transfer honey from dead hive?
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  1. #1

    Default transfer honey from dead hive?

    Hi all,
    I checked my 6 hives today and found that one was completely dead. The bees were still in a cluster with several frames of honey in a box just above them. My guess is that they starved, but I don't know.
    Is it a good idea to take the remaining honey out of the hive and give it to another hive?

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  3. #2
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    I'm sure there will be different opinions on this, but that is what I would do.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  4. #3
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    >bees were still in a cluster with several frames of honey in a box just above them . . .

    Its early December and this hive is in Kentucky, maybe there's been ONE, maybe two nights in a row of below freezing temps.

    PLEASE, someone explain how/why this hive "starved".
    Last edited by Dave W; 12-12-2007 at 12:54 PM.

  5. #4
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    How big of a cluster?

    I might just hang on to those frames for the winter, and only give them to another hive in the case of an emergency...they are out and need some more honey soon.

    It does seem awefully early for starvation, and the risk of disease is high enough that I would only use on another hive only if it needed it.

    Rick

  6. #5
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    >several frames of honey in a box just above them . . .

    Did they "starve" because of a "lack of food"?
    To correct the problem, should there be MORE FOOD on the hive?

    Answer = NO!

    Why did they die?

  7. #6
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    Why?

    I think we could benefit by a little more information from Kyle, including what the weather has been like in his neck of the woods. From the weather maps, it's been looking cold and snowy in that direction. Maybe there have been more than a few freezing nights so far.

    Kyle?

  8. #7
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    And some times you will run in to some DUMB bees!!
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Meadows View Post
    My guess is that they starved, but I don't know.
    I've had it happen to me, where a cluster will refuse to leave brood and starve just a couple of inches away from stores when a cold front moves in. In this case you will probably see quite a few dead bees head first in cells if they starved.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Meadows View Post
    Is it a good idea to take the remaining honey out of the hive and give it to another hive?
    If you are certain that they starved, it's a great idea. If you have doubts....
    To everything there is a season....

  10. #9
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    Hello Kyle
    I am curious as to whether the cluster had brood evident in the center of the cluster, capped and larva stage. I assume the colony did have brood and chose to keep it warm.
    Would you please check and let us know.
    Thanks
    "Younz" have a great day, I will.

  11. #10

    Default More info on dead hive

    Hello all,
    Thanks for the replies and I apologize for not keeping up with the posts.
    The hive did have brood in the capped stage, and I don't remember if there were uncapped larvae.
    I did see quite a few dead bees head first in cells.
    The temperature had dropped below freezing for almost ten days straight just before I found the dead hive.
    The minimum nightly temperatures were (in chronological order) 26, 23, 18, 25, 34, 26, 26, 20, 14, and 28. Before and after that it was above freezing, so maybe the bees were caught off guard?

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Well, there you go. I think Kyle called it in the first post, his bees probably starved. I also think the "why" is a combination of all the suggestions here: The bees had developing brood that they decided to keep warm, they chose to stay with the brood rather than move to nearby honey, and they may not have been the brightest colony in Kyle's apiary. Sorry for your loss....

    Personally, I would put the frames of honey in a safe place (protected from various critters that might be interested in them this time of year) and save it for a colony that needs it later in the winter. If none of your others have the need, you'll have frames of honey to use when making splits or nucs in the spring. Be sure to make those splits/nucs from your highest IQ bees. Ha!

  13. #12
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    It is my contention that the reason for death was the colony had TOO FEW bees.
    Would a “larger population” in the fall have prevented this hive from “starving”?

  14. #13
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    The minimum temperatures during those ten days were generally below freezing, but what were the maximum temperatures? If the days were warm enough, I would expect the cluster to be moving. Honestly, at the low temperatures you list, I would expect clusters to be capable and willing to move to reach stores.

    I'm with Dave W on this one. I suspect less "starvation" and more "weak colony." "Starvation" may have been the final cause, but something else may have been more significant when you're making management decisions in the future.

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