Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dead Bees at Church of the Pilgrims

One hive down, and so early in the year.  I blame myself for not confirming they had enough stores, as it is clear that they starved.
Here you can see large numbers of bees with their heads in the cells, trying to get out that last drop of nutrition.  Really sad:
Those striped things in the cells are the bee's butts.

Here is the cluster, dead on the topbars.  Really smelled bad too!

 So this is a lesson for me, as I had not aggressively fed this hive as it showed great signs of health through fall, and I had hoped that during the fall flow they would have put more away for winter.  The foundationless system we had used made pulling frames difficult, and this hive was a bit hotter making it less fun to work.

So, oh well.  Live and learn.  I inspected my rooftop hives and all of them are perfect.  So are the other two Pilgrims hives.  I will feed with syrup all when we have forecast a few warm days.


  1. Can we open the hive during the winter to see if they are okay?

  2. OH! I am so sorry to see this. As a new beekeeper, I fear this as well. But mistakes are how we learn. The bees understand and are wishing you success in bee heaven!

  3. Charles, you can open on a mild day like the ones we have had. The bees should be flying, which would be a good indication of health.

  4. Yeah, I opened both hives yesterday and they bees are still alive. I am worried though because they seemed less active than ususal. I also don't see them flying around during the day.