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Discussion Starter #1
Here's my second dead out of the year.

The hive was treated in FALL with OAV I found no PMS or VARROA or virus hive was strong and healthy .
They had sugar
There was honey and pollen near the cluster and all where in the top box.


These where just a frame away in the top box

And again like the other post-mortem it had alittle brood
Had plenty plollen
THE QUEEN

So sad this is what it has come down to.:s
 

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My first thought was that's a lot of paper.

Perhaps the sugar & honey was not easily accessible while hunkered down from the cold and froze.
Perhaps the sugar wasn't moistened enough to be used.
Also, that was some record setting cold.
It' bound to have killed some hives.
I recall the weatherman saying it hasn't been that cold in my state since '77.

I dunno...

I don't know if this might count for anything, but I am running Mtn Camp and Winter Patties on each 1/2 a hive.

[Pic of Fresh New Patty placed on. No Sugar added]



They have consumed the Winter Patties at twice the rate of the Sugar so far.
 

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So here is what I see.

There is no pollen in the cluster area. The cluster started brood rearing probably in late December but was not quite large enough to maintain contact with food reserves. They would not move from the brood and died in the cold unable to reach the feed that was overhead and to the sides.

The likely problem is that they did not get enough pollen late in the fall to raise enough winter bees to sustain the cluster. To address this problem, consider feeding pollen supplement in the September/October time frame. I can't tell enough about the honey they had left to see if there was a problem, but from what I can see, honey reserves were adequate but perhaps not organized quite as well as could have been desired.
 

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They have consumed the Winter Patties at twice the rate of the Sugar so far.
My bees love the winter patties. It's quite comforting to see pieces of wax paper on the ground in front of the hives. You know their alive and eating them. I'm thinking they starved out while on brood, like Fusion Power.
 

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I don't see much evidence of brood but they may have eaten it. They did get stranded away from their food supply and were unable to get to it. Newspaper dampened with sugar directly over this cluster would have probably saved it. Is that butcher paper? I tried using brown paper grocery bag because that was what I had in the truck and it did not work as well as plain newsprint. Good pollen frame for you replacement split or other bees this spring. Is that a beecozy or the fabric out of B&B honey in Houston Mn? I use the B&B product and like it. It may have never happened if you used sig sauer's :<}
 

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It is so sad to see lots of bees, lots of natural and supplemental food and yet they die off. They were inches from reserves. Makes me wonder if we are banging our heads against a wall when we try so hard to make things in their favour and they don't move a few inches to get food! With that many bees in a wrapped hive would such a cluster really freeze out?
 

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Were they italians?

Had the same thing happen here w/ an italian hive on the last cold snap--not as cold here but not wrapped either. However, this hive had a good mite load and that contributed to it. Had it been a warmer winter they would have made it. Two days into the cold I started noticing a large build up of dead inside the entrance so I think that is when it happened. Carnis seem as happy as can be but I gave some sugar as they were at the top of the hive. Also have two other italians doing fine (their third winter here, re-queened on their own) so I'm pretty sure the main cause of my loss was mites + cold. No evidence of PMS though it appears a few bees had K-wing so tracheal mites may have been an issue too.
 

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Sad to see this second hive Glock, this winters weather may not be a fluke, it may be a trend so I will be investing in some type of good hive insulation for next year.
 

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Mis-organization of the stores resulting in starvation. "The Hive and the Honey Bee", chapter 20, section 2. Book has been in print since the 1800's. Very good research and instructional manual. Talks in depth about the organization of the stores going into winter, the effects of the cold with and without insulation (tried & tested over many years and the results), and how things will develop going into late winter with the wrong organization of stores. Someone here mentioned it precisely-"Fusion Powers' post it was. Just having pre-requisite pounds of honey stores will not guarantee not having a starvation issue.
 

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Hi Glock, a couple of questions/comments: 1) The hive wrapping looks too tight to me --- perhaps there was not enough ventilation to remove the CO2. 2) 2 or 3 partial frames of bees in a double deep may not be able to maintain cluster temperature to move around. 3) Where was the queen (where did you find her) ? The brood area seems small. Maybe she died early or was defective. 4) Due to recent experiences/observations I've become concerned about the level of fungicides in the pollen. Seems every farmer/home-owner applies fungicides that are not labeled as harmful to bees, but are harmful/fatal to bee-brood. What were these bees forging September/October?
Sorry for your losses!
 

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Hi Glock, a couple of questions/comments: 1) The hive wrapping looks too tight to me . 2) 2 or 3 partial frames of bees in a double deep may not be able to maintain cluster temperature to move around. 3) Where was the queen (where did you find her) ? The brood area seems small.
Sorry for your losses!
Agree
 

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I have 23/24 alive wrapped the same way. I don't have moisture problems and I sure don't see evidence of a wet hive in Glocks post mortem. I freely admit that in wet country and no top entrance would probably cause problems. I bet glock has a top entrance. It is -24 here right now and forecast colder tonight and that hive was in colder country than this. The wrap looks good to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
JClark=Were they italians?
NO American
Had plenty of ventilation I had took off the top entrance before I took the pic plus no moisture problem in the hive .
So here is what I see.

There is no pollen in the cluster area. The cluster started brood rearing probably in late December but was not quite large enough to maintain contact with food reserves. They would not move from the brood and died in the cold unable to reach the feed that was overhead and to the sides.

The likely problem is that they did not get enough pollen late in the fall to raise enough winter bees to sustain the cluster. To address this problem, consider feeding pollen supplement in the September/October time frame. I can't tell enough about the honey they had left to see if there was a problem, but from what I can see, honey reserves were adequate but perhaps not organized quite as well as could have been desired.
Now that sounds about right to me there was about a month where they could not break cluster so your advice sounds like you my just know what your talking about.;)
I just got done shoveling out of the 10 in we got last night what a year .
I know this spring is going to be so nice.
 

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Just my humble 2 cents worth. I have had exactly the same results you posted year after year in the past. My hives would be loaded with honey and pollen but it was too far from the bee cluster and the bees would not break cluster to get to the honey or pollen, only that which was immediately accessible to the cluster very close by. I have tried food patties, internal feeders, top feeders, you name it but got the same result for the same reasons.

I changed all of my hives over to unlimited brood box (3 brood box hives) which encourages the bees to cluster in the center box with a mix of honey and pollen surrounding the bee cluster and store their remaining honey in the top box. I leave one Ultra Bee food patty on top of the inner cover for moderately warm to cool days and leave the telescoping outer cover tipped up on one end to allow ventilation.

The bees appear to use the food resources closest to the bee cluster during cold weather and will venture into the other areas of the hive to access food on warmer days but they do not move the honey and pollen located in areas away from the cluster to the empty comb storage surrounding the bee cluster.

I place Mannlake Bee Pro Feeders about 75 feet away from my hives and fill them with about 5 lbs. of Ultra Bee dry feed and place 8 boardman feeders with quart jars full of 2:1 sugar syrup treated with homemade honey bee healthy/pro bee health (you can use the real stuff but it get really expensive) placed on top of each of the 8 Bee Pro Feeder entrances.

On fairly warm days (45 degrees and higher) the bees will come out to forage and conduct purging flights. They find the Ultra Bee readily and the sugar syrup feeders and will consume up to 7 gallons of sugar syrup & 5 - 10 lbs. of Ultra Bee a day (16 hives) and take it back to the hives. I put out 5 of the Mannlake Bee Pro Feeders.

For some reason, the bees will use the sugar syrup and Ultra Bee dry feed to replace the depleted resources surrounding the bee cluster. I think this way of feeding satisfies some nature instinct to forage and store food.

I am a good deal further south of you but the temps have dipped down to 0 a time or two and remained in the low teens for days. I think the queens in my colonies become aware of the steady influx of food resources and continue laying as my colony sizes have remained stable and several have actually increased.

I leave the screened bottom boards open and use no insulation. On periods of several days of warm temperatures I fog my hives with FGMO treated with thyme oil.

I am by NO MEANS an expert........just an accidental beekeeper learning at the University of Hard Knocks. So far this has been working well for me and I came about learning these practices by loosing MANY MANY hives over the Winter and particularly in February & March which are the worst time of year for bee hive losses.

In short, keeping as much food resources as close as you can to the bee cluster during the cold weather and treating for mites as best you can drastically improve your bee colony survival chances in my opinion.
 
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