Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
782 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Not off to a good start this year as far as Winter bee keeping goes. My mite counts were low going into winter. Had seven hives and down to four. I noticed in the dead outS the cluster were on empty frames in the brood chamber. Empty I mean no honey. They were not head first in cell with there rear ends sticking out like I’ve seen before. Thought they had good weight going into winter. Did they starve? That’s what I think. During the really cold spell probably didn’t get warm enough for them to move. Any thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,649 Posts
Ya, that cold snap might’ve caught them off guard. While unusual I’ve heard of it before especially if the clusters get separated. Good luck for the new year, if the others make it you’ll make up for those losses PDQ.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,693 Posts
Had seven hives and down to four. I noticed in the dead outS the cluster were on empty frames in the brood chamber. Empty I mean no honey.
so was there any honey in the hive, above them? was the cluster on brood? so far around here the only hives that have died are people that didn't treat for mites.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,483 Posts
I noticed in the dead outS the cluster were on empty frames in the brood chamber. Empty I mean no honey.... Did they starve?
I would have said yes, if they had no honey, they would have starved.

But then in the next post, you show a pic of a comb of honey.

BTW the white stuff in that comb looks like mouldy pollen although can't see the pic good enough to be sure.

In a normally functioning winter cluster, they cluster at the immediate bottom of the honey, and as the honey is consumed they slowly move upwards into more honey. Most often when people think they starved even though there was honey in the hive, and the dead bees appear seperated from the honey, there is some other factor at play such as a pathogen of some sort, the bees were too sick to move.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,310 Posts
But then in the next post, you show a pic of a comb of honey.

BTW the white stuff in that comb looks like mouldy pollen although can't see the pic good enough to be sure.

In a normally functioning winter cluster, they cluster at the immediate bottom of the honey, and as the honey is consumed they slowly move upwards into more honey. Most often when people think they starved even though there was honey in the hive, and the dead bees appear seperated from the honey, there is some other factor at play such as a pathogen of some sort, the bees were too sick to move.
Agree. Merry Christmas to all and a hug to you Oldtimer from here from the other corner of the world.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
782 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I would have said yes, if they had no honey, they would have starved.

But then in the next post, you show a pic of a comb of honey.

BTW the white stuff in that comb looks like mouldy pollen although can't see the pic good enough to be sure.

In a normally functioning winter cluster, they cluster at the immediate bottom of the honey, and as the honey is consumed they slowly move upwards into more honey. Most often when people think they starved even though there was honey in the hive, and the dead bees appear seperated from the honey, there is some other factor at play such as a pathogen of some sort, the bees were too sick to move.
This was from another dead out. Dont know if it means anything but i remember late in the year inspecting these hives i couldn't find the queen or eggs. Was to late to re queen. Wildbranch mentioned above were they on brood. No none to be seen. So is it possible they went queen less and there weren't young winter bee's hatching.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
782 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
so was there any honey in the hive, above them? was the cluster on brood? so far around here the only hives that have died are people that didn't treat for mites.
There was a full med super above both of them untouched. No brood anywhere in the brood chamber.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,822 Posts
Any photos of dead cluster? How many bees? Low mite counts? What sort of mite management?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,571 Posts
BTW the white stuff in that comb looks like mouldy pollen although can't see the pic good enough to be sure.
Disagreed.
Crystallized, uncapped honey - white crystals of sugars make it "white".
Cells with bee bread are clearly visible and standing out - not moldy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,483 Posts
is it possible they went queen less and there weren't young winter bee's hatching.
Entirely possible. Pre varroa almost no queens were lost in winter in my part of the world, but now, something around 5% of hives go queenless in winter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,375 Posts
I have seen large areas of comb with moldy nectar. It is more prone to mold than honey. It looks like in an area where brood has emerged and late season filled with nectar but non enough population to dry it down.

If you haven't tossed them yet, do a mite wash on the dead bees.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,571 Posts
I have seen large areas of comb with moldy nectar. It is more prone to mold than honey. It looks like in an area where brood has emerged and late season filled with nectar but non enough population to dry it down.

If you haven't tossed them yet, do a mite wash on the dead bees.
That uncapped nectar (OR syrup) will get consumed the first.
I get lots of such uncapped honey in my long hives - nothing to worry about.
Fine honey. It does not go bad - never for me.
I harvest it later in season or in spring; yes - it often gets crystallized BEFORE the capped honey - I don't know why, but it is the case.

People worry too much.
There is bigger fish to fry, really.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,505 Posts
It wont get consumed by dead bees! Do a mite wash.
If one didn’t count prior or after treatments, I doubt one would be washing dead bees to count:D Obviously, it would help determine the why of there demise. Any sign of the queen in the dead?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,822 Posts
but now, something around 5% of hives go queenless in winter.
I find a couple each spring that apparently went queenless during the winter. In most cases they have a decent population when I find them in spring. I can usually give them a new queen and they recover. Admittedly, my climate is considerably different than the op but it is only December, so I wouldn’t expect an otherwise healthy colony to collapse simply because the queen failed.
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top