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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
our only beehive has been discovered dead. no live bees at all. the bees were on the floor of the hive, and when we checked the frames, we found no brood, but we did find 2 popped queen cells. they had a lot of honey a whole super and a lot of their brooder frames. we kept finding this weird red jell in some of the frames. also, the whole thing is crawling with ants, but the bees are dead without a struggle. why did our hive die??? :confused:
 

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You can also attach it at the bottom of the page, but it takes a few more steps there.
 

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looks fairly normal to me... lots of feed some pollen and the 'red stuff' I just don't know. at this time of year no brood would be fairly normal. I can't say I could recognize any thing that really looked like 'true' queen cells. at your location there are some poisonous plants + a lot of man made poisons. The red stuff does look odd... if here I would guess there is trash can near where someone drops lots of Big Red cans.

if queenless at this time of year then a hives numbers drops quickly. typically this brings on robbing which clearly has not taken place in your case.

have you had a significant cold event recently?
 

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Not sure if it affected anything, but is that a queen excluder I see?- you shouldn't have that on your hive over the winter. The main cluster surrounds the queen during winter, and if she's prevented from moving up into the super during the winter, then i'd guess the cluster is likely to stay wherever she is. This might have discouraged the main cluster from moving up to where the honey is.
Just a thought since nothing else seems obvious. Nice looking frame of honey there!
 

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Amazing Omie.
Some folks just seem to have a knack for seeing things that I cannot.
Whether it made a difference or not, nice observation! :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
no obnormal cold recently, just seasonal cold nights in the low 30's and highs in the mid- 50's. here's the big question: can we re-use the equipment or do we need to start new?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
oh, and omie: what makes the whole thing weird is that they had several full, capped frames of honey in the brooder. the excluder is an important comment, though. we'll remove that next year. thank you so much for all the imput
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
a thought on the red stuff: just behind the fence there is a wall of eucalyptus trees, my dad thinks that those may cause the red color
 

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Here's one possible story-
A clue here is that you found dead worker bees on the bottom board, but no dead brood in the cells, and nothing torn apart or robbed. Perhaps the old queen was injured or left as a swarm in late summer, a new virgin queen emerged and left on her mating flight but had an accident and never returned. By that time the hive had no more eggs to make another queen from. So they just finished raising whatever older brood was left to hatch out, and then the hive began to dwindle as the bees aged. They might have had enough workers left to defend against being robbed in the autumn, until the cool weather set in and robbing season was over. Hence the pristine leftover honey, but no brood left in the cells, and dead worker bees on the bottom of the hive that died off naturally as they got old. In the end, no bees were even left to haul out the dead. Just one theory.
 
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