Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Pictures of our winter killed hive

Queen cell from different angles. This hive swarmed last summer before we bought it from a neighbor.

There were several frames of beautiful capped honey in this hive. They starve to death while attempting to chew through the caps.

Bee butts. This is a pretty good indication that they starved.

I am pretty sure this was caused by an infestation of varroa mites that we din't catch until it was too late in the year to do anything about it. I lost two hives to varroa this year and have one more struggling. They were eating a few days ago when I checked on them, but they don't seem to have the numbers that the Utah hive does. I hope it makes it.


  1. I think that is either an emergency queen cup or a replacement cell. Almost always swarm queen cups are at the bottom of the frame. Of course with the irregular frame build though allowing a swarm cup to be built there it is possible it was a swarm cell.

    Perhaps it wasn't verroa but that there were too few bees to form a proper Winter ball that allowed movement inside the hive and enough numbers to distribute the stores. That is what I have been dealing with after the girls didn't build up enough over the droughty Summer they just don't have the numbers to do what needs to be done even with the stores available.

    1. It could very easily be either. There were several cells, all somewhere in the center of a frame and all opened, like they had hatched out a new queen. When we got this hive in the fall, they told us all about the swarm that they had given to a friend of theirs. We requeened within a week because the brood pattern in the hive was horrible. They seemed to be doing really well until we moved them back home for the winter. We set off a robbing frenzy that really depleted the numbers on both hives that died this winter. Plus they had a super heavy mite load.

  2. I know nothing of bees but simply wanted to say "sorry". You put so much time and care into them.

    1. Thanks. It's weird, you wouln't think you would get attached to bugs.


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