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Discussion Starter #1
Montana
Temperature got up to 40 today, a few bees were out flying and I decided to peek in to check out their stores....
In addition to the adequate honey stores, I added an additional 8 lbs of sugar back in late October. I felt that not only would the sugar provide an additional food store, but along with my quilt box would assist with moisture control.
Well out of my 10 hives, I lost one.. And it has all of the signs of a moisture type winter kill.... I'll autopsy it closer tomorrow but upon my first observation moisture seems to be the culprit.
Disappointing from the standpoint that all of my hives are set up the same way and the others are doing fine. Which leads me to believe there was another variable I overlooked. Like maybe the strength of the colony in numbers. How do the numbers equate into a condensation factor.
Ventilation ~ My hives are well ventilated to the point that I worry there is too much, but obviously it wasn't too much for this hive.
So I added a winter patty to each of the good hives and we'll see how the next two months go. If I only lose one out of 10... Well that's 10% and I would be okay with that....
I am already planning to experiment next winter with different ventilation options.
 

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I'm near Livingston, it's been a very warm winter here so far. I had to start adding blocks to the 10 lbs of MC sugar well over a month ago, I'm convinced all these flight days have the bees hauling some sugar out as garbage. They've been very active as we are routinely getting into the 40s here. All of mine seem healthy. We get a bit of wind around here so ventilation isn't much of a problem. I close the lower entrance to about 3/4" wide, 3/8" high. Just below the hand hold of the second brood box I drill a 1" hole but staple cardboard over it and jam a pencil through making the hole one bee wide, they do whatever they think is best with that, chew it more open or close it off. I trust their judgement. Like you, I use quilt boxes, I think they handle moisture very well.

Lee
 

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I had to start adding blocks to the 10 lbs of MC sugar well over a month ago, I'm convinced all these flight days have the bees hauling some sugar out as garbage.
last spring my hive hauled out a lot of sugar as garbage and dropped it in front of the hive. At first I thought it was wax until I examined it closer.
 

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last spring my hive hauled out a lot of sugar as garbage and dropped it in front of the hive. At first I thought it was wax until I examined it closer.
Yeah, I try to wait until we have some cold predicted so they'll be housebound but it just hasn't gotten cold this year yet. Oh well, sugar is cheap and blocks are easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Update:I wish that I could have found the queen, but no joy... She could be under the snow and probably is....
Quite a bit of moisture throughout the hive with spots of mold on top of the baseboard and on the bottom side of the quilt box. Very little brood but there were a few cells with heads poking out as if they were just emerging or at least trying to..
Several full frames of capped honey and some nectar. Lot's of puddles of liquid.
AND...... Varroa.... Seemed like a lot, but hard to say when they ended up on the baseboard... Could have been residue from the O/A treatment a few months back..
I have several photos of the autopsy... If there's anything in particular that anyone would like to see, please let me know....
Here's a short video of the liquid...[video]https://www.facebook.com/groups/476536542701701/[/video]
 
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