IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BEES 
I got the following email from a concerned citizen regarding dead bees in May 2014. 
 
“Hi Dave the Bee farmer, We have just noticed over the last couple of days that bees are going in somewhere in next doors lean to/extension thing. But that’s not the problem, the problem is that we have found at least 6 dead bees on the ground outside in our garden about 2 meters away from where we’ve seen them going into next door. And also just down the road, probably about 20 meters away we saw a few dead bees on the ground. So we are wandering if there is a problem that you might know of as to why they are dying?  
 
I got the following email from a concerned citizen regarding dead bees in May 2014. 
 
“Hi Dave the Bee farmer, We have just noticed over the last couple of days that bees are going in somewhere in next doors lean to/extension thing. But that’s not the problem, the problem is that we have found at least 6 dead bees on the ground outside in our garden about 2 meters away from where we’ve seen them going into next door. And also just down the road, probably about 20 meters away we saw a few dead bees on the ground. So we are wandering if there is a problem that you might know of as to why they are dying? Or do you think maybe next door are poisoning them or something to get them out of his house?! 
 
We only have a small courtyard garden with a few potted plants dotted around, but is there anything we can do to help them?” 
 
My reply was as follows:- 
 
First thing to know is …Honey bees or Bumblebees ? 
Honey bees 
Honey bees live about 6 to 8 weeks at this time of year. You might be seeing bees that have died of old age. You might also be seeing bees that died in the hive and have been cleaned out by the live bees. The dead Honey bee might just be cold or starved having been out foraging in the poor weather we have had this week and not made it back to the hive. Six dead honey bees is nothing to worry about. A Honey bee colony will be around 30,000 bees at this time of year.Click on this text to edit it. 
Bumblebees 
Bumblebees are hardier than honey bees so get out in worse weather. There is a chance they are not dead just cold and/or hungry (i.e. out of fuel to fly). If they are on the floor in a tight ball they are probably dead. (same for Honey bees). If they are on their bellies with legs spread they are pooped and hungry. Half a teaspoon of sugar dissolve in half a cup of luke warm water makes a thin syrup. Present the syrup to the bee on a teaspoon. If they have the energy they will start lick it up. The sugar and warmth will revive them in a short while. They will fly off or wander off as the mood takes them. Bumblebee life cycle is quiet short so dead bumbles could quite easily bee the spring generation of bees dying off. However the recent crap weather is the more likely culprit. 
 
If you are seeing piles of dead honey bees i.e. dozens/hundreds that suggests a poisoning. Same the same could be true for bumbles but the pile will be smaller as a bumblebees colony only number 150/200 maximum. If in doubt take a photo and email it to me. I will try to identify the species. 
 
Thanks for the email,  
 
Regards, 
David The Bee Farmer 
Tagged as: Bumblebee, Honeybee
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