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Dead bees at entrance

2144 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  MikeJ
I went to check hives after work today and I noticed about 5 to 10 bees dead around the entrance. Some were inside and some were outside the hive. We have had a few very cool rainy days here in Michigan (45 degrees with wind). I put straw bales around both hives a couple days ago.
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Bees are born, they live, they die. There are thousands of bees in the hive. Bees that die in the hive get tossed out the door or flown off and dropped by the housekeeping bees. Don't worry about 5-10 dead bees, it's normal, especially after a few days of weather the bees won't fly in. Look at the dead bees and check to see if they look normal otherwise. If you see dozens of dead bees every other day or so, then you should worry.
I don't think 45F and windy is anything to worry about for just means they'll stay inside until a nice day above 50F and not windy or rainy. Don't worry, bee happy! :)
I would wait til the temp warms up til atleast 55. 45 and wind is way to cold to be opening the hive.
Doesn't sound abnormal to me. Attrition is constantly going on in a hive. The last nice day we had here in Michigan I went out and checked on everything and then closed them up. I knew the cold and wet would be around for most of the week. The wife is bugging me to turn then heat back on, but I just can't bring myself to do it. Not in the middle of May.
Every time we get a cold snap here or rain I see LOTS of dead bees in the front of the hive. Today it is in the 40's and already I see 3 and its early. But as soon as the hive warms those girls are all over the place flying about. I just assumed when it is cold and rainy they rather die off in the hive than fly out to die :scratch:
noticed a few more dead bees on my weak hive. Also a few just sitting at entrance I think they are dying. One more day of rain tomorrow and then a string of nice weather. I'm hoping for the best. Thanks all for the replies.
Unless their sick/queenless/or starving there is no reason for them to be dying, especially because of a few days of rain. If they are starving or you suspect they are why not throw a feeder on the inner cover (even in the rain).

There is always dead bees out front of the hive. They will usually clear them away if they have time and are strong enough to have bees doing that. Lay an old sheet in front of the hive, you will see a lot that were carried out and dropped - this doesn't include those that are dropped further out.

When you got 12,000 bees (a 3# package) a hundred dead bees isn't much.

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