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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey all,
1 month ago we had a major freeze here in PA and I noticed a bunch of dead bees clogging the bottom entrance (reduced, mouse guard, figured it wasn't that many and they'd clear them out once it warmed up). Well, they didn't. I have a feeding board with a 1 inch hole for snow/top entrance which I uncorked for them until they cleared the bottom out. Now it's warmed, they're flying and bringing in some pollen, but only using that top entrance. Yesterday I removed the mouse guard and took the reducer out. Using a long screwdriver I pulled as many dead bees out of the bottom as I could.. it seemed to never stop. There was a big pile on the ground when I was done . I corked the top entrance hoping they'd start clearing out the bottom but once the temp started dropping off later in the day I didn't want any returning foragers locked out- so I uncorked and that's all they used to get back in.

What is the best move here? I think it's too cool to remove the bottom deep to really clear it out-- but my concern is that there was a huge die off and maybe they're piled all the way up between deep frames totally blocking access to bottom entrance? Will they eventually clean this up or should I get in there and clear it out for them?

thanks

brad
 

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uncork the entrance so they can get out. leave mouse guard on again. typical winter setup for me is the mouse guards and top entrance half inch hole. That way if its a warm day they can get out no matter what the main entrance looks like. Leave it for now and check feed. A large hive will clean it out but if its a small dwindling one i wouldn't count on it. you can clean it all out when it gets a lot warmer like 60's for several days. At that point you will probably want to rotate your boxes as well. Every time i go out to the hive through winter i usually lift the mouse guard and scoop out the dead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks- yeah I’ll wait until it’s warmer and then clean it out. Numbers were good through February and then we had a few warmer days where they were flying followed by a wicked cold spell. I think they took a hit...
 
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