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My six hives have been on a hive stand...sort of a long bench about 18 inches off the ground...all summer. Did fine...lots of honey, etc. I did not move them down to ground level...but now I think I should have.
I just checked my six hives...and found 3 dead ones. All had strong stores and bees going into the winter season. They appeared however to have starved even though there was plenty of honey in adjacent frames.

The only thing I can conclude is that during the first & next few cold snaps of the fall (lows in the 20's...highs in the 40's)... being off the ground just made it too cold for them to keep things warm and move to their honey stores.

Any thoughts? I've kept bees for several years and haven't had this kind of loss this early. This is my 3rd year in central Ohio.
I'm thinking I should have left well enough alone and kept them at ground level. Any advice or similar experience would be most appreciated. I've learned alot from the forum in the past.

thanks
Burt in Central Ohio
 

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Your bees at this time should of had a very adequate number to handle any temperatures we have seen so far. Cold does not kill a hive as described by the situation you presented.

Other areas of concern but not enough detail has been given are:

Late swarming and the lack of a good queen being mated late in the summer. Seems swarms were late this year and some hives went queenless later in the year than normal.

Mite crashes. And that could include a host of viral issues that can kill a hive. Virisus can really screw with the bees genetic mapping as to what is suppose to be happening at given times. Kind of like when t-mites are really bad. Bees do not cluster and do what they are suppose to be doing.

You mention the third year. Did you requeen since the hives were installed? It is near impossible anymore to have the same queen running three years straight, but you never know.

The above is just three area to concentrate your search. Without knowing mite levels, treatments, last known egg laying, and a host of other important data, it could be about anything.

In February I could go along with what you say about cold, and the rest. But not with the fall we had so far with temps. We have not even had an extended cold snap yet. Look for another reason.
 

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>>(lows in the 20's...highs in the 40's)...

A healthy beehive will tolerate that temp easily. Your hives suffered from something else. Or perhaps some other environmental effect which you have not experienced in that site yet. Wind, poor air drainage, abnormal honey gathering year, ect...
Any different obervations of that yard this year?

Ian
 
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