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Discussion Starter #1
Started with a package 4 weeks ago in a top bar hive. Everything was looking good, I fed 2 quarts of syrup at beginning. Yesterday 200 dead bees on the table and when I looked in they were piled up like cordwood on the bottom, still kind of moving some of them. Had bad weather here last week or more, cool and rainy.

Here's what I see inside:
-good comb development, lots of brood cells, 10 bars filled out so far.
-maybe a thousand(?) bees still moving around on the comb.
-quick and massive kill to the colony.
-lots of live bees in cells with their hind ends poking out (??), just staying there.
-no eggs in any cells.
-no cells filled with honey.
-found the queen, she seemed poorly attended in the chaos.
-docile colony, they seemed gentle before but now there's no zip at all.

So I am thinking:
-there's no way these guys are going to pull out of this and,
-some type of quick acting disease caused this (??) or,
-I starved them to death, should have watched their honey stores closer (??) or...

Any ideas?

Thanks, Dave
 

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2quarts wont go far in pulling comb in a hive.

I would say they starved to death. Hind ends poking out is a huge tell-tale sign of starvation.

If you have a queen and a thousand bees.... get some feed in there (Use a spray bottle and spray half of the combs full of 1:1 syrup. and get those girls some feed.

They might pull out of it. Blackberries here haven't started yet..... so there is time.
 

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I have a very small hive that I started from a trap out. They are going through a gallon a day of syrup. I' new but this hive has done well with lots of feeding.
 

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One of my colonies almost starved over winter. When I discovered them, there was a queen, and maybe two cups of bees. With tlc and a lot of feed, they are now producing surplus honey for me! :applause: So hang in there, keep the feed bag on until they quit taking it, or you're ready to put a super on for surplus honey.
Regards,
Steven
 

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Based on the weather that we have had for the past month, if you only fed a new hive two quarts of feed, I suspect that they starved. I am only feeding mating nucs, but all of my hives have drawn comb and had plenty of honey when the bad weather started. I just checked them today and they are a lot lighter but still have plenty of honey right now. We have at least one more week of rain, so feed any other hives you might have in the same situation.
 

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Started with a package 4 weeks ago in a top bar hive. Everything was looking good, I fed 2 quarts of syrup at beginning.
Only feeding 2 qrts for a new package in a TBH with the weather we have been having, I am supprised you have any bees left. Get feed on them ASAP and if you are lucky you may pull them through. My hives are averaging 1 gallon per week.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone for your advice. I put a jar of syrup in a couple of hours ago when there was a little bit of sun and the hive was completely unresponsive to me. Just went and checked them and did the sugar spray and even though it was rainy the colony was acting more zippy and had a little zest so I'm hoping the feed was the problem and maybe they can pull through. Regardless I've learned a lesson I should have already known... I'll keep the feed on now and watch them more carefully, especially with our weather here in the pacific northwest.
 

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Interesting. We put up our two (new) hives in late April, and while one of them (Famine) drank syrup and ate pollen patty (we had queen-right issues in that one for awhile) like they were going out of style. The other one (War) barely ate or drank at all; they went right into the dandelion bloom.

Of course, we had a very early spring.
 

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Sorry to hear about your hive. If it was parasites or disease it would be a more gradual decline. Was the massive die-off very sudden, like over a day or two? Did you notice an abnormal amount of bees crawling on the ground in front of the hive? Possible someone spraying their fruit trees close by? I have lost a couple hives that way and the die-off is very sudden.

Clean out all the dead bees and feed, feed, feed. They have brood so feed them pollen also. Bees can drown in an 1/8 inch of water make sure your front landing board is slightly tilted down away from the entrance for drainage. It rains allot around here and my bees where having a hard time at the entrance landing board. Reduce their entrance if you hadn't already done so. Hang in there.
 
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