Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I started beekeeping last spring after reading all winter and spring with 3 hives all hives were nucs.
My first hive died in late august the hive never really thrived, I believe it was mainly due to having a poor queen she never had a good laying pattern. The hive population started to decline mid July and was done by late August. My second hive died this week I believe from what I am reading is that it was mostly due to starvation and a very deep onset of cold last week. The hive was 2 deep supers 1 super was 85 percent full in the fall and the second was 40 percent full. I treated the hive with apiary strips for mites for 6 weeks in the fall and also fed a 2 to 1 sugar syrup until the middle of November. I placed an 18 pound sugar cake on the top super at the end of November. Upon a hive inspection today the weather was 54 degrees and cloudy the hive had no outside activity so I opened it up and found all bees were dead many were in head first into cells and there was still a small amount of honey on some frames still capped. Approximately 1/4 of the sugar had been consumed. The hive had no noticeable odor. The dead bees were located at various places around the hive as well as a large amount on the bottom screen board. No wax moths or hive beetles were present and there had been a mice guard on since late august so no signs of mice or other vermin were present. The third hive also was set up exactly as the second hive and seems to be doing well. I have not done an internal inspection due to the rain and overcast but the bees were very active. What should I be looking for and how can I help my last hive survive the rest of the winter. I am located in the Hudson Valley area of New York.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,688 Posts
The hive was 2 deep supers 1 super was 85 percent full in the fall and the second was 40 percent full. I treated the hive with apiary strips for mites for 6 weeks in the fall and also fed a 2 to 1 sugar syrup until the middle of November. The dead bees were located at various places around the hive as well as a large amount on the bottom screen board. I am located in the Hudson Valley area of New York.
1. when you say apiary strips, what kind of strips did you use, when did you put them on, I assume apivar, did you make sure they were in the brood area.
2. if the honey was capped, you had enough honey on the hive. did the hive you took apart have any capped brood? how big was the area with the dead bees with their buts sticking up, was the cluster located here? I once got some queens from a breeder that refused to shutdown brood laying and kept laying right through the winter and finally fell apart when they ran out of pollen to feed the young bees, one possibility.
3. not much you can do for the third one until spring, make sure you keep the sugar on top, maybe insulate it.
4. feeding sugar water into Nov. may not have been a good idea. My bees only have gotten out once since the end of Oct and that was in Dec. because of the cold and snow, so you may have used up your winter bees when they converted the sugar, unless they just stored it and didn't cap it. good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yes I used appear strips 2 in each of the deep supers in the middle area of the frames. I had a small amount of caped honey in the upper super have not opened and dissembled the hive completely yet plan on doing that this weekend. I am also considering saving about a cup of bees to send to Maryland when gov reopens don't think there will be much sense in sending now. I was planning on putting those bees into freezer until shutdown is over. In fall after treatment I was getting about 15-20 mites on bottom sticky board the last two weeks in November after treatment was over. I started the treatment in mid September until first week of November. the feeding I did was sugar water for 4 weeks in October to mid November then capped hive with sugar block. I will post more when I find out what the condition of the bottom super is. I pan on storing built out frames in freezer until I get my bees. in the spring and then reusing the drawn out frames to assist the new hive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,688 Posts
I started the treatment in mid September until first week of November.
Even if the nucs were treated for mites, starting in mid September is a bit late, What we normally do is a formic treatment some time in Aug when you get a break in the weather, then treat again when you pull your honey. Then monitor for mites, and if you have other hives in the area, have started treating around thanksgiving with oav, in case of mite bombs. monitoring will give you a better idea. If you saved a cup of bees you can do an alcohol wash and see how many mites you had.

I had a small amount of caped honey in the upper super
really need to have it capped b/4 they go into winter.
 

·
Super Moderator
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,517 Posts
Hate to keep beating the varroa drum, but Mike is right, Sept is way too late to start with Apivar. Your winter bees did not get to be raised in a mite free (or reduced) environment. Next year start with Apivar the first week of August, then do followup treatments with OAV throughout the fall. One of my strong hives brooded late and dropped several hundred mites when I gave them their Christmas present OAV. All the rest were near zero. If you do not calendar treat, you need to monitor closely.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,688 Posts
Next year start with Apivar the first week of August, then do followup treatments with OAV throughout the fall.
you can move the apivar treatment later, normally we have a big fall flow that ends around sept 15 here, by doing the formic pro in Aug. and be successful in NY
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,955 Posts
Hate to keep beating the varroa drum, but Mike is right, Sept is way too late to start with Apivar. Your winter bees did not get to be raised in a mite free (or reduced) environment. Next year start with Apivar the first week of August, then do followup treatments with OAV throughout the fall. One of my strong hives brooded late and dropped several hundred mites when I gave them their Christmas present OAV. All the rest were near zero. If you do not calendar treat, you need to monitor closely.
I sure hope this advice does not lead to contaminated fall honey for those northern beekeepers with a fall flow to harvest, don't you?
 

·
Super Moderator
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,517 Posts
Yes, I would hope that people read the instructions and do not apply Apivar while honey suppers are present. I do not have a fall flow here so Apivar in August is appropriate. My mistake for not thinking outside of my region.For those with a harvestable fall flow, Formic Pro is probably better but I have never used it. Regardless of the treatment, starting varroa control measures in Sept. is too late to do much good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
being that it was my first year with the bees I did not plan on taking any honey from them so I was not concerned with a honey harvest situation. going to autopsy hive this morning will look into alcohol wash for the bees and see what I find .
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top