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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2 weeks when we had a warm spell I checked both my hives, one a top bar and one a langforth. Both were full and had stores. 3 days later I did not see any bees in the top bar. I opened it and found a handful of bees and no more. The hive was empty, leaving stores. Then I checked the langforth and they were doing great, then we had the cold snap again. I covered the langsforth with a blanket. After the cold snap I checked again and found brood on 5 cells about 3-4" diameter and dead bees over those cells, some emerging brood, larvae but all dead. Dead bees in the bottom. I think they froze. The top bar maybe has swarmed, but I didnt see any supersedure cells. The langsforth did have 2 cells and I found the queen on top of 1 bar dead. So unless I catch a swarm I am quitting I put too much into buying bees every year. I have 2 langsforth bodies and 2 to bar bodies and no bees. I have 3 swarm traps, empty.
 

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I think everyone would want to know how/when you treated for mites before venturing a guess on why they died. But, generally speaking, the odds are it was mites or starvation unless you have something coming in down there now. If you keep having dead outs every year, you really need to examine what you are doing wrong. It happens to everyone for sure, but not year after year. J
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There was probley a 4 frames of of honey and a feeder on the Langsforth and plenty of pollen, so how can you assess they starved? The Top bar had 2 frames of honey and a feeder and plenty of pollen. I also checked for mites and they were minimum. I also had mite traps in the hive. Why do you suggest I keep having dead outs year after year?. The first year 4 years ago I went away for a month in August and we had a drought and there was nothing in bloom here, they starved. That was when I started my first and only Top bar hive. Last year there was no problems except the Top bar was very low on bees but came back strong. The langsforth came through fine.Do you assume everyone is stupid? Every one I know that has bees looses as much as 1/2 there hives every year. I only had 2. There are no feral bees where I live. I have never seen one in my 2.5 acres until I put in my hive.
 

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I've never heard of an in-hive mite trap - how does that work?. If you aren't treating, and aren't checking at least monthly (weekly if you're using sticky boards) during your warm months, you are at great risk of having losses due to mites. Sadly, these days, the most common reason to lose a hive are the wretched mites. Maybe you'll get lucky and catch a swarm or two and be back in the bee business, soon. OA (dribble or vaporization) used on a swarm before it has capped brood is an easy way to clean up nearly all their mites, at least for awhile, But new ones are constantly arriving, so it takes a more or less constant battle to keep your bees as mite-free and healthy as possible.

Nancy
 

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Sorry you took my post as offensive, but I based my guesses on the limited information you provided and the fact that 90% of the people on here asking about their dead outs at this time of year are caused by mites or starvation. You said that you are quitting because you are "putting too much into buying bees every year" You also said you have 4 hives and they are all dead. So, I think my assumptions were correct. You should not need to buy bees every year and have all your bees die. There is something wrong with your bee management. If you really want to succeed, you need to accept that you could be doing something wrong and keep an open mind when seeking the advice on a forum with people trying to help you. Like I said, it happens to all of us, so I wasn't trying to make you feel bad. I was trying to help you. J
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry you took my post as offensive, but I based my guesses on the limited information you provided and the fact that 90% of the people on here asking about their dead outs at this time of year are caused by mites or starvation. You said that you are quitting because you are "putting too much into buying bees every year" You also said you have 4 hives and they are all dead. So, I think my assumptions were correct. You should not need to buy bees every year and have all your bees die. There is something wrong with your bee management. If you really want to succeed, you need to accept that you could be doing something wrong and keep an open mind when seeking the advice on a forum with people trying to help you. Like I said, it happens to all of us, so I wasn't trying to make you feel bad. I was trying to help you. J
Ok I exaggerated. I had the buy the first hive 4 years ago, then I had to replace it because of the hot summer and me not home to feed. I also bought a 2nd nuc so I would have 2. I only had 2 hives did I mistype? I also should have posted in the Alabama thread. I dont think one can do much to prevent a swarm with weather like we have been having, raining for weeks at a time, one week in the high 50-60' one week below freezing. I dont think theirs anything anyone can do to help. I just thought it was strange the way it happened. I never say bees hanging on small patches of brood scattered over 4 frames. The mite population was low, there was honey and a feeder on both hives. No water in the hives. The bees plugged up the top bar hive entrance holes except for enough to get out. The langsforth I put a blocker board on the entrance to cut down the opening. I checked them during the first warm week after the first freeze, and checked again after the 2nd freeze. Almost all the remaing days it was raining except when it was freezing. Its raining again now.
 

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when someone try's to help it might be good to listen. Keeping bees can't be leave the bees be bees nowadays. I have 4 feet of snow to deal with right now so weather isn't the problem. If you can manage the varroa mites your bees will have a better chance for survival. We all have been there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I do not think needed to go into more details than I did. I kept bees in Florida 44 hives and sold honey to the local honey house. I also kept bees in South Alabama just before I moved up here. Im not a beginner. I had treated for mites and beetles. Everybody assumes I just did nothing. Where Im living now there is a dearth of food and I ant even get through a summer without feeding. Thats not beekeeping thats turning sugar into honey. I only put in the 2 hives because theirs no bees around here. There may be some close but I have NEVER seen a honey bee in my yard and I have clover and flowers. Cherry trees, Apple trees but no honey bees. If the rest of you have seen these same results that good, I haven seen this as a problem until this year. I appreciate the "help" but Im not a beginner and all the help I have is already covered. Besides I did not post for help I was just making the case that I thought the loss was a little strange. In my bee club every year people Large numbers of hives almost everybody has losses almost every year. When you have 100 hives and loose 50 you can recover but when you have 2 and loose both you have to start over. So Im saying its not worth the trouble. Yes its harder to keep these days than it was in Florida. I have had swarm traps all over the area and the obly time I got swarm was when I got my neighbor into beekeeping and his swarmed and I ot it off a bush, then he moved 15 miles away. I got his and mine through the winter that year and split his hive for him.
 

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I had bees 45 years ago and had to relearn how to keep bees with all the things that can happen today. So you moved you are going to relearn how to keep bees in your new area beekeeping is local. You cant stop learning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You are correct, I had to relearn when I moved to South Alabama from Florida. This year we have had 21.49" of rain and I bet fewer than 20 days of full sun. 4 years ago when bought my first swarm we had a drought, this year the ground wont dry out. I wanted the bees for pollination mostly, I even planted 1/2 acre in clover. I also wanted to try a Top bar hive just for fun. I built 2. I also built 2 langsforth hives, and bought a 5 frame nuc for one. I was going to split that one this spring after the build up. Its far easier to have 5 or more as you would have spares to make another hive but you dont have much room for problems with 2. Last year both made it through winter and were pretty strong when the weather turned.
 

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Every one I know that has bees looses as much as 1/2 there hives every year.
I would suggest these are NOT the people you want to be taking beekeeping advice from. Nor following in their footsteps. 50% losses year over year means there is a management issue.
Summer dearth? Our nectar stops around the first of July for the rest of the year. We feed. If you need to leave on vacation, you use a large feeder.
I don't think anyone on this board accepts for a minute that a healthy hive full of bees FROZE TO DEATH a mere three days after being inspected, in ALABAMA.

Hope you have a long discussion with the man in the mirror and figure it out.
 

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I would suggest these are NOT the people you want to be taking beekeeping advice from. Nor following in their footsteps. 50% losses year over year means there is a management issue.
Summer dearth? Our nectar stops around the first of July for the rest of the year. We feed. If you need to leave on vacation, you use a large feeder.
I don't think anyone on this board accepts for a minute that a healthy hive full of bees FROZE TO DEATH a mere three days after being inspected, in ALABAMA.

Hope you have a long discussion with the man in the mirror and figure it out.
Ha,the ones that lose all their hives are who they get to speak at our local clubs around here.. They are so afraid someone is going to succeed and take their money . As Palmer would say “ SOME MENTORS NEED MENTORING THEMSELVES “
 

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As newbees, the first thing we learn is how to kill bees. Some of us are more apdept at it than others. Gradually we learn how to keep them alive, this is called beehaving. Later still, we learn how to create what Michael Palmer describes as a "sustainable apiary". Now we can be called beekeepers. For those that don't quite get the distinction, in the sustainable apiary model, you do not have to buy bees.

With regards to the OP, I keep going back to his statments that mite levels were minimal or low. At this time of the year, mite levels should have been zero. I am thinking treatment was late or ineffective. It happens. The death of the topbar hive was the first clue that the bees were in a weakened state, reasonably confirmed with the Lang dying shortly thereafter. That is one of the ways varroa kills hives and thanks to Dr. Ramsey's work, we know why.
 

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Times have changed, and not for the better. I am only going into my 4th year of beekeeping but I have a friend who used to "have" a few hives in the 70's. He told me that he did nothing. Zero management other than harvest honey which provided him with enough for his family, pay for his wood (heating) and pay his taxes. Man, I wish we could get that back. I told him what I have to do and he couldn't believe it and it nixed his thoughts of re-entering beekeeping. J
 

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The answer the op gave "mites were minimal" has been uttered here countless times. It indicates either no mite counts and treatments or a treatment with no monitoring or confirmation of its efficiency. Both of which are a perfect recipe for constant purchasing of replacement bees. No one is attacking or being mean to the OP in fact to lie and say this wasn't the case would imo be much more "mean".
 

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When you have 100 hives and loose 50 you can recover but when you have 2 and loose both you have to start over.
I know you said that you weren't looking for help, but I can't help but see the solution to your problem......just start with a 100 colonies. :lookout:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Let me comment on beetles. There was not 1 alive mite when I checked either hive. Only dead ones on my swifter cloth. I did not remove the cloth since they were all dead. I said minimum because I know there are always some you cant see.. Yes when I lived in Florida in the 70;s we never had to do anything except split and remove honey. When I lived in south Alabama in the early 90s, I treated with Abstain but there were no Beatles. In Florida I sold to the local honey house buyer. In South Alabama I only had 4 hives but managed to get 10 gallons of honey the 3rd year and all 4 were started by a swarm I ought. I had an extractor. Here in 4 years Every time the hives got built up I lost them. I talked to a pumpkin grower a few months ago and he bought 5 hives for the last 5 years. I also have a friend that lives about 15 miles away and he has had the same luck as I hive. For me its not worth the troubles. Ill buy my 2 quarts of honey a year at the flee market, and rely on other pollinators. The story about loosing 50% of hives is true. He was a semi beginner keeping hives for 5 years and 2 years ago it happened. We summarized it was beetles, however most of the hives didn't die, like one of mine they were just gone.
 

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Larry, I think you are confusing mites with the small hive beetle. Unfortunately, both are pests and need to be dealt with in separate, distinct treatments. Mites are a much greater threat to bees and it takes monitoring and a treatment plan to deal with them. Your description of your losses is pretty much a classic case of mites. You can deal with this, we all have to now, but you need to read up on mites and come up with a treatment plan on how to deal with them or you will have losses year after year. J
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ok It was just a brain fart, I was talking about beetles. I just got up. I treated tracial mites with oxalic acid. You noticed I switched them 2 times.
 

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Tracheal mites and the varroa destructor mite are not the same. Really, you lamblasted fivej earlier for not realizing you are an experienced beek, but if anything, that experience is out dated. Varroa is the number one killer of beehives by far. You should read up on them and the research that is being done.
 
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