This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

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Saturday, February 3, 2007

Bee Starvation Due To Extreme Cold

I will be looking at my bees the weekend of Feb 10 - 11. The temperatures look like they may be in the 20's.
A quick peek to see if they survived this bitter cold snap. Emergency feeding with granulated sugar if they need it.
Bees will start rearing brood this time of year and will not leave the brood. If the cold lasts for an extended time, the bees will consume the food around the cluster. Being they won't leave the brood, starvation occurs even though food stores are a frame away.
What does starvation look like? Starvation looks like a dead cluster of bees with many bees stuck in the cells on the frames, with their butts looking out at you. They were trying to get the last scraps of food.
If you have a dead hive clean it out and close up the entrances. Don't try to clean out the bees out of the cells, the new bees will do this.
If the bees did not survive I will order new package bees immediately. Package bees will sell out quickly this year if starvation is widespread.