dead bees/mould/winter


hi i was going to treat for viroa with oxalic azid but havnt as its been very cold.its my first year keeping bees.i didnt take last years honey off as to keep the bees well concern is thier seems to be a lot of bees on the floor at the entrance which prompted me to take a look inside.i know its been cold so i didnt do a full inspection just took the seperater board off.the bees were still alive mostly all in the bottom brood box and the odd one up in the super feeding (plenty of honey still left).the colony has shrunk (is this normal)also thier were a few dead bees in the hive.also the hive had mould inside not really on the frames but where the joints were looked like mildew type mould and was on some of the dead bees that were near the hive this normal and do the other bees remove the dead bees.i havent seen any trace of viroa on the board underneath the hive and is it getting too late to treat with oxalic azid.
my location
kind regards
ps excuse my gramar lol

it's normal.  the bees will clean up most of it as they increase in numbers and become more active.  you will probably want to clean off the bottom board when the weather is warmer.

you can help us answer your questions if you will go into your profile and add your location.  i know i won't remember and you don't want to have to remind us every time  :-)

thanks kathy i feel a bit more relieved now.
ps ill go to my profile now
thanks again

It isn't too late to treat with oxalic - the current cold spell will leave 99% of the varroa mites on the bees rather than in the cells. The problem you describe on the mildew is through ventilation - I presume you have a national hive ? if so, try putting some twigs/matches around the inside of the top board/crown board to 'jack' up the roof once fitted - and also ensure that at least one feed hole is open.

If your hive entrance isn't south facing, now is the time to get it as close to that as possible - the winter sun then encourages the bees to clear out any waste etc.

The final thing you can do is to ever so lightly tip the entire hive forwards, so it is just off level for the winter - this helps any water in the hive (condensation from 1000's of bees breathing!) to run out via gravity.

I have noticed that on my hives, those with an open mesh floor do tend not to have as mush of an issue with mildew compared with those with a solid floor, although I used to find my old WBC never suffered from it - the huge double wall acting as a great insulator !

regards and welcome



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