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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks,
I was taking advantage of the nice weather to check some hives. It went from -14 to 69F in a week, so I was a bit concerned about moisture in the hive. I believe between the drastic temp changes in a short period of time is what killed 2 of my hives. The 1st hive had nearly a full gallon bucket of bees, not including what I shook out in the bee yard, and 5 full frames of honey and bee bread. Anyway, while salvaging frames of drawn comb I thought I'd snap a few pictures.

Both dead hives were double deeps. Were treated in Aug & Sept for mites and had a dry sugar on top. The 5 frames in this box are full of honey
Natural material Wood Tool Gas Composite material


I thought I'd snap a pic of the OSBN frames I forgot about.
Beehive Honeycomb Pollinator Insect Apiary

Beehive Photograph Pollinator Natural material Insect
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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were the "dead" bees in contact with the honey frames?
that frame looks fairly dry.
Any frames with dead brood or Mite Fras?
were the dead bees in the top box or bottom box?

from what you offer it is hard to find evidence supported reasons for the dead out.

With the combs and a deep one could set a trap and hope to catch a swarm.

GG
 

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2021 17 hives
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I'm in mid Missouri, so we had the same cold as you. I lost 1 small clustered hive in that Polar vortex event we had. I had been in on 2/5/21 to put in a sugar block so I know they were alive then. I went back and checked, for the last 3 years we have had drops in temps in January or February. I would guess that you had no insulation on the colonies that you lost. I have used no insulation in the past but starting next year I plan on changing that. People in the more northerly areas expect really cold but we think we are in the south. I saw that I could buy a 24" x 100' roll of a bubble wrap insulation at Lowes for $59. I have a roll of tar paper that I will put on the outside of that to keep the sun off of the bubble wrap. You can also buy precut wraps for $47 each but I try to save money where I can.

Since you have been on this forum for a couple of years I would expect these were at least 2 year old. One of the members of a club I am in said that big booming colonies are the most prone to dead outs in the winter. He has 80+ colonies and has kept bees for 25 years. He said he lost 10-15% of his colonies this winter. We had a bee meeting 2 days ago and there were 10 of us there. Only 1 person had no losses. Most had a few, some hadn't checked yet. Anything I could guess would only be a guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Some of the dead bees were in contact with the honey frames. There were dead bees in both the top and bottom box of both dead hives. Both hives had clustered to one side of the box too. These were both Nucs started in the spring. They had built up to 2 full deeps each, one nearly filled a honey super, the other filled a partial super. I did find some capped brood on several frames.

For what its worth, both of the OSBN frames were in the center of the bottom box.
 

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What mite treatment did you use?
 

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Some of the dead bees were in contact with the honey frames. There were dead bees in both the top and bottom box of both dead hives. Both hives had clustered to one side of the box too. These were both Nucs started in the spring. They had built up to 2 full deeps each, one nearly filled a honey super, the other filled a partial super. I did find some capped brood on several frames.

For what its worth, both of the OSBN frames were in the center of the bottom box.
in contact with stores would indicate that they likely did not starve out, so you likely are looking down the Varroa path.

even a few inches from honey in very cold the bees cannot get over to it. they can starve with honey on the next frame.

GG
 

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in contact with stores would indicate that they likely did not starve out, so you likely are looking down the Varroa path.

even a few inches from honey in very cold the bees cannot get over to it. they can starve with honey on the next frame.

GG
Yes apparently can starve only an inch from honey. Locked on brood and working hard to keep the temperature up they can burn through their internal energy and perish in 3 or 4 days. If they eat themselves over to one side of the hive there is a honey barren desert behind them that they cannot make their way across to the ample stores at the other side. The reason that winter survival often better in stacked nucs rather than 10 framers.
 

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Yes apparently can starve only an inch from honey. Locked on brood and working hard to keep the temperature up they can burn through their internal energy and perish in 3 or 4 days. If they eat themselves over to one side of the hive there is a honey barren desert behind them that they cannot make their way across to the ample stores at the other side. The reason that winter survival often better in stacked nucs rather than 10 framers.
exact ally
Also why IMO 8 frame hives winter better for me.
in almost every case the 10 f box has the cluster come up and veer off to one side or corner.

back to comb depth, in conjunction with hive width, as wintering vectors.
GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I used Apivar for mites. The sign of moisture I found was the sugar on top of the frames in the top box was rock hard, the remaining 2 hives it just formed a crust on the sugar. I typically add minimum of 15# of sugar to each of my hives as an insurance. We had 12" of snow, and 1/2" of ice (unusual for here). But the day after the storm was over, I cleared the entrances of the hives, but didn't open them. My thought was the temps going from 50+ degrees to -14 then back to upper 60's created a lot of condensation inside the hive. Then the nights getting well below freezing is what did them in (IMO). The 2 hives that died were doing great when check less than 2 weeks before the drastic weather change when it was 55*.
 
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