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We have had some really nice weather for the last few days (low - mid 50's) and I went to check on my hive to see if they were taking any flights. I found bees both flying and around the hive entrance, but, what was disturbing to me was the hundreds of bees I saw on the ground.

This is my first winter and I was hoping that this was house cleaning due to the good weather and not evidence that my hive was dying?

Any advise....am I jus t worrying over nothing.
 

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Probably house cleaning, but on a day they are flying it's easy enough to lift the bottom box and see what the bottom board looks like. Is it clear? Also take a look at the bees. Are the plenty left? Also look for dead mites on the bottom board. A few is normal. Thousands of dead mites is not normal.
 
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Thanks Michael. It is suppose to be 58 tomorrow and I will check it out as you suggested.
 

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I ck'd my hives today as it was almost 70. I was very disappointed to open up what I thought was a strong hive to find mostly dead bees. Many were still in a cluster and within the cluster many were head first inside of cells with just their butts sticking out. They were right on top of plenty of capped honey and had honey on all the frames around them. We've only had one cold snap down to about 10 at night and 30's during the day and only lasted a few days.
 
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Hoosyurbee, I'm just a few miles north of you in the Irvington area. My bee's are doing some housecleaning with this warm spell. There are a number of dead bee's outside my backyard hive and I've seen several bee's drag out a dead bee and fly way off with it for disposal. Also my first year with this. I opened up the hive yesterday to feed fondant and things looked fine and strong.
Barry
Indianapolis
 
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Thanks twind59...

I did get a chance today to get a closer look at the girls. Population is strong so I think the dead bees I saw were just the house keeping that they needed to do from the last 8 weeks. Stores are still good and I pulled my sticky board to replace it and found a mite drop of about 125 - 150 per week. I think I'm OK in that department.

Well I hope the rest of the winter goes like this...we still have a long way to go!
 
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Yep! A friend said the other day he thinks it's only 9 weeks till dandilion bloom...something to look forward to! Interesting...even with the dreery rainy weather today, there were a surprising number of bee's flying...and no more dead bee's.
 
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Dick,
Thanks for posting that link. I found it both interesting and helpful!
Barry
 
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