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Author Topic: My bees are dead!  (Read 2744 times)
Rodni73
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« on: January 12, 2009, 09:37:28 AM »

On Saturday I went to my yard and as usual I placed my ears close to the hive trying to hear any buzz!
Heard none... Last week they were alive and well! For 5 minutes I strained to hear something... to no avail.. opened the hive and to my horror noticed that all my bees are dead....! The hive have a full medium supper of caped honey close to 30 pounds of honey yet out of reach.

In simple terms my bees starved and died in their winter cluster because they could not reach the honey!

I am a grown man.. and I cried when I saw the corpses of my bees head down in cells trying to get nourishment to stay warm...! They died in the corner because it was too cold for them to move to the other location in the hive were ample stores of capped honey just inches away.

Now that is over and my bees are gone: These are the mistakes that I made and either directly or indirectly resulted in my bees demise:

1-Veroa attacked the hive in late August and September and me being a novice did not detect their presence until too late. I medicated my bees with Apiguard but perhaps 5 to 6 thousands bees were affected by the Verroa and as such they were stunted and died.  This action alone weakened the hive significantly.

2-Me being inexperienced I placed an extra medium supper on the hive in later August hoping my bees
would fill it with honey and thus have extra food.  My bees did build combs only on 4 frames in the middle and the rest was dead space! Hence as my bees moved from the lower hive to the top on the left side as they consumed stores and they got stock in the upper area of top supper.  Due to the cold they were unable to break winter cluster and as such they starved.  In simple terms a 1 deep and three medium suppers created a hive filled with dead space and as such the bees were unable to efficiently exploits their stores.

3-My bees were Italians from Georgia and perhaps unaccustomed to North East Condition.  Thus, I think this factor also contributed to their demise.

*The honey that I harvested from this hive is not safe because as I was opening the hive I still smell the apiguard on the 10 frames of caped honey!  So I will just give them to my new bees rather than sugar syrup!

May God have mercy...

On a good note...!  I will be buying two nuks from local beekeepers in early April. I think getting proven Jersey Bees that have survived is the solution.  Next season, I will work hard on not repeating my mistakes and I hope my bees will survive next year.  

Regards to all and pray your bees makes it.
-Rodni
 
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2009, 09:57:39 AM »

sorry.  it just sucks when that happens. 

correct what you can, but understand that sometimes this just happens.  keep at it.  it has happened to us all, and it sucks every time.
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Irwin
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« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2009, 10:01:09 AM »

Truly sorry to hear of your loss.
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ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2009, 11:42:28 AM »

I feel your pain.  My first year, and down to two queens with several 100 bees each.  Trying to keep them going.  I thinking of bringing them in the house at night to keep their temp up.
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Stephen Stewart
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2009, 12:34:42 PM »

Yup, now you have an excuse to get at least 2, probably closer to 10 hives  evil

The first few losses are always the worst.  Mostly because the number of hives that you have mean that you are wiped out.

They will take off really fast in the spring!

Rick

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Rick
Davepeg
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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2009, 02:21:16 PM »

So sorry to hear about your bees.  I'll never forget the day I came home from work to see my husband back by the hive and seeing the hive all taken apart - I knew our first hive had died.  A very sad day.  But we have kept with it, did lose one hive this year but our other 4 have made it.  We live in the same area, so you can get them through the winter.
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tlynn
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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2009, 03:17:57 PM »

Very sorry to hear that.  I have been in a similar situation with a hive that I didn't notice was dwindling in the fall and also had significant varroa. 

We do the best we can with the tools and knowledge we have available to us.  We both are new beekeepers and there are many lessons to be learned.

This begs a question - should we make sure there are honey frames in the brood box in the cold season and not necessarily rely on them making it to the super?  Especially if the hive is less than robust?
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2009, 04:48:33 PM »

You learned a few things:
1.  Complete supers of frames with stores or at least have all the frames with stores grouped together.
2.  Need to do more practive varroa control, ie sugar shakes during the summer to keep the count down to have more healthy over winter bees.
3.  Local stocks will do better in cold temps that warmer climate bees.
4.  Too much open space can be deadly, if it doesn't harm the bees in one way (too much space to warmor to allow moisture to congregate) it does in another (unable to reach stores). 
5.  Subspecies can be an important consideration, get cold weather bees for cold climates (Russians or NWC).
6.  One hive puts all the hopes in one boat, with 2 hives there is a better chanve of saving both.

So get yourself a couple of packages or nucs ordered and begin anew, you at least have some drawn combs to give them a boost from the beginning.
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Pond Creek Farm
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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2009, 06:00:08 PM »

Very similar with one of my hives and similar mistakes on the too much room thing. Sorry to hear about your bees.  The left over raw materials should help your bees next spring.
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Brian
Patrick
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« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2009, 06:56:28 PM »

I lost a hive this winter too but low and behold a swarm seems to be moving in to the dead hive today.  A big beard on the outside and a bunch of bees flying in and out.  Could just be robbers but maybe they will set up shop?

Cheers,
Patrick
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WhipCityBeeMan
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« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2009, 09:54:58 PM »

I too have gone through a few weeks of depression as last year I lost several hives.  This year all are still alive but the tough part of winter lies ahead.  I had two weak colonies that I should have combined towards the end of the season last year.  I didn't and therefore knew they would not last the winter.   I put them in the basement and they are still going strong.  On warm days I have brought them out of the basement so they would have the opportunity to go on cleansing flights.  Hopefully they will make it to spring I wasn't hopeful at first but they are hanging in there. 
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ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2009, 11:48:34 AM »

Whip

How many days will you keep them in the basement at one stretch?  I am doing something similar with two nucs.  I feel they need to cleanse at least every 2-3 days, but what are some thoughts on this?   I know up north they may not come out for weeks?
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Stephen Stewart
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bugleman
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« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2009, 03:06:03 PM »

I live in a frost pocket here in Oregon on the warm side of the Cascades and my bees didn't even poke out thier heads for 3 months.  Some people I know didn't see thier bees for even longer.
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kathyp
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« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2009, 04:48:15 PM »

mine are flying today, but looks like i will lose one or two....  one is really weak.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
poka-bee
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« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2009, 08:35:04 PM »

Mine are flying too.  They are both in the top boxes, it's supposed to be in the 50's later this week so maybe can take a quick look to see what they have left & move frames so they can reach if needed. J
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