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Why Are Bees Dead During Summer?


This is my first bee hive. I purchased a nuc 4 months ago where I transferred the bees into my flow hive brood box. It is July 21st and I live in west Texas where it has been hot - in the 90’s during day and 65 degrees at night. I currently have one brood box. It is 8 frames which were all naturally drawn out before I added the one flow super box to it. The flow frames are currently about 60% full of nectar and probably 10% capped honey. They have a tarp over them for some extra shade and have plenty of water. The hive is not aggressive and appears to be doing good other than the dead bees on the ground. I did not see much pollen coming in so I am thinking this might be dearth. Would someone be able to tell me if this picture of dead bees, I believe are drone bees, is due to dearth or another cause? I found several dead ones along with a few others that were barely alive. If this is dearth, do I just give them pollen patties on top of the brood box or do I need to supplement sugar water as well?

Thank you for your help,


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Hi Katie, my thinking is: that is drone pupae that has been damaged by hive beetles. Consequently the colony is discarding the damaged brood & hopefully overwhelming the damage the hive beetles may have done.

Bees will make a lot more drone comb with natural comb. Drone brood is susceptible to beetle damage because the emerged drones in the area of the drone brood are not defenders. Only workers are defenders.

A brood inspection will reveal what I’m talking about. You’ll see damaged comb, free of the removed brood in the affected area.

If the bees are successful in overwhelming the damage, the telltale sign will be very obvious by severely damaged comb which will be cleaned out & will remain that way for quite a while because the bees will avoid that area on account of the hive beetle residue is a bee repellent.


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Hi Katie, thanks for reaching out to the forum.

I agree with Jeff. It would be great if you do end up doing an inspection to take photos of what you find so we can see too :slight_smile:

Thank you for the help. I did a brood box inspection yesterday evening and did not see anything out of the ordinary. I have a beetle trap in there & did find 2 small black beetles but did not see any others anywhere. Do you have any other tips for me? Should I just leave them alone? I apologize for so many pictures! I want some other eyes on them to tell me if I am missing something. Once again, I greatly appreciate everyone’s help :two_hearts:

Hi Katie, everything in those photos looks A1 to me. Did you inspect every brood frame? If there was going to be any damage to the comb, it would likely be in the naturally drawn comb because sometimes they’ll build half to even a full frame of drone comb. The damage could be, if any, in the done comb. If no damage is found, it would likely be that the colony didn’t want those drones to continue to develop, so they discarded them.


All of my frames are naturally drawn comb and yes I did inspect every brood frame but did not see anything out of the ordinary. I will check them again in a few days and take a better look at the drone comb to see if I can spot any holes or disruption in them. Hopefully the colony is fine and just discarding some drones! I really do appreciate the help.

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