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View Full Version : Argh, Winter Hive Loss



randrick
03-18-2011, 10:36 PM
I checked the hive in mid February and the bees were doing well. Then we got 7" of snow in early March and 4 nearly 4 weeks on very wet, 30 degree weather.

When I checked the hive yesterday they are dead -- all buy maybe 100. There's still almost 50# of honey in the hive. They didn't leave the hive, they were piled 4" deep on the bottom board (there is a 3/4 inch exit hole in the top super). There doesn't appear to be hive beetles. I did not find mites on any of the dead bees I inspected. They didn't die with there heads in the comb. All I can figure is they got wet. I thought I had it vented sufficiently, but perhaps not. Now, I'm scrambling to locate a package of bees.

Anybody else loose hives this winter?

:(

TheAlchemist
03-19-2011, 12:07 AM
Sorry to hear this, randrick.

mmclean
03-19-2011, 07:59 AM
Sorry to hear of your losses. Many seasoned beeks lost all of their hives this winter. Seems to be all across the north.

I am trying to get bees for my first two hives now. I sure hope Tennessee winters are mild enough that I won't have troubles overwintering.

Here's to hoping that a hard winter brings a bumper honey season. The beeks need a break.

Tannin Boy
03-19-2011, 08:33 AM
I checked the hive in mid February and the bees were doing well. Then we got 7" of snow in early March and 4 nearly 4 weeks on very wet, 30 degree weather.

When I checked the hive yesterday they are dead -- all buy maybe 100. There's still almost 50# of honey in the hive. They didn't leave the hive, they were piled 4" deep on the bottom board (there is a 3/4 inch exit hole in the top super). There doesn't appear to be hive beetles. I did not find mites on any of the dead bees I inspected. They didn't die with there heads in the comb. All I can figure is they got wet. I thought I had it vented sufficiently, but perhaps not. Now, I'm scrambling to locate a package of bees.

Anybody else loose hives this winter?

:(

That is terrible to hear. Hoping you will find more to recover from this loss.
We all appreciate and hope for your continued success.

TB

hillhousehoney
03-19-2011, 03:43 PM
for sure. Did you have the cover shimmed up? Might help, but sometimes it just doesn't matter what you do. I wasn't sure if I had enough stores on. I lost 4, but two of those were September swarms that did not have time to build up; the rest came through fine. I expect to hear of plenty of losses this winter. I am putting on some extra honey tomorrow to get them to build up sooner and make some splits this year. So sorry. You should be able to get packages still. Have to check around. We placed our final order two weeks ago. All the best to you.

TW

andrewschwab
03-19-2011, 08:19 PM
Funny thing bees can have lots of honey stored, but still starve when it is inch's away from them in cold weather.
Another thing to look for queen failure. Where there superseder cells on the frames?.

There are bees out there to purchase packages or nucs, but start looking and get you name on the list..

This year will always be better

AToE
03-19-2011, 08:21 PM
Always sad to hear of the death of our small friends. Good luck going forward!

randrick
03-20-2011, 11:14 PM
for sure. Did you have the cover shimmed up? Might help, but sometimes it just doesn't matter what you do. I wasn't sure if I had enough stores on. I lost 4, but two of those were September swarms that did not have time to build up; the rest came through fine. I expect to hear of plenty of losses this winter. I am putting on some extra honey tomorrow to get them to build up sooner and make some splits this year. So sorry. You should be able to get packages still. Have to check around. We placed our final order two weeks ago. All the best to you.

TW


I had the outer cover shimmed up 3/4 of an inch. The inner cover was inverted but not shimmed.

I have been able to order bees for 29-March. I have to drive to Harrisburg to get them, but that's ok with me. I'm going to start 2 hives. Hopefully, this will increase the survival odds.

randrick
03-20-2011, 11:16 PM
Thanks everyone for the kind words. Beekeeping is every bit as addictive as mead making :)

hillhousehoney
03-21-2011, 10:47 AM
I would think raising the outer cover would have the same affect, so you were probably ok there. My experience is that keeping that moisture out is of major importance. Glad you found packages. And, yes, more hives will actually make it easier. You will have options as far as moving frames if one hive does better to give the weaker a boost. Keep an eye out for eggs, and give'em plenty of room to expand. Have fun !!!