Dead Hives?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Boykins, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. Boykins

    Boykins New Member

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    My friend and fellow newbie, called yesterday and said that when he went to feed his weak hive, he found that both hives were dead. He said that the dead bees were still filling both hives. We checked these about three weeks ago during some warm weather. The strong box had a full medium of capped honey, and the weaker hive had six frames of capped honey in the upper deep. There is still plenty of honey in both boxes. Any ideas or things that we can look for to explain this. Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Hog Wild

    Hog Wild New Member

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    My best guess is Nosema Cerranae. They just take a cleansing flight and don't come back. It's only a guess, based off of the information given. Were there lots of dead bees? Sorry for your loss.
     

  3. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    If it turned off real cold for an extended period of time and they clustered up tight and was unable to get to the stores they could have cold starved. When you get a chance open the hives up and see if there is several bees dead head first in the cells. this is a tell tale sign of starvation. I have seen bees starve an inch from the stores. Another question would be. How cold was it when they looked in on them. I have seen new keeps think the hive was dead. But in reality they was in a tight cluster and not moving much. Making them to appear dead
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    what riverrat said...

    starving and cold bees do move so slow that they can appear dead to a lot of folks. raising the dead (a lazarus hive???) is certainly a unique feeling one rarely gets to experience but really bumps up your attitude when you do get to participate in this 'miracle'.
     
  5. Indiana Dave

    Indiana Dave New Member

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    I hate hearing when that happens to anyone...been there and hoping not to go back this year.
     
  6. Boykins

    Boykins New Member

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    They AROSE!! Thanks for the help.
     
  7. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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  8. Indiana Dave

    Indiana Dave New Member

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  9. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    Best news of the day. I bet the dont fool you with that one again. :D
     
  10. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

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    That is great news!!! Just goes to show how mother nature can fool us sometimes. :D
     
  11. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    That's wonderful news!

    Now the lesson here is- if it's cold enough that your bees are in such a tight dormant cluster that they appear to be dead....then it's probably also too cold to be opening hives up. :to_keep_order: Don't wanna be chillin' your bees!
     
  12. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    I live by the rule. Never open a hive on a day you wouldnt want the roof taken off your house. :thumbsup:
     
  13. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I myself like to operate largely off the thermometer at my front door. 55 is a good number for most activities related to the bee. if you are quick and the process is simple you can cheat on this number just a bit (lid off, do it, lid back on kind of thing).
     
  14. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    There's little purpose to be served by opening a hive in winter, except to satisfy your curiosity. If the bees went into the winter well preapred with stores, opening the hive just serves to break the seals they've made inside the equipment. You may have thought you closed it back up tightly, but you can't avoid leaving "leaks" behind and winds and cold will penetrate more easily.
    It's best to wait till early spring weather has arrived in your area before you start investigating what's going on inside.
    Suppose you discover that they need feeding. Will "tomorrow's" weather let them take food? If they take the food, will they end up chilling themselves while they evaporate excess water from the syrup?
    Go into winter with adequate stores and a hive sized properly to match the size of the family---and pray for the best. :amen: