Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Teton Valley, Idaho
    Posts
    2

    Question

    I had 3 hives going into winter. On a warm sunny day I went to check on them. All were gone. No frozen cluster, just a few random carcases and plenty of honey! Mouse nest in one of them. Also, all old brood combs are black. All three smelled like beer (?). Any ideas? Last year I lost one, but I thought I wintered them improperly and it had too much moisture and maybe dysentery. It gets cold here (-20F) on occasion.
    Would appreciate any imput-thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Clayton Indiana
    Posts
    348

    Post

    Please update your profile with your location(City,State)
    Were the hives strong going into winter? What type of hive setup did you have. Two deeps? How long had it been since you saw them flying?
    Todd Zeiner

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Glasgow, KY
    Posts
    94

    Post

    I have a similar hive that I will lose.In late October it was full of bees, two deeps,15 frames of bees and about that much honey. Mite counts were low. Last week I saw no brood or eggs and very few bees and not many dead bees. A lot of honey left so what ever happened happened soon after the last inspection. Some mold was in the bottom deep so there was a moisture problem. On a good note I have about 40 or 50 lbs of honey left from them.
    Henry

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Bridgewater VT. USA
    Posts
    238

    Post

    trachael mites? did you use menthol or grease patties made the ssame mistake, thought because verroa were low that they were ok didn't do either lost three. two were in double deeps plus super third in TBH with twelve frames.TBH was empty put langs were still full of honey and pollen.
    Stuart

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Casper, WY
    Posts
    526

    Post

    Hi Guys,

    Sounds like mites, but could also be pesticide related. Take a few brood frames and hold them so the bottom bar is upward. Now look into the cells and see if you can find any varroa fecal deposits on the cell walls. They will look like small drops of yellowish-white enamel paint and are very hard, if not impossible to remove. If you find lots of them, you had a varroa problem. If the hive was heavily infested, the wintering bee population could have been too old to survive the winter. Normally,in such a hive, lots of crawlers, bees unable to fly, will be seen leaving the hive during late summer.

    Tracheal mites can also leave a hive looking like that. Bees with a heavy T mite load will crawl from the hive and can't return. In the north, most of the bees will die in front of the hive, leaving lots of dead bees there. Clusters will shrink to a very small size and then perish when they can't produce enough heat.

    Pesticides can produce the same effect. Dead bees away from the hive and a cluster too small to survive. In a suburban environment, sometimes a few very late blooming plants will be available for forage. The bees will concentrate on these few plants and someone will become concerned about the bees and spray the plants. This can happen in the spring also.

    When a hive dies, some fermentation/mold are common. Let the hive dry out. The bees can take care of the rest.

    Regards
    Dennis

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Teton Valley, Idaho
    Posts
    2

    Post

    Thanks for the input. Mites sound like the answer, lots of "droppings" I thought were just crystals. If I start again this spring with package bees, how should I treat my boxes and equipment to prevent another infestation?
    I appreciate the info, thanks again

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Trinidad, California
    Posts
    98

    Post

    Doesn't have much to do with treating the equipment. You're always going to have mites. You have to get rid of them with Aspitan and grease patties. If you want to go for the more biological way you can treat with FGMO (see that forum for more info) or Small Cell Beekeeping (The Bio. Forum).
    -Scotty<br /><br />Weekly progress of my hive(s) & much more: <a href=\"http://www.total-x.org\" target=\"_blank\">http://www.total-x.org</a>

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,453

    Post

    Or oxalic acid, or formic acid, or sucrocide, or powdered sugar, or...

    The main thing to learn is how to monitor the Varroa mites so you can see when the population explodes and do something about it, or see if the method you are using is working. There are a lot of failures of all methods. Apistan, Checkmite, FGMO, whatever. If you don't monitor the mites you won't know if what you are doing is working. Faith is not a very good mite killer. Don't just blindly assume that ANY method is working.

    Screened Bottom Boards (SBB) with a pull out tray are good for counting the natural mite drop. Or learn to do a sugar roll. But you NEED to monitor the Varroa mites.

    If you want to check for TM you'll need a microscope. Nothing fancy, but you can't see them without one.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,417

    Post

    michael: have you ever disected (sp?) a bee for TM? Is it hard to do?
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Langley, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    413

    Post

    I have done this and it's hard to see

    http://maarec.cas.psu.edu/bkCD/Bee_D...ael_mites.html


    Terry

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,453

    Post

    I have not had bees with any symptoms of Tracheal Mites. I had Buckfasts before I started regressing which are known to be resistant. I used FGMO fog while I was regressing and now, the bees are regressed and are feral survivors. So it hasn't been a issue for me.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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