Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in northern Michigan and the weather here has been terrible. Freezing nights and it's only getting up to forties and fifties. I hived three 3-lb packages - two Langstroth hives and one top bar on April 24. This past Sunday morning I opened up one of the Langstroth hives after a bad two days of rain and wind and very cold weather - they were dead. I did think that the bees were acting weird a couple days before that during sixty degree weather - crawling around slow outside the hive. I did all the checks - after four days from installing, I removed the empty queen cages and left them alone for another week, making sure every couple days they had sugar water. Some days they drank a lot, other days they were all foraging and bringing it back inside the hive. When I checked the frames for the first time, after another week, I found a lot of drawn out comb but nothing else, nothing capped, just some pollen in some of the comb. So here I am into almost the fourth week and the weather is still horrid. I am not sure on the queens in my other two hives. I looked for her in both hives but honestly, I am not experienced enough to find her. They are in a cluster in both of the hives. I can see that the comb is being drawn beautifully but have not pulled up the frames again yet. I guess I am worried about the wind and rain, it is horrible again for the next few days. Do I pull up the frames, or will the queen even be laying eggs yet? When I look in from the other end of the top bar I can see three or four drawn out combs but nothing on them. I really am trying to be a good beekeeper but feel I am in way over my head! How do I know if the queen is doing well, and feel like it was my fault those bees died in that one hive? I did call my local beekeeper who told me to switch from a top feeder to a mason jar directly over the frames so I am doing that during the boughts of bad storms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Installed mine Sunday before last...checked this past Sunday...Found one queen..couldn't locate the queen in the other hive. Eggs in both though...look for eggs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,144 Posts
It could be alot of things but you just cant get yourself down over it, pick yourself back up and try again is all you can do.."Trial and error"! One thing that i took notice is that you visited the hives way too much cause your worried...If you opened the hive when it was below 50 degrees at any time then that "maybe" the problem...If they wasnt getting any feed, i seen photos of their heads still stuck in the comb trying to find honey to eat! Did you see any of that take place??? With them walking around the grass they might of been sick. Look for eggs in the hives that you cant find the queen but make sure the weather is good though...Do not attempt to open a hive when the weather is below 50 degrees...With the sun behind you, hold the frame up and move it alil back and forth in order to see a VERY SMALL piece of rice sticking up deep in the cells!! If you see that you have eggs and you have a queen! If you have problems seeing anything....Get yourself a magnifine glass, that should help you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
The bees cluster for warmth. It's best to leave them alone until the weather gets warmer. It needs to be at least 60 before you start pulling frames. When it is finally warm enough to pull frames for an inspection, don't worry about finding the queen. Look for eggs and larvae. If you see those, you queen is present and working for you. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I only opened the brood boxes on the Langstroth hives twice after installing and both days were warm and they were out foraging. Otherwise I just checked the top feeder.

The hive that did die - the bees had their heads stuck inside empty comb. They starved to death, but it also didn't look like a lot of bees. A clump dead on the screen bottom board.

The weather has got me worried like a new mom! I did not see eggs last week when I looked at the frames but I have not checked again since the weather has remained cool and rainy.

Losing the one hive has me losing confidence. Now I am scared the other two are going to starve too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,144 Posts
I say them bees starved and now you gotta keep your head up! I know a good way you can be a good mom and they will love you forever!....All you do is make sure they have feed and let them be bees! They lived longer then we all have!! Good luck!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
I installed my first two pkgs May 3rd on wax foundation and put 1:1 over hole on inner cover and went back May 7th to see if the queen was released and found that the bee's barely touched 1:1. I pulled inner cover back just three frames to see queen box empty, so put it right back. I live in southern MI and same weather very windy, rainey and cold. I am worried about starvation and why are'nt they eating 1:1. We have had only three day of last 9 when bee's could get out of hive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
So sorry about your bees! Hard to believe spring will ever come to stay, much less summer--it's wet and chilly here (Neb.), too. We even had a frost after our typical last freeze date.

At least you have two other hives. Maybe you can get a split out of one of them, eventually, to fill that other equipment. (Well, I'm new at this, too, so don't pay me much mind!)
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top