Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Milw, WI
    Posts
    126

    Default Lost both my TBH's this winter

    Just confirmed it today. I cleaned out most of the dead bees today. Both hives are a loss. One hive ate every drop of honey they had, and the other (originally more robust hive) left almost 4 full bars of capped honey. They had about that many more bars than the first hive. No signs of brood, no queen cells. There were small pockets of bees back on the honey bars, but the main cluster was a couple frames away.

    I've sealed off the entrances, I do plan to restart the hives (just one at first). I will see how much good straight comb i can fit into the one hive and then freeze the remainder. Once the hive gets going well i may try to split it off and hopefully work them both back up to strength before winter. They are both 4 ft TBH's and each was half to more than half full of comb. Should provide a good start for a package.

    Plus I am starting 2 traditional hives in the same field, so I should be busy!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Chicagoland, IL, USA
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Lost both my TBH's this winter

    Sorry to hear of your losses. Any confirmation on why hive #2 died out? (speculation, intuition, hunches?). I'm always looking to learn more from those who've walked there before me.

    I've got one TBH I think is a loss. Haven't seen anyone coming/going since mid Jan when the weather was about 35 and other hive was flying. Our other TBH survived and is bringing in something today - LOTS of bees about on this warm sunny day. Which will be good, as temps are set to dive for another week or so.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Milw, WI
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: Lost both my TBH's this winter

    So I think that they froze and couldn't move to the honey. I couldn't see any other obvious signs.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Lost both my TBH's this winter

    I'm really sorry to hear about your losses but am glad you are diving right back in. The drawn comb will give your new bees a jump-start!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Casper, Wyoming
    Posts
    151

    Default Re: Lost both my TBH's this winter

    All but one of my 4' hives died this winter. I am thinking that 4' might be to short for a northern climate. Ask me in a month when the first plants start blooming by then I might have lost my 5's too.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Hephzibah, GA
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Lost both my TBH's this winter

    BrettJ77 and Silverbackotter, sorry to read about your hives. I had one colony abscond in the fall, leaving brood and honey and a hive full of drawn comb. It was a mystery. My others are doing fine. One of the problems with top bar hives is winter feeding. It's natural for the bees to move up the combs to the honey bands, not around combs. It's not a problem for my bees in Georgia as we often have nice, warm days in winter for the bees to get back to the honey combs, but for y'all up north, where winter cold might last week upon week, I could see how they would eat up their stores and not have a chance to get back to where the honey is. If the honeycombs were on both sides of the winter cluster, the bees would move in one direction and eat their way into a corner with the remaining honeycomb at the other end, past the empty combs, which could be why that hive had four combs of honey and still starved to death. If you have an observation hive and can see where the cluster is, you could place empty combs on one side of the cluster and all the honeycombs on the other side so that the bees will have access to all their honey as they move through the hive. We had a very rainy spring and summer last year and the hives were very light. We also had those two polar vortex come through. I worried about starvation, but I have something I call my easy feeder, which is a bottom board with holes located all along the hive. I was able to screw in jars of syrup directly below the cluster so I don't have to open the hive in the cold. When it got really cold, I placed dry sugar in the jars.

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads