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Hive Question

Discussion in 'Habitat - The Beehive' started by wildthingsfarm, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. Feb 18, 2016
    wildthingsfarm

    wildthingsfarm Exploring the pasture

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    I went out to check my hive recently and it seems to be silent :( There are bits of comb on the ground outside the hive entrance. Any ideas what causes this? This is my first year wintering a hive, so I'm not too sure what I'm doing! But I really loved my bees, I hope they're not gone!
     
  2. Feb 18, 2016
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    First, greetings @wildthingsfarm from the front range in Colorado. Welcome to BYH. I had 2 hives the beginning of last summer and lost one early then the other some time the past month or so. I have no idea where you're located so don't know your weather/temps. If it gets above 40f and the sun is shining and there's no wind, you can pop the top and peek under the inner cover to see what's going on. Also, under those circumstances, there should be bees doing cleansing flights then returning to the hive. Comb on the ground outside makes me think mice. I hope you have the entrance reducer in and the entry screened with hardware cloth to keep mice out.
     
  3. Feb 18, 2016
    wildthingsfarm

    wildthingsfarm Exploring the pasture

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    Thanks for the info @laterstarter! I'm in Indiana and we've had a pretty cold winter. This weekend, temps are spiking, so I'll take advantage and peak in the hive. Fingers crossed, but not too hopeful.
     
  4. Feb 18, 2016
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    Well, let us know what you find, good or bad. I well know the feeling of losing hives. I'll try again next time I'm set up and ready. Moving this summer so may try to catch a swarm after moving, but otherwise, will be next year I guess.
     
  5. Feb 18, 2016
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    Just a quick note, if you DID lose your hive don't waste all the work your previous bees did. Try to salvage/save the comb and any stores they left behind. That will give you (your next bees) a great start up point. They'll already have brood comb drawn out and some stored pollen and honey. Check the wax for wax moths/beetles and if you see any, place the frames in a freezer for a couple of weeks then bag them up in a garbage bag to keep insects out. If there are dead bees in there, don't sweat it, the new occupants will clean them all out when they move in.
     
  6. Feb 19, 2016
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    It could be normal, as they consume the honey, they would need to uncap it. Trash and the dead come out the front of the hive, but if it's super cold, they are not going to take it far, so it builds up in front of the hive. I'm in CA and my hives do this as well. But it can also be a sign of an issue, like a mouse in the hive.

    If it's too cold to open the hive, you can get real close and knock on the side of the hive. You can sometimes hear the buzzing increase. Otherwise, you'll have to wait for a warmer day to take a peek inside the top.
     
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  7. Feb 22, 2016
    wildthingsfarm

    wildthingsfarm Exploring the pasture

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    Saturday hit 70*, so I went out to check on things. Bees were happily buzzing in and out of the hive!! I was so excited!! I went ahead and opened to top and added a sugar patty for them. It will still be a month or so before we have a natural food source for them. Thank you all for the tips!!
     
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  8. Feb 22, 2016
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    Fantastic! That's excellent news!
     
  9. Feb 23, 2016
    Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Loving the herd life

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    Glad all is well!