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  1. #1
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    Default New Thread on the CCD/beeloss/frustrated beekeeper forum

    Just wanted to ask a couple quick questions about Hawaii. Has anyone heard if the "CCD" has bee confirmed, I mean are they having the same problems?
    One of the symtoms of CCD is that colonies in the same yard will not rob dead ones or equipment that has had suspected CCD, do you think this is because of contamination or a symptom of the sick bees.
    My bees seem to rob them heavily after the equipment has sat for about two weeks, but within that two weeks, in my case, the bees also looked like they were making a strong come back.
    My personal feeling, at present, is that it is an auto immune type of disease, most likely brought from another country. I say this because of the speed that it traveled and how much loss there was across the board. Every beekeeper did something different with very similar results. In my case it really seemed to cooralate to mite load. I had a yard of 50 colonies, that didn't get the last dose of OA. I lost 48 out of 50. Other yards were averaging about 50% loss. The nucs I had made at the end of the summer were my best bees at the end of January.
    Guess we'll see.....or maybe not. We will just tell our kids when it happens again in 50 years ...." I remember back in ought 7, ......the great die off it was called......or was it CCD........now what did CCD stand for again?.....can't remember, oh well turn on MattLock"

  2. #2
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    Default

    Look under diseases and pests in the general forum "Tentative Recomendations for hives experiencing CCD. When you download the link it will have reccomendations on how to deal with the equipment from the lost hives.
    doug

  3. #3
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    Default

    >I lost 48 out of 50

    sierrabees

    Years that I find heavey losses, as you are, I'll take all the survivours and collect them to make up a single yard. Few years ago I made one yard of 32 from 4 heavey loss yards.
    Test and relieve any linguring symtoms of disease,
    That yard will be the last yard to fail again.
    Do that routeenly, and you will have some good genetics linguring in that yard to pull from!

    I do that along side of a yard that I pull my best hives from. Good winters, builders, gentle, honey producers, ect,.
    It gives the operation a good bench mark to follow, a place to mingle your best hives to also pull from!
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  4. #4
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    Default

    1) Where did you source your queens?

    2) When did you requeen the hives that failed/died?

    I'm kinda surprised that no one has mentioned this factor,
    as it makes more sense to me that a problem that appeared
    at about the same time "all over the place" would be spread
    by inputs to beekeeping, as a normal spread of "disease"
    would show up somewhere "first", and then spread from that
    area.

    I guess the various queen suppliers are so touchy about any
    mention that they (gasp!) might be the source of any problem
    that the research team is loathe to mention "queens".

  5. #5
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    Default

    Certainly possible queens could be a problem. But still is awfully wide spread and with many different sources of queens from what I've gathered. My own hives suffered badly (my queens from Sue Cobey's stock), yet my II queen mothers did much better, and some with my queens had few losses (though had some trouble with queens from elsewhere).

    So it does lead me to believe genetics can be playing a part (either preventing or resisting the problem), but I don't think that's the whole picture.

    -Tim

  6. #6
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    Default

    The symptoms of CCD were NOT seen in Hawaii.

    What they had was a simple pesticide kill at one location
    on one island, and this incident was offered up as a TESTBED
    to compare and contrast a known "Imidiclorprid kill" to what
    is being seen with CCD.

    The symptoms were not at all similar to CCD, but the offer of
    the kill as a "testbed" may have resulted in garbled communications.


    This clarification comes from Gus Rouse (Kona Queen) in Hawaii,
    who e-mailed me today:

    <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> <><><><><>

    "This all came about after we received a "spray kill" on one location.
    The farmer had notified me that he had used the systemic imidiclorprid.
    I offered up this info to the [Board Of Directors] of [the American
    Beekeeping Federation] as a possible way to clarify this particular cause
    to CCD. My thinking was that tests could be done on my bees without the
    complications of varroa mites or controls, viruses, etc.

    Of course within 48 hours we were getting calls from all over the country!
    We are fine.

    I contacted Dennis and Mary Ann at Penn State and they had me do a few things.
    For one, we put out combs and they were robbed out in a few hours.
    Two, just the field force was damaged and three, all hives recovered
    quickly. We have just had another coffee bloom and I have been checking
    for damage and have seen none to date."

    <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> <><><><><>

  7. #7
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    Smile thanks

    thank you to all.


    Jim, I raise about 50% of my own from colonies that I mark through the year that I like. Last year I ordered about 20% replacements from Gunter Honey Company, the other 20% were grafted from my uncles stock and were randomly selected. And I usually order about 5% of the latest greatest. This year I got smr/russians from Koehn and Sons. They all died of foul brood before the honey flow hit. (but, hey ,no mites*:????) I do mark all of the nucs that I put the various queens into but I don't mark the queens themselves, so supersedure is a possibility. If you'll go to the archives and look at what I wrote in August and Sept. of last year, you will see that my bees had this then. They were falling victom to a multitude of diseases at once. All of the different gene lines were showing the same. The real kicker that got me was that after trying several experiments on a some of the worst ones (TM, Tylan. ,mineral suppliments, apple cider vinigar/honey mix) I gave up and moved them to the desert of New Mexico, where the moisture had made for some of the best forage in years. I figured if a good fall honey flow couldn't cure them nothing would. Some of the stronger colonies actually drew out foundation in late Sept. early October in addition to getting really heavy on desert honey. There is no agriculture anywhere down there. They were flying good and looked more active. After initially setting them south, I went back 2 weeks later to apply the last dose of OA. At that time I saw an alarming number of dead bees out side the hive in a large fan pattern. Looked like a med. spray kill. The hives had lost population very badly......in warm weather...with great forage....and a honey flow......at that point I shook my head and went home for winter.

    This eliminates alot of factors for me, such as agriculture contamination, genetics, one particular disease. In additon, I only fed 100 gallons of corn syrup this year total, between 600+ colonies. Yet, still 50% are gone, so I don't think it is Bt protien and their nutrition should have been well met on the desert. My back still hurts from hauling in hive bodies that they had plugged full of honey before they disappeared.

    Ian, great suggestion. Everyone should do something to that effect.

  8. #8
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    Default

    >>>My bees seem to rob them heavily after the equipment has sat for about two weeks, but within that two weeks, in my case, the bees also looked like they were making a strong come back.<<<

    This is the pattern seen in FL.

    >>>My personal feeling, at present, is that it is an auto immune type of disease, most likely brought from another country. <<<<

    If this were brought in by alien bees...it follows that those bees learned to live with it. That means there is a genetic solution. I don't believe it.

    The thought that I had this morning was that the life span of the bees became shortened. Nosema (which it isn't) and mite killers, as well as mite loads, have been known to shorten lives of bees. Ditto poor nutrition, overwork and a lot of other things. This is one way all the stressors could have a part. Lifespans became so short that they couldn't maintain.

    dickm

  9. #9
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    Thanks Dick. I've been hearing so much about pesticides and chemicals its making my head hurt. I have been commenting about nutrition, stress, low bee protein levels and suppressed immune systems for awhile now. I know Joe Waggle had focused on nutrition from the start. I dug deeper into nutrition, stress, and "bee protein levels" than I ever thought possible. I also think its a combination of things all coming together in a "perfect storm" scenario.

  10. #10
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    Default California woes on ccd

    re: nutrition. The problem with the nutrition theory just like the pesticide theory is that "ccd" is too wide spread. If this problem is largely nutrition based how can everyone everywhere in the U.S. have bees that have not had proper feeding?

    I would like to see how many beekeepers who were drastically affected (50% loss or more) either went to California in 2006 or were keeping bees in a relatively close proximity to a beekeeper that went to the almonds in 2006. I am also very keen on hearing from anyone who has Austrailian packages that they recieved in 2006. Are they dissapearing as well? I am convinced, along with several other people that this epidemic was spread in California. And to go along with Bjorn and other theories the problem gets bad under stress conditions and once the hive is having problems they cant seem to come back no matter what.

    Dick, I was told by Bart (can't remember last name) at the Beltville, MD bee lab that, just like humans, bees carry thousands of virus' at any one time. There virologist, in the past, has found virus' that affect bee health but to put a finger on what virus does what is virtually impossible. I think it would be very plausible that foreign bees could harbor a virus that they have come to live with but ours have not.

  11. #11
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    Simply,
    Please don't take my words out of context.

    I'll repeat again, what I have said many times. I think its a combination of things. Among others, mites suppressing the immune system, stress, nutrition, and low bee protein mass going into Fall.

    If your looking for one definitive connecting factor to explain every CCD like loss, I think your barking up the wrong tree.

    I believe, taking into account the health of bees as we know them today, with mites, viral, bacterial and who knows what else making a suppressed immune system, then add highly stressful bee management practices, and add yet a very poor honey and fall buildup period as noted last fall, and a industry with no real education on bee protein levels and whats needed for healthy bees...and you have a combination of factors.

    Poor nutrition and stress alone can be the down fall of many species. But add all the other impact items to bees today, and the possibility for a lethal combination increases. And who knows, perhaps chemical tainting is adding to the problems even further.

    I have learned more about nutrition and bee body mass proteins after CCD hit, than in years prior. I can not even find a modern beekeeping book that even discusses fall feeding, body protein levels, and how they are connected to fall dwindling and winter loss.

    See http://www.honeybee.com.au/Library/p...nutrition.html

    I never said nutrition was a single factor in CCD, let alone "largely". Its part of a larger mix of item in my opinion.

    The immune system and the bees ability to handle such diseases as nosema, EFB, and others, are directly linked to stress, bee protein levels, and poor nutrition. Stress in itself can come about from migratory beekeeping, mite loads, and many other items, including chemical poisoning.

    It was already noted that most CCD respondants did not feed protein last fall. Some did, but most never even considered feeding protein in the fall. I for one never even knew until recently the importance of fall protein feeding and the impact of bee protein levels and the effects of dwindling desease, the impact on how it drastically shorten a bees lifespan, and other factors.
    Last edited by BjornBee; 03-19-2007 at 11:47 AM.

  12. #12
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    >I can not even find a modern beekeeping book that even discusses fall feeding, body protein levels, and how they are connected to fall dwindling and winter loss.
    >>importance of fall protein feeding and the impact of bee protein levels and the effects of dwindling disease, the impact on how it drastically shorten a bees lifespan, and other factors

    Very interesting Bjornbee,

    The Canadian Honey Council did a short study on the advantage of fall feeding protein substitutes, compared to not feeding, and as I can recall, found no advantage to the hives wintering success or subsequent split or crop production. They also compared it to spring feeding of substitute, where they did find an advantage to feeding ( no surprise).

    One thing I have to add, is that we do run a very long honey flow, right up to freeze up. So there always seems to be something giving off pollen right to the end of the season. The CHC did the studdy for Canadian beekeepers, so I wonder if your observations lead to your conclusions because of late season dearths,.?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  13. #13
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    Nice comments Ian.

    We here on the east coast also normally have a good pollen source till the first freeze. But two factors may of played into it. Last season was not considered normal in honey production or fall flow. I'll assume this made an impact on pollen as well. The second was that bees raised brood almost non-stop far into the winter beyond where they would normally stop. I watched bees emerging on the 10th of January, meaning the queen was laying prior to the winter solstice. I know it means nothing for bees on crops down south or warmer climates, but thats where poor nutrition, stress, and low protein could all play a hand coming together in different scenarios. I am not looking for one single link to explain every scenario or circumstance of why one beekeeper lost hives as compared to another. That situation is endless and will lead nowhere.

    I don't think the Canadian study would show or be parrallel to what I am speaking. It has nothing to do with buildup or fall survival rates. Why? Because if the "non-fed" group of hives had enough protein (stored pollen), then additional pollen would not increase or decrease the survival rates. What I am talking about is fall feeding to ENSURE enough protein is on hand. Thats where the study I reference is based. Its about what happens when hives have a deficiency of protein, either from a short supply or from a poor pollen quality standpoint. So your study is off topic so to speak.

    I admire the aussie's catagorizing their main pollen plants. They know what plants are good for bees, and whats not. And I have never heard of anyone (here) having bees analyzed for protein levels, let alone mention bee protein levels or what could happen to bees over winter when low protein levels are achieved. I was floored by being so ignorant in this area. But the information was never offered in anything I ever read.

    I know I have heard many beekeepers mention the condition of hives after prolonged periods in commercial fields, especially vine crops. I know the kill rate for these type hives are very high. I know feeding is almost a given for hives coming out of vine crops. But from those surveyed, not many bother feeding protein, just syrup. So I ask, was there a protein deficiency? And what exactly is the nutritional value for some of these crops beekeepers pollinate? Two questions that are hard to find answers for.

  14. #14
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    I live in California, but my bees are kept in the non-agricultural areas or livestock areas. I did purchace some colonies from a pollinator last year and ended up with 80% loss this winter with a lot of the symptoms of CCD. I think it is quite a coincidence that the CCD problem started showing up about the same time as Australian Packages became the answer to pollination shortages. Strange that the American Indian population went into a nose dive as soon as Europeans started settling here.
    doug

  15. #15
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    Default

    simplyhoney adds:
    This year I got smr/russians from Koehn and Sons. They all died of foul brood before the honey flow hit. (but, hey ,no mites*:????)

    tecumseh replies:
    is this a recommendation?

    in regards to ccd (or whatever we are calling it this season)
    1)virus many times 'require' a certain set of 'general' conditions to be initiated to become activated. stress and poor nutrition are at the very top of the list.

    2)virus and disease mutations often occur in places were density of host is extremely concentrated. this factor is quite typical on mutations that jump species or host.

  16. #16
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    >>It has nothing to do with buildup or fall survival rates
    >>Why? Because if the "non-fed" group of hives had enough protein (stored pollen), then additional pollen would not increase or decrease the survival rates

    That is what I was trying to say, in a roundabout way,


    >>What I am talking about is fall feeding to ENSURE enough protein is on hand

    I understand what your saying. Interesting thoughts, and it has caught my attention.
    Sometimes I sort thing out by rambling, so bear with me, and please comment. I am trying to find how a fall feeding program would benefit my operation.

    To accomplish a feeding program that ensures enough protein is available to the bees as they emerge in the fall, would mean there would have to be a way to measure the pollen availability in the hive every fall. Then feeding accordingly.
    And not in the same fashion as we feed sugar, pour it to them to store. Fall protein feeding would be stored directly on the bees themselves as body weight. It would have to be fed later than feeding syrup, to show any significance.

    So now, in my mind, it comes down to how much money do I spend on the hives with a fall protein supplement program, and how much of a benifet am I going to see from the extra investment and time.
    Without a measure of the available pollen in the hive, and available outside, there will be many years of wasteful feeding to benefit a few.

    This is were the CHC study is closer to the topic than you suggest. For fall hives to be in a poor nutrition situation, they must be short on pollen. So for beekeepers to consider fall protein feeding to boost their bee nutrition, their hives have to be in a pollen deficit area, otherwise feeding is irrelevant to the overall outcome of the hives through winter and spring buildup.
    The CHC study has proved in our area management of hives, fall protein feeding is not a consideration the we have to make to winter successfully.

    But in the few years out of the time I keep bees, it would be nice to realize and measure a protein deficit situation. As you suggest it may happen far beyond freezup. And if our winters keep getting warmer, perhaps my hives will be experiencing the same kind of situations,.?
    And I agree, all pollen flows dont hold the same nutrition!
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  17. #17
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    Default It's a big ol goofy world

    Thanks Ian, true dat.

    Glad to see someone else agree Sierra and tecumseh, and sorry to take your writting out of context B-bee. It just seems like your REALLY into bee nutrition. Bees have survived for many centuries with out us cramming proteint down their throat, but I do think that monculture pollenation must be done carfully or perhaps, the nutrition factor could be yet another stress, or the straw as it were. Stop and think about this bee loss. It hit so many people so hard, so fast, how could we all have the same factors. I agree with Bjorn that there are a multitude of factors but what was the straw?

    My uncle got his frst load back from California last night. As you may or may not recall he lost about %80 this winter. (due to "ccd") The remainder of the ones he sent to California weren't exactly pretty but, the bees are wall to wall now with excellent brood patterns. Many seem to be ready to split. Maybe almonds are the miraculous cure. If only they bloomed 5 times a year and we got a check every couple months.

  18. #18
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    Ian,
    I agree that for most folks, pollen sub feeding in the fall will probably not be needed. Knowing what we now know, I can see the advantages of making it something to look for, something to understand, and something to consider. Up till now, I was not one who actually looked for fall pollen stores, knew anything about fall feeding, or understood the impact of low protein deficiency. I am sure many beekeepers will not need to fall feed.

    I know its something I will guard against and certainly understand now a whole lot more than prior to CCD.

    How many beekeeper till recent even heard of "Bee protein deficiency"? I know I did not.

    Simply,
    I have been "into" nutrition lately. I'm very ticked off that things that would be considered basic and common knowledge in other agriculture areas, seems to be completely ignored within the bee industry.
    Last edited by BjornBee; 03-21-2007 at 05:08 AM.

  19. #19
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    Ian,
    This whole discussion has me thinking.

    We normally have a good dearth from mid-July till about the first of September. I have heard a few others comment about the benefits of "pre-fall" feeding. Basically to stimulate the brood production prior to the fall flow, instead of waiting for it to happen itself. I know the past few years, between droughts and bad fall flow conditions, that it seems its more like playing catch up to dissappointing conditions that never pan out.

    I think this year will be a good time for me to "pre-treat" some of the bees during the dearth to see what impacts feeding something like a pollen patty or two (or dry feed??) may accomplish during these death periods.

    It seems to me that even though this past year, and those previously, the bees started brooding as one would expect in September, but an early frost and weather conditions just seemed to cut the fall brood season short. I am less convinced (past couple years) that bees will cycle through the needed brood and be stimulated enough if left to their own. I'll have to think about this some....

  20. #20
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    I am beginning to suspect nutrition might be more of a factor than I originally did. We have racked our brains trying to figure out what we did differently this year than most of the effected beeks we know and the only things I can come up with is 1) we fed patties in early November, which stimulated brood rearing and 2) our bees were mite free. This was prior to most people's crashes and maybe made a big difference in how ours looked in early January. While our bees were not on monoculture here in WI summer into fall, we had a pretty bad drought which effected our fall flow and probably the pollen at that time too. Hmmmm.
    While this might not be the 'trigger', it certainly would help the bees fight off other negative factors if they go into winter with young bees and a strong immune system.
    Sheri

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