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steveselvage 

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Today ive been cleaning out the bees from my two dead colonies, accompanied by my four year old grandson who is devastated that "his bees" died and his brothers didnt.
What should i do with the frames,are they likely to harbour any diseases.
I presume i should dump any comb.
I found that both hives had a bit of mould on the inside of the roof,one had a OMF and one didnt, the hives are stuffed with stores and also had a half block of fondant on as well.
Of my remaining two colonies one has bees flying, but sporadically and one has no flyers,hope its alright.
 
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If it is a sunny day even at this time of the year they should be flying in the middle of the day where you live. If they are not it is not a good sign.

Desposing of the comb and then sterilising the frames, perhaps with bleach or running a blow lamp over them would be prudent.

As to why they died it is difficult to say. Were the stores in a super or in the brood box. If they were in the super did you leave the queen excluder in place?

If there are signs of dysentry it might be nosema otherwise my guess would be virus diseases spread by varroa. What varroa treatment did you use last year? If it wasn't something like thymol followed by oxalic acid in December then this is probably the likely cause. It is estimated the UK is still losing the majority of colonies to varroa.
 

Hivemaker. 

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> I checked mine today( i couldnt resist a quick peek) and two out of the four have only a small handfull of bees left. They seemed to have loads a few weeks ago when i applied oxalic acid.


Above extract from the post when Steve found two dead colonys,my guess would be nosema,and would suspect if it was then the other two colonys also have it also.
Same advice as Rooftops has given regarding the hive,frames, comb ect
 

admin 

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Steve,drop over a handfull of dead bees and I will test them for Nosema for you..
 

mbc 

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if they didnt have foulbrood sterelize the frames with acetic acid- seal up the brood box +frames +crownboard +roof+floor and evapourate a little 80% acetic acid for a week or so
Take the opportunity to melt down any old or badly drawn frames but IMHO its a waste to get rid of good comb for no reason
 

Polyanwood 

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I found a dead hive today too. I burned all the dead bees and frames. I reckon they are dead for a reason - I think starvation - but not sure for definite as they had fondant on, so I thought I rather get rid of the lot in case they were diseased.
 

VEG 

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Hope you kept some for testing otherwise your other colonies could have the same.
 

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Starvation - tongues out, heads in the comb, with bums sticking out?

More frames than answers Polyan'. :)
 

steveselvage 

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The dead bees, along with the comb and some of the frames all went on the bonfire yesterday but thanks for the offer.By mid afternoon yesterday both hives with bees were flying strongly so fingers crossed.
 

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...so fingers crossed.

It does not help. You should take care that hives has all the time enough food. When they fly they get pollen and raise new bees. Than consumes sugar/honey.

Hive should have all the time 2 full frame of food. It is 4-5 kg sugar. It is enough for 10 days.

If you give too much food in spring it deminish the brood area.

Sometimes bees collect too much pollen and stuck the brood area.
 

Annrbel 

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Interested to know what is involved in testing for Nosema, can it be done by anyone with a decent microscope. I understand now is one of the best times to carry out the test. All our bees here have come through the winter looking glossy, plump and healthy, yet I believe Nosema can change all that in a matter of days, so I don't want to risk being complacent.

So sorry for the loss of the bees, dreadful for the little boy to experience, do hope you get to the cause.
 

Poly Hive 

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Needs a 400x lens.

Looks like rice grains.

Mush up bees in a cup, add some water and move it all about, put drop on slide and look for rice.

One or three is fine Chinese meal is not.

PH
 

Annrbel 

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Thanks for that Poly Hive, one of my husband's godchildren is a science teacher, maybe really interesting for his pupils to do a bit of practical diagnostics in class and helpful to beekeepers at the same time. I will be lumbering - sorry asking him.
 

Polyanwood 

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Reason I am not 100% sure mine died of starvation is that they weren't head down in the cells...sad to see newly emerging bees that had died in the process too. I didn't keep any VEG... I was upset and when I tested then last they did have nosema, but they were treated in the Spring and autumn for that. There was no faeces smears inside or out though.

I just wanted them gone once they were dead.
 

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