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Discussion Starter #1
Temps here have been in the low teens, yesterday I noticed after a sunny but very cold day with fresh snow about 100 bees within 4 feet of a hive. Obviously didn't make it back on cleansing flight. The snow was fresh so I know it's just a 24 hour period. Does this indicate any thing about hive survival chances over winter?
 

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Certainly the obvious one is that you still have live bees and that's a good thing! I like to see cleansing flights and it's quite common on cold days to see bees hitting the ground before they make it back to the hive. Whenever I see flights on moderate days in the winter I think about food in the colony and if I'm feeding dry sugar on the top I check and add if needed. I think that cleansing flights are a good sign overall. Remember that if you're like me the odds of losing a colony is higher at the very end of winter or early spring when the food inside the hive is lowest, the food outside the hive is still hard to find and the weather is unpredictable.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Checked them again last night. See a lot of droppings on and around hive look runny. Bees outside of entrance in 28 deg after sunset?
 

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Your bee's might have nosema if you see droppings on the hive. When the weather warms again pop the top to see the bee population. Two of mine that had those signs died out.
 

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I see you are in MI. How was the weather in the Autumn? When was the last time the bees had a real, general cleansing flight? Here, October and November were 10-20 degrees below normal. No real cleansing flights...just a little spotting on the snow. Yep, we had 2-1 foot snow storms in November. Cold in December. Bitter January. So I figure there are plenty of old bees in that cluster that never perished in the autumn. The colonies here really need a cleansing flight, and I expect to see a bit of spotting around the entrances, or some spotting and dead bees in the snow. Just normal for the conditions. Time will tell.
 

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And we have had little winter at all! I don't think we have had three weeks without flying weather. Last night it got to -2 which was my coldest night of the season. Bees are using a lot of stores but Losses are a couple queen failures so far. Last winter was very different!
 

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Yep. 60 degrees and rain yesterday morning and at 2:00 the sun came out and my hives looked like they were swarming. Today it's 45 degrees and sunny. Bees are flying but no flowers blooming. Really going thru resources so I'm feeding 2:1 syrup so not to stimulate and dry sugar. Lots of dead bees; when the wx is bad the housekeeping can wait... bees are dying every day but can't be removed until the wx is good.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Weather has been fairly mild until about 2 weeks ago. I saw bees out during 35 deg days when sun was out. In last 2 weeks it's been extremely cold. From what I read they say bees on ground an K wing are "sometimes" symptoms. Easily had 200 on ground on fresh snow, no sign of K wing. Also say excessive droppings on hive is good indicator of nosema and I will call what I see excessive. I did take a quick peek and population looks strong. The other 2 hives don't exhibit this at all. I really do think nosema is the problem but don't know of any thing I can do. Fumigillan in sugar water is not an option in 8deg F. Am I missing some treatment for options? Hoping MP is correct, but assuming the worst based on other hives.
Words of wisdom would be appreciated.
 
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