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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I noticed less bees active from this hive on warmer days than my other hive. Today it was 63F and I saw no activity from this hive while there were many bees active at my other hive about 6 inches away. Opened it up today and there were only 30-40 bees and the queen all dead. I'm guessing my lazy mite counts caused me to mite bomb myself and the lack of bees to cluster caused them to freeze to death.....but would appreciate anyone's thoughts. There were SHBs but the hive seemed to keep them under control or at least in the corners previously when they were strong enough.
Beehive Honeycomb Pollinator Insect Arthropod

(Top Deep)(Top of frame is on the bottom. This is frame #7) Queen and a few workers. There were about the same amount on the next frame facing this one. Is that mite frass on the cells?

Hive Info
Location:
Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA
Source: Package shipped from Georgia, USA (installed on 27May2021)
Configuration: 10 Frame | Telescoping top > Quilt box (with pine shavings) > candy board (with 10 pounds of sugar bricks) > Top deep > Bottom deep > solid bottom board (with entrance reducer and mouse guard)
Last Inspection: 21Nov2021 (Installed quilt box, candy/candy board, mouse guard, and insulation 25Nov2021)
Last Mite Count (shame on me): 18July21 4/260 (1.54%) | used dawn mite wash
Hive next door last mite count: 11Sep21 2/413 (0.48%) I think this gave me a false feeling that the other hive was doing fine..still lazy in hindsight.
Hive Weight at death (didn't starve?): Top deep 50.84 pounds; Bottom deep 29.56 pounds.

Dead hive pics
Bottom Deep pics (right click.. open image in new tab to get larger pic)
Top Deep pics (right click.. open image in new tab to get larger pic)
Bottom Board pic

Last Inspection Pics
Same hive on 21Nov21 (frames 7-10)

Next Steps?
I have 20 out of 40 frames in the freezer and expect to swap them for the next box after 48 hours. Keep them in a Rubbermaid type thing after that?
 

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15 hives third year.
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Mites really multiply exponentially after July around here(NC). In fact I have been able to not treat until after honey removal in June. Only a guess but probaly viral load from mites. Did tou see any deformed wing or other issues
 

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2 (10 frame) langstroth hives (first year)
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Mites really multiply exponentially after July around here(NC). In fact I have been able to not treat until after honey removal in June. Only a guess but probaly viral load from mites. Did tou see any deformed wing or other issues
I did not see any deformed wings but a deformed wing could have hit me in the eye without me noticing. This was the stronger of the two colonies so I did not pay as much attention. Goes downhill faster than I thought. Learning a lesson I hope here.
 

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It seems the larger colonies fail sooner, they raise mites better....
 

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2 (10 frame) langstroth hives (first year)
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Not sure at this point. The two colonies I have were both from Georgia, USA; but different companies. I don't think (at this point ) it made a difference.
 

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As a regular practice, I always obtain my mite counts every month during the season using Dawn & H2O. Last year, several of my colonies had high mite counts (>15) after my first mite count in late April. As I consequence, I treated those colonies & got the numbers way down. I have resigned myself to treating whenever the counts indicate a high mite level (>3/100). These days, it seems that many colonies require multiple treatments during the season, a real big change from a few years ago when one treatment in August was sufficient.
 

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Sorry you lost your bees.

It happens to pretty much everybody at one time or another.

It is true that the mites get the best colonies. They breed in the brood, and the booming colonies are the ones that have lots of brood all season.

On the brighter side, you probably have some honey you weren't expecting - which is some solace for a first year beek.

Jon
 

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Brood rearing capacity follows the seasons of the sun. It starts up slowly in January just after the winter solstice on December 21, and increases over time to reach it's peak in early July soon after summer solstice. So, as the hive brood production slows down, the mite brood production does not, so increased mites as a percentage of brood in the hive increases rapidly. By late fall and early winter, the hives can be mite crashing if no treatments or IPM manipulations have been implemented.
 

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It does look like plenty of mite frass in the cells just above the cluster to me.
 

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2 (10 frame) langstroth hives (first year)
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sorry you lost your bees.

It happens to pretty much everybody at one time or another.

It is true that the mites get the best colonies. They breed in the brood, and the booming colonies are the ones that have lots of brood all season.

On the brighter side, you probably have some honey you weren't expecting - which is some solace for a first year beek.

Jon
Thanks Jon. I'm pretty sure most of what is in there is sugar water I fed in the fall. I'll just leave it for the next package of bees. Should give them a good jump start.
 

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2 (10 frame) langstroth hives (first year)
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
As a regular practice, I always obtain my mite counts every month during the season using Dawn & H2O. Last year, several of my colonies had high mite counts (>15) after my first mite count in late April. As I consequence, I treated those colonies & got the numbers way down. I have resigned myself to treating whenever the counts indicate a high mite level (>3/100). These days, it seems that many colonies require multiple treatments during the season, a real big change from a few years ago when one treatment in August was sufficient.
Thanks for the tips. I will definitely be doing monthly mite counts from now on.
 

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Thanks Jon. I'm pretty sure most of what is in there is sugar water I fed in the fall. I'll just leave it for the next package of bees. Should give them a good jump start.
At least freeze it for a while. I'm hesitant to use a unknown reasons/ deadout comb to hive another colony
 

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It seems the larger colonies fail sooner, they raise mites better....
This has also been my experience.

Once a hive looses critical mass it can not make it thru the cold. It sounds like that is what happened with this hive.


How cold does it get at your house? Here It gets cold enough this time of year I am not sure I would worry about putting the frames in a freezer. We have 2-3 day streches where it does not get above freezing.
 

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48hrs ought to be fine as long as your freezer is getting down to 0, should freeze solid anything small.
Spread the frames out in the freezer, will get them cold faster.
If the material is bagged it may take longer to get the heat out.
 

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2 (10 frame) langstroth hives (first year)
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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
48hrs ought to be fine as long as your freezer is getting down to 0, should freeze solid anything small.
Spread the frames out in the freezer, will get them cold faster.
If the material is bagged it may take longer to get the heat out.
Thanks for the info. This is a stand alone, stand up freezer on it's coldest setting so I assume it gets down to zero but it doesn't have a gauge just 1-7 as a setting. I checked them a bit ago and they didn't seem solid so I'll give them another 24hrs.

What's the best way to store the frames after freezing? Rubbermaid type thing work? Worried about mice/bugs but also mold. Thanks

Edit: Typos
 

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40s and 50F for the highs the next 10 days. I already have 10 frames in the freezer.
that is to warm for them to freeze outside. Indoor freezer is the right choice.

I live in a dry enviroment and have stored boxes in trashbags with a lid on the top and bottom. Some people claim wax moths will chew thru a trash bag, but I have not had this happen yet. Some people also store frames/boxes in rubber maid totes that are sealed fairly tight.
 

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I noticed less bees active from this hive on warmer days than my other hive. Today it was 63F and I saw no activity from this hive while there were many bees active at my other hive about 6 inches away. Opened it up today and there were only 30-40 bees and the queen all dead. I'm guessing my lazy mite counts caused me to mite bomb myself and the lack of bees to cluster caused them to freeze to death.....but would appreciate anyone's thoughts. There were SHBs but the hive seemed to keep them under control or at least in the corners previously when they were strong enough.
View attachment 67026
(Top Deep)(Top of frame is on the bottom. This is frame #7) Queen and a few workers. There were about the same amount on the next frame facing this one. Is that mite frass on the cells?

Hive Info
Location:
Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA
Source: Package shipped from Georgia, USA (installed on 27May2021)
Configuration: 10 Frame | Telescoping top > Quilt box (with pine shavings) > candy board (with 10 pounds of sugar bricks) > Top deep > Bottom deep > solid bottom board (with entrance reducer and mouse guard)
Last Inspection: 21Nov2021 (Installed quilt box, candy/candy board, mouse guard, and insulation 25Nov2021)
Last Mite Count (shame on me): 18July21 4/260 (1.54%) | used dawn mite wash
Hive next door last mite count: 11Sep21 2/413 (0.48%) I think this gave me a false feeling that the other hive was doing fine..still lazy in hindsight.
Hive Weight at death (didn't starve?): Top deep 50.84 pounds; Bottom deep 29.56 pounds.

Dead hive pics
Bottom Deep pics (right click.. open image in new tab to get larger pic)
Top Deep pics (right click.. open image in new tab to get larger pic)
Bottom Board pic

Last Inspection Pics
Same hive on 21Nov21 (frames 7-10)

Next Steps?
I have 20 out of 40 frames in the freezer and expect to swap them for the next box after 48 hours. Keep them in a Rubbermaid type thing after that?
I’m a few hours south of you in NC, about the same (apparent) weather. My girls have been out and about as soon as the thermometer hits 50 degrees. Did you notice anything flying, or was the quilt preventing that?
 
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