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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everyone. Getting ready to wrap up my first summer with the bees and I go out to look around the hive since it’s been cold and windy and rainy here in northern Ohio last few days and I find what seems like alot of dead bees on the landing board right by entrance. Is this normal for them to clean out when they are stuck inside for days at a time? I think they been in there for almost 2 days now with not so good weather. It topped out at 52 today with sprinkles and overcast skies.
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Old workers, drones (that get kicked out seasonally before winter because they are just a drain on resouces & yellowjackets.

You dont want the yellowjackets anyway, they dont overwinter well with others ;)
 

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how big is the brood nest? how is the bee population? big hives lose some bees, but you have a reducer on and no guard bees in sight. That is not a good sign. Not to be a debbie downer but you might have some work ahead of you to get this hive ready for winter if you want to see it in the spring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The hive has 2 deeps that are about as model as you can get. I still have 1.5 shall honey super still on. That photo was taken while we had a slight rain going on. I tapped on the entrance with a stick and the came right out lol. I think this weekend I’m going to take off one of the supers (and the queen excluder) and leave them with a nearly full honey super for the winter. Besides adding a mouse guard, removing super and excluder, and adding an insulating wrap for winter I think that’s about all I can do. On the nice days they been bringing in pollen like crazy. Activity is high at the entrance. I have a 1.5 acre wild flower meadow 6 feet from the hive so they have a lot of aster and golden rod they are hitting on. On a quiet afternoon standing in the middle of the field all you hear is buzzing.
 

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Well I would say that is an appropriate amount of bees on the front that are dead then. And your hive is in good shape. keep an eye on mite counts. It isnt time yet for the drones to be kicked out, it is odd that there are dead bees on the front porch.
 

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That is not an excessive amount of dead bees on the ground at least.

But, to have all those dead on the entrance board and they are not being cleaned away says there is something wrong with the hive, a healthy hive would not tolerate a pile of dead bees like that at the front door in flying weather.

There are little blobs that look like varroa mites although could be poop or something.
 

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There's even a dead yellow jacket nixed in. I'm a newbie, but I've never seen more than 1 or 2 dead bees on a landing board. And that was due to drowning after a hard rain. I'm guessing there was some bad fighting going on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It’s been in the high 40s and low 50s and rainy last few days. Today will warm up a bit and I will see how it goes. The day time highs will be in low 70s for next ten day forecast so I am hoping to see activity go back to normal. The yellow jackets have been a light nuisance and from my observation are feasting on the dead bees. Sunday I should get a better idea of what’s going on when I get into the hive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Last night I scooped off the dead ones from landing board. This morning I go out and they pulled a few dead ones onto the landing board. There were also a few outside the hive that looked frozen. I’m guessing they got caught outside in the 46 degree over night temp.
 

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I'm over near Youngstown,Ohio and these last few days was crazy weather for sure. I am into my second Formic Pro strip for mite control so I have my entrance reducer completely out for the treatment. Looking into the entrance the bees are snuggled tightly because it is so cold. I have several yellow jacket traps staked out in the bee yard, lol, I have a one hive bee yard right now, being this is my first year. I have to say though, the yellow jackets have sure done their share of killing of my girls. I am going to go full out with a full blown attack on the yellow jackets in the Spring and try to trap the Queen Yellow Jacket in the very beginning. That may help for the rest of the year. I have seen as many as about 50 honeybees laying on the ground in front of their hive about a month ago. I still don't know why but can only come up with two guesses,mites or yellow jackets so I am treating for both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just checked them out. Entrance and landing board is cleared and it’s business as usual. I’m guessing that cold, wet weather caught them off guard. Certainly caught me off guard!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I’m going to go snake a fiber optic camera in entrance this morning to see what I can see. It’s supposed to rain again this afternoon and I don’t wanna take hives apart until weather is better and I’m prepared to remove supers and winterize the hives. I will take some screen shots of the camera. Should be pretty cool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have VSH Italians so assuming I did my sugar shake correctly than I didn’t detect any mites. Just out of good measure since everyone has scared the heck out of me, I put Apivar strips in about a week ago. Once those come out I probably won’t check on them again until the spring. If they continue to stay at 0 or low mite counts I might not treat. I’d like to see them in their natural state. Of course If it starts getting higher than I’d like than I’ll treat.
 
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