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Author Topic: Lost my Hive ..a few questions...  (Read 546 times)
rose
New Bee
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Location: Ida, Mi


« on: March 07, 2009, 11:05:00 AM »

 Cry I started bee keeping last spring so I'm still new to everything. It was all going great, especially since we had such a hard long winter here. (Since Nov it's been in the 20's down to minus -35) I thought for sure if I was gonna loose them it was gonna be during that cold stint. They survived, quite well, as I've seen them take flight lately. They were fine 6 days ago, I could here them buzzing inside quite loud. Then 2 days ago I noticed that there was gravel on their entrance way, ( they sit on cinder blocks which sits on top of a small gravel patch), how does gravel get up there unless you have some wicked winds, or maybe something trying to get into it. (We have been having skunk problem lately) I heard no buzzing that day, checked yesterday, found some honey coming out from the front, again no buzzing. This morning no buzzing, so I popped the lid and everyone has died inside. I pulled some frames everything looks fine. Looks like they traveled good thru the hive during winter, have lots of honey left still. Pollen, looks like she has started to lay, there's a large spand of bees inside, they cover about 3 frames, then there's more bees here and there through out the hive. Everything looks normal, but they've all died? Our weather is still cold but the last few days we have broke into the high 30's but still dive down to the minuses at night. Could condensation develop in this swing weather?     Now my questions...
So if I want to start again do I just clean out the old and put in another new package? Anything special I should do before I add them? Will they just pick up where the last ones left off? What should I do with the hive, frames of honey etc  between now and getting the new bees which won't be until very late April early May.
If I take a year off and don't get another package, how should I store eveything for a year. What should I do with the frames of honey? Could another bee keeper take advantage of using these frames for their hive this year?
Thanks everyone, I've learned alot over this year, so even though they didn't make it, alot was to be gained from this. To find good out of it, it helps me be able to change a few things I've learned over the last year...and I'll have the "new book" to read.
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gmcharlie
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Location: Southern IL


« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2009, 12:50:06 PM »

A cpl question,  you mention there dead and its been cold??  do they have there heads and most of the body in a cell  in a clusteresed area??  and was there honey real close by?  or was it a frame or two over?   A lot of the time they will starve in the last throws of winter because the cluster can't move to find the honey thats left....   starved bees die with the head and body in a cell.    Frozen bees die on the fave of the comb....  the gravel is a bit odd but a skunk on the prowl  just looking didn't scare them to death.    The other question I have is was the queen amoung the dead you found.......  If she died last fall or during the winter,  the remaining bees may have just fianly sucumbed to age with no new ones haveing been raised.  If they starved,   just bag the have in a trash bag  and keep it cool until your new bees arrive   they will move right in and apreciate the former tenats.....  If it  was foul brood of some other issue   then new equipment is in order.....  Seems to me though   given the timing....    starvation is the most likely....

To avoid that issue,  I open my hives in jan and if its warm enough I move frames....  if its to cold I put pollen patties right on top the cluster......   

21 hives this year  and I didn't lose any...  (although a cpl marginal queens are an issue)

Charlie





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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2009, 04:03:27 PM »

>So if I want to start again do I just clean out the old and put in another new package?

That's what I would do.

> Anything special I should do before I add them?

Some would fumigate with acetic acid.  I wouldn't.

> Will they just pick up where the last ones left off?

Yes.

> What should I do with the hive, frames of honey etc  between now and getting the new bees which won't be until very late April early May.

Make sure you keep the mice out and they are somewhere it will freeze to keep the bugs out.

>If I take a year off and don't get another package, how should I store eveything for a year.

In a freezer or the wax moths will devastate it.

> What should I do with the frames of honey?

Harvest.

> Could another bee keeper take advantage of using these frames for their hive this year?

Beekeepers are usually hesitant to use others' frames

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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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