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Disastrous setback


So my efforts to keep my hive cool this weekend have proven unsuccessful. They were doing great up until yesterday afternoon apparently. I had to work but they were doing well when I left in the morning. Sometime during the heat of the day it just became too hot for them to overcome, and I lost the entire hive. A big pile of dead bees at the landing board and on the ground, in the hive… Everywhere.

I wish I had been home to be able to try to do more, but it was just too hot for them. Now to try and decide how to restart and if I should change the location or what.


So sorry - heartbreaking


So sorry to hear that.
WHEN you start again arrange some sort of permanent shade and put the bees in a poly hive.


Sorry to hear.
I would change locations. Most of mine are in the shade/woods.


Really sorry to hear of your hive loss, Adam. One thing comes to mind, are you sure it was heat? Such a rapid mass death is worth investigating - any signs of pesticide exposure, e.g. bees with the proboscis sticking out? Any neighboring beekeepers losing bees at the same time?

I really hope you continue trying with bees. You have gained a lot of knowledge and you have great curiosity and common sense - all valuable attributes in a beekeeper. If you come out to San Diego some time, you would be very welcome to share our bees - they are adorably docile!

Thank you for posting, I know it is a horrible experience to lose a hive, but at least we can all learn from the loss because you shared it. Hope your week improves rapidly.



Adam, that really is devastating. The heat all of you in the Southwest are dealing with is extraordinary.
I don’t know what you could have possible done.

The temps are staying over 110 all night long.

Maybe a setup similar to a Slovenian AZ hive could work by keeping the hive body in a conditioned space.

I’m really sorry you’ve had to deal with such a situation.


Nearly positive it was the heat. They were at record highs for weight up until about 11am yesterday. I thought for sure they would make it though this weather just fine until I went to see them this morning. Here the data… The ambient temp around the hive got to 131 F even with the shade structure I put up.


Wow, that monitor is very valuable! As you know, I hope to have something similar soon. I would still examine the bees to be sure. Some states have a compensation mechanism if you are able to prove pesticides, but you have to send the bees in quickly for examination and testing, because the pesticides dissipate over a few days.


I’ve just been reading about the atrocious temperatures on the west coast…awful!


That’s horribly sad…we had temperatures up around 100 yesterday, and I thought we had it bad!

Best of luck to you, Adam.



Hi Adam, I’m also very sorry to hear of the loss of your bees. Take care, bye


May all of your bees R.I.P :sob:


At this time it would be good to find out what other club members losses were. If some club members didn’t lose any hives, I’d be finding out what they did that I didn’t do. I lost a hive once, when I first started out, that was devastating. I learned a valuable lesson from it. I know what I did wrong, that’s the main thing.

Hopefully a post mortem will reveal something that you could do differently next time. cheers


You sure its entirely the heat? The summer before last we had some really hot weather, hot enough to cause wax to melt in the hive. The bees bearded and moved back in when it cooled in the evening. Lots of dead bees usually indicates pesticides. If its too hot they will usually abscond to try and find a more suitable place.



you can freeze some bees immediately also i read so the pesticides won’t dissipate.

That really sucks btw. maybe a polystyrene hive would help?


I don’t know I would find it hard to believe that someone was out spraying pesticides at 121 F. Unless they found a contaminated water source, but my aquaponics is 4 feet behind the hive and I see them visiting there for water all the time, so I assume that was their main water source as well. The die off correlates directly with the hottest part of the day right before it hit 131 F.

I can’t rule out pesticides but gut instinct says 99% no.


So bummed for you Adam…don’t give up though, you’ll find a solution :thinking:


I hope you will forgive me for this. I love perfectly cooked food, to the extent that we have a home sous-vide setup and multiple Thermopen instant-read thermometers. I cook steaks sous vide all the time and then freeze them to reheat and sear in a cast iron pan later. Guess what temperature makes a great medium-rare steak - 130 to 135F…

I just don’t know how anything can live at those outside temperatures. I don’t want to be gross, but I think you were onto a losing battle here, Adam. You did your best, and nature had other plans. Somehow for me, realizing that the temps that you are enduring are considered decent temperatures for cooking, well that brought a whole new perspective to the problem you faced. So sorry, once again.


Oh Mate, thats just awful. And am I reading this right 131F (55C)? Crikey, that is HOT! :imp: Nothing you could have done to save them… cut your losses and start again.


Hi Rodd, on another thread a bloke had a great idea that I thought would help Adam’s bees. He has hessian draped over his chook house or year with a sprinkler set with a timer. Maybe 5 minutes every hour might be enough to control the hives temp. & save the bees.