View Full Version : I lost Hives

Feb 21st 2010, 04:45 PM
I looked in my hives today and saw that all our hives had died :( :( :( :(

Feb 21st 2010, 07:13 PM
How many?

I have a trailer with 30 hives on it that got hit with aerial pesticide late last fall. Three made it through the winter.


Feb 22nd 2010, 06:04 AM
does 'all' mean one, two or three.

if you are new to beekeeping it sounds like you might need to read up on preparing a hive for overwintering.

Feb 22nd 2010, 06:08 AM
I looked in my hives today and saw that all our hives had died :( :( :( :(

I'm guessing 4 hives total...

Do you have anyone to take a look? Are you wanting us to ask questions about possibilities? Or are you just wanting to get this off your shoulders? If you give some details, we might not come up with the correct cause, but we can entertain ourselves on these cold winter days.... :drinks:

Feb 22nd 2010, 07:07 AM
I would also suggest that location might be important in figuring out what might have happened to noah's bees. Virginia ain't such a large place but the geography going east to west could be something of an issue.

Feb 22nd 2010, 07:18 AM
My heart goes out to you. I lost all my hives last winter to starvation, and although it was "only" two, they were important to me.

Mourn them, clean it up in spring, and put your name on a local swarm list. If you can find a reason for their demise (pesticides? you took too much honey? they were just weak, and the winter too long?), you can file that knowledge away for next time and adjust accordingly. Many times there is nothing you could have done... it's just Nature.

Mama Beek
Feb 22nd 2010, 07:21 AM
Sorry for your loss!

Feb 22nd 2010, 07:51 AM
I lost all 3 of my hives, and if you can than please tell me any sollutions that you might have on how it
happened? It might have been the snow? And I have been beekeeping for about 2 years but I am not
that good at it. And all that I saw was the bees in there winter cluster all dead? Any ideas?

Thanks! Tell me if you want me to tell you any more!


Feb 22nd 2010, 10:02 AM
Tell me if you want me to tell you any more!

Please do, there are so many things it could be. Like Bjorn said we can only speculate on the cause...

been beekeeping for about 2 years but I am not that good at it

Now don't get down on yourself, it happens to everyone, keep the faith!

I'm moving this post to Beekeeping 101 as its a better fit there...

Feb 22nd 2010, 11:07 AM
With my starved bees, they were many dead on the bottom board, and many still in a cluster, most with heads stuck deep into the empty cells. There was a whole super of honey above them, but they had eaten the honey directly above them, and it was apparently too cold for them to cross that bare area to get to the honey above. My lessons learned: a) Leave more stores, and b) Stop messing with their stores earlier, and let the bees move it to where THEY want it. Putting a full super of honey on top in the late fall was not the great idea I thought it would be. I should have put it on in August or Sept.

It is heart-breaking, but do not blame yourself unduly. Learn what you can, but accept that there are some things over which you have no control. If they starved, maybe you will leave more stores next year. If they have ice/excessive moisture inside, you will want to address the ventilation. If they were just weak, then it's just nature's way of keeping the overall population strong.

Bees die in the wild, too. It's just tougher when we make ourselves responsible for them. Hang in there. The hurt subsides eventually.

Feb 22nd 2010, 11:10 AM
Thanks everyone for the encouragement and another thing about what I saw was that there was still honey in all the hives? And only 1 out of 3 were weak?



Feb 22nd 2010, 11:17 AM
Was there a lot of moisture signs in the hive. Mold? Wet inner lid? Other signs?

Feb 22nd 2010, 02:28 PM
In the hive then before winter we put pollen patties in and now they are moldy but I do not know about anything else?

Feb 22nd 2010, 08:26 PM
My heart goes out to you - I had 2 hives year before last and lost one of them during the winter and I didn't discover it till this time of the year. I was devastated and I felt bad because I saw that they had starved to death. However I did learn a lot of things and in raising bees I think you just learn so much from your own experiences. I had apparently allowed my strong hive to rob them of their honey because I didn't have the sense enough to reduce the entrance. And I still feel guilty about it.

Keep going - don't blame yourself - get yourself some more bees this spring and situations like this will make you a better beekeeper - I felt that it made me a better beekeeper - yet there is STILL a lot I have to learn. That is why a forum like this one is so VALUABLE to people like me.

Write everything down too - that helps to look back to see what you did earlier.

Feb 23rd 2010, 06:21 AM
after 50 years of messin' with the girls loosing a hive is still difficult although figurin' out why is much easier. for most new beekeepers the learning curve is steep and only perseverance will allow you to overcome that steep hill. add to this that beekeeping can be extremely local, so sometime even the advice from old hands will only provide limited direction to the many problems in beekeeping.

if you are at the higher elevations in Virginia then you will need to come to understand that any fall manipulation need to be done early and 'things' that work down in the Piedmont will likely result in failure up towards the Blue Ridge.

Once again it casually sounds like you need to come to some 'better' approach for the fall prep of hives. Sometimes this means checking for t and varroa mites to treat before winter arrives and sometime feeding just a bit to get a goodly group of young bees in the hive before the onset of winter or perhaps the brood nest a little bit more throughly backfilled with nectar (sugar water). The only place I would consider placing pollen patties on a hive in the late fall or winter would likely be California (to prep a hive for the almonds).

The Season (past) can also become a real issue since it is quite common (predictable) that extremely poor years usually result in increased death loss during the winter months.

Hopefully you can learn from your past mistakes and move on....

Feb 23rd 2010, 08:35 PM
I always just have to look at it like there is open equipment to catch a new swarm in this spring. Don't let it get you down or you could end up leaving this hobby behind.

I have lost a cow and calf during a hard labor and still had a vet bill to pay on top of that, like my buddy says........"welcome to farming" it is just part of it.

Spring is just around the corner so get ready for a couple of swarms and a cut out or two.


Feb 23rd 2010, 10:17 PM
I would advise getting in touch with a local club immediately (most have at least one meeting a month) and there is probably one near you:


These folks will be from your area and you may even find one that will come over and take a look to help you out with a diagnosis and future guidance. Experienced beekeepers from your region are an invaluable resource.

Feb 25th 2010, 08:52 AM
Thanks Everyone and I am already hooked up to the ashland beekeeping club, I believe? and you are right G3 farm it is just part of farming!

Thanks everyone!!

Feb 25th 2010, 06:22 PM
Down here, a farmer is an optimist at heart and a pessimist by mouth.