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Author Topic: Catastrophic Failure...all bees dead  (Read 7071 times)
sarafina
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« Reply #40 on: December 22, 2009, 03:37:06 PM »

I'm with you Mason.  I'd rather be called and idiot and know what killed my bees so I could fix it.  sad 

I took a weekend beekeeping class before I got bees that was taught by the President of our local beek club and he told us to level the hives.  I was also given a SBB by a guy who was making them to try out and he also told me my hive needed to be level.  Since I don't have solid bottoms the water can't collect so I am not sure what the benefit to tipping the hives would be, unless BC has solid bottoms.
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kathyp
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« Reply #41 on: December 22, 2009, 05:05:38 PM »

Quote
Since I don't have solid bottoms the water can't collect so I am not sure what the benefit to tipping the hives would be

any moisture drops that collect on the top or sides will (hopefully) run off rather than dripping onto the cluster. in masons case, pooled water might have run onto the cluster. 

just remember, none of us have the bees we started with. it would be nice if we could learn everything from others and never have to make a mistake, but it just doesn't seem to work that way  smiley
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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
sarafina
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« Reply #42 on: December 22, 2009, 05:14:56 PM »

Quote
Since I don't have solid bottoms the water can't collect so I am not sure what the benefit to tipping the hives would be

any moisture drops that collect on the top or sides will (hopefully) run off rather than dripping onto the cluster. in masons case, pooled water might have run onto the cluster. 

just remember, none of us have the bees we started with. it would be nice if we could learn everything from others and never have to make a mistake, but it just doesn't seem to work that way  smiley

Ahhh.. ok, that makes sense.  I'm guessing you guys that tip your hives don't have to put trays of oil under your SBB to trap SHB 'cause that would get a bit messy.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #43 on: December 22, 2009, 06:07:29 PM »

Masson; how many frames of bees where in the hive last time you looked-RDY-B
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longrangedog
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« Reply #44 on: December 22, 2009, 07:48:34 PM »

You may never know exactly what caused your bees to die. From all the input here you can see that there are numerous possibilities most not involving beekeeper error. One thing is certain based on your comments- you're going to start over this spring. What a great opportunity to increase your chances for success by getting the best genetic stock- bees with natural varroa resistance, tracheal might resistance, bees that are able to better tolerate hive beetles, bees that winter in smaller numbers requiring less stores and build up quickly in the spring. USDA Russian bees are the best stock available and are no more expensive than the run of the mill hybrids that are available. My advice is to contact Carl Webb or Hubert Tubbs or any other of the members of the Russian Breeders association and buy nucs, queens, or hives this spring. I made the switch three years ago.
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Finski
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« Reply #45 on: December 23, 2009, 02:49:00 AM »

.
Nosema ceranae causes mysterious dead outs in these days.
Lets see that boath of your hives have robbed a weak nosema hive and they have got  a good load of spores and died at same time when weather is bad.

Just idea.

http://cba.stonehavenlife.com/2008/09/nosema-ceranae-and-honeybee-colony-collapse/

In Spain: "For first time, we show that natural N. ceranae infection can cause the sudden collapse of bee colonies, establishing a direct correlation between N. ceranae infection and the death of honeybee colonies under field conditions. Signs of colony weakness were not evident until the queen could no longer replace the loss of the infected bees. The long asymptomatic incubation period can explain the absence of evident symptoms prior to colony collapse. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that healthy colonies near to an infected one can also become infected, and that N. ceranae infection can be controlled with a specific antibiotic, fumagillin. "
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Finski
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« Reply #46 on: December 23, 2009, 03:06:45 AM »


Maybe mites but the frames were definitely wet. 

We have had an incredible amount of rain this year and have had no problems with the frames getting wet.  The only thing that was changed was the configuration so I am not ruling that out yet.

The rain cannot  go inside the hive if it has a cover on.

But I have seen myself that frames have water drops if the inner cover has too weak insulation. The respiration moisture condence onto inner cover and fall down on frames and on cluster.   Moisture condensate on cool surfaces.  The inner cover insulation must be better than sidewalls. So moisture condensate onto sidewalls and drills out.

Adding ventilation makes things worse. If hive is warm, warm air can have more moisture and it is realitive humidity which keeps the hive dry. However, like you see in car windows, the warm moist air makes cool surfaces misty.

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BC
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« Reply #47 on: December 23, 2009, 11:13:17 AM »

Finski,
Could that explain the mildew and dampness on my innercover ? You said too weak insulation. What would you do to fix it.
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Finski
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« Reply #48 on: December 23, 2009, 11:41:19 AM »

Finski,
Could that explain the mildew and dampness on my innercover ? You said too weak insulation. What would you do to fix it.

I live at the level of Anchorage Alaska. We just had whole week -22C.

You live too quite north.

Internal heat keeps the hive warm and dry.

* Insulated winter box / I have all brood boxes poly in winter.

* Deminish the hive room according to bees as small as possible before winter feeding

* I have solid bottom + upper entrance.

* I have 10 mm wood panels in inner cover + 70 mm foam plastic matress (recycled)

When snow is permanent, I put geo textile in front of hive and it protect entrances from snow and wind.



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Mason
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« Reply #49 on: December 23, 2009, 12:05:26 PM »

So the theory is that the condensation is on the least insulated part of the hive and we want that to be the sides not the top.  My covers were wet.  I also had a heavy brick on the top for protection against raccoons.  The brick had caused the top to sag slightly in the center.  If I had condensation on the cover it would have collected in the middle and dripped directly into the cluster.

Quote
Masson; how many frames of bees where in the hive last time you looked-RDY-B

They had reduced their numbers significantly.  I had about 5 deep frames covered with bees last time I checked with what appeared to be healthy queens, some brood and plenty of honey.  It looked good to me but I'm new so I have no real perspective.
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Finski
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« Reply #50 on: December 23, 2009, 01:40:14 PM »

So the theory is that the condensation is on the least insulated part of the hive and we want that to be the sides not the top.  My covers were wet.  I also had a heavy brick on the top for protection against raccoons.

You should have ventilation between inner cover insulation and rain cover.
You should have an air gap too that moisture which comes through inner cover, can ventilate away.

Even in summer my aluminimum rain cover has water droplets inside the sheet. It shows that my inner cover structure breathes. If rain cover and inner cover touch each other, the water will  make the inner cover really moist. That happens in summer too. There will be litres of water if that moisture cannot dry out from loft.
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Lone
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« Reply #51 on: December 23, 2009, 07:59:11 PM »

Hello,

Sorry to hear about your hive losses.
I'm only asking this out of curiosity.  We don't need to 'winter' hives here.  But does it make a difference to condensation if you keep the hives under a cover, like a carport or a shed, over winter?  Going back to the car analogy, you don't get frost in the first place that melts in higher temperatures, if the car is under a carport.   Obviously you can't do anything about external temperature variances. (Unless you move to queensland where it's either hot or very warm). 

I'm just wondering if it would help to stabilize conditions a bit?

Lone the beesitter.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #52 on: December 23, 2009, 08:46:56 PM »

 five frames should have made it fine - four frames is a wobbler in ten frame box-can you tell me what the bees looked like -when you first discovered them -where they shinny-almost sticky looking or where they dried out with the look that the color was washed out-makes a difference  cool RDY-B
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kathyp
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« Reply #53 on: December 23, 2009, 09:14:03 PM »

Quote
They had reduced their numbers significantly

in your neighborhood, i find this suspicious.  makes me think you already had something going on.
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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
BC
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« Reply #54 on: December 23, 2009, 11:41:36 PM »

Rdy-B,
I think they were dried out washed out looking. They were not wet. There was a small cluster in the right side of the hive which quickly broke up and fell to the bottom screen when I lifted up the frame next to them. There were a lot of dead bees spread out over the screened bottom board.
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Finski
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« Reply #55 on: December 24, 2009, 01:20:49 AM »

But does it make a difference to condensation if you keep the hives under a cover, like a carport or a shed, over winter?  Going back to the car analogy, you don't get frost in the first place that melts in higher temperatures,

The beehive itself must made so that it stands rain.

The moisture comes from bees when they use the food.

We have 15 kg sugar in the food and 3 kg water in the food = 18 kg. (water 17%)

We have photosyntesis formula 6 CO2 + 6 H2O = sugar and molecular weight 372

We have cell respiration formula C6 H12 O6 + 6 O2 = molecular weight 372

Sugar + oxygen --> water + carbon diokside.


30% of sugar will be returned to water. From 15 kg sugar we get 4,5 kg water.
We had allready 3 kg water in food solution , so we have together 7,5 kg water source in the food 18 kg store.

So winter food has about 40% water potential which is released via respiration.

If the hive has 25 kg food stores, it generates 10 litre water via respiration.

That is the water which you arrange out from the hive during half a year.
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Finski
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« Reply #56 on: December 24, 2009, 01:51:35 AM »


They had reduced their numbers significantly.  I had about 5 deep frames covered with bees last time I checked with what appeared to be healthy queens, some brood and plenty of honey.  It looked good to me but I'm new so I have no real perspective.

There are several explanations

* varroa
* tracheal mite
* nosema

The colony was not much size. How big it was in August?
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Mason
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« Reply #57 on: December 24, 2009, 11:51:33 AM »

Quote
when you first discovered them -where they shinny-almost sticky looking or where they dried out with the look that the color was washed out-makes a difference

I would say shiny almost sticky looking. 

Back in August they were thriving.  I had shortages of honey stores pretty much all year and was feeding.  They were late season package bees in a very wet climate.  When I checked them a couple of weeks before the collapse they looked healthy.  I do have 9 frame spacers even in the brood box.  So about half of the frames were covered with bees. 

Mason 
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sarafina
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« Reply #58 on: December 24, 2009, 12:02:46 PM »

Quote
when you first discovered them -where they shinny-almost sticky looking or where they dried out with the look that the color was washed out-makes a difference

I would say shiny almost sticky looking. 

Back in August they were thriving.  I had shortages of honey stores pretty much all year and was feeding.  They were late season package bees in a very wet climate.  When I checked them a couple of weeks before the collapse they looked healthy.  I do have 9 frame spacers even in the brood box.  So about half of the frames were covered with bees. 

Mason 

What are "9 frame spacers"?  Do you mean you only had 9 frames in a 10-frame box, or is this something else?  And what is the advantage of it?
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Finski
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« Reply #59 on: December 24, 2009, 12:45:31 PM »

.  I do have 9 frame spacers even in the brood box.  So about half of the frames were covered with bees. 



In this situation first of all, you should take extra frame away and give them movable wall.

Cluster looses heat and respiration moisture condensates onto cold frames.

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