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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys. I've come out of hibernation and it seems the weather is warming up enough that the bees are hitting the Henbit. Here comes the rambling and ends with questions.

A little back story. After getting into bee keeping last spring with 6 hives, I bought a business in late June and quit my public job. That was NOT in the plans when I got my bees. Let me just say, that after buying the business, the bees took a back seat for the rest of the season. It was probably good for them anyway, because they didn't get bothered by me checking them every week. I don't know that I opened the top on any more than once or twice more during the summer and fall. Since starting late last fall, I decided not to rob any honey. I wanted them to have all they needed to survive winter. I'm glad I made that choice since this was the coldest winter we've had in the past 30 or more years. I have settled into a good enough rhythm at the business that I can now keep an eye on my bees again.

So, now it's spring. I stood by the hives a couple weeks ago, during our first warm spell, and there was activity at all 6 hives. :thumbsup: After another pretty rough cold spell I checked the hives again Tuesday. One of them had no activity. I popped the top on that hive and found the bees dead. The bees were dead in a cluster about the size of a baseball. The bees in that hive had mildew on them. There was still plenty of honey in the upper deep. It was a hive that I made and failed to cut a hole in the inner cover. My other hives have added, extra ventilation. I guess the lack of ventilation, causing the moisture problems killed the bees. I don't know what kind of bees these were, they were a swarm that I hived last June. They were darker than my Italians, but not black. Four of the remaining 5 hives seem to be exploding. They have great numbers of bees going in and out. The 5th hive looks pretty weak. If we can get some 70+ degree weather, I will open the hives and check on them, if that's the right thing to do when temps are still cool???

What can I do to help prevent swarming? What else do I need to know or do right now?
 

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A whole lot of posts on what you ask. go to beekeeping 101 and look at pages to apply to your situation and read away. Best of luck.
 

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You shouldn't need to wait for 70+ degrees. You can check on them at 50 degrees. It sounds to me like you were one of the fortunate ones if you only lost 1 out of 6. Then again, you never know what the weather is going to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the reply Cameron. I had no idea what the temperature ranges were that the bees could be checked. So I can go through a hive as long as the temp is 50 or above? I guess the bees on the frames would keep the brood from getting chilled? I guess that not robbing any honey surely helped my bees survive and I feel the biggest thing that makes a difference is that I got one of my hives from a swarm cast from one of the hives of from a long time local beekeeper who has never treated for anything in any way. Two of my other hives came from another man in the area who sells nucs. His hives are also treatment free and have always been. I requeened my package bees with one of his queens as well. I don't know if it will work, or how long it will work, but I know that all my bees have come from hives that have never had any treatment or intervention in any way for mites or any other problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Dominic, you folks up there must sure like cold weather. I guess when it's 90 degrees or above here for 90 days, you'll be enjoying it up there.
 
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