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Thread: Dead hive

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, WA, USA
    Posts
    165

    Default Re: Dead hive

    Hi Mark,

    I am up here in Vancouver, WA with 2 hives.

    I had brought my bees into my garage when the first cold snap happened.
    You can see my post here: ("https://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?291252-Over-Wintering-Bees")

    In 1 of the photos you can see I fed with dry sugar over newspaper. Did you give your bees any supplimental food stores?

    I used to have a screened bottom board on my 1st hive. It colapsed on me cause of the draft caused by how I had them set up with the screened bottom board.

    It looks like your bees had their head into the cells for possible 2 reasons. First .."Sucking Brood":

    ("https://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?284529-Why-my-colony-is-collapsing") In that thread Jim Lyon explained: "they may have been "sucking brood" which means they may have been near starvation"

    Second they do it to keep the brood chamber warm, but usually not on such a large scale since the queen would lay a good pattern and only a few cells would be available for the bees to heat the comb.

    So to sum up:
    1). Starvation
    2). Too drafty for the screened bottom board to use in this area. (Arizona is ok.)

    Good Luck,
    Andrew

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, WA, USA
    Posts
    165

    Default Re: Dead hive

    This is a good presentation on how to prevent some of the problems you had. It was put on by Brushy Mountain Bee Farm:

    1 takeaway for me was that one of the panelists weighed his hives. If it was less than 150 pounds for a 2 stack and 1 honey super then he fed them till the weight was brought up to the 150 pounds.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSjlwKfjM1U
    At 5:37 Michael Palmer talks preparing for winter which he does all year.., and maintaining large clusters.
    At 34:13 they talk about fall feeding. At 57 min they talk about solving problems before they become (BIG) problems.

    I need to watch it again as I misplaced my notes for it. Lots for me to learn!

  4. #23
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,486

    Default Re: Dead hive

    I would say too small a cluster for the screened bottom board, they all froze in place and couldn't break cluster to move to honey. The bees put their heads in cells to stay warm, it's how they heat up the comb and cluster. They did starve out as there is no nectar or honey around them. It looks like 3-4 frames of bees at most.

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, WA, USA
    Posts
    165

    Default Re: Dead hive

    I just watched the video.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSjlwKfjM1U
    At 12:25 Michael Palmer explains. His target weight is 155 pounds.
    He has 2 hive mediums and a honey super. With no top cover and a bottom board and 1 inner cover and bees it will weigh 70 pounds. So he is about 80 pounds light. For every 10 pounds under weight he is feeding 1 gallon 2 to 1 sucrose syrup. That feeding topic ends at 14:42

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Hillsboro, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Dead hive

    I didn't feed them in the fall, I thought they had plenty of honey. I obviously still have lots to learn. I also didn't think the cold weather would be an issue, because hives live at 10 and 20 below 0 in the midwest and northeast.

    A lot of really good information in this thread, thanks a lot for all of the help.

    The bees are Italian. I will take pictures of everything (I think is) interesting and post it up tomorrow.

  7. #26
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Baden Wurtemburg Germany
    Posts
    560

    Default Re: Dead hive

    Quote Originally Posted by beatua View Post
    There was lots of honey left in the hive, so I'm not sure if there was anything I could have done when it got cold to help them get to the honey. Maybe I could have tried to run heated air into the hive, I'm not sure.
    The bees had brood, they don't like to leave it to move to honey. They staved trying to keep the brood warm.

    Quote Originally Posted by beatua View Post
    I did run with the open board, It (usually) does not get very cold in Portland. It does get below freezing regularly in the evening, but it is not very common that it is below freezing during the day. So for ventilation I thought it would be better to have the bottom board open.
    Here in Germany many beekeepers run with open bottom boards year round,no problems and it gets a lot colder than you mention.

    Quote Originally Posted by beatua View Post
    Will you tell me what you saw in the pictures that showed the following:

    Chalk brood
    dysentery
    Mites
    On the screened bottom board there are three or four white things could be larvae or chalk brood. It doesn't matter, they did not contribute to the death of the hive. Maybe just a symptom at best.

    Bee poo / Dysentery on the top of some of the frames. Not much, again nothing I would worry about.
    I only mentioned these two things because I could see them and I can't see any Varroa even though Varroa is the most probable cause for the hive collapsing.

    Quote Originally Posted by beatua View Post
    Any advice on how to protect against chalk brood? If I find it on my existing comb (how do I find it?), how do I treat it? I've seen that many places say destroy the comb, is that the recommendation? How do I know if there is chalk brood on the comb, or do I just destroy all of the comb that was in the hive?
    Sorry I mentioned this now, don't worry about it.
    Listen to what RAK says.
    Stephen 40+ hives. 6th year. Treat. Germany.

  8. #27
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,486

    Default Re: Dead hive

    Chalkbrood is a queen issue usually. I don't believe it's infectious post mortem and it usually remedied by requeening.

  9. #28
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Greenwich, New York, USA
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Dead hive

    I have also had "sudden death" at various times in cold weather and in all cases I couldn't find the queen. Like most I have no science to support the idea that in winter when something happens to the queen the hive just gives up.
    But each Spring I just pick up the pieces and do it all again. No science to that either.

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