Why did my honey bees die?Beekeepers have already lost a lot of colonies this winter. While official counts won’t be recorded for a few months, some trends are starting to emerge. One of these trends is a specific type of colony death. I’ve received so many calls describing the scenario below, that I can describe the deadout before opening the hive, or before the beekeeper describes it over the phone. While I may impress some with these predictive powers, the frequency of these types of losses indicates a real epidemic that is affecting honey bee colonies in northern states.
Learning to identify a common cause of winter death
By Meghan Milbrath, Michigan State University Extension, March 3, 2016
Characteristics of the common early winter death in northern states:
- The colony was big and looked healthy in the fall
- A lot of honey is left in the top