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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had 3 hives left going into winter last year, all had 2 mediums of stores 1 was a late swarm but hoped for the best. 2 died sometime late winter all bees were in the bottom, now my feral bees (very strong hive) we're doing great as of 2 weeks ago, then 3-4 days ago only seen a couple of bees ( unusual) in 50 temp. Today went through the hive lots of dead bodies at the bottom, all the stores are gone and there's a handful of bee's flying , so as I'm looking in the candy box there she is! Couldn't believe she survived. I didn't know what to do so I hurried and put together a deep with some stores and old comb and closed it up. I have no idea what's going to happen but if they die I'm done, it's been a long journey and I refuse to keep paying ridiculous $ that keeps climbing every year. Sorry rant over.
 

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Quit spending money. Put out a couple of traps with some lemon grass oil and then whatever happens happens. You have the equipment already. Might get lucky.
Good luck
gww
 

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I don't know the circumstances on your hives so it may be an easy fix. One thing I have found about beekeeping is that it is a constant learning process. If you find out what killed your hive(s) one year, they next year it will be something else. It is a continual challenge and work (time) is required. If you're willing to put in the time and learn from mistakes, it gets easier. You must take each loss personally and learn from each one. In my third year, I told myself "dammit, I am going to get these bugs to live more than a season". If you don't have that attitude in you, you should quit.
On a personal note, I am starting my 8th season and have swarming issues even though I split the hives in early spring. I already have a plan for next year and can't wait to try it out. I am at 30 hives right now and love the challenge of these little buggers!
If you choose to continue, listen to local beeks assuming you are in a club. If beekeeping was easy, everybody would be doing it.
 

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do you belong to the oswego or syracuse bee clubs? should be plenty of places up there to catch swarms, what did you treat with for mites and when. Every one seems to have lost high numbers of hives to lack of food this year, last years goldenrod flow wasn't very good.
 

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OP. The first step is to determine what killed your bees. 100% mortality of the hives points to a correctable problem.

https://www.beverlybees.com/how-to-autopsy-a-honey-bee-colony/

http://mainebeekeepers.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Hive-Autopsy-Chart.pdf
This is good info, thanks. I lost my Italian hive over the winter, it was a new (purchased) nuc last spring. I didn't know what all to look for, but I did not see any mites or beetles. The hive appeared healthy. In still photos I took it appears to be an active, functioning hive, but the bees were all dead. Seemed to me to be an instantaneous kill. My first thought was they were poisoned somehow, but we hadn't had any spraying nearby.

- djb
 

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I didn't know what all to look for, but I did not see any mites or beetles.

- djb
This sentence is the most common thing for new beekeepers to say when they didn't treat at all for mites. If I were you, I would trap a a swarm or two this year and treat them for mites, then see how your overwintering success is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the replys, this is going on my 6th year , the more I learn the less I know! I have reached out to a few local beeks and they are kind of standoffish like I'm stealing their business! I don't sell honey I just want the bee's around, I do catch swarms but still I want them to survive. Mike, I'll see if I can find any info on an Oswego bee club. What gets me is honey bees seem to survive on their own but when mankind tries to help... they perish!
 

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What gets me is honey bees seem to survive on their own but when mankind tries to help... they perish!
That may have been in the 1960's but not now. A statistic I heard somewhere is that the typical feral colony lasts about 18 months before it dies or leaves.
 

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What gets me is honey bees seem to survive on their own but when mankind tries to help... they perish!

My sis had what appeared to be a VERY active colony in her outbuilding going into winter. I thought about removing it, but thought it was late in the season and I'd get them when spring comes. They were active about 6 weeks ago.... and I went into them about 4 weeks ago. They had starved. I waited too long. They don't always seem to survive on their own.
 
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