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Bees Dying in front of hive - Lebanon

Hello I want to get into beekeeping so I bought 2 hives. I bough them 7 days ago and I’m planning to open them on Monday (3 days from now).
I live in Lebanon and our spring at the moment is a little bit hot. (28°C). I have put water for the bees and all seems well.
Just from observation, I can notice that one hive has more bees coming in and out (I haven’t open my hives yet). Today I noticed some dead bees under this hive (the most populated one).
Do you have any ideas how ? I’ll post some pictures.
(I only can post one for the moment)

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Hi Joe, welcome to the forum! I’m thinking you’re probably seeing the normal number of bees that die in a hive and are carried out and tossed overboard by undertaker bees. If there’s still good activity at the entrance, rather than silence and a huge pile of bees, it probably isn’t due to disease or poisoning.

If you could, take some pictures during your inspection and post them - you’ll get great input with more knowledgeable eyes. Are you in touch with any local beekeepers or a club there?

Thank you eva. I’ll try taking some pictures while inspecting.
Unfortunately beekeeping isn’t quite common in Lebanon, I try to dig up my informations mainly online.

Sure thing. Interesting, I wonder why? Good for you to give it a try - maybe your interest will inspire others! What kinds of flowers and trees are in bloom near you now?

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If my experience turns out to be successful and my bees thrive I think it might some interest around me 20200515_152243|666x500
Around the bees are quite some pine trees, some olive trees, zucchini plants and tomato plants that are flowering, a flowering pomegrenade tree and some wild flowers and wild flowering tress. (I don’t know the name of the flowering wild trees so I’ll post a picture)

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What a beautiful landscape! Sounds like there are many plants for the bees to visit. One of the many wonderful things about beekeeping is that it helps you learn more about your local ecosystem and you start to notice flowers and trees you might not have looked at so closely before :heart_eyes::cherry_blossom:

You’re totally right !

Hello Joe, As Eva says with just one of the two hives with dead bees outside the hive it isn’t likely to be a poisoning issue as both hives would have the problem A queen can lay up to 2000 bees a day for a short time but if you work on an average of 1500 bees a day emerging then the death rate from old age is also 1500 bees.
Not all the bees will die in the hive, more often they just don’t make it back to the hive from foraging. The fatality rate will be the same in both hive but maybe the mortuary bees are just taking the dead out and throwing them from the landing board and with the other hive they are being a short distance before being dumped.
Your inspection on Monday will give you a lot of information, so a pic on anything that concerns you and some feedback there is many on the forum to give advice. 28C isn’t a problem for bees, it’s actually a good temperature, bees will adapt to a big range of climates. For example my Winter nights can be down to 9C and days about 25 with my Summer nights of 24 and days to over 38C and they forage every day when it isn’t raining.
Your photo shows what should be excellent for bees with a variety of flowering shrubs so I wonder why bee keeping isn’t popular there.
Cheers

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Thank you peter for your insight.
It seems that intoxication is unlikely and given the temperature and environment my bees should be doing good actually !
As Eva mentioned earlier and based on your feedback also Peter, the dead bees outside the hive seems to be a pretty normal phenomenon, and I didn’t know that.
Anyhow on Monday after the inspection I’ll try posting some pictures and keep you guys updated.

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You might find on Monday that with just a brood box that adding a super for honey storage would be a good move if the hive is really full of bees, if there isn’t many cells not in use for brood, nectar or pollen. Here I use a queen excluder to keep the queen and brood in the bottom box and the super is exclusively for honey.
Looking forward to an update from you Joe.

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Hi guys, I said that on Monday I would open the hives but because of the pandemic I won’t be able to get my equipment (smoker, suit…) until Friday.
Anyhow, the are still dead bees in front of each hive but in a steady small quantity as before. I guess my bees are happy and doing well and I’ll keep you guys posted once I open and inspect the hive.
Meanwhile stay safe !

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Hello guys, I hope you’re all doing well.
Today I inspected my 2 hives with the help of my father. I have taken pictures of only one of the two hives (the one my dad handled because I haven’t been able to inspect and photograph simultanously the frames I’ve been handling ) but this isn’t a problem since the 2 hives are pretty similar. (I’ll post some pictures).
Each box is formed of 10 frames the first 2 frames of each hive were practically empty beeswax which I think the man whom we bought them from had already inserted.

Around the middle of the hive the frames contained a little bit of brood (in each hive).

In each hive the last 3 frames were the most populated but we inspected only the 3rd one from the end to avoid bothering the bees.
In these frames we saw eggs more frequently and more larva too, in addition to capped brood. We did not see the queen.

My father used to take care of bees as a teenager, he told me that we seem to have freshly hatched hives which need to thrive a little more. And one hive is slightly more populated than the other (I have already mentioned in a post before that from observation one seems more ‘active’ than the other).
There was a varroa prophylactic cardboard which was inserted between the frames in each hive.
We did not see any varroa.
Since it’s may, and we’re considered in ‘late’ flowering seasons (which begins around February in Lebanon). My father suggested that we put a feeder with some syrup ( 2 : 1 sugar to water with some salt and camomille).
I’m waiting for my syrup to cool down I’ll show the shape of my feeder (it’s an extra frame you put on top of the hive).
Finally, I would like to thank you for reading this far and taking interest in my beekeeping experience.
I’m looking forward to hearing from you guys (especially Peter and Eva).
See ya.

Ah, I forgot to mention something, in the ‘more populated’ beehive there seemed to be around 7 cells of drone brood. I don’t know if it means anything or it’s just normal, anyway I’ll post a picture of it.

I tried to see if there was nectar in the cells but need a closer photo. I would expect to see more capped brood as your near to Summer so maybe they need some feeding to build up in numbers. Feeding syrup will stimulate the queen to lay more eggs, no harm in feeding them syrup and keep it going till the bees are finding enough nectar and they will leave the syrup. If your strong hive is really strong you could take a frame of capped brood and put that in the weaker hive and an empty frame from the weak hive into the strong hive so that in a week or two both hives are about equal in bees.
Cheers

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There are some nectar cells but there aren’t many. Unfortunately I have no photos of the nectar cells.
I’ll try feeding the bees for now and wait and see what happens.
But there isn’t this big of a discrepancy between the 2 hives but if I notice a big enough change in number then switching the brood frames will be an awesome idea. Thank you Peter

Thanks for all the photos Joe! I agree with Peter about feeding, good you are already prepared with equipment. Your nectar flow might be good but because the hive populations are still a bit low, they can’t do enough foraging to keep up. I’ve never heard of using camomile and salt in sugar water - how intriguing! But it sounds like it could be beneficial, could you ask your dad to tell us about it?

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