View Full Version : Reasons for Bee Hive Failure....Poll

10-05-2011, 03:00 PM
I will start #1 being the most often #99 being the least.

#1 Starvation, winter, early spring and during darths, I believe this to be the #1 nationwide killer of hives
#2 Small Hive Beetles in some areas these #1

10-05-2011, 03:45 PM
#1. Varroa mites are the root cause of 90% of my losses.

10-05-2011, 04:01 PM
Id have to put mites pretty high on the list but would like to find the root cause of hive death - for instance ... if Mites can and will carry pathogen and diseases --- where are the mites getting it ??? all mosquitos dont carry malaria but in Africa they do ?????? not all ticks carry Lymes Disease???? so where do Varroa find these diseases to infect bees with ???

second killer is denial !!!! Denial that one has a mite issue. have to start a VMA ( Varroa Mite Anonymous Meetings)

third is lack of knowlege of areas darths and when and what to feed - which brings me to the fouth

forth - Bee Nutrition in winter and early spring months -

Fifth But should be higher i know but its on the list is Queens and breeding Programs ( or lack of )

that should start the list for others to add on

Rick 1456
10-05-2011, 04:06 PM
Feeding them Bananas. :)

SORRY, I couldn't resist. :)

10-05-2011, 04:06 PM
The Apiary Inspectors of America might be a good and accurate source of the answer to this question.

But, I think that beedeetee has a good handle on things. Varroa have killed more colonies of bees in the last 25 years than almost any other thing which have killed bees.

I saw a number of dead colonies during the last two days of helping a friend strip his colonies of honey down to traveling height. Most of the colonies that are alive have really poor looking brood. Probably a third to half of the colonies that were alive this past summer are not now. In all likeliehood Varroa and Nosema contributed to the die off. Perhaps poor nutrition did as well. Though these colonies are not as well traveled as others. Wintered in the South. Apple Pollination in NY and then into their summer yards.

1. Varroa
2. Nosema
3. Viruses
4. Diseases
5. Starvation
6. Malnutrition, maybe
7. NonVarroa Pests such as SHB and Wax Moths. Though usually these do not kill a hive unless it is weakened by some other condition.
8. Poorly mated Queens

Somewhere in there should be the Beekeeper. But I don't know where or exactly why. Too much manipulation? Not enuf Mentoring? Education/knowledge/experience?

10-05-2011, 04:14 PM
1. Flying buckets during hurricanes.

10-05-2011, 04:14 PM
... if Mites can and will carry pathogen and diseases --- where are the mites getting it ??? so where do Varroa find these diseases to infect bees with ???

I believe what I am going to write is generally true. It'sa the way I understand things. Others like Bush or Russell or Palmer or others may understand things better or in more detail than I, but I will take a stab at it.

The Mites don't carry diseases in the same way that mousquitos do. Varroa mites are a VECTOR for Viruses. These viruses are always aroundf, like the common cold rhinovirus. When the Varroa do damage, they make it possible for viruses, like the Isrealli Paralysis Virus, to enter the bees body or internal system.

That's how I understand it.

Rick 1456
10-05-2011, 04:25 PM
I would equate it to heart worm in dogs.
The Heart worm pathogen, a trapanasome??? ah, worm is transmitted when a mosquito bites an infected dog picking up the worm. The now carrier/vector mosquito, bites another dog. The HW is transferred, add infinitum.

10-05-2011, 06:01 PM
If i had to say #1 killer....the beekeeper 98% of the time
Why, varroa, nosema, viruses, nutrition, are all management issues... managed by the beekeeper in one fashion or another.
Varroa...we can manage
nosema... can be managed
viruses...can be managed most times when varroa is managed
nutrition can be managed by knowing when and what to feed

things like SHB, and wax moths. From what i have read on here, strong hives keep both SHB and wax moths at bay. Again, management issue

Weather would be #2

10-05-2011, 06:06 PM
#1 - REAL CCD.

Everything else, including Varroa mites(just a vector), are a walk in the park.

I agree with what SQKCRK wrote about mites vectoring diseases.

Crazy Roland

10-05-2011, 06:16 PM
Somewhere on the list should be pesticidies.

Today I noticed several hundred dead bees outside two of my hives. This is the second time this season. Somebody close by must have sprayed something. While neither event (hopefully I'll get through this second one OK) killed off the hives, I know there are instances where spraying can weaken a hive to the point where it just can't recover.

Rick 1456
10-05-2011, 06:17 PM
You make a good point HS.
I have read other post on this subject. "I have hives that I manage hands off as much as possible". I have some hives that I observe, and do not intervene unless a reason is presented. They tend to be my better hives. Doesn't mean because I don't, makes them so. More than that. Still, hands off management has its merits when applicable. JMHO

10-05-2011, 10:21 PM
I started out reading the responses thinking varroa is the real culprit toward dragging down a hive.

I like how several of the responses dance around the concept of the beekeeper and/or management. I kept looking for "procrastination" in the mix. I also thought someone would have added "PPB."

For this past year, I'd have to add flooding to the cause of hive mortality. We had rains and flooding on the level of biblical proportions. Most of my hives survived getting blown over from the five tornadoes we experienced. I'd set them back up only to have another storm system rumble through every few days.

Jackson, MO

Michael Bush
10-06-2011, 02:28 AM
Pre Varroa (1974-1996):

1. Small cluster and bitter cold (-40 fora month once)
2. Starvation.
3. Cold Starvation (can't get to stores)
4. Dwindling. Possibly poor queens.

Post Varroa, pre small cell (1997-2001):

1. Varroa (as evidenced by tens of thousands of dead Varroa on the bottom board)
2. Varroa
3. Varroa
4. Varroa
(I assume if they had survived the Varroa they would have had the opportunity to die of something else)

Post Varroa, post small cell (2002-2011):

1. Small cluster and bitter cold (-27 for two weeks or more)
2. Starvation.
3. Cold Starvation (can't get to stores)
4. Dwindling. Possibly poor queens.

10-06-2011, 04:29 AM
what honeyshack said