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elfie_the_elf
Dead Bees

Ok, so I am new to bees, but I got my first colony 2 days ago(it's a full colony from a reputable source) Yesterday and today I've noticed a lot of dead bees around the hive, mainly at the entrance. What could be causing this? Or is it normal? Any and all advice gratefully appreciated!

KevinK
KevinK's picture
Hi elfie!

Hi elfie!

Welcome to the site!

How would you define "a lot"? 20, 30 40 dead bees?

From what i have read this may be quiet normal. if it was a nuc id be worried but since it is a full colony, 20,30,40 isnt a lot, they could just be bringing out the dead.

Hope everythings ok and enjoy :)

elfie_the_elf
I would say 30-40. there were

I would say 30-40. there were more today but i would say slightly less. hopefully, they will settle down, they travelled about 2 1/2 hours in the car, so maybe a few died that way.

KevinK
KevinK's picture
Ya, its possible that some

Ya, its possible that some did die along the way and im sure they will settle down over the next few days. But keep an eye on it just in case.

Have you done an inspection on the hive yet for stores / disease etc?

joctcl
Hi Elfie,

Hi Elfie,

As Kevin says welcome to the forum

Was there a ventilated roof or open mesh floor on your nuc that you bought?

An overwintered nuc has a lot of bees in it, they need to be watered or sprayed before travelling and kept cool with the ac on during journey as they generate a lot of heat.

You may have had heat in car on your journey in this cold weather!
I suspect some of your bees cooked and you are seeing dead bodies being thrown out as part of housekeeping.

I know that number of bees doesn't look good but in a 2-5K colony of bees don't be over concerened.

Wait for 1st good weather blue skies (no wind) and inspect for dead bees on floor of hive if there are lots thats a bigger problem.With that number of bees you have you should look at transferrring them to a full hive asap to avaoid swarming when the weather improves. 

John

Chairperson Roundwood Beekeepers

admin
just checking, have you fed

just checking, have you fed them since getting them?

Pacot
Hi All,

Hi All,

I have found some dead bees every time that I have transported nucs in a car.I would not have too much concern unless it continues next week.

 

joctcl
Elfie,

Elfie,

There is one other thing that may be happening and is a problem associated with open mesh floors.

If you have no landing board on the hive the late returning bees cling on the bottom of the underside of the open mesh floor not being able to find their way back in.

The cold overnight will kill them and will fall to the floor.

Easiest way to prove this is look at underside of hive before dusk.

Do you have landing boards.

John

Cul a cnoic
Cul a cnoic's picture
As well said above, don't

As well said above, don't worry too much about it for now but if it continues into next week you should get a local beekeeper to have a look. And feed if needed

joctcl makes a good point about the bees clinging onto the bottom of the mesh but this can be easilly overcome by placing the tray under the mesh for the first few days till the bees get their bearings.