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Something has gone horribly wrong . . .

1283 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Mike Gillmore
Two new hives installed 5.26 and fed constantly since. On Sunday I had 7 frames drawn with capped brood, nice patterns and lots of bees coming and going. I added second deeps to both hives and yesterday opened the entrance reducers to the larger opening. This morning (lots of rain) there are dead bees everywhere (in grass in front of hive, on bottom board and larva are being dragged out of the hive. Yesterday I noticed workers dragging drones out. This looks real bad to me . . .what is going on? I have to leave for two weeks for my mother's funeral in California. (I'm in NY)
Thanks for any help.
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Without looking it is difficult to say something.
1. are the dead bees workers or drones?
Maybe the hives decided to get rid of the drones and slaughtered them.
2. Somebody sprayed a nectar source with perstizides?
3. Robbery from other hives?
In my area to get rid of the drones is just starting.
Very early this year but not unusual.

Sorry for your mother!
I will hope the best for you & your bees.
with the dead bees all over it sounds like robbers, ive never seen anything like that so i really dont know.
does it look like the capped honey (if there was any) are torn open?
how large is there opening, if larger then an inch then i would reduce.
i live on the pa/ny boarder on route 14 near elmira ny - how far away do you live from me?
The same thing was happening to both hives?

Similar things on both hives. I only saw drones dragged out of one hive and only saw larva dragged out of the other. The hive where the drones were being dragged out was the one where the ground in front of the hive was littered with the bodies of dead workers.
Pesticide is possible, although I reduced the entrances this morning and took a quick look from above where the pail feeder is on top of the upper deep's frames and things looked normal in both hives. Also the sound from within was normal. By the time I left the activity in front of the hive looked more like it usually does although no one was arriving with pollen, but it's been rainy for two days. I didn't have time for a full inspection as I'm on my way to catch a plane. And I'm on the NY/MASS border, almost to Vermont.
If the hive was robbed (kind of early for that, isn't it?) is it possible that workers would get rid of extra mouths to feed for the present? Not much work has been done on the foundation in the upper deep from what I could see.
Anyway, next time I see this forum I'll be in California. I'll be able to see the bees again after July 9th . . .
Thanks for your replies,
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Sounds like when you opened the reducers up they were just doing a little house cleaning and some robbing between each hive.I would stop feeding for awhile,maybe a few weeks.That will at least stop any robbing.Then once you get back from your trip you could start back to feeding if there is nothing coming in..
They may be very hygenic bees.
Good luck and sorry to hear about your mother..
I assume that when you said "two new hives installed" you are referring to packages.

If so, it has been almost 4 weeks since installation and it is time for the older foragers to be dying off at a steady rate now. It could be that the rain has kept them cooped up in the box and the older workers are dying inside rather than in the field. The weather breaks, and the dead workers are being cleaned out.

If you have had any cool nights lately, it could be that the old population started to drop before new workers emerged, and some of the larvae in an expanding brood nest were not able to be covered and got chilled.

I agree with King bee apiary that they are probably just doing a little housecleaning, and if so, you are seeing excellent hygenic behavior.

You have more important things to focus on right now, I think your bees will be fine.
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