View Full Version : Isolated starvation
03-05-2002, 10:47 AM
We would like to hear more about isolated starvation. For the past two winters we have lost 2 out of 3 hives with a full supra on top. We use apistan strips and medicate. We usually find the bees dead in a cluster on one side of the hive( a nice ball of dead bees) with little or no stores around them. However, the supra above them is full--never touched. I thought it might be the hive beetle but we find no evidence to support that. We were wondering if we should move frames to the cluster on a monthly basis ? The illusive problem is that my original hive always winters well while my two swarm hives always die. Is this an age problem with the older queens producing a weaker brood ? I have heard some discussion on replicative fading of the brood due to the use of apistan. In closing let me say that this seems like a wonderful board an we are so glad we found you ! We heard of you from the folks at Countrysidemag.com in their forum of homesteading. Thanks for listening !
03-05-2002, 11:37 AM
We usually find the bees dead in a cluster on one side of the hive( a nice ball of dead bees) with little or no stores around them.
With this drifting to one side info. I don't believe isolation starvation was the root of your problems. I strongly suspect tracheal mites! They cause clusters to drift or split. At the same time dwindling happens. Due to the dwindling the bees can no longer maintain as warm a cluster. Or in other words
TM caused the problems which results in starvation as the bees can't generate enough heat to move to stores. Add a small population of varroa and the problem compounds.
03-05-2002, 01:40 PM
I am interested to read your responses as I am also in Virginia and have experienced something similar. My hives that have survived are Carniolans (probably pseudo-mongrel at this point) that I have had for several years, but the hives I lost were an Italian package from last year. Same sort of symptoms. Population was very large when I found them dead, heads in the combs devoid of honey. Full deep super above. BTW, we don't have an established population of hive beetles yet here in Virginia.
03-06-2002, 12:19 PM
The Italians that people occasionally try here in the UK don't overwinter well, and part of the problem seems to be susceptibility to TM, which isn't a problem with the local bees. I suspect your American Italians are probably well hybridised, but I have heard that they are more susceptible, so if it's Italians that you lose, then that would go some way to confirming that it's TM. I'm sure someone from over there can advise as to treatment; if it was me, I'd just avoid Italians, but then they don't do too well in our climate anyway.
03-07-2002, 10:40 AM
Thank You for your replies. It would be very hard for us to avoid the Italions as the local suppliers carry only that type. My only experience is with them. I don't know what else I can do to avoid the TM as I have done everything that our beeclub suggested. I will read some more and buy somemore bees. I find it a fascinating hobby and I quess I'm just a "never say die" kind of person. Thank you all s very much and if you have any additional ideas than please post them. I will be reading everything on this board until the day I know more than the bees. which means I'll be reading forever !
03-07-2002, 05:11 PM
Given that you have survivor hives, why don't you raise queens from them, and avoid the expense of buying in queens which might be susceptible to disease? That way you would have bees that would be bred for your local conditions.