2 Hives died

Discussion in 'Pests and Diseases' started by Whisky Fish, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. Whisky Fish

    Whisky Fish New Member

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    Hi folks,
    A friend gave me four hives a few months back and I did a quick rehab on the lids. My plans were to let them alone till spring and provide the with all new equipment and move the to my place. Just got a call from my friend. Two of four are totally dead. 6 mice were living in one and neither looked good inside. Mind you these hives have gone years without being worked[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    My questions is this as bad as it looks? Should I burn all this equipment? And should I do something with the remaining two hives that are apparently active and healthy. On the outside.
     
  2. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    I'll relate to your question about the remaining, active hives in this post: Your location in California should allow you some nice days (clear weather and high enough temperaturers) to safely open and examine the hives.
    ​ During your examination, the most important thing for you to check is the honey and pollen reserves that are present, A local experienced beek should be able to tell you how much of each you should have in your hives at this time of year for your location. If supplies are low,then you have to do some feeding.
    If you can, avoid opening the brood nest. Your visible seeing of the activity in the entrances of the hives should be an adequate indication that you have a queen present. Opening up the brood nest this early in the season risks disturbing the nest and unintentionally killing your queen at a time when you won't be able to replace her. If you have an experienced keeper as a mentor, you can ask to be shown how to estimate the amount of reserves in the hives by hoisting them from behind. The technique is simple enough, but someone with experience will be able to help you with the estimate, particularly as to what the reserves should be for your hives at this time of year for your laocation.
     

  3. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    It looks like starvation to me as there is no signs of honey in any of the frames and around and over the pollen. check the other 2 for stores and feed if necessary to get then thru to the spring flow. the bees will repair the mice damage but the comb is dark and new foundation could be replaced in the frames so the bees can build new comb. The 2 existing hives can be split to repopulate the 2 dead hives during the spring.
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    my opinion would coincide with ApisBees analysis. there is also what appears (picture is really not just right to say yes or no) some varroa defecation in some of the cells below what use to be a patch of pollen.
     
  5. beeshaman

    beeshaman New Member

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    Basically from my experience you should only burn frames when there really old or if any signs it was AFB killed the hive , check other good hives , probably requeen if been years mate , work out old frames replace with foundo , clean hives up a bit helps the bees too !