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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
went out to check hives. have two new from last spring, placed sugar blocks and grease patties in each. didnt hear buzzing in one so lifted the top and found about a basebal size group of dead bees in the top deep in the front corner dead. there may be a smaal cluster lower in the boxe so should i leave the hive together, remove the dead cluster in the top? kinda sad about it but i know this can happen....any suggestions?
 

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Sorry to hear that.

If they're where live bees, they'd be escorting the bodies out. It may be too cold in your area to mess with it.

If you're sure you're not seeing/hearing anything, I'd leave it out in the cold until spring and clean up then, otherwise use the mountain camp method on the other hives.
 

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If you think you have a live cluster elsewhere in the hive, I'd just leave things alone until a warmer day. If the hive is completely dead, leaving it alone right now won't hurt a thing either.
 

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Leave it.

Bees will not break cluster in freezing weather to drag out dead bees.

I assume you're using 2 deeps?

If so its not likely you can tell if there is a cluster in the lower box and you should not be pulling hives apart in freezing weather if there are live bees in there.

Worst case scenario if they are both dead come spring you shake out the dead bees and put a new package on the comb.
 

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I'd leave them alone until spring. There has been many a time where I was sure one of my weaker hives was a goner....and low and behold on a warm day, they were flying...

I'd make sure I had the entrance reduced or screened to keep mice out...
 

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snip...
didnt hear buzzing in one so lifted the top and found about a basebal size group of dead bees in the top deep in the front corner dead. there may be a smaal cluster lower in the boxe so should i leave the hive together, remove the dead cluster in the top? kinda sad about it but i know this can happen....any suggestions

tecumseh:
some comment as to temperature might have been useful. if the temperature is cold enough I doubt many new beekeeper could discern if a cluster is dead or simply in a cold induced state of total inactivity.

I personally suspect???? a lot of bees (hives) are deemed dead by a novice beekeeper that would have made the winter just fine if they had just been left alone.
 

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Last year I went to a pharmacy that sells medical supplies, and bought a good stethoscope. I have used that to detect cluster location. You might try that, see if you can hear a cluster. But like everyone says, don't open them up.
Good luck!
Steven
 

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Looking at the Elmira NY forecast for the next few days indicates daytime highs of about 40 and overnights 22-32. If for some reason there is a fluke 50 degree day that's calm, which could be anytime in the next month, I'd take another peek then. A good indication of activity is if they're flying that day. Watch the entrance for a few minutes when temps rise around 50.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
sorry past few days have been in high 20"'s low 30's.... iguess the other question is if the hive is a loss can i take the sugar patties off it and give to other hive? weather permitting of course
 
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