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I went out to check the hives today. One hive still had wiggling bees, the other had stiff bees and a mouse nest. Oddly, the foam feeders on both hives were still fairly full of syrup.

Both hives were more or less shellacked with brown goo, as can be seen in the photo below. Is this normal, or a sign of Nosema?

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/5ssEfbXH748OGGXNA6R0RQ?feat=directlink

 

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looked like nosema to me. you shoud nt leave syrup om after it gets cold in the fall-they wont use it and often it causes moisture problems. do a search here for "mountancamp method" now you know to use mouse guards too-expensive learning curve! better get one on the surviving hive ASAP good luck,mike
 

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Feeding bees in northern climates/states.

"Bees should be fed early enough in the fall so that the sugar has time to cure--that is, the bees have time to reduce the water content near to that of honey [about 18%]." >> "The Beekeepers Handbook",..Sammataro and Avitable.

It might also be dysentery caused by long periods of confinment, but bees have survived many variable weather conditions during the winter in many parts of the country.

I have heard of many, many new beekeeprs feeding liquid sugar syrup too late in the season, hoping they are helping the bees when they are actually harming them! :(

The feeder/syrup that you have left on the hive could be so cold [during winter] that the moisture/respiration from the bees could have condensed under that feeder and driped on the bees.

I don't know about feeding bees sugar syrup in Alabama or Georgia but in our northern states,...get that 2 to 1 syrup on those hives and feed 'em by the gallon till they won't take it anymore by the end of Sept. if not sooner. Recently, the late summer flow from Goldenrod/Aster has been very undependable in my area also. Get it [sugar syrup] down there right next to that darn cluster within half an inch so they won't starve because "they can't move to their,..honey stores",,...because it gets cold,..:rolleyes: :rolleyes: sometimes during a winter! Take that syrup feeder off those hives for the winter in northern climates!

You have so many nice 'family photos' at your site and I would hate to see you lose all of your bees/hives.
 

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I didn't realize that you weren't supposed to feed syrup in winter. As they didn't finish the heavy syrup, they didn't get the full dose of fumagillan (for nosema). I was under the impression that the bees would crawl up into the feeder and pull from it (just like pulling honey from the comb).

Oh well. A chance to learn I suppose. I figure that starting a package from 3 deeps with drawn comb will get the bees to at least a few supers this coming summer.
 
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