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Author Topic: Hive walk by causes concern  (Read 568 times)
hvac professor
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« on: January 11, 2014, 03:55:01 PM »

This is my third overwinter and I haven't changed my habits. I have two hives in my field behind my house that I wrapped in late November. Both hives we're left with 3 deeps and when I did a walk by today to see if I could see any action (it is uncharacteristically 52 degrees and rainy today) one hive had several bees grouped at the bottom entrance and a few at the top of the hive, the other hive had not sign of life at all. Because of the rain I did Not open the hives, I guess I am looking for thoughts on this small amount of information. I did leave plenty of honey stores before winter and I have never fed with no overwinter losses last two winters
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T Beek
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2014, 04:20:47 PM »

52 degrees, i'd take a peek even with a little rain.  if at the very top, If light, feed dry sugar or candy from above, if not, you'll know and will sleep better... Smiley  If you still don't want to open them up, can you heft them to 'feel' how much food is remaining?   If they 'feel' light you should feed regardless of misgivings.  There is still the possibility for more winter to come.  This is the time of year when bees can starve to death.  If temps are corporative, look and see.
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"Trust those who seek the truth, doubt those who say they've found it."
hvac professor
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2014, 04:24:28 PM »

Thank you T. Beek, I have the deeps wrapped and top cover tied down, would have to un tie and unwrap but it sounds like you think I should?
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T Beek
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2014, 04:54:44 PM »

If your bees are flying you won't be disturbing them too much with an investigation.  The future weather is key to consider.  If more winter is likely in your region, you must do what you can to assure survival.  This is when our bees depend most on their keepers IMO.  Good luck and let us know what you find.
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"Trust those who seek the truth, doubt those who say they've found it."
iddee
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2014, 05:36:05 PM »

Lift the hive. 3 deeps should not move. If you can lift them, feed. Why worry about harming them? They are for sure dead if you don't. If they feel like they are nailed down, leave them. They don't need feed.
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tefer2
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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2014, 10:30:58 AM »

When you try to heft those 3 deeps and throw your back out.
They probably have enough left over.  grin
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hvac professor
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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2014, 05:49:12 PM »

As suspected hive was dead although lots of honey stores,in fact many bees appeared to have died, possibly froze while feeding. As I unwrapped the hive many bees were trapped in between the wrap and the boxes, bottom entrance had mice guard and dead bees blocked most of the access. In fact the hive next to this one had the entrance area loaded with dead bees.
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hvac professor
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« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2014, 05:53:20 PM »

There was some light gray type of dusting on a few of the frames, but other than that the hive looked heathy, but dead. The bees did not all die in one cluster, there were a couple of areas where they had congregated.
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