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Author Topic: All Dead.. First year oops?  (Read 2449 times)
CVBees
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« on: March 13, 2011, 03:45:02 PM »

Seems Sean Kelly and I are in similiar boats.  I checked my girls 2 weeks ago in a rare warm day was low 70's here in PA and they were flying hard.  Popped the tops on both my hives LOTs in my cutout save from last spring and my locally raised purchased hive seemed like they would be ok.  Plenty of bees IMHO but who am I?

So I was going to  put some sugar on my smaller hive even though I didnt really want to. Hated to think they would starve.  ALL DEAD  I didn't take any pics of the weaker locally purchased hive but the same thing found in both hives see below.

  This is a close up of what I found on almost each frame.  I also saw quite a few bees buried in comb like they might of been hungry but there were bees everywhere on each frame.  Probably the first ones to die the bulk were in a pile on the bottom board. 

What is this white stuff?

What can I learn from this?   need help

  Plenty of honey on a few frames in the bottom box.  I left 45 lbs of honey in a honey super but they didn't move up?

*crying*
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hankdog1
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2011, 04:15:01 PM »

my guess would be the white stuff is decaying brood.  they probably started building up in Jan or Feb had a cold snap and the cluster didn't have enough to feed themselves and the brood.  next year you should probably think about feeding in the middle to late part of Feb as that's probably gonna be the time when most the brood will be produced the most for sping build up.  Just a guess from the info you gave though.
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CVBees
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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2011, 04:24:52 PM »

Yeah I can see that... just there was so much honey in the corners of each frame and a CRAP ton on the honey super above but I know I have read about the cluster not moving the way I want it too.  As I reviewed the other pics I did not post there are alot of bees buried in comb.  Should I have moved frames of honey down into the brood chamber mid Feb as suggested for feeding?
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kathyp
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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2011, 04:50:54 PM »

you can do that if the weather is warm enough for you to get that far into the hive.  one easy thing to do in winter is dump dry sugar on newspaper over the frames.  an alternative is to put the dry sugar on the inner cover, but this is less desirable because the bees have to go farther to get it. this is what i do because the sugar tends to get pretty wet in my area and wet sugar on wet newspaper does not work so well 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.....

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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2011, 04:57:04 PM »

SO Kathy you agree with Hank.. they starved?  Rotten brood all that grainy white stuff?  I dunno
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charmd2
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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2011, 05:18:20 PM »

I would agree too.  The white stuff looks like decaying brood.  It appears they were clustered over the brood and hit a cold snap and couldn't move to get the remaining honey.  This time of year is rough for bees.
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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2011, 05:22:04 PM »

it's hard to say. it looks like they had plenty of food.  if the numbers were low and they were tending brood, they might not have moved to get food.

i was wondering if that grainy stuff was uncapped syrup that went over. it doesn't look moldy and dead brood in cells at this time of the year tends to look fuzzy....at least here.  how late were you feeding?
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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
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« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2011, 05:30:09 PM »

I didn't feed at all.. I thought I left enough honey for them to keep it all natural.  I didn't harvest any last summer in the hopes of splitting a strong hive this spring it was feral and was doing very well.  I guess not.  There were a TON of bees just a few weeks ago i.e. the pile in the bottom of the box.  I guess I HAVE to feed every spring..
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2011, 05:36:35 PM »

What is this white stuff?


Those look like 5th instar larvae immersed in brood food.  They were abandoned just before being capped.   
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« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2011, 06:10:19 PM »

if they were booming and then died in such short order, that's odd.  if they were out flying like that, they should have had no problem accessing the food and they should not all die so quickly in a two week cold snap.  the fact that both hives are dead is also suspicious.  even with a cold snap, to have all of them dead is ??
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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
iddee
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« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2011, 06:18:57 PM »

It looks to me like a teenager with a can of raid.
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« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2011, 09:13:51 PM »

It looks to me like a teenager with a can of raid.

iddee we all know teenagers with raid would never do anything like that.  i mean they are almost adults and would never act in such a childish manner.   grin  may not have been able to find someone to buy beer for them that afternoon.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2011, 10:28:42 PM »

if they were booming and then died in such short order, that's odd.  if they were out flying like that, they should have had no problem accessing the food and they should not all die so quickly in a two week cold snap.  the fact that both hives are dead is also suspicious.  even with a cold snap, to have all of them dead is ??

Italian bees are infamous for this.  They begin to build up with a warm spell in late winter or when stimulated with feed from the beekeeper.  Italians, when building up will, all too often, commit all of there stores to brood development. So,When A sudden severe change of weather takes place and the bees are either forced to reenter cluster or the weather change occurs to fast for the bees to recluster, the brood is often left uncovered by nurse bees and it dies.  Also since most, if not all, of the stores were committed to brood development the only way the adult bees have of surviving is to consume the brood underfoot.  In either case, if caught unable to cluster, or with too much brood and too little stores, the hive dies of starvation in short order. 

If they can't cluster they can't generate the heat necessary to stay alive and they die.  That is what I believe happened from the pictures posted as there were still at least one frame of honey left in the hive.
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scdw43
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« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2011, 11:33:52 PM »

I don't know what happened but I have seen bees get wet from condensation and not be able to move to stores
in a cold snap. Did the hive have good ventilation both top and bottom?  Just another opinion. As I have stated in another forum today, in winter healthy  hives die from bad queens, lack of stores, and condensation caused from lack of ventilation.
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Mason
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« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2011, 05:00:16 PM »

I am also new and experienced the same die off here in Georgia.

My bees had tons of honey stores going into winter.  We had an indian summer and just after that the bees were dead and had depleted their stores.  I think what happened was that in the odd early warm days the bees went to work but did not collect much of anything.  My theory is that they burned up a bunch of energy working and had to deplete their savings. 

Next winter I am going to be prepared.  First I am going to make sure they go into winter with 2 mediums of stores.  I will be waiting for that first warm day at which point I'm going to feed them again (maybe try some patties) no matter what. 
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2011, 08:26:10 PM »

I am also new and experienced the same die off here in Georgia.

My bees had tons of honey stores going into winter.  We had an indian summer and just after that the bees were dead and had depleted their stores.  I think what happened was that in the odd early warm days the bees went to work but did not collect much of anything.  My theory is that they burned up a bunch of energy working and had to deplete their savings.   Next winter I am going to be prepared.  First I am going to make sure they go into winter with 2 mediums of stores.  I will be waiting for that first warm day at which point I'm going to feed them again (maybe try some patties) no matter what.  

In most areas of the United States bees can find some type of forage regardless of time of year.  I've had bees do cleansing flights in November, December, and January and come back with pollen.  The late summer might have affected the stores but I would guess not by that much as they should have still been able to find forage in your area.
If Spring seems to come early with a full week or more of warm weather in the 50's or above, a hive of bees will often begin their spring build up and if that warm spell is followed too closely with a period of extreme cold the bees are forced to recluster away from their stores as what is within the cluster are brood cells.  To live the bees will canabalize the brood.  If the cold snap lasts too long the bees will die because they can't/won't break cluster to retrieve more stores and the canabalized brood is gone.  Or, they are caught out of cluster and die individually, frozen in place.  In either event the hive most likely starves with stores remaining, or all of the stores were dedicated to the brood crop if no stores are found.
It is unlikely they would deplete their stores working as, previously stated, they can find forage anytime of year in most areas of the United States.  Most likely senerio are my replies in red and blue.
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« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2011, 10:56:18 AM »

Sorry to hear that Mason I know it sucked large for me.  I was really proud of my first hive which was a cutout and my strongest.

Brian thanks so much for the insight that info coupled with the other posts really puts happened into perspective.  Thanks again and happy spring.
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« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2011, 11:41:59 AM »

Mason,  There are still some people with available bees in GA.  I think Buster's Bees still has some and Don in Lula may still have some availability.  Also Metro Atlanta maintains a swarm list on which you get called to collect swarms.  If you are in Marietta, I hope you belong to Metro.  If so, MABA maintains a swarm call list and if you put your name on it, you can get called to collect swarms.

Sorry about your losses



Linda T in Atlanta
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« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2011, 01:50:28 PM »

In your pics of that white stuff, i did not see the dead bees. Where bees and that stuff in the same or different areas?  Did you clean the bees out? Where they heads in first in the cell? If it is dead brood, wouldn't the bees have stayed and died with them ? Like Kathy, i have doubts.
On one pic, it looks almost granulated texture; on the other, shiny goo. Hard to say.
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charlotte
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« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2011, 03:41:15 PM »

Looking at your pics, I wonder too about the "granulated" looking stuff. Were you able to harvest any honey last year? And if you did, did it it crystalize??  Sometimes honey that crystalizes quickly, and if that is what is left in the hive for winter doesn't make for the best winter stores.  Golden rod honey is notorius for this.  If it is really cold it just seems like they don't consume it as well or something.  Just one thought.

Also, I don't know about PA, but in WI we get those short "warm ups" too...warm enough that the bees start building up, but then it gets cold again.  One thing I have learned with that is NOT to feed pollen patties in the fall.  Wait until you can actually get in there in the spring. 

I have also keep my slatted bottom board on all winter & use a ventilated top.  Keeping your hives tilted too will keep snow from melting back into the hive & allow any condensation to drain out, rather than stay in & create more moisture. 

Lastly, although it is disappointing when you have losses, don't blame yourself.  It happens.  Experiment next year & hope for a better outcome.  If you have some beeks near you, see what they do for winter.  So much is dependent on your local weather. Good luck & if you haven't done so, order a new package now or you might not get one.  Good Luck!
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« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2011, 04:36:17 PM »

Hi from Maine. I had four hives die ,starved poor prep on my part . I cleaned all the dead bees off and saw white matter like you have in a few spots and it turned out to be crystallized nectar or honey maybe aster honey I've heard it can do that. Sorry about your bees I am getting more this year and will try to do better by them . Brian
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« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2011, 05:56:31 AM »

Brian D Bray said; "they can find forage anytime of year in most areas of US."  Sorry Brian I couldn't resist Wink, but you must not travel outside Washington much, as there is actually quite a large section of "Northern" US that certainly does NOT have any available forage, some parts for as long as five months or more.

thomas
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« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2011, 11:47:22 PM »

Brian D Bray said; "they can find forage anytime of year in most areas of US."  Sorry Brian I couldn't resist Wink, but you must not travel outside Washington much, as there is actually quite a large section of "Northern" US that certainly does NOT have any available forage, some parts for as long as five months or more.

thomas

I said "most," most doesn't include deserts, made of either sand or rock, or large bodies of water called the Great Lakes.
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