Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Waxhaw (Charlotte) NC
    Posts
    56

    Post

    My bees seemed healthy last Fall with a very small mite count. Put shop towels with wintergreen for the trachaels and fed 2 gallons 1 to 1 sugar water to supplement the full super of stores on each hive. I live just below Charlotte.
    In the last 2 weeks I've lost many hives. Some say it is CCD, but I wonder. Most of the hives only have a few dead bees on the SBB, and a handful in the starved position. No brood, no stores anywhere inside.
    My questions are: What is the sequence of events in the hive when the varroa gets the upper hand? Same question for Trachaels.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    >Most of the hives only have a few dead bees on the SBB, and a handful in the starved position.

    Does not sound like death by varroa. Hives weakened by varroa predation typically dwindle over time and you end up with a pile of dead bees on the bottom board, a small cluster that lacked critical mass and succumbed to cold temperatures and starvation, and of course, lots of dead mites on the bottom board. If you don't have those symptoms, your hives likely died out from something else. Of course, even moderate levels of varroa in a hive can cause "problems" that can impact the bees ability to winter over and can in some cases cause death with symptoms other than "classic" death by PMS.
    Dulcius ex asperis

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,837

    Post

    You mentioned "no stores anywhere inside". Unless the hives are being robbed out AFTER they die, I think this might be clue.

    As George says, "Hives weakened by Varroa predation typically dwindle over time and you end up with a pile of dead bees on the bottom board, a small cluster that lacked critical mass and succumbed to cold temperatures and starvation".

    Have you looked for mites among the debris on bottom board (or closed sticky board)?

    If you have not been removing them, there may be lots of mites.

    If others say CCD, you might want to send in samples, you, and they might be surprised.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Worthington, Pennsylvania USA
    Posts
    1,848

    Post

    "no brood and no stores"
    Is there any wax residue on top of the dead bees on the bottom board indicating that the stores were robbed out after death of the colony?
    "Younz" have a great day, I will.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Worthington, Pennsylvania USA
    Posts
    1,848

    Post

    If not I would then assume that the colony starved.
    "Younz" have a great day, I will.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    piedmont s.c.
    Posts
    244

    Post

    no brood and no stores ; wax capping would have been on the dead bee at the bottom of the hive as power n stated,if they did not die of starvation, but it takes a lot of knowledge and examination to exactly why they died.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    You can usually tell from the appearance of the comb if it was robbed out rather in a hurry as opposed to being consumed slowly over time. Robbers are none too careful about opening cells and robbed combs typically have a frayed torn-up appearance. Also, if it was warm enough to rob it would be warm enough to defend so I'd expect to see evidence of battle. It doesn't sound like this is the case.

    From powersitbe's description, they had a full super of stores plus a couple of gallons of syrup. If they ran out of food and starved, there would be a lot of dead bees in the hive- on the bottom board and clustered. He only found a few dead bees on the bottom and a small handful of bees "in the starved position" which I take to mean head first in cells.

    If they had cleaned out their stores and absconded, I wouldn't expect to find any bees in the hive so if mites didn't get them and they didn't abscond, what happened?
    Dulcius ex asperis

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Waxhaw (Charlotte) NC
    Posts
    56

    Post

    Thanks for the observations.
    I do see some evidence of robbing in the a few areas where there is torn-up cell cappings.
    There are only a very few dead bees on the bottom board. Impossible to tell if cappings fell before or after colony died.
    I still do not see much in the way of varroa on the plastic sheeting I stapled under the hives to act as a winter wind break.
    I collected some bees that were staggering around on the ground in front of dying hives (not clustered up at all) and will have them examined by North carolina.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    >bees that were staggering around on the ground in front of dying hives

    Mike Palmer told us that was the classic sign of T-mites. Especially if there is a pile of bees out front.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,282

    Post

    Varroaosis, from my experience, looks sorta like AFB, but not quite. Almost the same, but not quite the same.

    Open cells, ropey gunk in cells, but not quite like AFB.

    Your problem sounds to me like a weak colony that didn't winter well.

    If you can get your State Apiary Inspector to look things over perhaps he/she could tell you what happened. But, maybe not.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Thurmont, MD
    Posts
    196

    Post

    "I collected some bees that were staggering around on the ground in front of dying hives"

    Any DWV?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Post

    Ken
    staggering bees sounds like flightless bees walking around, one of the clear signs of nosema, barring the deformed wings Mark Mentions is common in Deformed wing virus. Look for deformed wings (varroa) or K wing (nosema).

    [size="1"][ February 23, 2007, 12:18 PM: Message edited by: Joel ][/size]

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads