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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sadly, the girls are gone. I don't understand it. They had 3-full, medium supers of honey, a significant amount of pollen in the brood chamber and they are gone. I have another hive that is all but wiped out. They had 4-full supers. They cleaned out the one right above the brood chamber and stayed there. They didn't move up into the full supers. I opened them up to put some mega bee on them today. I certainly did not expect what I found. 2009was my first year as a beekeeper in North Texas. I kept bees in Houston for several years and never lost a hive during the winter. Does anyone out there have any ideas why they did not move up into the full supers. I removed the queen excluders this past fall?
 

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Do you scrape the burr comb off the top bars of your frames? Bees like a continuous comb surface. If you keep the frame topbars scraped clean, sometimes bees don't like jumping the gap between boxes.
 

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my guess, CCD
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Colony Collapse Disorder beginnerbee.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colony_collapse_disorder

I'm starting to lean in that direction, odfrank. The odd thing was that all three supers were empty and there were hardly any bees in the hive. The few I did find were head down in the comb; evidence, as I recall, of starvation. If it was CCD, the supers could have been robbed.....I guess.
 

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If you didn’t find any dead bees, this is a symptom of CCD. Also for a couple of weeks everything stays out, wax moths, robber bees ect.

The head down is an indication of starvation, if you had piles of dead bees and head down inside cells. If no dead bees possibly CCD, if the hive crashed late fall it could have been robbed out.
 

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my guess, CCD
Easy enuf to guess that, but we don't have enuf evidence.

Why didn't they move up? Maybe they weren't strong enuf in population. Were there any bees still in the combs, dead? Were they dry or wet? What was their ventilation like? Could moisture leave the top of the hive?

Tell us more of what you saw and what the colony was like before going into winter.
 

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What kind of temperatures have you been having for the last month?

On another list there was a reply by Joe Waggle to a circumstance similar to yours.

"A cluster of bees can starve at this time of year, even with honey in the hive. Warm season starvation can have these visual symptoms; -in the days prior to starvation, you might notice an accelerated amount of activity with the bees in the colony near the entrance, a single story colony can appear to remarkably healthy by the entrance traffic. This is not robbing, but an activity which is elevated to a higher level because of the urgent situation of starvation developing inside the hive. When this occurs, spring and summer starvation can happen very rapidly, activity may accelerate, then the cluster may appear lethargic and quiet, and by the 3rd or 4th day the cluster can be dead."

Eveen though he only references a single story hive, there are times when bees will starve rather than move to honey a few inches away if there is brood to protect. It makes no sense to us that bees capable of foraging would ignore stored honey as a source, but it has been reported many times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm 25 miles west of Ft. Worth. Temps have been colder than they have been in the past 10 years, but not what I would consider really bad. Certainly nothing like the cold that the more northern climates experience. I noticed activity in and out of the hive when we had a string of warmer days about three or four weeks ago. I use screened bottom boards all year round. The lack of a pile of bees on the bottom board is really what is confusing me. The few head-down bees I looked at were dry. This was a very large hive, so I was happy with the three full supers of honey and the stores in the brood chamber. If I could have changed anything I would have wanted more pollen. Maybe they finished off the pollen they had and without the protein, starved. The hive right next to them only had 1 1/2 supers of honey and they still have a large amount left. Guess it is possible though that some of those stores could have come from the lost hive. They appear to be fine. I'm clueless on this loss. If it was a mistake on my part, I don't want to repeat it next year.
 
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