Lost hives to storm damage
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
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    3,404

    Default Lost hives to storm damage

    I have to wonder sometimes if the Good Lord is trying to tell me something.

    We had some really severe weather tonight. It got bad here. I don’t know if it was straight line winds or a tornado but there was 2 separate “events” about 3 minutes apart. Thankfully nobody was seriously hurt. One of our neighbors lost her mobile home and got a gash on her head but she was treated and released. We lost one barn, completely gone, and a portion of another one. Got trees down all over the place but no house damage other than probably needing a new roof. When that 2nd wind/nado came over the house I thought the windows were going to blow out. It was hailing so hard that it sounded like a crew of roofers were on the roof nailing down shingles. I know for sure that 10 of my 5 over 5 overwintered nucs are toast. They blew off their stands and are scattered across the pasture behind my house. That’s all I could tell with my flashlight. I tried to go check on the hives down at the barn but there was so much tin and brown lumber full of nails that I decided to wait until daylight to check them. Good thing is, everything lost is “material” and can be replaced. Bad thing is, every one of those overwintered nucs were sold. I get to call 6 people in the morning to tell them that they may not get their bees in a couple weeks as planned. I am NOT looking forward to calling those folks and I am not looking for are to dealing with those pissed off bees in the morning
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    7,792

    Default Re: Lost hives to storm damage

    Bad news for sure. That blowing off a stand thing is why my hives are on the ground. Of course I don't have the ants and other vermin to deal with that you do. Sorry for your trouble sir.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Jackson County, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    120

    Default Re: Lost hives to storm damage

    So sorry to hear.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Decatur / Cullman, also. 35603
    Posts
    768

    Default Re: Lost hives to storm damage

    Man, sorry to hear about your losses . I head to my farm in Cullman wed. Morning to check on damages, and livestock. Praying all is well there. Heard it got a bit nasty. I didn't have bees out there yet. Just starting out this spring. I will look into anchoring them down in some fashion though. Keep us posted tomorrow after accessing the damages. Rich

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    East Quogue, New York, USA
    Posts
    54

    Default

    Sorry to hear. Glad you're ok.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    5,224

    Default Re: Lost hives to storm damage

    Glad you're ok.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Baker, FL
    Posts
    211

    Default Re: Lost hives to storm damage

    Brad, sorry to hear about your loses. What you described happened to me twice but it only knocked three hives down. Since that day, all of my hives have been rachetstrapped down to anchors in the ground or the hive stand. Hasn't happened again. We get some powerful winds here during a thunderstorm.

  9. #8

    Default Re: Lost hives to storm damage

    I´m so sorry. The past AFB experience and now this.
    What´s important is you and yours are ok.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,145

    Default Re: Lost hives to storm damage

    just now getting back to the forum brad and again so sorry about the bees but very glad that you and yours are alright. hard to believe there were no fatalities.

    are you the same brad that channel 48 featured on their evening newscast?
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    3,404

    Default Re: Lost hives to storm damage

    SP, I can only assume that I am the same one. I couldn’t watch the news, our cable is still out. They did stop and interview me. I was between my two jobs for the day of beekeeping and roof repair.

    I ended up with 14 hives blown over. I am fairly certain that I got all the boxes for the big hives put back together with boxes from the same hive but 7 of the 5 over 5 hives were just a craps shoot on whether I got them stacked back correctly. I’m not concerned about box orientation or even which one was on top, I just hope that I don’t have too many with one queen in each box and the hive beside it with two boxes with no queen.

    I did learn that bees that have been scattered about by a storm, especially hives as strong as they are now, are in a really, really foul mood when you try to stack them back up. Worse than summer drought bad mood.

    I lost some frames and a few other hive components but it could have been much worse

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk Co, NY, USA
    Posts
    3,625

    Default Re: Lost hives to storm damage

    sorry about the bee and the property damage Brad.
    those nuc buyers will just have to understand and I think they will. don't sweat it.
    sure glad you and yours are ok, God Bless.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Morgan County, Alabama,USA
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Lost hives to storm damage

    Brad, the same thing happened to me last night at one of my out yards. I had 7 hives blown over in the storm. I got them all righted this morning . There seemed to be a lot more live bees still in the boxes than dead bees. I'm wondering what to expect in a few days with the dead brood? I'm going to spend some time figuring out some kind of anchor system. (I didn't mean to hijack your thread). Like you said, it could have been worse.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
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    3,404

    Default Re: Lost hives to storm damage

    Thanks guys.

    Clyde, I talked to 2 of the nuc buyers today and they were both very understanding.

    Don, I hate to hear that you had problems too. I don't consider your post hijacking, and I wouldn't be worried about it even if I thought you had. I can derail a thread with the best of them. I had lots of dead bees in my hive top feeders. I can't begin to image why they went to them. The syrup trays were full of rainwater and in some of those I'd estimate there was a quart jars worth of dead bees. I'm quite certain that there will be chilled brood pulled out of every hive that got turned over. The only thing that's going to prevent a mass brood die-off is how packed the hives are with bees. I don't recall having so many bees in hives this early in the year. I have fed no pollen sub and only fed one feeding of syrup during some warm weather in January.

    I had a bout with AFB last spring and I figure that with all the stress that my hives went through, I'll know with 100% certainty very soon just how well I got that cleaned up. I would not be surprised to see it pop up again, although I was very thorough in burning anything and everything that I thought might have it or might be contaminated, on top of burning everything that did have it.

    At any rate, it was a heck of a stressful event for them and me and if there is any disease of any sort lurking in the back ground, it's most likely going to manifest itself after this. I'm not trying to be all doom and gloom, that's just the nature of how things work.
    Last edited by Brad Bee; 03-21-2018 at 11:11 AM.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    5,534

    Default Re: Lost hives to storm damage

    Brad,

    I am very sorry to hear about your bees, because I recall your travails with AFB last year and was hoping you'd have an easy year. But at least you and your family are OK - that's the only irreplaceable part of life. I'm hoping you won't have too many more big storms this spring.

    And also hoping when you check those nucs on the weekend that you see some eggs in all of them. Can you get any that aren't queen right quickly restarted with some frames of eggs from the big hives? Bees are really tough little creatures, and if you already have drones it would only be temporary set-back.

    I once had to set up a colony that had been through a bear attack - hoo-boy - those bees weren't in the mood to be kind to any rescuer. They were in a rage and took it out on me. My leather gloves had hundreds of stingers in them.

    I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for your nucs.

    Nancy

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
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    3,404

    Default Re: Lost hives to storm damage

    Thanks Nancy. I do have the resources for them to make queens if they are queenless. I didn't do an inpection on any of the hives yesterday, so I don't know if we have drones hatched out yet but there is capped drone brood visible in the hives.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
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    3,404

    Default Re: Lost hives to storm damage

    These are the hives right behind my house, all of them except two were blown over. The top blew off of the two that stayed upright, so they may not be much better off than the others.




    I'm posting a picture of this barn because of it's proximity to the beehives behind it. You can't see the hives but there are 7 hives right behind this barn. If the wind was blowing in the direction that the wall fell, and I don't see how it couldn't have been, then those hives took a direct hit from the storm. Only one of those 7 hives blew over. Doesn't make much sense.

    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Decatur / Cullman, also. 35603
    Posts
    768

    Default Re: Lost hives to storm damage

    Brad, im a bit away from you. But if I can help in any way, let me know. I'm at Decatur, but willing if needed. Thanks, Richard

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Covington County, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,506

    Default Re: Lost hives to storm damage

    Sorry Brad. I followed your AFB threads last year. You could use a break. It is bound to turn around now though. Can't give up.

    FWIW, when the hurricanes were coming in last year, I drove T-posts beside my hive stands and ratchet strapped the hive stands to the T-posts and then ratchet strapped the hives to the hive stands. It did not really get tested as the hurricanes were not a direct hit. I have left them all strapped down since then and I have made it through some fairly rough (but not what you just experienced) weather. That was the only system I could think of with the few days I had to prepare.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    3,404

    Default Re: Lost hives to storm damage

    Thanks Rich, I really appreciate the offer. I think all is as well as can be for now.

    psm1212, I'm real close to throwing in the towel. I've thrown a whole lot of money, time and energy into this and I have nothing to show for it other than a bunch of white boxes full of bees. (Y'all please don't start a pity party response chain, I'm tired and angry) The only 2 winters that I have had a good survival rate were this year and last year. Last year AFB hit me as you know and this year has started off with a bang. I do really enjoy keeping bees but if someone offered me the right amount of money, they could own every beekeeping supply and hive that I have. I could keep 2 hives and have a lot less to worry about and still get to enjoy bees. The so very frustrating thing about this is that my insurance is worthless. I am beyond pissed off about it. My agent told me if I filed a claim on the bee hives that they would non-renew my policy. I had talked to them a few years ago and was supposed to be covered with my bees. She told me that they would be considered personal property and a LIABILITY and insurance would cover any hive (box) that was destroyed but the bees were not covered.

    If lightning strikes a tree and kills 10 of our cows (livestock) insurance pays for them

    If a tornado hits my bee hives and 10 hives of bees (livestock) die, tough luck and oh by the way, if you dare use the insurance that you've paid for, we'll cancel your policy.

    I hate insurance companies.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Decatur / Cullman, also. 35603
    Posts
    768

    Default Re: Lost hives to storm damage

    Say, usda has a program for bees and disasters. Look it up. You'd bee amazed they do have a good program.for your situation. It may be late, but mabye not. Bees are considered livestock, and a program just for bees.

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