Bad day in the bee yard

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Bens-Bees, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    *sigh* chaulk up two more losses in my beekeeping career... had two deadouts today... no mysteries, small clusters, heads down in empty cells, rest of the frames full of honey but bees couldn't break cluster to get it and starved. *sigh* When I checked them last week they were fine, I know exactly what night they staved during and that just makes me mad at myself because I could have gooped them or something to give them additional feed but didn't think it was necessary since they had so much honey left in the hive and it was only going to get cold the one night and next day... *sigh*

    Two more hives have tiny clusters that I have to consider at risk of the same fate if we get any more cold nights like that, so I'm going to keep a close eye on them.

    The good news is the rest of the hives looked good and three look like boomers already. I also noticed that they were bringing in pollen from two different sources, and I don't know what it would be where they are at, I haven't seen anything blooming up there yet. But they had yellow and orange pollen coming in, so that's good.

    Still upset over the loss of those two... if I lose the other two I'll be in trouble because I have a pollination contract coming up in April-May and while I have enough stronger colonies to fulfill the contract, it wouldn't leave me with any in this outyard which would probably make the farmer mad because he wants them there for pollination of his crops too, so I gotta leave at least a couple of hives there if at all possible.
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sometimes there is only so much we can do Ben. Unfortunately controlling weather isn't one of them. We can optimize things as best we can but ultimately Mother Nature rules.
     

  3. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Won't say that it works every time, but i think i have saved some weak nuc's when a cold spell is coming by throwing a tarp or blanket over them till the weather warmed up? Jack
     
  4. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I could move the remaining two weak ones to my garage if it gets really cold again... I just gotta stay on top of it.

    My son went with me today... here's a pic of him checking out the entrance activity on one of the hives... he hasn't figured out not to stand directly in front of them yet, but he'll figure it out eventually.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    "He'll figure it out eventually"
    :lol: :lol: :lol:
    That's our primary role as Dads isn't it, to help them figure things out? :thumbsup:

    (By the way, Chevrolet all the way) That should stir it up! ;)
     
  6. jim314

    jim314 New Member

    Messages:
    586
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm sorry about the hive loss. That is a great picture of your son, you should frame it.

    PerryBee, won't get an argument from me :)
     
  7. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I figure he's better off just watching me make mistakes then listening to me.

    Heck yeah! I love that chevy truck. It's just like my grandad's before he passed away... he was a beekeeper too, but I never knew that while he was alive, I didn't start until the year after he passed.
     
  8. Omie

    Omie New Member

    Messages:
    2,845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    What a sweet picture of your little son!

    Stories like this make me wonder how on earth bees manage to survive winter when they are in a hollow tree.
     
  9. Hog Wild

    Hog Wild New Member

    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sorry for your loss Ben... :( Hopefully your others will pull through this unpredictable weather!
     
  10. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

    Messages:
    1,249
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sorry about your loss. I'm afraid that when the weather warms up enough for me to open up my hives that I may find the same thing.

    Great pic of your son, how old is he?

    I too, like my Chevy truck. :thumbsup:
     
  11. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    He's 4, almost 5.
     
  12. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well, moving them to my house didn't seem to do much good, I lost one more... turns out they were starving in place and I didn't even realize it... temps have been warm enough that they shouldn't have been. I did catch it with about half the bees still alive but clearly starving, unfortunately the queen didn't make it. They still had 3 illinois supers full of honey... so I used the hive tool to crush some of it and drizzle it over the remaining bees to get them eating then added them to the hive next to it which seemed to welcome them without any fighting at all, so at least the hive next to it will get that little boost of extra bees... but that hive is growing quite a bit already and is no longer on my "worry about" list. At least that'll be the last of my losses this winter, I'm fairly certain of that since all the rest of the hives have large enough clusters and plenty of honey for me to not worry about them.
     
  13. Omie

    Omie New Member

    Messages:
    2,845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    How come they couldn't move to the supers of honey if it was like frequent 50F daytime temps out there in Tennessee? Weren't they flying, and/or weren't there some flowers blooming near you? It's way colder here and even we have crocuses blooming now and the bees can break cluster often. Seems weird that they couldn't get to their honey in your warm location (warm compared to NY anyway).
     
  14. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    They had some young brood and there were less than a hundred bees in this hive, so I think they had to stay with the brood even when temps were in the 50's to keep them warm. Too bad they didn't last another week, I was going to use them as a bait hive for a trapout which would have given them lots more workers.

    This hive has been too small to send out forragers... they were actually doing better before I moved them but I think when I moved them they lost a few workers which really hurt them being as small as they are.