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Lost a hive today

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admin 

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I went up to feed my bees this morning after treating with OA a couple of weeks ago and noticed that I have lost one hive.

The story is: I managed to get a swarm in June and put it into a national hive,fed them and treated with thymol.

The bees built up very fast and even after adding a single super they swarmed a few weeks later(A swarm that swarmed?).

This left them very small,a week or two later I inspected them and found a new Queen that was laying ok with loads of eggs and brood.

Due to the weather during August I fed all my hives with 25lb of fondant.

All hives took it down completly within 2 weeks except the swarmed hive.

I think my mistake may of been that I left an empty super on with the fondant on the top bars and a cover board above the super leaving them to much airspace to keep warm during the cold snap we have just had.

Your thoughts please.
 

jimbeekeeper 

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Hi Admin

Sorry that you report you loss, but it is good that you are open and honest about your loss. I hope other will do the same (if they have to).

Looks like you will be the first to report a loss here? http://www.beekeepingforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=417

Can add much to your reasoning, sounds valid from what you have said. Bassicaly to small a cluster to see through winter, thats nature!

Jim
 

admin 

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Thanks Jim, Yep I messed up big time with that one,shame I had to learn this lesson the hard way.

I suppose its better to speak out and be a fool for 5 minutes than say nothing and be a fool for ever.
 

Bcrazy 

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Hey Admin,
No one is a fool for losing a colony no matter how big or small. By all accounts you carried out the correct procedure but forgot the super.

I suppose its habit that whenever I feed fondant it always goes on the top bars of the brood chamber.
Your not the first and your definitely not the last to lose a colony through the winter period.

So now one of your aims is to replace that colony one way or the other.

Regards;
 

artibaton 

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bad luck ad:(
its always some seemingly trivial detail that gets you
 

Poly Hive 

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always a shame.

Does anyone use insulated dummy boards?

PH
 

rich 

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Hi Admin
Sorry to hear of your loss.

A swarm that swarmed, now there?s a thing, I too had that happen, the original hive swarmed twice, and the first swarms, swarmed once again, if you follow my line ....

Didn't get too much honey last year, but went from 2 to 7 hives real quick lol.
The last one to swarm is quite a small cluster, about three and a bit frames, but they are looking good at the moment, they have candy on, and lots of insulation to boot, top and sides with a solid floor (the only one I have on one) just nursing them along, ready to unite in the spring if they make it.

As you can expect I was busy re-queening last summer, just got one hive still to sort out.

Rich
 

jimbeekeeper 

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I think Poly hive IS refereing to insualted dumy boards? (and not a crown board!)

It is somthing Finman has gone on about i.e if it is a small cluster reduce its area to heat (side ways)

This weekend I plan to insulate under my crown board.

Jim
 

victor meldrew 

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Forgive an old man Jim:cheers2:.
Misread the question but my answer is still in the affirmative :).
I use insulated dummy boards , each with expanded polystyrene trapped between two sheets of plywood.
John
 

Widdershins 

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Oh, Admin, thats a shame. At least you know why though....
 

mrDoe 

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A swarm that swarmed, now there?s a thing,
Hi all

I don't see any mystery in a swarm that quickly builds up only to swarm again. If a prime swarm is lead by an old failing queen then this is exactly what I'd expect to happen. Your old queen had a bit of a rest when the old colony slimmed her down ready to swarm, but then the exertion of building up the new colony has again triggered a drop in queen pheromone and prompted the new colony to swarm again. It's happened to me quite a few times.


Peter
Cambridge UK
 

Jonathan 

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I lost two colonies over the Christmas period. One of my hives, which wasn't the strongest anyway, swarmed on the 27th September which is something I have never experienced before. Both the swarm and the swarmed hive died. Hardly surprising really - both too weak to survive. Survival of the fittest is the only way forward.
 

Hebeegeebee 

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Admin, did you have a queen excluder in the hive?
 

Hebeegeebee 

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I've got a little colony that has a cluster as big as my fist. They're in a small box, and so far are OK. I rekon that I've less than a 50% chance of getting them through to March though.
 

Finman 

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I've got a little colony that has a cluster as big as my fist. .

It is really small!

I woud give to it 3W electrict heating to help them get over.
Actually that size of hives has only value of queen.

In Finland we call them "coffey cup colony".
 

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