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Bees flying in winter - Colorado, USA


#1

My Bees are flying on warm days this winter. Not unusual in the Colorado front range. However, I am seeing Bees dead on the snow. Is this normal and i just haven’t seen it before or is it a sign of a problem? Could this indicate winter starvation? Thanks for any help.


#2

Did you treat for Varroa in Fall? If so how? What was your last mite count?

Most common cause of bee death over winter is Varroa, followed by starvation and chilling from condensation.

https://beeinformed.org/2016/03/08/why-did-my-honey-bees-die/


#3

Steve,

I often see my bees doing poop flights on milder days … So rather normal in my Western Washington Apiary.

Often these bees (a few) get chilled n their body, muscles n wings fail them. They fall into the snow short of the hive. I see little dimbles with the dead bee melted down into the snow. Is this what your seeing or gobs of dead bees below the entrance.

Do you ever peek under the hood/lid … Only mild days (only) I lift the top n briefly look :eyes: to verify they have winter emergency food patties …I also lift the back of the hive to check wright (available honey supply) … This is a good winter check.

Dawn asked about varroa mite treatments ! Time n experience helps brings answers.

Hope this might help.

Cheers,
Gerald


#4

Steve,

Our winters are not like yours but been nasty since I wrote the above. I’m going to add couple of pix’s … Bee’s that didn’t make it very far or died on way back in. I’m guessing this is what you’re seeing … correct ?! Bee go out on chilly days but warm enough to get them try for a poop flight.


#5

Seeing a handful of dead bees in the snow is normal and lets me know the bees are alive and well.

As an experiment, take a few “dead bees” inside and place them in a container that breathes but doesn’t let the bees escape: You may be surprised to see them “wake up”.