What should I be seeing now?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by onehorse, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. onehorse

    onehorse New Member

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    Okay, first year rookie, sole surviving hive, highs in the mid 30s, lows in the mid to high teens with some wind. Why do I have kamikaze bees? Up until about 2 weeks ago, they weren't doing much, pushing the dead out the bottom entrance when it got warm enough too, but otherwise you didn't see any movement. But now, about daily, there are 5 - 10 new dead bees that had to have flown out of the hive and got caught in the snow and died? Is this normal? Am I just noticing this now, since we moved the hive into the run-in shed, so it didn't get plowed over?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    There have been a lot of posts to this effect on several forums.
    Some say it's tracheal mites, others say it's old bees that know their time is up and are leaving the hive to die.
    All I can say is, it isn't just in your hive, it's happening everywhere.
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    as long as the numbers do not excessively exceed you 5 10 it would not set off any alarm bells for me. Almost with every significant drop in the temperature below freezing I will see the same thing here... although most days the girls don't fall on their swords and then fall into the snow.
     
  4. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    There maybe several things including the need for cleansing flights, bees try at all costs from fouling the interior of the colony. Any bees that break cluster to cleanse themself, if the weather is below 45F will most likely not make it back. old age in another thing the house bees simple toss the cadavers onto the bottom board eventually the cleaning crew will dump the bodies outside or you will whenv you clear off the bottom board for spring cleaning. In another words to lose a few dozen bees over the course of the winter is not anything to get excited about. Piles of dead bees clogging the entrance shut is quite another thing.
     
  5. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    Nature is strange. I had a feral colony living in the barn wall for a while. One sunny winter day, probably 60-100 of them came out and immediately took a header into the snow. It was only about 25 degrees out, but the sun fooled them. I scooped up many, many bees and put them on a sill to thaw, but it was probably a waste of time. Sometimes nature just slaps you (and the bees) in the face.
     
  6. jajtiii

    jajtiii New Member

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    This is also my first Winter and I noticed this behavior in all of our (many) snows this year. As someone posted above, my local mentor advised me that:

    1. A few bees dead is normal. He's seen undertakers taking bees out of the hive in the upper 30's.
    2. To him, it is a positive sign (as long as you're talking a dozen or so). It means they are still alive.
     
  7. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper New Member

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    It has been as cold as 19f here but sunny bright clear skys with nary a bit of wind when the bees have flowen for a cleansing flight. It happens several times a winter here in the north and we can see it because we usally have snow.

    Watching a hive we see some of them were carrying old dead bees out which do look different than new dead bees in the snow as they have aged. Some of the bees tend to fly to far and get to cold to make it the rest of the way into the hive. If you were to pick some of those fresher dead looking bees up and take them into a warm place you would soon have warm bees buzzing around. Kare was not happy when that happened either :lol: I'll tell you. Hey I was really new then and wanted a good close look at some bees I felt were safe to handle a bit ruff.


    :mrgreen: Al