Welcome, Guest

Author Topic: Hive failure  (Read 7850 times)

Offline marliah

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 66
Hive failure
« on: June 22, 2011, 11:31:54 am »
I am unsure what happened with my hive. I started over this year with bees and decided to go foundationless with 8 frame mediums and do a top entrance. I installed my 3lb package around 2 months ago. I checked them 1 month ago and they were doing great, building lots of comb, very active and taking lots of sugar syrup. I stopped feeding them sugar syrup when the berries began to bloom since they had a half a box of comb built (was that a mistake?)

I just went and checked them today I had been meaning to for a couple weeks but we have had lots of rain. And it looks like we had an abscond? I don't know what went wrong, but I would say there are hundreds if that bees left and the majority are gone.  :? I did notice some ants around the hive, and when I pulled the bottom entrance guard off there were very few dead bees there, but there was some yellow powder there? could that just be pollen? I don't see any signs of disease or anything. I think they just up and left. Is there anything I may have done wrong to cause this? is there any saving the remaining bees if I get a new queen?

- Tara
beekeeper in central Maine
Finally getting bees again! 6/12/13

Offline AllenF

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 8192
  • Gender: Male
Re: Hive failure
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2011, 08:25:59 pm »
How did the brood look last month?   How was your queen laying her egg pattern?

Offline annette

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 5353
  • Gender: Female
Re: Hive failure
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2011, 08:38:16 pm »
Yiks Tara, I am so sorry to read this.

 Perhaps they were taking in lots of sugar, but had not stored enough to get through the rain?? I would have kept feeding them until they had drawn out all of the comb in that 8 frame super and then I would have checked to see if they were storing any sugar in the combs before removing the feeder. With all that rain, I would have kept feeding them. Basically only 4 combs had been drawn before you removed the feeder.

There is not much to do with 100 bees or less except add them to another hive, which you don't seem to have.

 Wait to hear from other beekeepers here and don't lose heart. You will learn lots from beekeeping and one of the things you learn is mistakes are made and the bees tell you. Sometimes you do everything right and the bees don't make it.

Don't worry


Offline buzzbee

  • Ken
  • Administrator
  • Galactic Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 5925
  • Gender: Male
    • N Central Pa Beekeepers Facebook Page
Re: Hive failure
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2011, 10:37:30 pm »
When you get a package,the numbers are dwindling from day one until the new brood hatches. If you had an extended rain period and did not continue feeding the bees may have starved or the queen just quit laying until they were once again able to fly and gather nectar and pollen.During this  shut down period the older bees would have continued dying faster than they were being replaced by young bees.
You may need to reduce your hive size until the colony strength recuperates.

Offline Javin

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 157
Re: Hive failure
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2011, 09:52:57 pm »
Wow, I'm sorry to hear that, Tara.  Did you happen to notice if there was a queen left (or any eggs in any of the cells?)  It sounds like your bees may not have had the chance to recover after being put in the hive.  Package bees always tend to need a little more help to get fired up, and getting a month of rain would've put a dent on that head start.  It could also have been that your queen died early on (did you verify that there were eggs / brood in the new comb?)  There's a lot of factors here that could be at play.  It's not necessarily CCD in this case.

Offline Michael Bush

  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 17661
  • Gender: Male
    • bushfarms.com
Re: Hive failure
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2011, 01:17:23 am »
Feeding until something was blooming is good.  I'd feed until they start capping some of their stores, which would indicate they are putting it in "storage".  I'd also watch for dearths and long rainy periods where they can't get out.  All in all a lot of things can happen and sometimes they just don't take off.

They also can abscond but that is usually caused by predators or other pests driving them out such as ants or skunks.

My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

Offline shelly

  • New Bee
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Gender: Female
Re: Hive failure
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2012, 06:53:17 pm »
I have had nothing but bad experience with purchased bees.Queens are bad always fail in the fall.I stopped buying bees.I split the one that made it through the winter.I just catch swarms now.I think purchased bees have been treated also.
Let them BEE