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hi everyone! i'm in desperate need of advice. i just installed my first top bar hive last week. twice this week i've cleaned hundreds of dead bees away from the ground in front of my hive. i was afraid it might be robbing (i had a big gap in the bottom of my hive) so last night when the bees where all in the hive i sealed this gap with wax. now i'm worried they won't find their way out the entrances on the front of the hive, since they haven't been using them. so... two questions: 1) any other ideas on why there are so many dead bees in front of the hive so early on in this process (the weather has been nice so i don't think they are starving and they are well fed) and 2) how can i encourage the bees to use the other entrances? thanks so much for your insight!
 

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they will find the entrance im sure. if the population of bees seem fine then i wouldn't sweat it. it is normal to see some dead bees i dont know about hundreds.
 

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Any apple orchards near you ? I've had piles of dead bees in front of the hive from pesticides sprayed on an orchard about a mile from one of my apiaries.

Its normal after winter to have lots of dead bees getting removed from the hive. But a few hundred right in front of the hive sounds like pesticide exposure.

Especially bad is Furadan which is used on sweet corn.
 

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If your hive is being robbed you can tell by standing and watching the entrance you will see them fighting on the landing board and they also have a look about them when they are flying directly in front of the hive they tend to sort of hover in a different way than when they are just bees returning from foraging.
If you are getting robbing then wax is not a good idea for plugging up gaps it will make the hive even more attractive to robbers.
use newspaper or plastic instead.
I wouldn't know whats killing your bees there's so many things that it could be I would only be guessing which I guess is not very helpful!
Hope you get it sorted soon
Cheers
kiwi
 
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