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Honey in frames; bees dead!

 
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What Now?
Nurse Bee


Joined: 26 Mar 2012
Posts: 48
Location: Coventry, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:08 pm    Post subject: Honey in frames; bees dead! Reply with quote

Oh dear .... I had a peep inside one of the hives today, and they are all dead. It's not from starving as a. I had fed them, and b. when I looked closer today there was plenty of honey in the frames.

2 questions, please folks.
1. I wonder why they've all died off?
2. I have 4 other hives with alive bees in them. Is it a good or really rubbish idea to put the frames into the 'alive' hives, or shall I put it on my toast. The only reason I can think of not sharing it out with the bees is the risk of infection?

As always .... thanks.
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1492
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Honey in frames does not rule out starvation. Indeed it is quite common for starvation to occur despite there being enough food when the cluster is too far away from the food in cold weather. Here in East Anglia, we have had one run of weather cold enough for this to happen, though so far mine are all alive.

I would also look for evidence of other problems such as varroa infestation etc.

Unless I was very sure that some sort of infection was not responsible I would take the honey for myself.
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Ollie
Foraging Bee


Joined: 27 Nov 2015
Posts: 136
Location: Ireland, west

PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Catchercradle.

Would it not be too cold to open a hive this time of year even for a minute or soo? The temps here have been bitter cold though drier than last year. I haven't seen my bees out much at all though today the bees did venture out for a short time. Id still worry its too cold even today, not even double figures...

Hope all yours are doing well.

Ollie
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1492
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ollie,

I haven't opened my hives since September and don't plan to open till the weather is notably warmer than present. Yes even if the honey is known to be free of disease, I wouldn't open up the other hives to give it to them now unless I thought they would die of starvation without it in which case I would make sure everything was in place to perform the operation as quickly as possible with least possible disturbance to the colony being fed.
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madasafish
Silver Bee


Joined: 29 Apr 2009
Posts: 880
Location: Stoke On Trent

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Honey in frames; bees dead! Reply with quote

What Now? wrote:

2 questions, please folks.
1. I wonder why they've all died off?
Did you treat for varroa?
Varroa is the most common cause of hive death.(After starvation)

Are there any signs of AFB? - which is the other likely cause but far less common.

2. I have 4 other hives with alive bees in them. Is it a good or really rubbish idea to put the frames into the 'alive' hives, or shall I put it on my toast. The only reason I can think of not sharing it out with the bees is the risk of infection?

If you don't know what killed the bees, do not put honey combs into your alive hives..You can eat the honey.


.
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Ollie
Foraging Bee


Joined: 27 Nov 2015
Posts: 136
Location: Ireland, west

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that. I really wouldn't open any of mine and similar to yourself I haven't opened mine since late august early sept. Not really expecting to open until April unless march warms up....
Weve got rain and bitter cold winds here again today sooo no bees today....
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