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My sister from the other side of Michigan called yesterday.

They had 2 hives that overwintered well, and appeared strong. She said that a few weeks ago, both hives looked very good.

I do need to add this bit of information -- the two hives are about 50 miles apart -- one is at their home, they keep the other one on a close friend's farm. Both locations are in heavily agricultural SW Michigan.

BUT, to have both of them coincidentally die due to pesticide contamination at the same time appears far-fetched to me.

As of the other day, both hives are completely dead. She said theirs appears to have died within just a few days. They don't know the specifics on the other hive, since they haven't seen it for about 3 weeks.

She was asking if I had any ideas what would cause this -- disease, mites, whatever.

The first thought that came into my mind was some kind of agricultural chemical -- there is tremendous fruit production in their area, for one, as well as all kinds of other crops, soy, corn, grains, vegetables, you name it.

I know that starvation isn't the problem -- we have had an exceptionally early spring with abundant rain, good flying weather, and many flowers.

Any thoughts on what it MIGHT be -- I know that we'll never know for sure. TIA.
 

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Don't rule out starvation. We have had an early spring but not much flow and have been having to feed like crazy to keep the growing populations from starving. You are going to have to look at the hive to get a good pic of what happened.
 

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Details please. What was the weather like, was a flow on, were there frames of necter or honey, were there lots of dead bees at the hive, were there dead bees in the hive, etc?
 
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