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Author Topic: Lots of dead bees on the Ground  (Read 2237 times)

Offline Pond Creek Farm

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Lots of dead bees on the Ground
« on: November 23, 2008, 09:11:29 PM »
I drove the UTV up to the hives this afternoon and saw what to me looked like a lot of dead bees outside the hives.  It was a bit cold today, so I could not really open the hives up to check things out, but I could hear activity within when I rapped on the box.  I am hopeful that they were just keeping house as the cluster shrinks for the winter and that there has not been some major catastrophe. I suppose that I will know soon enough in any event.

Offline Greg Peck

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Re: Lots of dead bees on the Ground
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2008, 09:41:24 PM »
How many is a lot? Did you look to see if they were drones? The bees kick most of the drones out in the winter. When I first started I had the same thing happen and it was mostly drones. Another thing to think about is all the ants and other bugs that eat and cart off the dead bees probably are not out collecting dead bees in the cold so that could account for the appearance of extra dead bees.
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Offline BjornBee

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Re: Lots of dead bees on the Ground
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2008, 08:32:45 AM »
I also think that many times they will simply chuck them off the front entrance or within a foot or two, where in the summer, they may fly 100 feet out, drop them, then return.

The first time I placed hives on a concrete pad years ago, I was shocked how many bees were dead around the hive. In a field or in the yard, you really do not notice many. But place them on a concrete pad or a sheet of rubber, and then it looks like many more.

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Offline Patrick

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Re: Lots of dead bees on the Ground
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2009, 08:52:55 PM »
I concur with BjornBee.  I moved my hives to a concrete pad and in the winter I get about 1 1/2 cups of dead bees per week piled up out in front of the hive. As summer comes on it slowly tapers off to almost none then as the fall mites come it starts up again and the crawlers are there too. I like to treat before I see the crawlers.  All in all I have learned that I can tell a lot about what is going on with a hive by monitoring the dead bees.


Offline kathyp

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Re: Lots of dead bees on the Ground
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2009, 10:54:52 PM »
 we had two feet of snow on the ground and then a warm day.  the bees flew and there were dead bees peppering the snow all over the pasture.  don't know how much was house cleaning and how many landed and froze.  sure was interesting.  now, with a few warm days, i have piles of dead bees being pushed out in front of the hives.  must be cleanup from the winter die off.
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Offline doak

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Re: Lots of dead bees on the Ground
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2009, 11:18:02 PM »
Did the bees look normal, as in, did they still have all their fluid in them or was it just empty hull.
Were there any scratches on the  bottom board and the front of the box.
Skunk/Polecat will scratch on the side/front and bottom board to get the bees to come check it out, zap. Just a thought, I have lost bees to skunks. :)

Offline gaucho10

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Re: Lots of dead bees on the Ground
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2009, 08:07:41 AM »
Here in Massachusetts we got several warm days during this winter and I also noticed quite a large number of dead bees throught my yard.  If the temperatures are in the low 40's most of the dead bees are seen near the hive.  If the temperatures climb to the upper 40's I notice dead bees which venture farther away towards the house (200 ft.).  You can tell if the bees died from freezing if you notice the snow melt around their body.  The ones that were "cleaned out" by the other bees usually get dropped on the snow and don't leave a cavity in the snow.
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