Sunday, March 9, 2014

Deadout Autopsy #1

So pulled one hive apart to inspect the dead out and figure out what went wrong. First box, full of honey probably 60+lbs plus a ton of granulated sugar on top of that –very few bees with their heads in cells. This pretty much rules out a starvation theory, and now I have to delve deeper. 

Clearly a great deal of stores left
Upon closer examination and looking through dead bees we can find the culprit. Mites! The mites will slowly kill off the bees reducing the size of the cluster and give them a host of viral problems. As the cluster gets smaller it makes it very difficult for the bees to maintain heat. Only small clusters will die out from cold/starvation because they simply cannot rear brood or move to honey stores.

You can imagine, if the few dead bees clinging to the combs had two visible signs of mites, what the dead ones on the bottom boards must of had.

Result: Varroa killed the bees!
It is a sad reality of not treating bees!


  1. sucks dude. I checked mine over hard for mites and never saw evidence of a single one! not on dead bees, and none in capped brood cells. I guess that's good, but they still didn't make it. What a crappy year.