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Thread: loss of bees

  1. #1
    davids beeworks Guest

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    This winter I lost 20 hives of bees all that I own. How can I tell if they were killed by a spray ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Grifton, NC
    Posts
    1,302

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    You have to factor in a lot of things. What kind of weather did you have? Were your bees populated enough to cluster efficiently? Did they have adequate honey stores? What is your mite population? Is there evidence of any other disease or pest? Did they all die at once or did they die off gradually? What kind of bees? Are there other beekeepers near you that suffered a similar loss?
    I'd contact my local bee inspector or some old-timers and see what they have to say.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,121

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    I don't know where you are located, but in any temperate climate there is no reason to spray for insects in the winter. I would suspect Tracheal mites or Varroa mites. Have you looked for the dead Varroa mites on the bottom board? They are only obvious after you've identified them. Otherwise they just blend into the "stuff" on the bottom board. They are about the size of a period, slightly oval shaped and purplish brown colored. If you see the bottom side you can barely (if you have good eyesight) see the fuzzyness of legs on one side.

  4. #4
    davids beeworks Guest

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    Thank you for your reply on my bee loss. I'll check for varroa mites. Yes there was honey on the hives. I found beer cans next to the hives , thus my thought of vandalism. Plus all the bees were on the ground. David

  5. #5
    davids beeworks Guest

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    Thank you for your reply on my bee loss. I'll check for varroa mites. Yes there was honey on the hives. I found beer cans next to the hives , thus my thought of vandalism. Plus all the bees were on the ground. David

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,121

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    Well, vandalism isn't impossible anytime of year. But I would still start by looking for the Varroa mites. The other possibility is the Tracheal mites but you won't be able to see them. I don't know if there is an easily available test for pesticides for a hobbiest. I know they use them for the water department or testing well water.

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