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Thread: Bees are gone

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Mount Hope, Wi USA
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    Default Bees are gone

    This is my first year at beekeeping, I have two hives, the one hive is doing great but I have a problem with the second one.
    I have been checking them once per week. They had the bottom two deep hives almost full a month ago so I put the queen excluder on and placed a super
    on each set of deeps. The one hive began filling the super with honey but the other hive were not building honey in the super, there were
    bees in it but they would not start making comb. I had a different new super so I place that on it last week, I check the hive today
    and there were hardly any bees in it. The bottom two deeps were full of honey, capped honey, larva and capped larva.
    What went wrong, have I lost the hive for the year? Is there anyway to get it going again? Any advice on what I should do
    next would be greatly appreciated.

    Dean

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Southeast Texas
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    1,607

    Default Re: Bees are gone

    first problem - getting foundation drawn/pulled above a QE - well I'm not saying it don't happen - I'm saying most times it don't
    Bees will swarm most of the time before crossing a QE with foundation above it - and this sounds like what has happened to you
    see if queen cells have started in this hive - if so that will confirm the swarm

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    Mount Hope, Wi USA
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    6

    Default Re: Bees are gone

    DSCN1055.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by Handyman13620 View Post
    This is my first year at beekeeping, I have two hives, the one hive is doing great but I have a problem with the second one.
    I have been checking them once per week. They had the bottom two deep hives almost full a month ago so I put the queen excluder on and placed a super
    on each set of deeps. The one hive began filling the super with honey but the other hive were not building honey in the super, there were
    bees in it but they would not start making comb. I had a different new super so I place that on it last week, I check the hive today
    and there were hardly any bees in it. The bottom two deeps were full of honey, capped honey, larva and capped larva.
    What went wrong, have I lost the hive for the year? Is there anyway to get it going again? Any advice on what I should do
    next would be greatly appreciated.

    Dean
    Today I took both bottom deep frames apart, the top frame was almost all capped nice white capped brood, but I think I have a problem in the bottom deep,
    most of it was uncapped and a very dark brown in color (excuse my use of terms they may be wrong), do I have some type of disease? I could try to attach pictures if
    that would help. Thankshttp://www.beesource.com/forums/images/attach/jpg.gif Dean
    Last edited by Handyman13620; 08-08-2016 at 01:56 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Default Re: Bees are gone

    Yes. Pictures. Brown brood is a problem. Are you mistaking capped honey for capped brood? Both are on the same frame.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    Mount Hope, Wi USA
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    Default Re: Bees are gone

    I think I have a picture of one of the frames in my original post. Bear with my I probably don't know what I am talking about most of the time
    , I think the top deep had mostly capped honey in it, but most of the bottom ones looked like the picture I have attached. Thanks

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Bees are gone

    Yeah, that looks like a problem. I see perforated cappings, and what looks like mold (?) on the right side of the frame. And lot's of drone cells, especially where the wedge is separated from the top bar in the corner. And also on the bottom of the frame. There seems to be something in the cells, but can't make it out. It looks like the hive absconded some time ago. Hopefully some more experienced beeks will chime in.

  7. #7
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    Jun 2012
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    Todd County, Minnesota, USA
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    Default Re: Bees are gone

    I can't even see the picture.

  8. #8
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    Mount Hope, Wi USA
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    Default Re: Bees are gone

    Thanks for your input. My next questions would be, what caused this, how can I prevent it in the future, what are my options for this hive and also I have another hive
    right next to it, they have one super just about full of honey so I have not been checking the bottom two deep hives below the QE, should I be checking them to
    make sure the same thing does not happen to them.

    Thanks Dean

  9. #9
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    Abbeville Al.
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    Default Re: Bees are gone

    me either.. try and repost if you can
    Quote Originally Posted by Clairesmom View Post
    I can't even see the picture.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Bees are gone

    sorry, I struggled getting a picture attached, its in the top left corner of the 2nd post I made.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Bees are gone

    I see a frame of honey with some pollen in it - also see some honey dripping down from above - the tale-tale sign of SHB in action - the right 1/3 of the frame
    My 2 cents

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Bees are gone

    Quote Originally Posted by cervus View Post
    Yes. Pictures. Brown brood is a problem.
    Nonsense. Brood wax turns brown as a result of cocoons left behind by emerged bees. Some of our brood wax is very dark in older frames, such as the one here. Perfectly normal and not at all a sign of a problem.

    Working beeyards at 7700' elevation in Ponderosa pine forest.
    Visit us at Best Raw Honey

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Bees are gone

    Quote Originally Posted by Agis Apiaries View Post
    Nonsense. Brood wax turns brown as a result of cocoons left behind by emerged bees. Some of our brood wax is very dark in older frames, such as the one here. Perfectly normal and not at all a sign of a problem.
    The op did not say wax, nor did I. Brown "brood" is most definitely a problem.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Bees are gone

    Quote Originally Posted by cervus View Post
    The op did not say wax, nor did I. Brown "brood" is most definitely a problem.
    The OP started with his top box saying it had "nice white capped brood". Since it is capped, the "white" would suggest the wax as you can't see the actual brood. He then moved on to the bottom box saying it was uncapped and brown. If the larvae themselves are brown, then that would be a bad thing. But, the OP compared the color of cappings to what he is seeing in the lower box, which would tend to suggest he was talking about the wax. Perhaps he could clarify.
    Working beeyards at 7700' elevation in Ponderosa pine forest.
    Visit us at Best Raw Honey

  15. #15
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    Evansville, IN
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    Default Re: Bees are gone

    It's normal for there to be little brood this time of year for me, we are in a dearth until the fall asters and goldenrod start up.

    However, you should have plenty of bees, and you don't in that hive.

    Look for queen cells, probably empty in that box, if you find them, it's likely you had the hive swarm. As noted, they often will not draw comb above and excluder, and you don't need an excluder where you are in a first year hive, you need two deeps full of honey to get through the winter up that way. Unless you have very good forage, I'd not expect honey the first year.

    Brown comb just means bees have been raised in it, but dead pupae is a real problem.

    Check for the following:
    "melted" brood turning into rubbery brown "scales" that can be pried out.
    dead brood that stinks and pulls out into a slimy string if you put a toothpick in it and pull out (smells of very dead fish)
    Empty cells with tiny white specs
    tiny worms crawling in and out of the cells, also a rather noxious stink
    tunnels with fat worms in them inside the comb and webbing

    These are indications of:
    European Foul brood
    American Foul Brood (which is the real bady, and fairly unlikely)
    mites
    small hive beetles
    wax moths.

    There are a number of reasons why packages fail, but the usual ones are a bad or failing queen that lays too many drones and the bees don't replace her, swarming from over feeding without enough room, and killing the queen during an inspection when there are not eggs or viable brood available to make a new queen. All of these can be fixed if you see them in time, but it's getting a bit late up that way to rescue a hive. You could try moving a frame with eggs from your good hive to see if they can raise a queen, but there is very little time for them to build up enough to make it through winter -- your first frost date is mid September, right? Or earlier? Gotta have a hive fill of bees and 100 lbs of stores by then, and it ain't gonna happen if they have to raise and mate a queen.

    I would consider combining the hives and feeding them like crazy to get them up to weight.


    Peter

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Bees are gone

    Quote Originally Posted by Handyman13620 View Post
    Thanks for your input. My next questions would be, what caused this, how can I prevent it in the future, what are my options for this hive and also I have another hive
    right next to it, they have one super just about full of honey so I have not been checking the bottom two deep hives below the QE, should I be checking them to
    make sure the same thing does not happen to them.
    Thanks Dean
    Yes, you need to check the brood boxes. The honey super won't tell you squat. If sak is right, and he usually is, you need to check for small hive beetle and take appropriate action. And, just between you and I, take the QE off.


    Quote Originally Posted by sakhoney View Post
    I see a frame of honey with some pollen in it - also see some honey dripping down from above - the tale-tale sign of SHB in action - the right 1/3 of the frame
    My 2 cents
    I see the pollen after zooming in, but I can't see the honey dripping. I lose resolution zooming way in. Anyway, if it is shb, they've about done their dirty. My slimed frames were,...well,,,,slimed. and honey was running out. Looks like that frame is just about dry. And there is something else going on. Would like to see a closer shot of the open cells.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Bees are gone

    We have a good book here in Colorado to help with diagnosing hive problems. You can see an online copy here:

    Integrated Hive Management
    Working beeyards at 7700' elevation in Ponderosa pine forest.
    Visit us at Best Raw Honey

  18. #18
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    Todd County, Minnesota, USA
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    Default Re: Bees are gone

    I see the picture now, but can't make anything out in it Old eyes. Can't help with your current problem.

    fwiw though, I did not think there were shb in Wisconsin. Where did your bees come from?

    Also, for future reference, and I might be a little picky about my bees and my gear, but I would not buy any more bees from whomever sold you that frame. I would not buy a frame like that, nor would I sell one, especially to a new beekeeper.

    Others may feel differently, but that looks like junk, to me.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    Mount Hope, Wi USA
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    Default Re: Bees are gone

    Thanks for the input. Most of the bees are gone from the hive, I was trying to figure out why, do I have a disease, did they swarm, there are
    very few dead bees around the hive, based on your comment I will presume they swarmed. What is my next coarse of action?

  20. #20
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    May 2016
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    Robeson County, North Carolina
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    Default Re: Bees are gone

    If you're concerned about disease, by all means contact your state inspector. That's what they are there for. If it was my hive, and I had eliminated the chance of disease, I would combine the remaining bees with the other hive. I would then allow the other hive to clean up the frames and then freeze all of the drawn comb for a couple of days and store for next year.

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