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Author Topic: 1st winter and bees are gone  (Read 1400 times)
johnwm73
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« on: January 09, 2009, 10:00:57 AM »

I started my 2 hives last April. I had 2 deep boxes full of honey and brood. I did an inspection yesterday and all the bees are gone. I have a couple of frames of honey in each box. My question is can i use the empty frames of drawn comb this year is I buy a 5 frame nuc or package bees? The reason I ask is so the bees don't have to draw out new comb.
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TimV
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2009, 10:06:09 AM »

Sorry!! But don't feel that you failed. Many of us who have done this for over a quarter of a century still lose half our hives (those being honest).

Yes, definitely use the drawn out frames, and if the honey is crystallized that as well, as it will be hard for you to use it. About the only reason you wouldn't use it would be if the bees died of Foul Brood. Are there any cells with dead bees in them? Or unhatched larva cells?
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johnwm73
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« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2009, 10:14:38 AM »

I did notice some larva that wasn't capped over yet but most of the brood cells well all empty. I am thinking I didn't have a large enough population going into winter.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2009, 11:21:34 AM »

When you say "bees are gone", are you talking dead, or absolutely no bees in the hive at all.
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johnwm73
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« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2009, 11:39:03 AM »

There was a handful of dead bees in a cluster about 20 or so bees. But other than those there weren't anymore in the hive.
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1of6
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« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2009, 12:22:30 PM »

Don't feel too bad.  My first year I had one hive, and had 100% loss.  Second year I ran 10 hives and had 10% loss.

Ditto of frame reuse if no FB.

Did both hives die?  Was a queen present in the dead cluster?  Can you tell us a little more about the larvae that were present? (e.g. capped, not capped, stage of development, sunken cappings, 'ropy' larvae, moisture in the hive, bee poo in/on the hive, location of the cluster in relation to food source, amount of dead bees both inside and outside the hive, etc. as other will have better questions...)

(Sorry, that got a little more involved than I originally planned.)
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johnwm73
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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2009, 02:26:03 PM »

I didn't find the queen. The only cell that had larva in them were uncapped. I didn't have any capped brood. It looked like a good pattern of laying for the queen. I could see the larva curled up in the comb. Should I buy a nuc or package bees to use with my drawn out comb?
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TimV
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2009, 02:40:25 PM »

Was the uncapped brood white? Not black and mushy?
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johnwm73
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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2009, 02:55:32 PM »

It is white. Looks like normal to me. Just like when I was looking at it during the spring when I first got them.
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LBEE
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« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2009, 07:01:50 PM »

I am sorry to hear of your loss.  One thing I do not understand is that you are in Texas.  Have you not had any nectar producing plants in the fall?  How were they doing for stores earlier this fall?  I am not familiar with you area so I do not know if it was a starveout or if it was some other cause.  While I would not give up,  it would be valuable to determine the cause so that you can avoid a repeat,  if possible.

Best wishes.

LBEE
 
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rast
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« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2009, 07:17:55 PM »

 Pollen, did you have any frames of pollen? Bees cannot survive without it.
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Pond Creek Farm
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« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2009, 10:16:19 PM »

I had a similar problem with one of my hives.  With support and advice of the forum, I froze the pollen, honey and drawn comb and will install packages on the raw materials this April.  Good luck.
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Brian
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« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2009, 01:46:18 AM »

 that's a tough break when you're just starting but we all lose bees I had 106 doubles going into November and probably only have about 80 make pollination in the almonds this February usually the weaker boxes don't make it through the winter but I'll just get more bees and fill the boxes back up in spring and go again .           metzelplex                (the weaker ones usually get robbed out by the stronger ones or not enough bees to keep warm )
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