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I think my bees couldn't handle the extra cold snap that we had and died. It looked like they just died doing what they happened to be doing at that moment. There was still food too. I didn't wrap the hive in anything because we don't usually get that cold for that long. I guess I'll learn from my mistake.:cry:
 

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Sorry to hear about your loss.... Fill us in on what you observed so others can possibly learn something from what happened. Was your hive small going into winter and therefore could not develop a large enough of a cluster to provide the needed warmth? From what I have been learning, it usually is not the cold temps that kills the bees unless they are a small cluster. Perhaps cold water from condensation? Did you use the MC method of providing them dry sugar on the top of the frames? Were the bees buried head first into the comb?

The good thing is that it is easy to start over. I guess this happens to just about everybody at some point or another. Don't get discouraged!! Spring is just around the corner....
 

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Yes some of the bees were buried head first...what does that mean?? They were too small I think. I provided proper ventilation and upper escapes so I don't think that was the problem.
 

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I'm new to this but from what I have learned from this forum, at least part of your bees died from starvation, even if they had stores available. If you had a pretty small cluster, they probably got too cold to be able to move to the available food source in the hive. The head-first bees were attempting to eat where there was no available honey any longer.
If you start another hive, be sure this spring and especially next fall to feed them sugar syrup and possibly some pollen patties. This will help grow the colony going into winter. You want the colony to be strong at that time of year. But don't feed the syrup too much while they are gathering nectar. And use that super for their winter feed source along with feeding them dry sugar when the weather permits you to open the top of the hive. Research the Mountain Camp method, it is very simple... Build a 1-2 inch spacer out of 3/4" wide scrap boards to put on top of your top super. Lay newspaper over the top of the frames, pour sugar on top of the newspaper and sprinkle it with water. Put the top back on and check it periodically.
Good Luck!!
 

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That stinks... Don't take it personally. It's going to happen eventually but the first one hurts the most. For the most part heads in the cells means they starved. I had the same thing happen to me last year. Honey was around them but an extended cold snap kept them from moving towards it. I now use the Mountain Camp dry sugar method to avoid this. It gives them an automatic reserve in case it's too cold for them to move sideways.
 

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Use the comb and honey that's left to start your new package or nuc this coming spring. They will have a big jump start and will be more likely to give you a little honey, but more importantly be a large enough colony to make through next winter. :thumbsup::thumbsup:
 

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same thing happened to me. I lost all the hives this week. Lots of bees were head first in empty comb with reserves nearby.
The rest of the bees were in the cluster pattern around where the queen was.

:(

We don't get these kinds of temps here and never thought about them starving so close to their food.
 

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A lot of knowledgeable beeks learned this the hard way. Thanks to them, maybe some of us beginners can learn from their experience. Until reading threads on this forum, I would have just assumed the bees would move over a couple of inches to where there was food. But thanks to the old-timers... (Not necessarily implying age factor) I have learned the bees cluster near the center of the hive and move straight up, not necessarily to the side. Which tells me, they need adequate stores directly above the center of the hive, in both stored honey and as added protection, supplying them with sugar directly on top of that, so as they move up, there is food for them.

Don't give up and feel defeated... The best lessons sometimes hurt the worst.
 

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A lot of knowledgeable beeks learned this the hard way. Thanks to them, maybe some of us beginners can learn from their experience. Until reading threads on this forum, I would have just assumed the bees would move over a couple of inches to where there was food. But thanks to the old-timers... (Not necessarily implying age factor) I have learned the bees cluster near the center of the hive and move straight up, not necessarily to the side. Which tells me, they need adequate stores directly above the center of the hive, in both stored honey and as added protection, supplying them with sugar directly on top of that, so as they move up, there is food for them.

Don't give up and feel defeated... The best lessons sometimes hurt the worst.
I'm trying not to, i saved up 6 months to buy them last year, as i am disabled and on a very limited income, and this really hurt. I am hoping i can scrape up enough to buy some packages. I can't afford nucs so its going to be a tough beginning this year. Now i do have one advantage i guess, i do have comb already drawn so they won't have to expend energy drawing that out.
It really hurt this year cause the hives were relatively strong, just that this cold snap wouldn't relent.

I am definately going to be getting tar paper and some tyvek this year to wrap hives up. IF this next winter looks like its going to be as bad i am going to wrap them.
 

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Sorry to hear about that! I've been through similar several times, I know how frustrating it is!

It might be a good idea to get to know some beekeepers in the area if you can. I am willing to give a small split or two to a beekeeper who gets wiped out, and I'm sure other others are as well. While I don't know what your disability is, swarms are another good way to expand, even if slow.

Now as to the cold/starvation, we're used to cold snaps up here, long ones too. Most of the time it isn't the cold that will kill a hive, it is the small cluster unable to keep heat that will kill the hive. Wrapping (in black) can help on the warmer/sunny days, but for the most part it will do little except keep some of the wind out.

Rick
 

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Had same situation last year. Live and learn. Trying again this winter. Checked hives yesterday and all had moving bees near entrance. We've had numerous -30F evenings, but last few days near 30F, has them doing cleansing flights. PP
 

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Here in southern Iowa we also had a long cold spell.
I lost 2 of my biggest hives.
I know it may have not mattered, but it was the only hives
that I did not wrap in black roofing paper.
I think it got too cold for too long.
Joe
 

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Sorry to hear about that! I've been through similar several times, I know how frustrating it is!

It might be a good idea to get to know some beekeepers in the area if you can. I am willing to give a small split or two to a beekeeper who gets wiped out, and I'm sure other others are as well. While I don't know what your disability is, swarms are another good way to expand, even if slow.

Now as to the cold/starvation, we're used to cold snaps up here, long ones too. Most of the time it isn't the cold that will kill a hive, it is the small cluster unable to keep heat that will kill the hive. Wrapping (in black) can help on the warmer/sunny days, but for the most part it will do little except keep some of the wind out.

Rick
Well i have congestive heart failure and i'll tell ya this past year has been the most enjoyable year i have had in 10 years. The bees are awesome therapy and give me something to look forward to that i can do. When i opened the hives and found they had died i was on the verge of tears. :(
 
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