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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dear husband decided to help me today and disassembled a dead hive. Not that I know a lot, but I would look better for the signs of what happened with the bees, now I only know a few things. I would've even taken pictures ! So here is a story...They were russians, started beginning of June from the nice package, went through very lousy wet summer, into winter as not a very populous hive (compared to carniolans and italians) - hard to tell what population is normal for them. They had three medium supers of honey, many drones till the end of the season, which is normal for russians, right ? Don't remember and did not find any record on how the queen was laying, I believe it looked pretty good, but not a lot of brood, as far as I remember....Now, what did we see today ? 2 mediums almost full of honey, one medium with empty combs. In the mediums full of honey found dead bees stuck in the cells, buttoms up, in some areas of the comb with no honey. So my guess is they starved because they could not move, because there were very few of them. No signs of brood. From what I can tell they were still alive around end of February beginning of March. I have a record from mid-December - found most dead bees on the bottom of this hive (I have three more - not russians). There is poop on the top bars. Some areas of the top bars are completely dark brown, like someone painted them - those very the clean new frames, so is it a poop concentration or something else, such as the area where the cluster was located - does it leave this kind of stain ? If something happened with the queen - when ? Another question - does it sound like nosema or just a dysentery ? Can I feed this honey to my other hives ? :scratch:
 

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I had a dead hive and cleand it out on monday. It had five frames of caped honey and two wax comb. This is only my forth year and i did not know what to do so I left them in the hive went back to get them today and my hive was full of bees. Am I going craze. Crazy in Pa.
 

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david, most likely robber bees. good luck,mike
 

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karu, this sounds like nosema to me. if you have other hives i would treat them as soon as they will take it. watch for swarm signs,though. if the dead-out had real honey(not sugar syrup) id keep it for myself and feed sugar water. good luck,mike
 

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Not that I'm an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I agree with Mike. It sounds like Nosema got your bees.
 

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Also you may have lost your queen. I could not keep any of Russians hives last year queen right. Perhaps Nosema or something else got her - like mites or a combinations of mites and nosema. Be sure to give your other hives some fumidil-b treatment.

Clean out the dead bees as best you can, then seal up the hive. I think you are in a cold enough area that it is still freezing at night. That should kill any mites or on the frames. Then the frames will be good food for a new package, or for your other hives.

I persoanly would not eat the honey, especialy if you ever feed sugar. I'd only eat honey taken from supers that were filled during the nector flow. After that bees move honey around in the hive, and what you may have is sugar mixed in with honey, so not worth trying to use yourself. Let the other bees use it.

Put a new 3# package of bees in there and they will take off much faster with the drawn comb and food stores.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Is there a smell associated with Nosema ? Couple weeks ago I sniffed the liquid droppings ;) :no: outside the hive and they smelled sourish. Now I am losing the 2nd hive and I wonder if the cause is the same - I opened it up, there is still a small cluster of bees trying to pull it through, full of dead bees and smells not pleasant (it was a nice strong hive) very soiled frames with droppings inside. Since there were some perforated brood cells, I did a rope test on a capped brood - no ropes. Anyway, would the hive smell not pleasant if there are many many dead bees and nosema/dysentery ? Does the bad smell only associates with :shhhh: AFB ? This is my 2nd winter, so my experience is minimal. The other 2 hives bringing in pollen and look very clean inside, I hope they don't pick up anything funky from the neighbors.:shhhh:
 
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