It’s an awful feeling and I was barely able to sleep through the night but I’ve worked through many other problems and I’ll work through this one too. I installed Hive A in April of 2011 and it is very sad to realize there is no life left in it now. Photos – http://bit.ly/YUzvgS Most of the dead bees were found on the screened bottom board and some were frozen in place on frames. This hive had 2 deeps and 1 medium super. The super is full of honey and the upper deep still had three full frames of honey. The lower deep frames were empty. With the brood cells that were left I found no indication of foulbrood but I am sending samples to the USDA lab in Beltsville, MD. I’ve also ordered a couple of diagnotic kits from http://www.dadant.com . My guess is that I lost my queen late in the fall and the result was this or they succumbed to varroa mites. I would assume there would be more dead bees though.
The last time I checked Hive A thoroughly was on October 14 and the hive was healthy and had plenty of stores, bees and some brood. The last noticeable activity was on November 10 with lots of buzzing bees. Recently on the rare warm sunny afternoon I did not notice any bees from this hive being active. In Hive B which was installed in May of 2012 the bees there have been active on every sunny day in the 50’s. They still looked good on December 29.
I was cleaning out the dead hive and I’m thinking I might have had a late fall swarm due to the warm spell. There just wasn’t enough dead bees to account for the amount that was in the hive. The Varroa count was negligible to non-existent and I knew back in November there were a lot of dead bees on the floor but the rest of the hive was full of bees. I should have opened up and checked better to see why the dead bees were not being removed. I need to know What To Do With Honey From A Dead Bee Hive.