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Dead Bees


#1

It appears the girls didn’t survive the snow last weekend. I noticed it was 50F out and there were no bees flying around like there normally are so I grew a little suspicious and peeked in the back, no movement, nothing at the entrance either. So I popped open where the cluster should have been and sure enough there were only 30-40 bees (dead) in the cluster and the rest were at the bottom growing mold.

I took some pictures that I’ll post as soon as I get them uploaded from my phone. I do have some questions.

Why did they die? I assume they just didn’t have the numbers to keep themselves warm, but the mold makes me nervous.

What should I do with the comb and honey? Obviously the bees arent going to be using it, but again, the mold. Also I’d like to put another hive in here in the spring and I’m not sure if thats going to be an issue.


#2

Here are pictures of the carnage

[attachment=0]deadoncomb.jpg[/attachment]

[attachment=1]deadinbottom.jpg[/attachment]


#3

i have the same issue. perhaps not as drastic as i still have some bees on the combs…but three empty combs and one had mold on the bottom.

i took the liberty to open up the top air vent on the beethinking hive and rescreened it…

then i scooped out the dead bees and removed some of that mold as best i could.

most of their stores are gone…so i went to feeding as of now w/ a 2:1 sugar syrup…

i didn’t see the queen…i’m not sure she made it…but here’s hoping.

i just ordered 3 more beethinking hives

i am gonna try my hand at a swarm this year and i hope to put them in one of those hives.

back to the mold…what to do?


#4

It’s often hard to say why they died. However, 90% of the time it is somehow associated with Varroa mites. While you may not see them, you had them (if you have honey bees in the lower 48 states), and they weaken the immune system of your bees and are vectors for all sorts of problems.

In regard to mold, many will just brush the bees off and cut off the moldiest parts. The bees will clean up the rest and reuse it.

Best,

Matt


#5

Similar situation in my top bar hive–minus the mold. The hive was super strong last summer, but just petered out this spring. I’m thinking Nosema/Varroa…but what is the solution if chemicals are not a desired option? Ferral bees?