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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It was warm enough to take a look inside today and my suspicions were confirmed. Looks like all 7 of my hives are dead. Too much moisture. There was plenty of food.

I know it's been a tough winter but I need to do a better job on my end. I'll be looking at threads on winterizing, ventilation, moisture control for a post-mortem and prep for next year.

Starting over stinks but I've got the bug (so to speak) and I want to make a go of this. Feel bad for the bees having to put up with my mistakes.
 

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I would study top entrances and quilt boxes . Those help bunches in ventilation/moisture control
 

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Jett01... sorry that you lost your set-up!

What else did you see when you opened up the hives to tell you it was too much moisture? Were the bees scattered around in the frames? ....clustered? Snow blocking the entrance? Entrance plugged with dead bodies? Telescoping lids or migratory?...black mold due to moisture?....bottom entrance vs upper entrance? When were you able to check them last to know when they went under?....

I lost one hive this winter, but actually it turned out that I may have lost it last Oct/November when they were putting up the stores I was feeding them....when I getting some of my equipment ready for this spring and started cleaning out the hive top feeder that I pulled off the failed hive last fall, I found my drowned queen under the float....they never had a chance....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Jett01... sorry that you lost your set-up!

What else did you see when you opened up the hives to tell you it was too much moisture? Were the bees scattered around in the frames? ....clustered? Snow blocking the entrance? Entrance plugged with dead bodies? Telescoping lids or migratory?...black mold due to moisture?....bottom entrance vs upper entrance? When were you able to check them last to know when they went under?....

I lost one hive this winter, but actually it turned out that I may have lost it last Oct/November when they were putting up the stores I was feeding them....when I getting some of my equipment ready for this spring and started cleaning out the hive top feeder that I pulled off the failed hive last fall, I found my drowned queen under the float....they never had a chance....

I had powdered sugar that was frozen with ice around it. One hive appeared to have an ice trail going down one of the frames to the bottom. Found one cluster - didn't dig all the way to the bottom on some of them. I left some supers on for extra food instead of taking them down to two deeps. Too much space?

There was no snow blocking the entrance today. There has been on other days. We have had more snow than usual this winter. I have bottom entrances only. I have telescoping lids - metal. They felt very heavy when I lifted them off. Didn't look for mold - too bummed at the time to think of everything.

I'd have to check my notes for the last time I knew they were alive. Possibly December, certainly November. There were 5 nucs and 2 packages. All built up well and appeared healthy.
 

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Same story here, sad to clean up all the dead bees. Mine were clustered and frames filled with bees inside cells head first. I heard that this means starvation. I did find honey and pollen stores remaining in hive, so I think it got too cold for too long. Although there also seemed to be ventilation problems as I found ice crystals on the inside of the boxes. Had upper entrance holes drilled but ice formed there. It looked like some had been eating the comb, i saw crumbs on the bottom board and dusted on frames, or could this be something besides chewed comb?
 

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Riodelobo, those are some nice looking insulated boards, and a decent price, to my rookie thinking. May have to order a few:thumbsup:
 

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Jett01,

Tough loss. I lost one of my three colonies last week. I have quilt boxes with 4 inches of shavings, and plenty of honey left but still lost them.

My survivors came from Greencastle, not far from you, so there is good stock available nearby.

Bob

2nd year, 2 colonies surviving.
 

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Seven out of seven lost? Did you do any sort of mite testing last fall?
 

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I had powdered sugar that was frozen with ice around it.
Now that you've had some time to deal with your loss, I wonder if you'd mind a question about that powdered sugar. Where was it and what was it being used for? Were you feeding it, dusting with it, or something else?

One hive appeared to have an ice trail going down one of the frames to the bottom....I have telescoping lids - metal. They felt very heavy when I lifted them off....
These all sound like too much moisture inside the hive. That and mites could really do a job on them.

So sorry for your loss--it has to be hard losing them all this way!

HTH

Rusty
 

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My condolences, I lost all of my two hives. One back in December when we had a quick freeze but the cluster was just too small (softball size) and then one this month maybe from moisture (I saw a pool of water on the bottom board, but the bees looked very dry). So starting over again this year, hoping that with two new packages I'll be able to also acquire a few swarms as well so that next winter I'll come through with some strong hives.
 

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I build these. Nice as they have an upper entrance, a place for insulation, and are easy to feed syrup on. They are more work to build and not practical on a large scale, I would think, but I like them.
http://www.honeyrunapiaries.com/store/all-season-inner-cover-p-232.html
I attempted to download the plans but apparently need to be a member at the site. Do you happen to have the plans on pdf? I enjoy building my own equipment and would love to try one of these.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
No I didn't. There are several things I plan to do differently this season.

I think I'm working my way through all of the mistakes at least once.

Sorry - didn't include the quote from the post I was responding to. The question was whether I did any mite testing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Now that you've had some time to deal with your loss, I wonder if you'd mind a question about that powdered sugar. Where was it and what was it being used for? Were you feeding it, dusting with it, or something else?

I had it on newspaper as additional food source - although I don't think they really needed it. It was placed on the top bars of the top box.


These all sound like too much moisture inside the hive. That and mites could really do a job on them.

So sorry for your loss--it has to be hard losing them all this way!

HTH

Rusty
Thanks. Yeah, moisture, I think, was the primary culprit. I'm sure I had some mite activity as well. I'd like to be treatment free but I don't want to be bee free.
 

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Sorry for your loss. At least you have some comb, some honey and have learned a lot about moisture. Stay strong and try again. You can do it if you keep after it. Next winter you will be ready.
 

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I had it on newspaper as additional food source - although I don't think they really needed it. It was placed on the top bars of the top box....

Thanks. Yeah, moisture, I think, was the primary culprit. I'm sure I had some mite activity as well. I'd like to be treatment free but I don't want to be bee free.
Another thing to consider is about that powdered sugar...if it was regular sugar ground to powdered sugar, that's great. But if it was commercial powdered sugar that had corn starch in it, that could have contributed to the problems. The corn starch is indigestible by the bees and during a long winter they might not have been able to leave the hive to expel it, thus adding to their stress. So add that to the excess moisture and possible mite pressure and it was just too much for them. But at least you now have some idea of what to avoid/fix/adjust for your next bees!

Good luck this season!

Rusty
 
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