this. One was on the inner cover, another on top of one of the frames. They appeared to be covered in some kind of webbing. I just found these in one hive. Does anyone have any idea what this is, and would it effect reusing this equipment? These were adult bees, not ones that were still in brood.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,068

    Default Re: Can you identify this?

    Spider web. See the hole in the abdomen of the bee? Spider.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Hartville, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Can you identify this?

    Thanks. I guess my eyes aren't what they used to be.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,481

    Default Re: Can you identify this?

    They might be dead. I would even say they are probably dead. But I don't write them off until they are warm and dead. Cold bees often appear dead when they are not.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Little Rock, AR
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Can you identify this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    They might be dead. I would even say they are probably dead. But I don't write them off until they are warm and dead. Cold bees often appear dead when they are not.
    I just learned this, Michael, this year. It made me wonder how many bees I had killed when I thought they were dead. Sometimes I'll take a "dead" bee, cup it in my hand and warm it with my breath. I've been amazed - nearly all have come around.
    Zone 7B. 8fr meds. 5 hives. 4 years. Still a beginner.
    (hr south of LR)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Little Rock, AR
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Can you identify this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Beeman View Post
    Spider web. See the hole in the abdomen of the bee? Spider.
    So.... it was the spider that killed them? Or was the spider being opportunistic?
    Zone 7B. 8fr meds. 5 hives. 4 years. Still a beginner.
    (hr south of LR)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,481

    Default Re: Can you identify this?

    I've heard of many a beekeeper who was shaking the dead bees out on the snow and the sun warmed them and they were coming back to life... then they realized they had jumped the gun...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Little Rock, AR
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Can you identify this?

    It was a lesson I was sure glad to learn!
    Zone 7B. 8fr meds. 5 hives. 4 years. Still a beginner.
    (hr south of LR)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Hartville, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Can you identify this?

    I've experienced the cold but not dead bees, and am careful not to assume. But it was in the upper 50s and sunny, And these were just plain dead. I've seen these bees out flying when it was 44F. I think the spider just took advantage of the hive dying out. If it had been a live hive, the bees would have either chased the spider out or at least carried off the dead bee. It's been warm a couple of days now (in the 60s), and tomorrow will be the last warm day for awhile. If that doesn't warm them up, nothing will.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Little Rock, AR
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Can you identify this?

    Sorry for the loss, homesteader. I know that's heartbreaking.
    Zone 7B. 8fr meds. 5 hives. 4 years. Still a beginner.
    (hr south of LR)

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