Dead Bees

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by BusterBee, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. BusterBee

    BusterBee New Member

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    I just want to say a big THANK YOU up front for any help you can give me.

    I picked up 2 packages of bees on Saturday (April 10) and installed them on Sunday because the folks I bought them from said the syrup in the package wouldn't last them long. I used a rubberband to hook both queen cages to the middle frame inside, put on the feeders and sealed up the entrances to let them get used to the Queen before flying around. I really hope this wasn't idiotic, though I'm beginning to think it was. Right away, one of the hives was eating more sugar syrup than the other, though I refilled both on Monday (April 12).

    Then, on Wednesday (April 14), I went to check if the Queen was out of her cage and to my horror I found one of the colonies almost completely wiped out. There were a ton of dead bees blocking the feeder, so I'm not sure if the other bees died of starvation? But that seems strange since almost all the queen candy was left. The queen was dead, and a lot of the bees had their heads stuck in the bottom board grating, like they were trying to get out. Could I have suffocated them by shutting the entrance? It just seems so strange since I did the exact same thing to both hives and the other colony is doing great, with hardly any dead bees. I'm so upset though, and I'm worried about the other colony.

    I've attached a few pictures of the dead colony. I'm hoping the bees that are left will head over to the other hive, since there aren't enough left to worry about getting a new queen.

    Please help. I feel terrible. :beg:

    -Bee Beginner
     

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  2. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    What did you close the entrance off with?? a queen includer or blocked solid?

    I would say they over heated and burned up. Trying to get through the screened bottom board because it was the coolest area in the hive (heat rises), might have been just a slight draft between the groove and the sticky board.

    I would pull out what ever you have blocking the entrance, maybe reduce it down to 1/2 of the width, less opening to defend but still lets air be circulated.

    What kind of a feeder are you using?

    I could not tell from the pics but did you remember to pull the cork out of the queen cage? (not that it would have mattered for the dead hive)

    Yes the other bees that are left will find the other hive. I would shake them out on the ground (or the cardboard you have under the hives) and remove all of the hive that the dead bees are in, that way they will not have anywhere to go back to.

    Sorry for the loss, that was kind of an expensive lesson :cry: :cry:

    The only reason I can figure the other hive made it is it got just a little more shade than the other one.

    Keep asking questions, we are here to help!!

    Welcome to the forum!!

    G3
     

  3. BusterBee

    BusterBee New Member

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    Hi there G3!

    Thanks so much for getting back to me. It really helped to have an experienced beekeeper's input.

    I think you might be right with the over-heating. Although they were both in full sun, the one that lived is a lighter color (yellow) than the one that died (blue). I had read it was good to keep them in sun with a good breeze, which I have - but I guess it doesn't help much when you have them shut in. Do you think they need some shade as well?

    I removed the dead hive like you said to and checked on the living one. The queen is out and running around and they all seem pretty healthy and happy. They have even started building some comb! About the feeder, I'm using a quart-sized boardman feeder, and I have them on a 2:1 sugar-water syrup. I refilled it on Monday and there is still almost half left. Is that a problem?

    It makes me so sad to think about the dead ones, but I guess that's learning. :(

    Thank you again. You really helped me out.

    -BB
     
  4. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I would change the syrup mix to a 1 to 1 ratio for spring build up and 2 to 1 for winter feeding, (no need to pour that out, let them finish it up first).

    No they really do nmot need the shade, full sun will help to certail the small hive beetle.

    Sounds like the other hive will make it, just let them be for about a week before going into them again, this will let them settle in and take some of the stress off.

    The reason I asked about the feeder was a boardman feed sometimes will promote robbing if there is another strong hive close by. I don't think you have anything to worry about now.

    Glad to be of some help.

    Keep checking in, and let us know how the other hive is doing.

    G3
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Full sun, 100 degrees, and ventilation, they are fine.
    Full shade, 60 degrees, and no ventilation, and they cook.
    You can add water to the syrup until you think it is 1: 1. It doesn't
    have to be exact.
    Boardman feeders promotes robbing during a dearth. Seldom, if ever, during a flow.

    Small Hive Beetles love shade, so keep them in the sun.

    Welcome to the forum. Hope you enjoy it here.
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I would suggest to ya' Buster that in much of the south you rarely need to think about feeding 2 to 1. How you deliver the feed to the hive and the volume/some time period is much more important than the syrup's consistency.

    If the individual bees on the bottom board appear somewhat 'greasy' or 'slick' then they likely over heated and died. most of the time when I need to shut in bees for some time period I place them in a dark corner of an outbuilding. if it is warmish I like to add some source of water.... generally by wetting down whatever I have used to plug the hive.