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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am bummed. Checked my hives today. One looked like this. It's been a hard winter in Michigan and the midwest as many of you know. The hive looked nothing like this 2 weeks ago. Note the number of abdomens. Why is that?

Is this colony doomed?

There is still a cluster but I've seen it diminsh some in the last 2 weeks. I have a moisture box on top with a screened bottom so it's easy to look down through the screen at them.

Anything I can or should do right now for this hive or the hive next to it?

Thanks

beedysenteryc.jpg
 

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I can't speak about the prognosis, but I can tell you that abdomens may be a sign of field mice near the entrances to the hive. That's what I see when a mouse has been eating dead bees. I would be bummed, too, but hopefully it's just the result of the bees being penned in by the weather for such a long period. Hoping all is not lost.

Just in case it is some disease, I'd be disinfecting my hive tools and wearing disposable gloves when working with any hive I thought might be in trouble due to something that might be transferred by my hands or tools.

Enj.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There is some brown feces on the top bars. I noticeds the sugar cake is gone. I can give them another cake. Not saying that would cure this but they probably are starting to get hungry.
 

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What's in the sugar cake?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just white table sugar and water. Just to feed them but then I just might have fed dead bees instead of hungry dead bees. I'm feeling a little defeated on this colony.
 

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I frequently tell new beekeepers that you have to harden your heart a little to keep bees. Colonies will die....no matter what you do. You step back and see if you could do anything differently but in the end....you'll still lose some. I suppose we wouldn't be very good beekeepers if it didn't hurt a bit.
Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It hit 48 degrees F in my apiary today. Has not even come close to this temp since last November. I rushed home from work to check the hives. Lots of poop spots on the snow in front of the hives. Yes! They finally got out of the hive for a cleansing flight. On the hive with dysentery, it looked no worse than 2 weeks ago. They were still alive. I was able to get a plain sugar cake on the top bars.

I am hopeful. The only new thing is there were a few mouse turds on the bottom board. I don't see how a mouse could get though. Fingers crossed.
 

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Great to hear that there is hope for your hive!

Mice can squeeze through a really small opening. I once saw two mice who hung themselves in the crack between my lounge room wall and the ceiling. They got their heads into the crack ok but must have lost grip and couldn't go any further.
 

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frank, anything larger than a dime size hole will permit mice an entry.
If they can get their head into it, they can slip their body on through.
Where is winter mouse guards?
 
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