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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a hive warp and split open losing the bees inside. I think it's been so cold in Mass this year they froze . I was really surprised at how small the cluster was (only about the size of a baseball) I did notice what appeared to me to be wax crumbs in the hive .I'm still pretty new to this was it some sort of disease?. Also there is a lot of honey in the hive is it ok ?I noticed some dark brown waxy dribble near the cluster as I removed it any more ideas? any help would be appreciated.
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They froze, probably because the cluster was too small.

Wax crumbs are normal, it's one way to tell how they are doing in the winter if you have screened bottom boards, you can check to see if they are accumulating.

You should inspect the brood comb for tiny white specks in the brood cells (evidence of parasitic mite syndrome), rubbery scales in the cells (European foul brood), hard black scales in the brood cells (American Foul Brood), the presence of bee poo on the frames (Nosema), and the presence of substantial amounts of pollen.

Very likely you had either mite problems, which lead to excessive bee die-off in late fall, or inadequate protein nutrition due to lack of pollen, which will lead to excessive bee deaths when they attempt to raise brood.

I've taken to feeding some protein supplement in the fall if there isn't a large amount of pollen in the hive in August and early September, and have not had problems with hive losses. My brother didn't check his this year, and they froze out in December or January with a small cluster. I'll need to check that hive over, we lost one last year to mites, there were tiny white specks all over the brood comb.

Don't give up! I do recommend more than one hive though, it's tough to lose your entire apiary!

Peter
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I do have 2 more hives that still look OK.
Would bee poo look like dark brown/ black wax dribbled on the frames and comb?didn't see any pollen only honey no scales or specks or brood for that matter. the hive waped at the corners pulled out the nails on 2 sides so there was 8 holes up the side of the boxes ( I don't think they could keep up with the sub zero temps we had)
thanks for your feedback


They froze, probably because the cluster was too small.

Wax crumbs are normal, it's one way to tell how they are doing in the winter if you have screened bottom boards, you can check to see if they are accumulating.

You should inspect the brood comb for tiny white specks in the brood cells (evidence of parasitic mite syndrome), rubbery scales in the cells (European foul brood), hard black scales in the brood cells (American Foul Brood), the presence of bee poo on the frames (Nosema), and the presence of substantial amounts of pollen.

Very likely you had either mite problems, which lead to excessive bee die-off in late fall, or inadequate protein nutrition due to lack of pollen, which will lead to excessive bee deaths when they attempt to raise brood.

I've taken to feeding some protein supplement in the fall if there isn't a large amount of pollen in the hive in August and early September, and have not had problems with hive losses. My brother didn't check his this year, and they froze out in December or January with a small cluster. I'll need to check that hive over, we lost one last year to mites, there were tiny white specks all over the brood comb.

Don't give up! I do recommend more than one hive though, it's tough to lose your entire apiary!

Peter
 

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My bees didn't make it either. I checked them yesterday and no movement at all. I'm so bummed, but have more coming, so hopefully this year will be so much better!! Good luck this spring!
 
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