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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just noticed that for whatever reason, our strongest hive from the fall didn't make it through the winter. We had some -5 temps in October before we got the hives wrapped, perhaps they had some early die off and just couldn't make it through the winter.
There is still tons of honey in there though. How should I preserve the hive and honey to prevent robbing by other hives in order to re-package the hive?
Can I put a new package into a fully built out hive? would that speed them along,or would they be annoyed with the old honey in there since I know they lie to store their own?
 

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to answere your question, Yes with a cavate! make darn sure your hive does not have Nosema, and thats both nosema a and Nosema c. the latter is far more deadly then the A strain. so check and make sure have your ag dept. check your hive. and if all is good put your package in the hive.
 

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>> "Nosema apis, sometimes referred to as bee dysentery, is most problematic in the winter and spring, and is rarely a problem during the summer. The bees are confined to the hive by the weather and unable to go on a cleansing flight to expel waste. The Nosema aggravates the bee’s gut causing them to expel waste in the hive and on the outside. With bees defecating in the hive, it is likely that other bees will ingest Nosema spores and also become infected. The telltale sign of Nosema apis is the brown spotting on the outside of the hive." >> With photo. http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/Resources/Nosema.asp

"how do I check for Nosema?"

A severe case shows a lot of dark brown spotting [feces] on the outside of the hive and often inside on the top-bars. If it is light brown spotting in early spring after the bees have been confined for a long time, it could be some dysentery, or just from cleansing flights.
You have to collect 10-30 dead bees, and send them to a lab that can do the testing. It has to be done under a microscope to be sure! A university in Montana may do that,. :scratch: :rolleyes:. I haven't done this myself. It may take weeks before you can get a report back. For testing in the future: >> http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=7472
http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=7472
You know,..:rolleyes:,. I wouldn't worry about that right now. Prepare your hive for the package by having it no larger than one deep box. The amount of bees that come in a package need a small area of space to keep warm in spring. Provide three to four or more frames in the center, that are fairly empty of honey so the queen can start laying. If you have more boxes/frames, I would take them home and store them safely for now.

If you are concerned about Nosema, you will just have to feed sugar syrup with the correct dose of Fumagilin-B. Most often, suppliers say their package bees have already been treated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks for the info. Now that I think about it, i am feeling pretty sure that NOsema may have been the culprit. I have another hive that is still strong, but has quite a bit of bee droppings on the landing board. We are still having snow and freezing nights here, but have had a lot of 50+ degree days. Can I administer Fumigilin in any other way than sugar syrup? or should I do some sort of "in hive" feeder. usually I use a boardman or a top feeder.

also, am I almost certainly introducing my new package to nosema if I just put them in the old hive?
 

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:scratch:

Feed Fumagilin-B in sugar syrup as far as I know.
I would hope your new package isn't coming for a couple weeks yet. By that time it should be warm enough for the bees to do a lot of flying,..and cleansing. >> "..a colony may dwindle in the spring because of the premature death of the overwintered bees. Usually, the colony survives and the proportion of infected bees begins to decline. This decline occurs because the excreta are normally voided away from the hive when regular flights become possible in spring." >> http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=7459 Some say a good feeding of sugar syrup will help to clean up Nosema.

There is acetic acid fumigation of equipment but,...do you really want to do all that right now?

You can do a search about Nosema and prevention/treatments on Beesource: >>
http://www.beesource.com/forums/search.php?searchid=2837428 >> http://www.beesource.com/forums/search.php?searchid=2837440&pp=25
Hope for the best and feed Fumagilin-B in the late summer/fall. :)
 

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There's an article in this months bee culture, they tested packages from6 suppliers They all came with a little nosema in the packages anyway. Some more than others.

For that reason I wouldn't worry about using what you have.
 

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There is still tons of honey in there though. How should I preserve the hive and honey to prevent robbing by other hives in order to re-package the hive?

Duct tape over the entrances seems to work pretty good.
 
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