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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

This is my first wintering with two hives. Both are/were very healthy going in to winter with plenty of stores.

I just went out to brush snow from the front of the hives and after pulling off the mouse guards noticed about 100 dead bees on the bottom of both hives. I brushed them out and saw one or two live bees in the mix.

So... is that normal die off? I suspect so but since I don't yet have anything to compare I thought I'd ask.

Thanks and Merry Christmas!

Greg
Cornwall
 

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Hey Gregg, how long has it ben since you have checked on them before this time? I had close to that over the las t week or so. I even picked up a few and warmed them back up and watched them fly back into the hive. It was kinda cool to watch and do!
 

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About a month ago we had a few 40s-50s days where there were plenty flying around both hives doing cleansing flights I assume. The past month though it has been cold - as low as 4 degrees at night and no higher than low thirties but mostly in the upper teens so they've been left alone. Prior to it getting this cold I only saw a very few dead ones.
 

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If it has been a month, I will say that you are ok...
 

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Thanks. I thought it was a bit early to start worrying but lacking the experience I appreicate the input!
 

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I have no experience either as this is my forst winter, but I have read a TON so far
a: Going into winter, they can have up to 50,000 bees
b: Its been a month and lets say there is 100 bees, thats less than 3.5 a day. I thought it was a lot too, till I opened up the hive to check stores the other day and it looked just like they did in the fall when it was warm....LOL.
 

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Greg

This is my first winter as a beekeeper and I also have two hives. We've had quite a bit of cold weather (some sub-zero) in Colorado and I've been watching the dead bees pile up outside the hive entrance. I was starting to get worried until we finally had a day last weekend where the temps reached the mid 50s and both hives had quite a bit of activity. I guess all is normal.
 

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Congratulations to you folks who are having your first winter with your bees! :thumbsup: Nerves are normal, as you're still learning. And there are simply some things that have to be experienced. It seems like it doesn't matter how much we read, we still have to experience it. Studying and reading helps keep us from panic, but it sure doesn't help the nerves when we see dead bees in front of our hives. We think of them as our "babies" I guess.

Even if you lose a hive, all is not lost, because you now have experience! You'll be much more comfortable next year. And now is the time to do your planning for the end of January, and on into the spring. Remember, more hives starve in Feb. and March than any other time. Good luck!
Steven
 

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Steven

It hasn't been the amount of dead bees in front of the landing boards that's so disconcerting, but rather the lack of any sound coming from the hive. I would have guessed that I'd hear some activity, especially when the daytime temps hit the 40s?

For several weeks, I've been listening for anything. It sure was nice to see all those bees flying last weekend!
 

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Hello all,

This is my first wintering with two hives. Both are/were very healthy going in to winter with plenty of stores.

I just went out to brush snow from the front of the hives and after pulling off the mouse guards noticed about 100 dead bees on the bottom of both hives. I brushed them out and saw one or two live bees in the mix.

So... is that normal die off? I suspect so but since I don't yet have anything to compare I thought I'd ask.

Thanks and Merry Christmas!

Greg
Cornwall
 

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I joined this forum for the same problem. I have a very healthy hive, it's been inspected a couple of times. I checked it last in early Dec and had two full hive boxes, lots of honey and bees.
It snowed for the first time this year (NJ) I went out and checked and their were 30-40 bees in the snow. I found one alive and tried to get her back to the opening but she wouldn't go in, she fought to stay on my glove.
After reading your post I'm beginning to believe it's ok. we have thousands of
bees, 30 or 40 shouldn't make any difference, I hope.
I'm looking for more feedback myself.
Hope my imput helps.
cathy bee
 

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i looked at a hive i have at home today. didnt open it up but hive is still real heavy ans there are several hundred dead outside. i taped the hive softley and got a good buzzzzzzzzzz with my ear to the box. sounds like things are doing well so far. i also looked at a hive i have at an outyard. i can see in the bottemboard of this one. it had just as many dead and the cluster is still about cantalope size or so. should be a good spring if my luck holds up.
 

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SugarBeeCo, understand about lack of sound... I've had that before. I bought a decent stethoscope from a local pharmacy that sells all sorts of medical supplies for home use. That helps my old ears hear a little bit better. For some reason that particular hive didn't make much noise, even when tapped... turned out to be fine when temp hit above 50, and I actually opened the hive to take a look.
Regards,
Steven
 
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