Hive postmortem photos and question on newspaper combine
Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    SLC, UT
    Posts
    217

    Default Hive postmortem photos and question on newspaper combine

    Noticed the activity on one of my hives was dwindling last weekend and decided to do a quick inspection. I found 4 medium frames of live bees, some open and capped brood on those frames, and many many frames of dead bees. Looks to me like they got caught in a cold snap away from the honey, heads in cells, butts sticking out. There are still many frames of honey in the hive but the frames in which the dead bees are located seem to be nearly empty. Note the white speckles on the frames are granulated sugar from an attempted mountain camp.

    Any comments as to what may have happened? Other hives are very strong and this was appears to have been strong before the cold spell. Mite count was low going into winter. I'd love a few opinions on what may have happened and if it's preventable again

    My plan is to install a 4# package I have on order in the box above this with a sheet of newspaper between them, one small slit in the newspaper and spray the package with HBH to mask the difference in smells. Keep the existing queen and try to give them a boost with the package. Any thoughts on this method? This of course depends on the hive making it another 2 weeks, and with lows in the high 20's they may not.

    hive01.jpg
    hive02.jpg
    hive03.jpg
    hive04.jpg
    hive05.jpg
    hive06.jpg
    hive07.jpg
    hive08.jpg
    hive09.jpg
    hive10.jpg
    hive11.jpg
    hive12.jpg
    hive13.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    SLC, UT
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: Hive postmortem photos and question on newspaper combine


  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: Hive postmortem photos and question on newspaper combine

    Like you said they die because not able to reach the foods inside the hive. I think their population decline because of the cold spell. Sometimes it is not just one issue but multiple one at the same time. Four frame of bees will keep them going for another 2 weeks. You can give them a patty in the mean time. Feed them the honey or syrup too. Hopefully they will make it for another months or so.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Belfast, Ireland
    Posts
    574

    Default Re: Hive postmortem photos and question on newspaper combine

    Your queen has a very poor brood pattern. Lots of gaps.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    SLC, UT
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: Hive postmortem photos and question on newspaper combine

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    Your queen has a very poor brood pattern. Lots of gaps.
    Jonathan, my apologies, you can ignore the last 2 photos; I have no idea how those photos got in this post and they are not of this hive. That IS a poor brood pattern, just not of this hive.

    Beepro, thanks for the advice. I've got a patty on, but the weather is too cold for syrup I think; would put too much humidity in the hive. It's in the high 20's still every night, mid 40's in the day.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Deming, NM
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Hive postmortem photos and question on newspaper combine

    Did you see a queen? It's a bit hard for me to tell from the pics since I cant zoom in, but the brood looks a bit like drone brood.
    Zone 8a at 4300ft. Langstroth- foundationless. 6 Hives. AHB region.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Belfast, Ireland
    Posts
    574

    Default Re: Hive postmortem photos and question on newspaper combine

    Quote Originally Posted by kincade View Post
    Jonathan, my apologies, you can ignore the last 2 photos;
    That has previously happened to me with VBulletin uploads as well.
    I think previously uploaded photos stay active for an hour and need to be removed from the window before posting more.

    Hard to explain the loss. Stores look adequate and there is a lot of pollen as well.
    There are very few bees visible in the photos but I guess there were a lot more on the floor of the box.
    Was there any sign of brood or a queen?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: Hive postmortem photos and question on newspaper combine

    When I added the zip loc baggie syrup feeder the hive population expanded rapidly in the early spring time.
    They don't have to go foraging if they don't want to because of the cold when you provide foods inside the hive.
    A warm half gallon zip loc bag syrup will feed 4 frame of bees in no time. Because they used up the syrup in one
    day or less there is no condensation inside the hive. This will enable them to build up faster too.
    Warm syrup and patty are the right combination for a quick spring build up. By then you should be in the
    middle of spring. Try it the bees may like it.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,613

    Default Re: Hive postmortem photos and question on newspaper combine

    I would take the best frames and the bees and move them into a nuc. Too much space for too few bees.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    SLC, UT
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: Hive postmortem photos and question on newspaper combine

    Jonathan; yes, capped and open brood and a queen. Didn't see her, but didn't look too hard after I saw evidence of laying. There were a TON of dead bees on the floor of the box and many many more trapped headfirst in cells. Just looks like they died looking for food and was too cold to break cluster. We had a solid month of high teens/low 20 degree highs, my guess is that's when it happened.

    Beepro, not a bad idea. I'll give a baggie a try. They DO have plenty of honey still FWIW, but I guess anything helps right now.

    Ross, also a good idea. It was too cold to work them, but I should probably crush the whole hive down to one box. I'm a bit worried that they'll get robbed by my other hives if they don't build up soon, but I'm not sure what I can do about that other than reduce entrances, etc.

    Thanks for all the comments. Good advice, I appreciate it.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    13,203

    Default Re: Hive postmortem photos and question on newspaper combine

    Quote Originally Posted by kincade View Post
    They DO have plenty of honey still FWIW,
    Well out of the 15 photos I saw there isn't. It also looked to me like a lot of brood and no honey around it. Where is this store of honey in relationship to where the brood is?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    SLC, UT
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: Hive postmortem photos and question on newspaper combine

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Well out of the 15 photos I saw there isn't. It also looked to me like a lot of brood and no honey around it. Where is this store of honey in relationship to where the brood is?
    Ace, as I had mentioned before, the last 2 photos are NOT of this hive; I don't know why there are here and I can't edit them out. Honey is above and below where the current brood is, and above and below and to the side of where these frames are.

    Back in town, and as of today they are still flying. They're small, but still alive. Found an extra package and am going to install it tomorrow in a box above the current brood/queen with 2 sheets of newspaper between them, 1 small slit in each. Let them acclimate over a day or so and hopefully they will combine nice.

    Was welcomed into my back yard by a sting to the face and a few aggressive guard bees from another hive that has been consistently the hottest hive I have... Although I like the queen (1 broken leg) and think she's tenacious, I believe she is about to be replaced. I have no interest in having a hive that will not allow me to sit in my back yard.

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
  •