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Today it was about 40 degrees and when I looked at my hive, which was a new package installed May 2, I was shocked to see how many dead bees were in the snow. As you can see from the photos there are many. Is this something I should be concerned about? IS THIS NORMAL? Is there anything I should do? Also, I have a notched inner cover, a piece of homosote, a half inch piece of foam under the outer cover, and a half inch piece of foam on 3 sides of the bottom deep. Please take a moment and look at the attached photos.

http://profile.imageshack.us/user/bees1031

Please use link above to view my photos.

Thanks

John
 

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I noticed that alot of your snow seems brown, which makes me think of possibly Nosema. But since I have never experienced it, I would be interested in reading other beeks comments.
 

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That would be Dysentary that can be caused by nosema but can be present with out it. To me it looks like they were warmed by the sun and left to relieve themselves and the weeker bees were chilled and died. That's not many bees and it is good to see the staining on the snow because it is better than in the hive.
 

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John-

My one hive (of two) that survived last winter up here in northern WI looked about like that during the spring thaw. I think during the winter I didn't notice the number of bees in the snow because they were frequently covered up by more fresh snow. During the thaw, it got to looking like a real disaster area. However, last summer the hive did great, I re-queened in August, and went into the winter even stronger than the first year. It's too cold up here to open up the hive, but by listening to them I can tell they're still alive.

cdykstra
 

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Is that dark mound against the cement block [front] also dead bees? Are there a lot of bees in that brown area? Did the bottom entrance/exit get blocked by dead bees and too many couldn't get back in?

If the notch in the inner cover is under the tele-cover they may not have been able to find that. I lost a hive because of this [more dead bees in the snow than you have now] so I don't depend on a notch "hidden" under the tele-cover as the only entrance/exit. They don't use the bottom entrance very much at all at this time of year. [Just my experience; :rolleyes:] In the summer/fall, if there is a robbing incident, the bees are frantically trying to get in a hive so they find that easily, but not in the winter. Hopefully the cluster was not reduced too much and will survive the winter. There will be more days of cleansing flights before spring though. Other than that, it looks OK...? :)
 

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I have some spots in the snow where the bees have cleansed, I assumed this was normal. I don't have a bunch of dead bees, so I did not get alarmed.

Does bee poop not melt in the snow and cause a quarter size stain without the presence of dysentery or the diseases that cause it ?
Is bee poo a liquid or a solid in a normal, healthy bee?
Thanks, RKR
 

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It's not the dead bees that are a concern , its all the poop. Usually you will see lots of brown spots in the snow spread out around the hive. The fact that they are in such a tight area would be something of concern to me. I would feed them some 1:1 if you can with some Fum B if you have it. If they have nosema that would help clean out their systems.

The other thing I can think of is maybe they have been cooped up awhile so they couldn't get out till just now.

Anyway...good luck.
 

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John
I used to live in Ohio yrs ago so I am lifamaliar with your area. from what I see you got that hive sealed up too much they might have gotten moisture on them then died.
Don
 

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The other thing I can think of is maybe they have been cooped up awhile so they couldn't get out till just now.
How long can bees stay clustered (and not be able to take cleansing flights)? Weeks? Months? :s Here in Maine we seldom see days warm enough for what I believe would allow for a mid-winter flight.
 

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usually no dead bees on the ground means no live bees inside.

i concur with other posters that you might have er closed up too tight. a bottom entrance should be open for ventilation and an upper entrance for coming and going during late winter. i suspect they got out under the cover but could not find the entrance to get back in easily.

i would immediately vent out that hive. but dead bees on the ground is not neccessarily a concern.
 
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