Photos of three Warré colony die-outs

Out of 11 colonies wintered in October 2008, 8 were still alive by 21 March 2009. The 2007 and 2008 seasons were poor for foraging, especially 2008. These colonies had failed to store enough honey. A large block of candy placed on the top-bars in an eke in October would most likely have prevented these die-outs, which all look like having been caused by starvation as there was no honey in any of the three hives at post-mortem. However, there is the problem of drawing a balance between routine supplementation of winter stores to save colonies and selecting for colonies that are capable of providing for themselves.     David Heaf's bee index

Warré 3 (started 2007) Warré 5 (started 2007) Warré 8 (started 2008)
w3_cloth.jpg (49410 bytes)

Some chewing of the hessian cloth.

w5_cloth.jpg (44699 bytes)

Evidence of damp. Whether from condensation or driven rain penetration is unclear.

w8_cloth.jpg (45263 bytes)
w3_topbars.jpg (41324 bytes)

Cloths are propolised between the top-bars such that all the holes in the hessian are filled.

w5_topbars.jpg (40257 bytes) w8_topbars.jpg (39074 bytes)
w3_deadbees_from_above_combs_parted.jpg (35362 bytes)

Dead bees viewed between top-bars. Combs parted.

Dead bees in W8 were in a similar position.

No top view available.

w8_deadbees_from_top_combs_parted.jpg (33914 bytes)
w3_deadbees_side_view.jpg (52774 bytes)

Dead bees on comb. Many head first in cells.

w5_deadbees1.jpg (66990 bytes)

Patch of dead bees going mouldy.

w8_deadbees_from_side.jpg (50887 bytes)

Patch of dead bees going mouldy.

w3_comb.jpg (52058 bytes)

Irregular comb despite wax bead starter on all top-bars.

w5_comb3_queencells.jpg (60225 bytes)

Queen cells on edge of irregular comb.

No picture available.
w3_underside.jpg (47872 bytes)

Many combs start on one top-bar and cross to the adjacent one.

w5_underside.jpg (54924 bytes) w8_underside.jpg (38334 bytes)

The colony was wintering in less than a full box of comb. Warré 5 did this successfully through 2007/8 winter and went on to swarm in the summer.

David Heaf's bee index

Towards Sustainable Beekeeping