New Beekeeper in Nebraska
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  1. #1

    Default New Beekeeper in Nebraska

    Hi all,

    I joined mostly because I might need help. I am a second attempt first year beekeeper in the Lincoln, Nebraska area. I have two hives that have done amazingly well this year. I have run medium 8 frames for both my brood boxes and, due to how well they have done, even a few supers this summer. I performed monthly sugar roll tests and the mite load was 1/2 to 1% all year until two weeks ago where it jumped significantly, I didn't finish the count but it was closer to 5 or 6%. I had been running 2 brood boxes but removed the queen excluder and left a third box on top that was mostly full of honey and will remain a brood box next year. I began a treatment with apivir per the instructions given to me by my local bee supply store.

    At the stores advice I also added a spacer at the top and put on a Lanstroth style top instead of the warre quilt box I have used.

    Here is my concern, I got back this morning from a business trip and checked on the bees. both hives have some dead bees in front of them. the one I have considered the healthier hive has a reasonable amount, not a major change. The hive that has been the weaker of the two (but still very active and healthy, just compared to the other hive) has a HUGE pile of dead bees but the coming and going seems normal except the bees are preventing drones from entering and I saw a couple (I think) drones drug out of the hive. I can't tell for sure if all the dead bees are drones but it is a LOT of dead bees. In reading, I am aware that pushing out drones is normal fall behavior but is actively killing drones normal behavior and is there a way to determine if all the dead bees were drones? It is a deep, thick pile. I am wondering if there is something else I should be doing.

    Thanks.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,768

    Default Re: New Beekeeper in Nebraska

    I'm just down the road from you... Drones have HUGE eyes that almost touch in the middle. They have blunt behinds. Unless you have laying workers or a drone laying queen, they are HUGE compared to a worker.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  4. #3

    Default Re: New Beekeeper in Nebraska

    Definitely Drones. This hive has a disproportionate number compared to the other hive. I still see evidence that it isn't a queen issue. It may be related to me not managing the feeding timeframes correctly and confusing the hive. The level to which I am both learning and clueless is staggering.

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