dead bees found at back of the box

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Kristy, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. Kristy

    Kristy New Member

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    Hello,
    This is my first wintering season with bees.
    I'm in WI. It's been pretty cold here for about 2 weeks. Fresh snow 2 days ago reveals about 20 or more bees took flight in the fridged cold only to die in the snow. Their are some10-15 feet from entrance and at back of box. Why would they go for a flight? it hasn't been over 35degress for awhile, and no sun since that last snow fall that would have warmed up the box.
    I have mouse guards on and entrance reducer. Their entrance appeared to be getting iced up, with dead bees frozen in it. I'm concerned it's raining inside the boxeshttp://www.beekeepingforums.com/po ... post&f=36#. Should I chissel that ice away at the entrance?http://www.beekeepingforums.com/posting.php?mode=post&f=36#
    I have a 3 sided tarp about 2 feet around the front and sides of boxes to keep the N & W wind off them. I didn't insulate.
    I have black roofing tarp. Some say don't insulate some say do insulate, any way I didn't, is it just too lake now?

    Thanks.
    K
     
  2. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    Don't do too much to disturb the bees. You will do more damage than good.

    Ice around the entrance, even on the insides of the boxes is normal. Unless the bees are being directly dripped on, they will handle it.

    It is also normal for bees to take flight in cold weather. Some bees "test" the cold and don't come back. Others may get a false sense of the temp with sunshine, etc. Others say that old bees will just fly and sacrifice themselves if they know they are going to die anyways.

    As long as the bees had time to arrange for ventilation, stores, etc., without serious reconfigurations from the beekeeper late in the season, your bees should be fine.

    The number one issue for moisture is beekeeper induced moisture from feeding syrup in cold weather. Keep the syrup out of the hives, and your bees have as good a chance as anything else you can do for them.

    Welcome to the forum. I hope you tell us a little about yourself in the introduction forum.
     

  3. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Welcome to the forum !!!

    Well I can not comment on this too good since we get very little snow. I would think to keep the entrance open at all times so when then they wanted to take a cleansing flight they could. Best if just left alone for the winter as Bjorn said, when spring comes around it will tell the story if they made it or not. I think they will be fine.

    Good luck and don't be shy to come back.

    G3