Ok to inspect? (and other ??)
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Sumner Co., TN, USA
    Posts
    161

    Default Ok to inspect? (and other ??)

    Roughly three weeks ago, all nine hives appeared to be doing well... flights/activity during warmer days, eating the candy inside the hive. Went out yesterday and one of the hives is dead, tiny cluster between two frames, very large pile (looks like entire hive) of dead bees on bottom board. All cells/comb empty except some brood under the cluster. Appears that I had the sugar too high above them and I'll remember for next time.

    I haven't done very thorough inspections yet because even when warm enough to check candy, it's been cool enough that I kept it brief. Now I'm concerned and feel I need to be more thorough with the other hives. I'm in middle TN and will be 67 degrees on Wednesday, with cooler weather (40s high, 20s low) in the 10 day forecast.

    Think I'm safe to inspect more thoroughly on Wednesday?
    How can I tell where the cluster WILL be, in order to prevent in the future? When I briefly observed in late Jan, there were bees in top box and getting the candy (the now dead hive).

    I hate failing the bees, and after 5 years it's humbling to make what feels like a rookie mistake. Thanks for any insight/direction/aid!

    (Note: Varoa count low in late fall, but did Oxalic anyway)
    Since '14, working on Bee.S. degree.... :) Lots to learn!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    1,399

    Default Re: Ok to inspect? (and other ??)

    As long as it’s 60 or better, your good to go for a good inspection. Don’t take too long if it’s breezy out.

  4. #3

    Default Re: Ok to inspect? (and other ??)

    Get it done. Open up 20 or so capped brood and look for mites.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Blue Ridge, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: Ok to inspect? (and other ??)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hillbillybees View Post
    Get it done. Open up 20 or so capped brood and look for mites.
    I'd be interested to know if OP has any brood. Seems pretty early for Virginia and I assumed TN would be the same but maybe I'm wrong?

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Sevierville TN
    Posts
    103

    Default Re: Ok to inspect? (and other ??)

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidgeBees View Post
    I'd be interested to know if OP has any brood. Seems pretty early for Virginia and I assumed TN would be the same but maybe I'm wrong?
    I would say they do if they are in middle Tennessee in in east Tennessee in the mountains and i checked a few of mine yesterday. seems like most of my colonys have around 3 to 4 frames like this in them.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Kamloops, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,407

    Default Re: Ok to inspect? (and other ??)

    Looks like they made a series of bad decisions. Raising some brood without resources, raising it in the wrong place. If they went into winter with the same resources as the other hives and the other hives did well, then it is not a beekeeper failure.

    Also I've had clusters fail in contact with sugar. Might be a hard form of energy for them to take advantage of. Much happier with fondant and feeding sugar water in the fall. Usually my small clusters have lots of food and I have to worry about my large ones. My strategy is slipping frames of food underneath them and because of their size they find it. I also insulate my boxes so the bees have more chance to wander around and not get stuck in one position.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Sumner Co., TN, USA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Ok to inspect? (and other ??)

    Thanks for the input. As an update, got to a full inspection on the other hives a couple of days later and all were excellent! Even did our first queen capture/marking, primarily on some swarms we caught last year. Here's a vid of one of them if you'd like to watch. My wife is showing off her new vented suit (the old one could almost stand up by itself), and the date's wrong on the vid...
    https://youtu.be/csJFeEzonGo
    Since '14, working on Bee.S. degree.... :) Lots to learn!

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