Mass of dead bees, some honey, zero brood -- what happened, what now?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    14

    Default Mass of dead bees, some honey, zero brood -- what happened, what now?

    I did a quick inspection last week and knew that I had lost the hive. Went in over this weekend to take apart and have a closer look.

    1. Bottom brood super completely empty.
    2. Some honey in the honey super, in a few places full frames, with some very funky looking structures, almost in places as if brood were built on top of honey.
    3. Mass of dead bees on the bottom board.

    Photos:

    https://share.icloud.com/photos/00K9...dw5zw#Glenside


    Questions:

    1. I thought all was well going into the winter, plenty of honey. I'm in the Philadelphia area and the "winter" was very mild.
    2. With the honey that is left, anything to do? Leave the hive open and maybe a swarm will find it? Get a package of bees?

    Thanks!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,945

    Default Re: Mass of dead bees, some honey, zero brood -- what happened, what now?

    I could not get the photos to load. But, anytime I hear about piles of dead bees inside the hive, I consider CBPV as one of the causes. High moisture in the hive could have done the girls in too. The lack of brood though makes me think it was a virus. Obligatory question, what treatment protocol did you use? When, what, and how often?

    Clean out the hive, store the honey frames and leave only the empty frames in the hive. Swarm season is moving your way quickly. If you catch one, you can give them the honey after they start to brood up.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Mass of dead bees, some honey, zero brood -- what happened, what now?

    Many thanks JWPalmer. I tested for Varroa weekly using the "alcohol test" and the numbers were very low. I did no other testing or treatments. Big mistake? This was my first year back after a many season break (I moved, etc).

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lumpkin County, GA
    Posts
    910

    Default Re: Mass of dead bees, some honey, zero brood -- what happened, what now?

    Quote Originally Posted by tbreslow View Post
    Many thanks JWPalmer. I tested for Varroa weekly using the "alcohol test" and the numbers were very low. I did no other testing or treatments. Big mistake? This was my first year back after a many season break (I moved, etc).
    Huge mistake. If the alcohol test was done incorrectly (using too old bees, for example) you will get a false negative. Assume you have mites and treat your hives.

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