Author Topic: Very expensive story  (Read 284 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Zweefer

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1087
  • Thanked: 56 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Eau Claire WI
Very expensive story
« on: April 16, 2018, 11:19:43 pm »
 So I have always said "If nothing else, it will make a good story".
I now have the story of my shortest living hives.  3 days. :\'(
I installed them on Thurdsay (3, 2# packages) and set them up with honey, pollen patties, and prayed for the best as a winter storm was on it's way. 
Thursday was 48º. Friday brought colder weather and rain, then transitioned into snow.  Saturday brought more snow. Sunday a bit more wind and snow.  Just shy of 17" later, I go down to check the hives this afternoon, and all are dead. Every. Last. Hive.  Even the two that had overwintered until now.

So, this may very well mark the first year in 5 years I will not be keeping.

Just needed to vent, but strangely I don't feel better yet...



Online Wandering Man

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1426
  • Thanked: 123 times
  • Gender: Male
    • Life Lessons from dogs, bees and others
  • Location: Victoria, Texas
Re: Very expensive story
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2018, 11:58:22 pm »
Wow!  So sorry to hear that, Zweef.

What you say about someone says a lot more about what kind of person you are, than about the other person.
How you treat someone you like reflects your taste.
How you treat someone you don’t like reflects your character.


Visit my Blog:
https://30yrsdog.blogspot.com/ (Life Lessons from Dogs, Bees, and Others)
https://pmhso.blogspot.com/ (Sex Offender Myths and Stories)

Offline neillsayers

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1773
  • Thanked: 155 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Arkansas, U.S.A.
Re: Very expensive story
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2018, 12:38:01 am »
Zweef,

Not gonna make a good story. I actually felt my heart drop as I read it and I didn't have any money involved. All I can say is, sorry man, got to be better luck next   time.
Neill Sayers
Herbhome Bees
USDA Zone 7a

Offline Jen

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 9327
  • Thanked: 173 times
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: Upper California
Re: Very expensive story
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2018, 01:00:27 am »
Zweefer, my heart sinks, I can't even imagine...

I guess I'm confused as to why they all died? Even the ones that wintered over. When you looked in the hives what did you see?
There Is Peace In The Queendom

Offline LazyBkpr

  • Forum Sponsor
  • Gold Member
  • ********
  • Posts: 6380
  • Thanked: 167 times
  • Gender: Male
  • www.outyard.net
    • The Outyard
  • Location: Richland Iowa
Re: Very expensive story
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2018, 08:55:15 am »

  BRO!  IF... I have any bees left by the time the weather decides it is spring....  I am going to be on a MAD nuc making frenzy...  I'll let you know when that is happening!  No way you are going all year with no bees!
Drinking RUM before noon makes you a PIRATE not an alcoholic!
The following users thanked this post: Mikey N.C.

Offline tedh

  • Forum Supporter
  • Gold Member
  • ********
  • Posts: 1041
  • Thanked: 52 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Henry County, Iowa
Re: Very expensive story
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2018, 09:28:14 am »
Count me in, maybe, between Lazy and me we can get you some bees.  Sorry for the loss.  Ted
Share that which you have an abundance of.  In doing so both the giver and receiver are enriched.

Offline Bakersdozen

  • Global Moderator
  • Gold Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 2839
  • Thanked: 243 times
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: Olathe, Kansas
Re: Very expensive story
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2018, 04:13:37 pm »
lazy and tedh, you guys are just the best! :occasion14:
Zweefer, that really stinks.  Keep us posted if you figure out what happened.

Offline moebees

  • Regular Member
  • **
  • Posts: 38
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Illinois
Re: Very expensive story
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2018, 09:22:55 pm »
I think what happened is the weather.  We are approaching May and are still having winter weather.  And I am 400 miles south of Eau Claire.  Not a leaf out on a tree. Nothing in bloom.  Snow and rain that never stops. I had two more hives die that had "made it through winter".  Yeah made it through a normal winter but this is not a normal winter.  People are installing packages and it is too cold to even feed syrup.
Bee-keeping is like raising Martians - Isabella Rossellini

Offline riverbee

  • Global Moderator
  • Gold Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 8727
  • Thanked: 388 times
  • Gender: Female
  • ***Forum Sponsor***
  • Location: El Paso Twp, Wisconsin
Re: Very expensive story
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2018, 09:40:47 pm »
"I installed them on Thurdsay (3, 2# packages) and set them up with honey, pollen patties, and prayed for the best as a winter storm was on it's way.
Thursday was 48º. Friday brought colder weather and rain, then transitioned into snow.  Saturday brought more snow. Sunday a bit more wind and snow.  Just shy of 17" later, I go down to check the hives this afternoon, and all are dead. Every. Last. Hive.  Even the two that had overwintered until now."


zweef, let's start with the hiving of the packages. our area got hit hard with a substantial snow storm/blizzard/high winds and crazy temps thursday night and didn't end until late sunday!

how did you hive the packages? did you shake them in? spray them?
into a 10 frame deep? you said with honey, honey frames? or did you hive on undrawn foundation.  there was no need to place pollen patties in given our weather, but this does not matter.  package bees need syrup, for us too cold for syrup, but can feed warmed syrup.

48 df is tough to hive packages in, especially with our weather.  have some thoughts. did you hive the package the same day you received them? bees are going to cluster at this temp. they need 'fuel' to consume to keep them warm, queen is in a cage?  where did the package come from and how many days in transit?

 
i keep wild things in a box..........™
if you obey the rules, you miss all the fun.....katherine hepburn
Forum Sponsor

Offline apisbees

  • Global Moderator
  • Gold Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 3653
  • Thanked: 318 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Vernon B.C.
Re: Very expensive story
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2018, 10:03:15 pm »
Add to what river asked how many empty frames were the package hived on and was the queen in her cage in the middle? We need to remember that the bees do not eat cold honey. They cluster over the edge of the honey and it is warmed in the cluster prior to being consumed.
Honey Judge, Beekeeping Display Coordinator, Armstrong Fair and Rodeo.
The following users thanked this post: riverbee

Offline Zweefer

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1087
  • Thanked: 56 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Eau Claire WI
Re: Very expensive story
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2018, 12:21:19 pm »
Okay, I will try to answer what i can.

For the instillation, I had all drawn comb, the centermost I had sprayed both sides and "filled" with 1:1 syrup to give the bees some instant access to hopefully get some energy to warm things up a bit. I did not spray the bees, nor smoke them. With the temps where they were, not much flying going on...  I had 2 frames of honey in there as well. Queen was direct release, the thought being she could move with the cluster, if they decided to go elsewhere, so wouldn't be forced to stay by the cages.  I have done direct release in years past with no adverse effects (queen killed) so wasn't worried on that point.  Where we live it is a couple of days in the truck before the packages arrive, so plenty of time for acclimation. I shook about 2/3 into the center area (had removed 3 frames) replaced frames, released queen, shook remaining bees in. Pollen patty on top of frames, inner cover, then I put 1:1 syrup on top, and buttoned the hives up. If I had in hive feeders, would have gone that route, but don't own a single one.

One hive had blown over. Apparently the brick on top was not enough in the high winds we received.  That one was an easy diagnosis. 

Bees in other two packages were clustered by syrup feeder at the top. No movement, No sound.  Syrup was still liquid when I checked.  Didn't dive into the hives to look further, just closed them and walked away. Honestly, I didn't have the heart to do it at the time.  My guess is they couldn't get the hive up to temp before it plummited and the winds and snow came.

As for the other two, I am going to guess they broke cluster for cleansing flights, and just didn't get enough back together to maintain temp over a sustained period of time?  I will know more if it ever gets nice enough to go out and tear the hives apart.  as I am typing, we are expecting more snow today  :-X :\'(

Offline yukonjeff

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 151
  • Thanked: 38 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Mountain Village, Alaska
Re: Very expensive story
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2018, 02:42:11 pm »
Sorry to hear you lost your bees.
When I install packages, I only spray a honey ring around the frame (like they do) with sugar syrup. 2-1 stays in better. Need room to cluster in the comb.

Warm the hive before installation if you can.

Feed warm syrup ,warmed in the morning and taken off before evening temps cool down.
A medium stuffed quilt box might help too

Hope you get more bees, hate to go a summer with no bees.
Good Luck.

Offline riverbee

  • Global Moderator
  • Gold Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 8727
  • Thanked: 388 times
  • Gender: Female
  • ***Forum Sponsor***
  • Location: El Paso Twp, Wisconsin
Re: Very expensive story
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2018, 09:16:50 pm »
jeff has some good thoughts. warming the hive, this can be accomplished a couple different ways.
warm syrup, but directly on the frames not above the inner cover. the inner cover is a barrier.

zweef, they starved. couple questions, the syrup can, did it still contain syrup? and how much?  how many dead bees were on the bottom of the cage, normal amounts?  also curious, why only a 2 lb package?
did you hive in a single deep in your field?

bees need their honey stomachs full to generate heat in the cluster.

we got hit really hard (zweef is not far from me) with the absolute craziest winter storm in april i have ever seen in wisconsin. i know you didn't have the choice to sit on the packages for a couple days, because the weather from thursday through sunday was incredible, and it was still snowing and cold on monday. we had driving rain, sleet, hail and blizzard conditions and high winds that knocked down mature trees and took out power lines. some parts of ellsworth were still without power wednesday. not to mention how cold it did get. felt like january.

you did good, you did the best you could. just a couple thoughts.
i have hived many packages in inclement weather. knowing what we had coming i think i would have changed up what i traditionally do.
one is to move the single deep to a very protected area or warmer area, like the garage or up against the house.

remove 4 frames from the center, take them in the house, the honey and/or frames you fill the 1:1 on. let them warm up. put the whole package in for a couple hours. go back, take some really warm syrup with you and VERY LIGHTLY SPRAY the bees, dump in quickly and as you did, release the queen, put the 4 frames back in, close it up.

sugar syrup for you, too cold, they couldn't utilize it, just my HO. it's above the inner cover, and i don't know if it would have made a difference putting syrup directly on top the frames, it was too cold in our weather for them to take it down. too cold to open a hive to change out syrup on a package. throwing sugar on or better yet a sugar cake directly on top the frames may have helped, hard to say zweefer.

i am sorry you lost these packages and your hives. this is tough. you have been through a great deal and this does not really encourage anyone to keep on keeping bees, but don't give up!

when you have the heart and it's not freezing cold or snowing here, please post an update as to what you found.
hang in there!

to spray or not to spray: warmed 1:1 about 80 df, no cold spray on them.
i keep wild things in a box..........™
if you obey the rules, you miss all the fun.....katherine hepburn
Forum Sponsor

Offline apisbees

  • Global Moderator
  • Gold Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 3653
  • Thanked: 318 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Vernon B.C.
Re: Very expensive story
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2018, 03:50:08 am »
Bees can sit in a package for a week with out much of an issue. the bees will look after the queen. just be mindful of the syrup as package producers only fill the can to supply feed for the approximate time they figure the bees will be in the package. The disadvantage to keeping the bees in the package is the bees are getting older every day.
Honey Judge, Beekeeping Display Coordinator, Armstrong Fair and Rodeo.