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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been out checking hives. I've found some dead hives that were heavy...heavy with pollen and no stores of honey or syrup. Crazy.

The live hives have been eating their stores at a voracious rate, due presumably to the warm fall weather we've been experiencing. I"ve been putting the newspaper on top and pouring in dry sugar. Crazy.

I also went to check my OB hive in my unheated honey house. The colony swarmed in the summer and something happened to the queen. It dwindled down to a handful of bees. I was called on a very unusual, September swarm. It was so unusual that I almost doubted the caller, but they were adamant that I "save" the bees. I went out to get them and it was a small swarm, about the size of grapefruit. I brought it home and set them at the opening to the OB hive and let nature take it from there. They went in and fought with the stragglers from the original hive.

My OB hive is one frame thick, with 1" polystyrene on each side for insulation.

That queen has laid about a 6" circle of brood on on of the frames. Weird.

Grant
Jackson, MO
 

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I've been out checking hives. I've found some dead hives that were heavy...heavy with pollen and no stores of honey or syrup. Crazy.

Have the honey stores been robbed out?

You may want to check out the Commercial forum. A couple months ago, Beeslave reported finding deadouts that were heavy - full of pollen and honey. He was at a loss to explain it and was asking opinions.

If the honey was robbed out from the hives after they died out, you may be facing whatever Beeslave was dealing with.
 

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I had one like that last year that died out. Still had capped honey and pollen (several frames). The hive right next to it would not touch it for some reason and the wax moths finally took it.

I scrapped the frames and set the outside in the sun and bees would not even come to check it out. strange to me.

G3
 

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If the honey was robbed out from the hives after they died out, you may be facing whatever Beeslave was dealing with.
What I believe had something to do with my problem was the poor summer flows. I got carniolans and italians. All summer I was having trouble with queens shutting down then starting up then shutting down at a time when with normal flow for here they would have been brooding all summer. That caused 2 things. 1-when the flow(late fall) kicked in the old population worked themselves to death. 2-even though I treated for mites in the spring the mite population was growing on their normal scale while the bees weren't. That caused a high mite pop. vs. brood(to many mites for the brood that was layed(triggered by the late flow). I am trying to believe that this caused part of my problem but I could be way wrong.

I also sent in samples from different yards. They were mixed samples from the good hives and mixed samples of the poor hives. ALL samples of the good hives had low nosema count and ALL samples from the poor hives had very high nosema count.
 

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grant, I've been feeding since August, and most of them are heavy with pollen. Depending on when you last checked them they may have just used up all honey stores with the crazy weather patterns, and a lack of a decent fall flow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
These dead hives have no honey in them. Whether is was robbed out or they ate it up in not certain. All I can tell you is they have ample pollen. Toward the first part of November, the bees were alive and active.

Grant
Jackson, MO
 

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Grant,
Were there dead bees in the hive stuck head first in the cell? If so I would say that it was simple starvation as your problem. A hive that gets robbed out wether there were bees in there or not would have wax cappings littering the floor. If there were bees in there when they got robbed out bees would be littering the floor also and outside the entrance from the fight to protect and steal. Was there any capped brood visible in the dead hives?
 

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I fed my 14 the Mountaincamp method late Oct. early Nov. But your experience the other day made me go out and check the hives, Grant. All but 2 needed more sugar! Man, I'm so glad I checked! I poured the sugar in, and will check them again early January. They still seem to be decently heavy, but that sugar consumption has me concerned. No deadouts yet, knock on wood!

Needless to say, I'd encourage all beeks to check their hives. Charles Imirie, in his "Pink Sheets" said any time it was above 50 degrees, to check them. I didn't go into the hives, just looked at the sugar. I understand we can check the sugar at any temp, as long as we don't disturb the cluster. I would encourage everyone to read his Pink Sheets...there is a wealth of information there!
Regards,
Steven
 

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[

Remember the bees may have simply removed the sugar from the hive if they saw it as debris, especially if the weather was warm enough for them to fly.
When I put my dry sugar on top of the frames, I sprayed it with a little water mist like they say, to form a crust and make the bees taste that it's food, not debris. But I noticed quite a few bees leaving the hive with little white chunks of sugar in their mouths, taking it away. Within a couple of days it got too cold for them to fly, so that put an end to their carting off sugar from the hive.
If there were a week or more of flying weather, though, I could see how a steady stream of bees on cleanup patrol might eliminate a whole big pile o' sugar! Try watching your bees the day after putting dry sugar in, on a day when they can fly. They might be just removing it rather than eating it.
 

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Ah... good idea, Omie.. I did spray the paper with water, and then the top of the sugar with water. But I'll watch them and see... thanks for the tip.
Steven
 
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