I am new to beekeeping & I hived 2 hives this spring of Italians & Carniolan bees. About a month ago I notice inactivity with the Carniolan's. As time progressed I discovered a dead mound, but no strong odor present. A slightly fermented smell but couldn't find the queen. Within a months time the entire hive was dead. I disassembled the hive today. It's neighbors are thriving & seemingly unaffected, I added their second box a week ago & they have gotten busy. My questions are: should I be concerned with the active hives health & proximity to the dead hive, now removed. Identify what got them, my assumption is European Foulbrood, but really have no idea as this is all new to me. Lastly, what should I do with the former hive boxes? Could the hive have been treated or saved? Any help appreciated! I will attach photos of what I found when taking the hive apart. Thanks in advance!
Looks like starvation, and possible varroa mites to me just from a quick look... There is ZERO honey stored (which should be an arc over the top of the brood in the frame), and a lot of partially opened cells....yet I see no sign of comb destruction as if there had there been a robbing event. Foulbrood would be the last thing I would ever want to 'assume'.... If it were my hive, I would rake all that comb from the frames and into a trash bag, and dispose of it, securely. Not in a compost. That is a lot of dead brood to ask the bees to clean out! (You are so lucky you don't have wax moth and hive beetles like we do, or you would have a stinking MESS letting it sit for a month or more). The woodenware should be fine. A day or two in a freezer would be insurance.
Did these two packages (assuming packages when you say hived two hives) come from different sources?
As far as the other hive, check it for honey stores, and mites. Just my two cents...though mileage may vary!
Yes, they were adequately fed sugar water & were going through it steadily as I would replenish weekly for the first month & a half. I never found honey developing, just the combs & only 4 racks were filled in, but in the photo you can see the progression from the fullest outward, smaller each time?
Yep, both bee bundles came from the same local source. No mites were visible on the bees when alive. Thanks for the tips, I just wish I could figure out exactly what it was! Strange as both hives were treated identically, same resources, location etc. Sorry to hear about your mess, yuck! I'll be doing a more thorough investigation of the healthy hive again today... Thanks!
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