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Today it got into the forties with sunshine, I just had to go see some bees flying. Some of the bees landed on top of the snow and chilled to the point of no flight--I watched for a while and then noticed chicadees picking off the "snow bees", I never witnessed that occurring before. At least the chilled bees went to a good cause.
 

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Well napper I have a bird feeder but I dont put bees in it :lookout:
 

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It's been so cold here that even on the slightly warm days (ie- above 32 degrees) the bees are trying to come out for cleansing flights...unfortuantely, they are getting chilled in the process when they land in the snow it appears they go into shock and die...so depressing! I'm just hoping that the remaining alive hives have enough bees to make it through until Spring. So I have seen a similar scene, where the birds are picking up the bees that died on the snow.
 

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when the wild turkeys (more so when they have young) find your hives, you don't have to worry about the bees carrying off the dead, the turkeys will take care of them.
 

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Had been considering putting up a purple martin house--gotta rethink that now. Thanks for starting the thread!
I had huge colony of purple martins. About 40 units then i checked my bees and i didn't have many. After they left i took the houses down. I don't want martins any where near my bees. :no:
 

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"snow bees" can be an indication of Tracheal mite.
I suppose so, but it's a matter of degree. Dead bees scasttered across the snow is one thing. A colony looking like this is quite another. This is TM for sure. I had 50 bees checked for Acarapis woodi. This colony was 95% infested at time of photo...February. Dead by spring.

You can see bees exiting the hive, and dead on the snow. Much more than a few snow bees scattered about. Also notice the dysentery. The two...TM and dysentery, often go together.


 

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Sorry to hear about the tracheal mites. I would invest in some menthol. The birds can have all my drones they want. I use mated queens exclusively due to the AHB in Hillsborough County. I was thinking of having the students grab drones and put them in old queen cages. Sure it is a bit Tom Sawyer, but the purpose is to practice on drones before grabbing a queen. Any thoughts? Is this a good skill for new beekeepers?
 

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Mike, this is not the first time you have trouble with images. This might help. It is best to reduce the size before uploading, max 600 wide usually goes well. I use right-click "sent to mail..." and then get the option to reduce size, the attachement is draged back to the desktop (Windows). Another way is to use the free online service: http://www.shrinkpictures.com/
 

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Purple martins do eat honey bees. Borrowed a purple martin book from a fancier and found that intestinal contents contained a large amount of hymenoptera parts. They were careful not to say honey bee parts.

As a kid, wondered what in the world purple martins were feeding on a hundred feet in the air. They were obviously banking sharply to run down some airbourn insect. Most insects are either water or ground based. Knew of no insect that loitered overhead. You guessed it. Since then, the scientific community has described drone congregation areas (DCA)s.

You could, as a beekeeper, see this as good or bad. Thinning the drone burden on colony resources might be an advantage, but is the reduction in mating drones really in the best interest of your colonies when superseding?

Walt
 
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