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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I retired recently and have started down the bee keeping path. I'm on my second attempt of two hives, as I lost the first pair when I moved, and didn't properly maintain the hives. I'd taken a trip to Europe, and when I got back, the hives were a mess. They didn't survive the winter. My second attempt is now underway, and both hives are humming, literally, after making it though this mild winter we're having. Today, I saw bees out of the hives (it's 57 degrees here in the shade), and I thought I should perhaps start to feed them a 1:1 syrup. However, in researching this, I've seen a lot of warnings that say it's not a good idea. I'm concerned that they are active, but there's nothing yet for them to gather. Both hives are small (two deeps, each), and I am not certain they have enough honey to survive for the next six weeks. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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Welcome to Beesource!


Looking inside the hive will help you determine what their stores are like. Then you can better make a decision as to whether to feed sugar.

Do you need photos to recognize capped honey/syrup cells, or are you already familiar with what they look like?
 

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Welcome to Beesource!

Your local bee store is Beez neez 403 Maple Avenue, Snohomish, WA 98290
(360) 568-2191 They will have bee classes and can point you to your local bee club.
 

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Welcome! You'll find this site, inspiring (sometimes), funny (sometimes), stupid (at times) but addicting....... all the time!
 

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Welcome. There are usually at least a couple of threads on beekeeping in the PNW, and many resources of general interest. You've come to the right place. If you care to travel, the Skagit Valley Beekeepers meet the second Thursday of the month, and there should be a club or two closer. The Washington State Beekeepers Association webpage may be of help regarding bee clubs and items of interest specific to our state.
 

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Welcome to BeeSource! Have you tried lifting the back of each hive to see how heavy they are? With them being in two deeps, unless they were light going into winter, they probably have stores remaining. Like rader said, look inside on a warm day, especially if the hives feel light. You can evaluate what stores, brood, etc. they had and make a plan for sugar or syrup (if the temperature is warm enough). Good luck.
 

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Paul...I'm is the Kent area. If the bees are well established in the top box, then chances are you will need to feed. It's better to feed and not need to the to not feed only to need it. The bees pulled in tons of pollen today so brood rearing will begin in earnest. The problem is when you begin to feed, chances are you'll need to continue till the maples...even then if weather is crappy. They WILL want to swarm so make sure you either have boxes available. Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So, I opened the hives. One is deader than a doornail. The other is living in the upper deep. I've got some pics (see link) that I'm hoping some of you can offer an opinion on. I THINK that the queen must have died in the dead hive, as there was plenty of honey and pollen left in it (see pic). What I'm concerned about is the powdery mildew that appears on the comb and the dead bees. Is this just because the hive died, or is it the cause? The mildew appeared in the lower deep of the surviving hive, so I' going to rebuild the box using cleaned comb, and use it as the new upper for the surviving hive. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Pics at https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=A36BE5C482F7E1B5!1666&authkey=!AORyHdlNv6Fiw0A&ithint=folder,

Thanks.
 

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In photo 4 it sure seems that the mildew is on the wood of the frame as well as the comb. To me it looks as though there may have been too much humidity in the hive - resulting from not enough ventilation. Bees can much more easily deal with a cold environment as long as they can stay dry.

The activity that you saw earlier with the dead hive may have been bees from the surviving hive rbing honey from the dead hive.

I suggest reviewing the ventilation situation in the remaining hive to be confident that there isn't excessive condensation happening in that one. If the dead hive has capped stores remaining, giving those to the live hive could be preferable to feeding syrup that could lead to additional moisture issues.
 
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