My beehive is dead

Discussion in 'Pests and Diseases' started by mcnam003, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. mcnam003

    mcnam003 New Member

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    I started my hive in May of 2011. This being the second summer, I went to check to see if there was any honey for the taking. I came to an almost empty hive; maybe 30-50 bees left. The honey super I put on (very late, maybe early june) was untouched, the two bottom boxes filled with a deep brown almost black on the bottom wax.some of the combs had white/yellow powder that looked like coarse pollen.No honey and no brood. My checks in early spring showed health, but I rarely checked after that. I didn't notice bees with heads stuck in combs or really any mass of bees by or at the bottom of the hive at all. I was wondering if anyone has any ideas to causes, and if they boxes are usable (or maybe they are moldy or diseased)
     
  2. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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    Sorry to hear, many things to consider, maybe the queen died, or stopped laying or they were robbed out by stronger beehive...

    Should be no issue to reuse frames, if space permits freeze them for a few days and then pkg up in bags till next season and start with a pkg again. Bees will clean them up.

    Losing hives seems to be a part of beekeeping, but also need to manage the ones you have, I try not to go more than 3 weeks or so without a check.
     

  3. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    It's hard to say without seeing the hives. Perhaps there is another beekeeper around there that could look at your hive and figure out what happened.
     
  4. kebee

    kebee Active Member

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    I lost one this year also, lost queen and hive bees went down and was robbed out. Cleaned out after shaking bees off in front of strong hive, sprayed frames with stuff to keep moths off and packed in black blags and tied up good. Got my order in for 2 more package for next year and will split the strong hive if they make it to spring.

    kebee
     
  5. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Where is the hive located? Another possibility is that someone sprayed them. In that case you maybe wouldn't want to reuse the comb.
     
  6. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    I know it's disheartening, but hang in there! I installed my first hive, and less than a week later they all just up and flew away (absconded.) I never really understood why, but it was a let-down after all the anticipation.
     
  7. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Macnam003:

    Welcome to the forum. :hi:
    As others have mentioned, losses are a thing every beekeeper has to face. It sound perhaps you may have been a little too "hands off" and perhaps something subtle was missed. Hang out here, ask questions, posting pictures really helps others help diagnose problems.
    This is a friendly place and folks stumble over each other trying to help.
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    the body has been too long cold and dead for anyone to inform you of cause. if the midwest drought has in anyway affected your area then starvation would be a good guess.
     
  9. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Most hives can be saved if you observe the problem early. Always a good idea to check your hive at least once every 3 weeks I think. Even just seeing that there are lots of happy foragers coming and going is sometimes all it takes to 'check' on them.
     
  10. mcnam003

    mcnam003 New Member

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    Wow thanks a lot for the response, I am located in Wisconsin and the hive was on a property of a retired guy I met thru craigslist who wanted to put apple trees in his large plot. It seems once every three weeks is the general direction I am hearing and will stay true to that next year. No giving up here, I will make my own mead, even if its another two years away. :|
     
  11. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That's the spirit. My first hive lasted about as long as yours, but I was home just enough to see the action, and it was on the lot next to my house.

    I don't know much about Wisconsin, but having the hive in full sun is important, and the bees must have water, and be fed when there isn't a nectar / pollen flow on.

    Drought is hard on all living things. It beat the wild hives up down here. The surviving ones were in town, they had red honey. Actually that would be hummingbird food they had stolen and stored when there was nothing in bloom.
     
  12. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    "I came to an almost empty hive; maybe 30-50 bees left. The honey super I put on (very late, maybe early june) was untouched, the two bottom boxes filled with a deep brown almost black on the bottom wax.some of the combs had white/yellow powder that looked like coarse pollen.No honey and no brood. My checks in early spring showed health, but I rarely checked after that"

    just my long distance 'arm chair thinking' (and 'arm chair guessing').....
    your queen died. the powder you are describing might be moldy pollen.
    as everyone else has pointed out checking your hives frequently will give you a better idea of what or what is not going on, or get ahead of any problems, like a dead hive. i check mine every week, and sometimes just visually. you mentioned 3 weeks.....too much can happen in a hive in 3 weeks, and when you discover a problem, say your queen dies, your hive will be 3 weeks plus, behind. or in your case, being healthy in the spring, and now finding a dead hive, and trying to figure out what happened.

    as tecumseh pointed out, wisconsin has suffered from the drought, and starvation might be a factor.

    also, as perry said, posting pictures helps us not be arm chair thinkers and guessers! :lol:
     
  13. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Mcnam003, :hi:Welcome to the forum--yours as well as ours. I think the responses you've received are pretty much all in agreement. [Sometimes you'll get all sorts of disagreeing opinions and then it'll be a tough decision for you to chose your actions.] I certainly can't add anything special except that we'll be looking forward to hearing about your progress.
    Please keep us in the picture---we're all on your side. :grin: