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Author Topic: Dead Bees on SBB  (Read 740 times)
Rogan
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« on: December 01, 2008, 08:02:30 PM »

I'm still in my rookie year and haven't experienced what every season brings quite yet.

As my last check on my one and only hive back in late October, everything seemed fine with a pretty healthy population of bees.

My hive is raised so that I can peek my head in underneath it when the girls are busy staying warm inside.  This past weekend I noticed about 40-50 dead bees lying on the SBB.  I did not check the SBB prior to this so I don't know if this was recent or if they have been slowly piling up over time.  Is this just the natural progression of dying bees and they have not been able to do house cleaning chores since it has been too cold to break cluster?  Is this typical or should I be concerned?
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Greg Peck
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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2008, 08:07:18 PM »

I would not be concerned. I think this is just some of the older bees dieing off and falling to the bottom board. Once it warms up they will get them out. So long as the entrance is open I would not worry.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2008, 08:19:11 PM »

Dead bees are common at anytime of year.  The wear out or grow old and die, it's natural.  During the winter it is not uncommon for the older bees in the cluster to die off to the extent that the entrance is plugged from dead bees. 
If it eases your mind make a hook out of wire and use it to rake the entrance every so often to keep it open and remove blockages.
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mherndon
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« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2008, 09:21:24 PM »

When bees accumulate like the example above, will a mouse guard prevent the bees from being able to clean house or will they work through it?  I did check my SBB two weeks ago and it was clean.  I am unable to check my hives as often as I would like.  There just too far away.  We've had considerably colder temps since then and I have worried about the mouse guards blocking the entrance.  Has anyone had bad results from using a mouse guard?

Mark
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mswartfager
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« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2008, 07:16:55 AM »

Rogan,
I had the exact same question.  It's real cold out now and I didn't vent the top of the hive like I would have liked to before it got so cold.  (I understand it's important to give a little ventilation at the top for condensation over the winter months. (?)) I have what appears to be a lot of dead bees on my SBB.  That caused me to think that maybe they got damp and froze. (?) I didn't want to mess with them because it's so cold.  I guess I'll just hope for the best and check them when the weather breaks.  My first year....but no experience with winter till now.
Mark
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