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Few dead bees on snow

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jezd 

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Interesting to check my hives today, about 3-6" of new snow and temps around -2'c here and there are still bees flying every few mins (this is over the 40+ hives mind) - thats fine. But what I didnt expect to see on top of last night fresh snow was about 6-12 dead bees per hive all scattered around - all dead from todays flights as we had a fresh fall of snow last night. Was surprised to see bees struggling to get back into hives and I assume its just down to such low temps, the bees would fly back and seem to struggle to land, once they missed the hive and landed on the snow then its too late and they just die within seconds.

Weather was calm but COLD, clear skies for most of the day and I suspect it was the first day they could fly in ages.

Anyone else seeing this?

I will upload some interesting pics a little later.

Jez
 
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VEG 

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This is quite normal as they get chilled very easily once they miss their landing.
 

jezd 

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This is quite normal as they get chilled very easily once they miss their landing.
thanks, pics uploaded now, I felt so bad for them, all that effort only to fail to get back in the hive - also this is another reason I dont like having an extra super under the brood box, it just means more delay for bees returning and getting back to the warmth of the cluster.

From watching a few coming back I got the impression that if they miss just once then its over for them as they cool so quick.
 

VEG 

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It is difficult to watch them miss their landing spot but I leave mine to it. The numbers of bees in your pics are nothing to worry about. You are noticing them more because you can see them easier on the snow. You probably wouldnt notice if they were on the grass/ground. :cheers2:

Nice set up you have there
 

jezd 

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very true, in fact the snow made it so easy to spot them flying too, at least I know some are still alive lol, role on MARCH !!!
 

Hivemaker. 

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Don't know if it is somthing else on the mouse guard and front of one hive,but if not it looks like one may have dysentry.
 
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Probably not worth it for the few days a year most of get snow, but the "cure" is to lean a board over the entrance. This puts the entrance in shade and they are less likely to be attracted out by the bright light reflecting off the snow. They are flying when they shouldn't 'cos they think it is sunny and warm outside.

Is the loss serious? There are 30+ bees under the hive in the close-up. If you lost that amount every day for a month you would lose about 10% of the winter bees. To be avoided I think if possible.
 
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Black Comb 

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I've had exactly the same today (3 " snow) with one of my hives - the carnis.

the other darker hive (bees with attitude) has not ventured out.

Interesting layout there jezd.

I'm currently trying to work out my optimum no. of hives in a 5m x 3m plot.
 

m100 

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It's not all to do with the snow.

Site your hives in an area surrounded by concrete and you'll see dead bees nearly all the year round to some extent, maybe a couple of dozen per week at this time of year. Site your hives on rough ground, or bark chippings, especially if the hive stand isn't on a paving flag and you'll hardly ever see them.

One advantage of surrounding concrete, or hives stood on flags is that you'll clearly see crawling bees affected by varroa long before you'd ever notice them around the hive (and sometimes not at all)
 

jezd 

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Don't know if it is somthing else on the mouse guard and front of one hive,but if not it looks like one may have dysentry.
I had to think on that one, its mud :) the snow is great at hiding things, under the snow is clay and mud and there was some splashed on the hive from memory.
 

jezd 

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Interesting layout there jezd.

I'm currently trying to work out my optimum no. of hives in a 5m x 3m plot.
Its a bit of land at the bottom of a small field, I had to get the digger on it to level the site but it means its a mud bath this Winter. I dont plan to have many hives on here normally, the reason for the layout is the wind. I should have taken a pic from the other side as the hives are plastered with an imch of snow!
 

Finman 

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I had now this weekend -22C, sun shined and it attracted tenns of bees onto snow.
On clowdy days this will not happen.
 

jezd 

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Interesting, thanks all
 

jezd 

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This was the other side of the hives, hence the rotation :)
 

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