Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I did a check of my six hives today and found that one has died (apparently due to starvation) and one looks to be really struggling. The rest of the hives seem to be doing fairly well considering the harsh winter we're having hear in Maine.

The hive that's struggling appears to have a very low population. I'd say the cluster is about the size of a softball. I'm still a novice beekeeper (this is my 2nd winter) but my gut is telling me this hive won't survive until spring. It just doesn't seem like it has the critical mass necessary to survive if we get another cold snap.

My question is what, if anything, would you do in this situation?

Also, I noticed that several of the hives have some heavy brown spotting the roofs, landing board, and on the front of hive. How much spotting is typical? I'm worried my hives may have nosema.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,862 Posts
The hive that's struggling appears to have a very low population. I'd say the cluster is about the size of a softball. I'm still a novice beekeeper (this is my 2nd winter) but my gut is telling me this hive won't survive until spring. It just doesn't seem like it has the critical mass necessary to survive if we get another cold snap.
Make sure there is feed available to them. I would put some fondant or sugar over the cluster that they can contact no matter the temp. I've seen small clusters make it through some bad cold as long as they have feed. They've made it this far.

Dysentery is not generally caused by nosema ceranae, which is the most prevalent nosema. I took some samples of spotting and put them under the scope last year and there was no nosema.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. I have a candyboard just above the cluster so hopefully they do ok. They have moved themselves into a corner which is a little concerning but I'll just hope for the bets I suppose.

I trudged through the snow a little bit ago and snapped a few pictures of the spotting I've been seeing. The inside of the hives are clean so there's no dysentery on the inside which is good. I just don't recall seeing nearly this much spotting on the outside last winter. All of my hives look pretty similar, but some are worse than others. This hive is the worst one. It's also the hive that's struggling.



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My mite counts weren't too bad this summer but I did treat with Api Life VAR this fall. However, I was a bit late with my treatment so temps weren't quite what they should have been during treatment. The treatments effectiveness may have been reduced.

I haven't completed a drop count recently.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,604 Posts
OK, just curious. The cluster seems very small based on your description. Hope they pull through for you.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top