hi I think i have a problem ,I have noticed thousands of dead and dying bees all over the back yard. they dont seem to be deformed and they all seem to be mature. They seem to be crawling off but are trying to fly but it seems they lift off ok but crash back down quickly. The bees are a package of all americans approx 1 year old got them last march. They have always been very gentle very few stings except if pinched and never agressive. So i opened the hive thurs afternoon after work. the normal ritual ,only the veil, no gloves and no smoke. I am in deep south texas ,and 1st year I left 1 full super on over winter , i added 1 super in late feb just to give them somthing to do and some space,they collected pollen all winter so i didnt think it would hurt. anyway I opened the top and no problems they havent used any of the stores since I last looked in feb and they seemed pretty mellow , Next box I had a few stings going through that box it has alot of pollen and have added maybe some dollar size patches of honey un capped. The next 2 boxes are brood chambers . Well when i started going through that box in march it was full of larve ,capped cells I.E. full of brood . This time it only had a few drone cells and no brood other than that!! After I had pulled 7 frames and ever bit of it empty and no brood and full of very VERY VERY anger bees i think i was getting about 3 stings per second so with only my tee shirt and veil on for protection i decided not to go through the lower box.. anyway i think i got my arthritis treatment for the year. Last fall i borrowed a sbb and had zero mite count. i did not treat at all this year. The bees are hauling pollen like normal and arent agressive if you walk up to it they dont care if your next to it.The hive population seems normal all frames covered with bees not a noticable drop in population. Anyway any suggestions on what to look for when i look again , Obviously i need to find the Queen and look for brood. i havent really looked for the queen in a long time because there was always lots of brood and larve . I know im a novice and im sure some people will laugh at my ignorance, but this newbee would appricate any imput from you wise people.
>I think i have a problem ,I have noticed thousands of dead and dying bees all over the back yard.
Sounds like a problem.
>they dont seem to be deformed and they all seem to be mature. They seem to be crawling off but are trying to fly but it seems they lift off ok but crash back down quickly.
Sounds like they either have Tracheal Mites or they are starving. But you say later that you have checked for stores.
>This time it only had a few drone cells and no brood other than that!! After I had pulled 7 frames and ever bit of it empty and no brood and full of very VERY VERY anger bees i think i was getting about 3 stings per second
Sounds likely that this one is queenless. Sometimes queenless bees get very angry. Do you have a bee suit? Better protection of some kind? I'd plan on either giving them a frame of brood from another hive or a queen. A frame of open brood with eggs might be best.
Sounds like a laying worker colony, you will have to go through the ritual of dumping them on the ground before inserting the new queen.
But there seems to be more of a problem than that if they are dying off by the thousands. You very well may have trachial mites.
You may also need to look for robbing and fighting at the entrance. A weakened hive gets hit pretty hard by the locals.
Another thought. Last fall I was called to a house where the bees were dying off by the thousands. It was way up in a large cottonwood tree.
We concluded that it was pesticides that was killing the colony.
I don't know where you live but to me it sounds like insecticide poisoning. Or, if you have Carolina jessamine by you, that could be the problem. Bees love Carolina jessamine, but it's highly toxic to them. I had quite a kill last year and it was the Carolina jessamine. I still let the darn stuff grow--it'd be impossible to pull it all out--and the bees seem to recover nicely once it stops blooming (about a month from now).