Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I gathered "dead " bees from t snowy ground in front of my langstroth hive and put them under a heat lamp. After they had been underneath the heat lamp for a couple minutes they started to move:scratch:. Once they warmed up they got up, drank some of the sugar syrup we put on the counter and started to fly around our house:eek:. My question is how on earth did they come back to life if they where buired in the snow?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We were able to get some great photos since they were moving slowly at first. These bees had been in the snow for 30+ min.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
As a first responder, we have a saying "You arent dead until you are warm and dead."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,540 Posts
Yes, indeed. I used to conscientiously sweep out my "dead" bees from inside the bottom entrance and set them aside to study. Recently I happened to move them inside and set the containers on the pellet stove as I was changing out of my boots. To my shock, many of them start to revive which represented quite a problem. Fortunately I still had the dead-bee container for each hive separated, so I slapped on the lids to keep the reviving corpses/cold stunned but not quite dead bees belonging to each hive apart frm each other. I gave those that did revive a chance to walk back into their hive (not all did) the next morning after an evening inside and access to sugar syrup. It was quite an embarassing new-beekeeper operation.

I was pretty horrified to discover this because I had cleaned the bottoms out several times before, and assuming the bees were all quite dead, kept them in my unheated mudroom (and below freezing) until I got around to examining them, including some amateur attempts at dissection, or perhaps it was vivisection? Doesn't bear thinking about and it quite cured me of my well-meaning housekeeping attempts. In the future all I'll do in the winter to keep the lower entrance open is push the bees aside, but leave the "corpses" all inside until the morgue bees deal with them properly. The corpses can thaw, or stay dead, as they choose.

But it's something to think about when you have an apparent winter dead-out. It might be better to just leave it alone until much warmer weather. Would be a great pity to get in the way of the bees' plans.

Enj.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,135 Posts
I unfortunately know from my first disaster packages that they will revive for at least a couple of days.( Pretty shopworn by then.)

When the questions start to come up in a couple of weeks of "install in the cold or keep in the garage till better weather" the answer is garage, especially without comb.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
723 Posts
Agree with Michael Bush....

Had an overwintered nuc 2 years ago that appeared to be starved out and dead when I opened it late winter/early spring. I pulled frames out and bees were clumped and butt out of cells. Not a drop of honey left in the hive. Was mad at myself for allowing them to starve out. Set the box in the back of my Ford Expedition and headed home a little later. Parked with my windows up in my driveway, sun beaming down.
Later that afternoon, I went to get in my car and WHOA!! There were bees flying and crawling all over the back of the car. The car had really warmed up in the sun with the windows closed. These "dead" bees were back to life!
Needless to say, I did not drive that car where I was going! I Placed a nuc shim for a baggy feeder on the top and put a quart bag 1/2 filled with honey on top. This drew a vast majority of the bees back into the box to feed. In the late afternoon, after it began to cool down, I moved the nuc into my back yard. It took a lot of loving on the nuc to bring it back but it worked. Turned into a really good hive that, if memory serves me correct, I still have.
Lesson learned: NEVER assume the bees are dead!
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top