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Author Topic: 2 hives dead, 2 alive  (Read 4811 times)
randydrivesabus
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« on: December 29, 2007, 09:54:43 AM »

I went out this morning to try the stethoscope thing that was discussed in another thread and I didn't hear much so I started digging into my hives. i have 4 and 2 of them are dead. the other 2 seem to be holding their own. below is a picture of one of the dead hives. plenty of bees but they are all dead. the other dead hive had few bees. if someone could identify what happened from the pic i would appreciate it.


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Cindi
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2007, 10:02:18 AM »

Randy, oh that is too sad.  I cannot offer too much advice, other than my sorrow.

I think by looking at the picture that I see pollen on the left side of the frame, I see some capped brood.  What I don't see is any honey stores.  Perhaps the bees starved?  You will hear other comments and questions that will arise from other forum friends.  Sorry to hear of the loss.  Well, you can look at the bright side....that is you have 2 colonies left.  Have a great day, try hard.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
JP
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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2007, 10:07:17 AM »

Randy, sorry for your loss. Can only guess like Cindi said, that they starved. Are the bees in the brood dead as well? If not I would add them if you could to one of your other hives.

Sincerely, JP
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Cindi
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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2007, 10:08:46 AM »

JP, I highly doubt that any brood would be alive, they would have been chilled to death without the bees covering them to keep them warm.  Good thought though.  Best of this great day, Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2007, 10:26:47 AM »

Hi Randy,

That is how my bees looked when they starved to death - there was honey in the hive, but because of the cold the cluster couldn't move to the honey so they starved.  Bees are so democratic.  They eat together and die together when the stores are low - no pigs in the beehive.

So sorry.  I'm worried about one of my hives, too - no noise but the hive is heavy with honey.  It's supposed to be in the 60s today so I hope I'll see some flying, but one of the sad beekeeper truths is that we can't control everything.....

Sorry for your loss,

Linda T
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JP
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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2007, 10:28:20 AM »

The thing that is weird is that that hive has brood, so I'm assuming that the temps are not that cold.
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Cindi
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« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2007, 10:39:24 AM »

Yes, the hive has brood, but that could have been brood that is several weeks old, and may have died several weeks ago, not likely the brood is alive, depending on when the bees were able to be active to cap the brood.  I think that we need to know when the last time he checked the hives, how long ago was brood rearing weather, etc.  Mysteries here to solve.  Have a great and wonderful day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
JP
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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2007, 11:28:29 AM »

I think you're probably right Cindi, about the brood being chilled, or dead also, but I thought it was worth a look. Could have been a strong switch in the weather that brought the problem on, who knows.

Wondering, JP
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2007, 11:44:47 AM »

i'm surprised there's any brood at all but the weather has been fluctuating between mild (50's during the day) and winterlike (low 30's during the day). there was plenty of stores in the hive but they must have been concentrating on keeping the brood warm instead of moving the stores around. so the bright side is that i have some frames of pollen and frames of honey that i can feed to my other hives.
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annette
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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2007, 11:57:47 AM »

Hearing stuff like this really scares me because I thought the cluster moves around as one unit inside the hive to find the stores. How else does a beekeeper know how to save them. For instance, I checked on my 2 hives a couple of weeks ago and found that the top super were still full of honey. So I am assuming they have enough food to eat. I also have weather like that of Randydrivesabus. Except colder at night (down to the high twenty, low thirty and up to about 50's day.

What else can be done to prevent this starving situation? I am feeling nervous right now.

Annette
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2007, 12:13:56 PM »

you need to look in your hives and see if the cluster is near to any honey. if not you have to move the honey to them without breaking up the cluster. i did not look in the hive since the fall until today. that was my mistake. i need to become less of a beehaver and more of a beekeeper.
btw...the temperatures i was referring to in my post above were daytime temps. our usual night time low is the teens to the 20's.
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Ray Hall
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« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2007, 05:25:40 PM »

Sorry for the loss of your hives. My theroy is they froze. I suggest this based on my time in the grocery business. Ever go into the dairy department a see a fly on the shelf just standing there still. If you were to touch it you would find it dead. What happens they land on the cold surface, the cold goes up their legs and into their body and they can't move and freeze.


Ray
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JP
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« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2007, 05:57:54 PM »

I had a young bee on the hood of my truck a little while ago. Some of them were landing on the hood today. Never started the truck today at all. Later on, a little while ago, I had come back to the house to continue working on my wife's car and noticed a young bee with pollen on the hood of the truck, but she wasn't moving much at all. The temps have dropped from earlier today and I think she got chilled, sitting on the truck's hood, and was just laying there, still, so I picked her up (cupping her in my hand to warm her) and she slowly became more active, then flew off. I feel like if I wouldn't have  picked her up she would have died on the hood of my truck, and she was much too young to die. She flew over the fence towards the hives, guess she'll be ok.

Saving chilled bees, JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

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rdy-b
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« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2007, 07:00:53 PM »

Was there any honey above cluster -cluster moves up and down easer than side ways -every experience i have had with starvation the bees died head first into the comb -your pictures did not look like they where doing that -how many frames of bees where in that box- was there some kind of cold snap that could have caught them off guard and they froze in place off of honey? what are you running for brood boxes 2 deeps? signal deep? story and a half?- brood was at top of frame like they where trying to move up -are they out of the wind -I think sometimes the wind can cause more problems than people speak of -need to know what size cluster was -RDY-B
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BenC
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« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2007, 08:26:22 PM »

Look closer, there are many bee bottoms showing in those cells.  That means starvation to me.  Reason for starvation?  I would guess they were anchored to the brood as was mentioned in previous posts.  In the deadout with few bees, was there any brood present?  Perhaps they lost the queen late season and numbers dwindled too far?  THe frame looks like a natural cell frame w/ sideways wedge for a starter, is that right?  It's a good looking frame regardless.  Just for kicks, are there many dead varroa in the brood or on adults or bottomboard?
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rdy-b
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« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2007, 09:15:58 PM »

ATA boy BC apon further investigation i see those bee buts -there in the circular void -in lower left corner -well thats how -now for the why -tell us about the colony configuration -boxes- cluster size-placement of food stores-remember experience is a hard teacher she gives the test first and the lesson second -RDY-B
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annette
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« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2007, 09:46:10 PM »

We had such a warm early winter, that the bees were breaking cluster all the time and flying out like crazy most afternoons. I would think they could move around inside and get to where the honey is.

I feel bad for your lose and I am confused also as to how this happens.

Annette
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2007, 10:01:20 PM »

Look closer, there are many bee bottoms showing in those cells.  That means starvation to me.  Reason for starvation?  I would guess they were anchored to the brood as was mentioned in previous posts.  In the deadout with few bees, was there any brood present?  Perhaps they lost the queen late season and numbers dwindled too far?  THe frame looks like a natural cell frame w/ sideways wedge for a starter, is that right?  It's a good looking frame regardless.  Just for kicks, are there many dead varroa in the brood or on adults or bottomboard?
yes....its a frame with starter strip.  there were bees on maybe 4 frames. it looked like a nice cluster. there was a deep with quite a bit of honey one flight up. and a medium with more honey up another level (well...that honey is crushed and being strained right now)so what i said before about the bees sticking to the brood is most likely what did them in. plenty of warm weather for them to have moved up if they were willing to abandon the brood.
the hive with few bees had no brood so it is possible that they lost their queen late in the season. screened BB so can't check there for mites but I did a mite count in the early fall and the count was not excessive.
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annette
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« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2007, 10:15:45 PM »

So this still has me confused. I thought they know not to make brood when it is so cold. Don't they know they will be stuck caring for this brood and not be able to get to the food???

What do they do in the wild?? Do they place the honey all around them in the brood chamber??? This still has me worried as most of the honey left for them is up above in the top super. There were some frames of honey down below, but not much.
I checked on them 2 weeks ago, when we had a warmer day and they still had a whole super full of honey right above them. They were not clustering at that time, they were flying out like crazy.

With the weather this cold right now, it is impossible to open up the hive and do anything. I never heard that I would have to move frames of honey around in the winter. I only knew that I would have to add some frames from my freezer if I looked inside and could not see any more honey on top.

So still confused!!! I am reading and trying to learn what is going on here.

Annette

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rdy-b
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« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2007, 10:24:43 PM »

Dose this mean 4 frames of bees is not enough bees to winter in your area or do you think there was to much empty space for 4 frames of bees -maybe a deep with the medium box over it would be better for 4 frames of bees -one thing to remember is with plenty of warm weather -they must have flown a lot and consumed the honey around the brood very fast    RDY-B
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