Need Bees Removed?
International
Beekeeping Forums
September 01, 2014, 05:57:03 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: Beemaster's official FACEBOOK page
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar bee removal Login Register Chat  

Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Catastrophic Failure...all bees dead  (Read 7065 times)
Mason
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 398


Location: Marietta, GA


« on: December 19, 2009, 01:39:54 PM »

Oh man what a bummer......................

I am new so must have done something very very wrong.  I was at my hives 2 weeks ago.  Both had healthy queens, honey stores and capped brood.  They had stopped taking syrup so I put a couple of bags of sugar on top of the inner cover and buckled them down for winter.  One was reduced to a deep and a medium and the other one deep.  Today after a long period of rain and cold temperatures at about freezing at night I went out and all my bees are dead.

It's a bummer but mainly interested in what I did wrong.  I have plenty of built out comb, equipment and packages on order for March delivery.  I feel like I have let the bees down but anxious to learn what I did wrong and get back at it.  I think I was doing pretty good but this was my first winter and must have done something very very wrong out of ignorance.

enlighten me...............
Logged

Former beekeeper until March....maybe next year...RIP
sarafina
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 339


Location: Houston, TX


« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2009, 02:03:56 PM »

I don't have any advice as I am a newbie, too but I wanted to tell you how sorry I am for your loss.   Sad

I hope someone here can shed some light on your situation.
Logged
Robo
Technical
Administrator
Galactic Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6403


Location: Scenic Catskill Mountains - NY

Beekeep On!


WWW
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2009, 02:43:35 PM »

That sure is a bummer....

My first guess would be mites.  Did you inspect the bottom board for varroa?  Any chance they weren't tracheal mite resistant bees?  Were the queens from a quality breeder?  This is the time of the year that separates quality queens from supercedure queens...
Logged

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


kathyp
Universal Bee
*******
Online Online

Gender: Female
Posts: 15111


Location: boring, oregon


« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2009, 03:00:36 PM »

that sucks, but it's not necessarily because you did something wrong.

i have lost one and one is sure to go.  they just were not strong enough to make it.  numbers were good, but for whatever reason, they didn't hang on through our cold snap.

one other thought.  are you sure they are dead?  i have had the unpleasant experience of bringing cut out comb with dead bees on it into the house for extraction, only to have a massive re-animation of bees in my kitchen.

in addition to what robo suggested, might they have gotten wet? 
Logged

.....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
John Lee Pettimore
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 114


Location: Copperhead Road, Atlanta, GA USA


« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2009, 04:35:49 PM »

One of the first things we were taught in Paramedic training is that you can do everything right and the patient still dies.
Logged

"If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin." Samuel Adams.

cow pollinater
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 53

Location: Exeter, CA


« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2009, 05:48:24 PM »

Were there alot of dead bees laying around in front or no bees at all?
Were there cappings and wax bits laying on the bottom board?
Did they still have capped stores?
Was there any brood left or was it all gone?

Logged

If it doesn't kill you it makes you stronger... Or maims you for life.
Mason
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 398


Location: Marietta, GA


« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2009, 06:11:16 PM »

I treated for mites with Apiguard a couple of months ago.

they did have capped stores.

still had capped brood.

wax looks fine.

There were a few dead outside but most were laying on the bottom board.

Could it be, and I hate even suggest this........I had screened bottom boards and they got too cold?

It only got under freezing for a very short period of time.

Logged

Former beekeeper until March....maybe next year...RIP
kathyp
Universal Bee
*******
Online Online

Gender: Female
Posts: 15111


Location: boring, oregon


« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2009, 06:27:34 PM »

i doubt it.  we were down into the teens for a week and mine have come through.  i know for sure it wasn't cold that killed the one i have lost.  it is helpful to close the SBB when it's going to be cold, but there are those who live in colder weather than yours and do not.

your bees are used to warmer weather, but short temp drops should not have killed them.
Logged

.....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
cow pollinater
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 53

Location: Exeter, CA


« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2009, 06:35:46 PM »

I don't think cold was the problem if they were strong enough to have more than a frame or two. It's froze here a few times already and my bees haven't even really clustered.
I'm assuming that you started with package bees on bare foundation??? If that is the case I would rule out mites as it takes an overwintered mite population to kill them outright and I doubt that mites would kill them both at once except as sheer coincidence. If it's not the case then it's still odd to have two go at the same time.(i'm not mentioning treatment 'cause just 'cause you treated for mites don't mean you killed the mites evil)
If I had to make a snap decision based on what information I have I'd say it warmed up some one afternoon and they got sprayed. That explains dead bees in a pile with plenty to live for.
If they had plenty of feed and you did what you could to knock down the mites then don't beat yourself up over it. EVERYONE loses bees if they do it long enough. grin
Logged

If it doesn't kill you it makes you stronger... Or maims you for life.
gaucho10
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 335


Location: Spencer, MA


WWW
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2009, 07:28:29 PM »

Mason,

What do you mean by "It's a bummer but mainly interested in what I did wrong.  I have plenty of built out comb"?

How much is "plenty"?  DId you just throw in a couple of drawn out frames hoping that the bees would fill these out?  Perhaps you didn't have enough frames to let them survive the winter???
Logged

My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
sarafina
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 339


Location: Houston, TX


« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2009, 07:37:20 PM »

I treated for mites with Apiguard a couple of months ago.

they did have capped stores.

still had capped brood.

wax looks fine.

There were a few dead outside but most were laying on the bottom board.

Could it be, and I hate even suggest this........I had screened bottom boards and they got too cold?

It only got under freezing for a very short period of time.



I have SBB on both my hives and we had a freak snow storm a little over a week ago and it got below freezing for a couple of nights.  I didn't even have my entrance reducers on as it took me by surprise.  I have them on now with the 4" opening.  Bees were fine when I checked them on Sunday (although hardly any stores in one hive and I started a thread on that).  We also had a week of fog and rain and drizzle with highs in the 40's after the freeze so I don't think your bees got too cold.
Logged
rdy-b
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2211


Location: clayton ca


« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2009, 09:30:23 PM »

some of the things i find Interesting are- that they stooped taking feed-(syrup) and you also felt the need for emergency provisions of sugar to be made available
when bees go off feed but clearly need to extra stores -it is sometimes a indicator of nosema C,
the other thing i find interesting is you say that the dead bees where on the hive floor and that perhaps they did not die on or in comb-another indicator of nosema C.
cold wet weather is a trigger mechanism for nosema C out breaks -if this was the case there was nothing that you could have done
not even a combine would have helped -just some thoughts
RDY-B
Logged
Scadsobees
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3198


Location: Jenison, MI

Best use of smileys in a post award.


« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2009, 09:45:16 PM »

Any chance the feeders leaked?

Mites and most diseases would have been a much slower decline in your climate, I think.  CCD usually has empty hives, no dead bees.

If you are sure that a couple of weeks ago there was a healthy queen, brood, and a decent size cluster, I'd say that there was some external catastrophe that killed them.  I really do hate to say it, but one of the leading causes of bee death is beekeepers  at least from my own experience  rolleyes

I am sorry for your loss and I do know how you feel.
Logged

Rick
annette
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 5312


Location: Placerville, California


« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2009, 10:47:18 PM »

I have open SBB on all 4 hives and we have had some truly freezing temperatures the past couple of weeks. It doesn't seem to have affected my hives as they were all flying out today. I agree that the cold doesn't kill the bees. It has to be something else.
Logged
USC Beeman in TN
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60

Location: Murfreesboro, TN


« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2009, 11:29:21 PM »

Sorry about your losses.  But as stated above, you still have the most valuable commodity you need in beekeeping (at least to me), the comb.  Freeze the comb to kill anything that might be livining in the comb.  Use them on your bees this coming spring to get a good jump start.
Logged

De Colores,
Ken
BC
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 40


Location: abbotsford, British Columbia


« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2009, 02:12:27 AM »

Mason,
Did you check the inner cover and  (inside ) of the outercover to see if it is wet. Mine is. I lost my first and only hive today. I felt something was wrong. We had a cold spell here and then the rain came. I new they were alive last week. I checked with a stethoscope. This morning I could not hear them. I looked inside and found them all dead. There were a few head first in cells ( only a few inches from capped stores on the same frame. ) Some were still in a cluster. Most of them were on the screened bottom board. I have tons of stores and I also gave them a frame feeder full of Baker's sugar awhile back. I did see a lot of mites on the bottom slideout.
I wrapped my hive in tarpaper in October. I have the entrance reducer in and a vent at the top. Could I have made it too warm for them ? Should I have vented it more ? Should I have not wrapped my hive ? I'm just a novice not an expert but I feel my hive became damp from the condensation and they were chilled.
Any ideas what might have happened ?  Cry
Logged
gaucho10
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 335


Location: Spencer, MA


WWW
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2009, 02:43:18 AM »

BC,

Wrapping the hive is a matter of choice and there are pros and cons to this. 
Proper ventilation is the key.  Cold might not kill bees but stagnant moisture will.
Check out the following link and read up on "ventilated upper covers".  Check out the pics that are posted for a vented cover.  You will also notice that I also "wrap" my hives.

http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,24380.msg188869.html#msg188869
Logged

My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
Mason
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 398


Location: Marietta, GA


« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2009, 09:56:17 AM »

Yes,

my frames were very moist.  I did have the inner cover on top of the deep,  then a medium wit sugar in it topped with the outer cover.  My entrance reducers were on but think the screened bottoms would have been enough circulation.

Do you think my inner cover configuration would have caused leaking?
Logged

Former beekeeper until March....maybe next year...RIP
gaucho10
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 335


Location: Spencer, MA


WWW
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2009, 10:20:29 AM »

Mason,

Your inner cover configuration might have leaks but I don't think this was the cause of your problem.  By the way...what type of area do you have around your hive.  My yard is surrounded by a high water table and wetlands.  I had to pick a spot that was protected by wind, had a good sunny location and away from open stagnant water.

Several things to take into consideration:  1-Wind direction and wind break to prevent heat loss within the hive.  2-Type of surrounding area.  Is the hive surrounded by wetlands?  Moisture blowing towards the hive could be too high for the bees to regulate.

For many years I only used the regular inner covers with the small vent hole at the front of the hive.  I used to seal the oval hole inside.  I never did have problems with excess moisture control all those years but ever since I discovered "ventilated inner covers"  (2 years ago) I swear by them.

If you notice the ventilated inner covers discussed on the previous link you will see that the center hole is quite large (3"-4" dia.).  Some prefer smaller holes, I like my 4" dia. hole.  I don't worry about heat loss.  Heat rises up through the "center" hole, carries moisture out with the flow and the bees remain in the "center" of the hive.  I do have a 6"-8" mouse guard at the bottom for air circulation and my screened bottom board usually has the sliding tray all the way in (completely sealed).  Some folks have the bottom of their hives totally opened to the elements with good results.
Logged

My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
Michael Bush
Universal Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 13626


Location: Nehawka, NE


WWW
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2009, 10:51:44 AM »

I would look for dead Varroa as well as white specs (Varroa feces) in the brood cells.  Varroa is a most likely cause.  Treating doesn't mean anything.  I lost them all to Varroa last time I treated...
Logged

Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Beemaster's Beekeeping Ring
Previous | Home | Join | Random | Next
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines | Sitemap Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.343 seconds with 21 queries.

Google visited last this page August 04, 2014, 09:57:42 AM