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Thread: CCD question

  1. #1
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    Question CCD question

    If you have a yard of 20 hives, and upon inspection, find one hive that has completely absconded, could this be seen as CCD related in any way?

    Absconding to include finding no bees at all. Nothing, not dead or alive, and not the small cluster that many have mentioned.

    In yards with CCD, did it start with one hive and grow from there, or was the effects sudden and complete throughout the yard?

    I received a phone call from a beekeeper who is concerned after finding one hive completely empty. Two weeks ago, everything looked fine.

    I am wondering about the natural absconding rate. I think at one time absconding was very rare. But of recent years (10-20), with virus, pesticides, mite, shb, and other pressures, absconding is higher now.

    Is there any data on absconding rates?

    Can one hive in a yard of twenty be seen as CCD, and not normal absconding?

    Comments???? Thank you.

  2. #2
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    The facts presented point to simple absconding, nothing more.

    With CCD, not ALL the bees are gone.

    If the hive had absconded leaving a large patch of brood in place,
    then I might wonder if this was a possible "CCD" case.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Jim. I'm not sure about the other guys hive and whether there was a patch of brood or not. He mainly stated that no bees, dead or alive were to be seen.

    But now this raises a question of my own. Two days ago I had two swarms in one of my nuc yards. Not sure yet which nuc they came from. Yesterday, in the same yard, I found an empty nuc. Empty except the 10 or 20 newly emerged bees. And bees were still emerging as I was inspecting the frames. There were a couple frames of brood. But no cluster, and no dead bees. There was also a couple frames of recently collected nectar. (no robbing) Some of the brood showed signs of some type of deterioration. Perhaps PMS, maybe something else. Something certainly did not look right.

    Thoughts???

    I did place the box with emerging brood with another very strong nuc. I'm not worried about losing a single nuc. I want to see if the bees can, and will, clean the frames and perhaps other bees with different genetics can deal differently. They are my home yard so I can keep a daily eye on them.

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    Was he treating with something at the time? Say Apiguard?

    I treated 5 nucs (5-frame med) packed full of bees showing PMS and mites quite visible. I used a tiny amt of Apiguard and then the bees were stuck in there for a couple of days while it rained.

    Came back to ZERO bees in 4 colonies yet plenty of sealed brood. 5th colony had a small cluster (size of my fist) of bees and queen. I just closed it back up. The next day they too where gone.

    I moved a couple of frames to two other nucs and within a day they both absconded. That was the end of it. The frames still had the smell of Apiguard. I only had nucs do this and only nucs I treated with Apiguard or put recently treated apiguard frames into.

    Learned my lesson. Maybe it was the mites and apiguard combo that drove them over the edge but the other nucs only had to deal with an apiguard frame. Who knows.

    Bottom line I probably won't be treating any nucs ever again. I hadn't treated any before and I won't do it again.
    Don't know if this guy treated or not...
    Last edited by Dan Williamson; 09-27-2007 at 07:05 AM.
    Dan Williamson
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  5. #5
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    Thanks Dan. My friend does use pads and spacers, because he mentioned using the spacers for some fondant he had. So I guess thats Mite-away (formic). Not sure of the timing and whether he treated recently. I will ask.

    But that does not answer my own nuc situation as I don't treat with anything.

    Two years ago, I did take part in using api-guard, apilife-var, sucricide, and a few other treatents with trials and testing through the state. None of my full size hives absconded due to any of the testing. So maybe its a "nuc" thing and the treatment was still too much after lessening the dose.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BjornBee View Post
    But that does not answer my own nuc situation as I don't treat with anything.

    Two years ago, I did take part in using api-guard, apilife-var, sucricide, and a few other treatents with trials and testing through the state. None of my full size hives absconded due to any of the testing. So maybe its a "nuc" thing and the treatment was still too much after lessening the dose.
    I also treated about 25ish full size hives with Apiguard and saw no absconding at all. In another yard I've seen no signs of mites at all and am not treating there. I'm guessing it was too much although I didn't use much.

    Your nucs sound more like a classic CCD to me... EXCEPT that don't most CCD cases affect multiple colonies around them? It isn't typically 1 colony or nuc here or there. I thought it was happening to an entire holding yard at a time. Maybe my info is incorrect.
    Dan Williamson
    B&C Honey Farm http://www.flickr.com/photos/9848229@N05/

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    Dan . . .

    Was your "Apiguard use" this year?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave W View Post
    Dan . . .

    Was your "Apiguard use" this year?
    yes about a month ago, why?
    Last edited by Dan Williamson; 09-27-2007 at 11:07 AM.
    Dan Williamson
    B&C Honey Farm http://www.flickr.com/photos/9848229@N05/

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    Default absconding

    If your bees have absconded, take a look out in front of the hive from about two feet to 50-100 feet and see if any bees are laying on the ground. If they are this could be a sign of the Isreali Paralysis Syndrome. Maybe Api-Gaurd is causing bees to leave altogether. This is something researchers will need to look at closely. The Israeli virus may be the next thing we have to worry about. The signs the researchers are looking at are bees being paralyzed and trying to fly away and landing on the ground out in front of the hives. Dan.
    Glad to be a part of this fourm

  10. #10
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    Bjorn Bee,
    My first thought in regards to the description of the hive is that it was perhaps robbed out by other bees and not a case of absconding. What do you think? Possible?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

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    Could it be possible that concern over these absconding events you've described, yours and that of your beekeeper friend, are the result of current "heightened awareness" due to the CCD phenomenon being in the forefront of everyones mind?

    I wonder if two years ago anyone would have even given this a second thought? Perhaps not. In the recent past a 5% loss in a yard of 20 hives would have not drawn much attention, but now it raises eyebrows and concern grows. With just cause.

    Most cases of CCD that I've read about included many hives in a yard with very high percentage losses, in a short period of time. And most had the queen, either dead or alive, left behind with a handful of workers.

    Just some of my thoughts on this FWIW.
    Last edited by Mike Gillmore; 09-27-2007 at 03:55 PM.
    To everything there is a season....

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    > If they are this could be a sign of the Isreali Paralysis Syndrome.

    If so, this would be the [SIZE=3]FIRST CASE EVER[/SIZE] of IAPV in the USA.

    No one is sure if the actual virus itself has even been found in the
    30 or so "CCD" samples analyzed by the team that published the
    paper in "Science". If one reads a paper by a fellow named "Sella"
    in Israel, genetic evidence of this sort could be either the virus,
    or mere evidence of prior exposure to the virus, perhaps even
    several generations back.

    More here:
    http://bee-quick.com/reprints/

  13. #13
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    Bjorn, I have read that supposedly CCD combs transfered to other hives may spread the condition. I would check the nuc you combined with soon and frequently to see if they develop a similar condition. Hopefully it is just a simple case of absconding and that the end of it.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  14. #14
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    Bjorn,
    Did the honey in the hive get robbed out? Did you leave it out long enough to see? Look around the yard and see if you start seeing lots of dead bees several feet to several hundred feet away from the hive, very scattered, like they dropped out of the air. Did this hive have any signs of chalk brood before disappearing?
    One of the factors that many of us who had problems all notice is that once the bees have left other bees and even wax moth would not take to the hive bodies. You hurt your back trying to load all of the heavy dead-outs.
    What ever "it" or "they" are I am convinced that it can be transfered through the comb, honey, or pollen. Don't use infected equipment on new bees!!!

  15. #15
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    Default absconding

    I'll note a few points and let you draw your own conclusions.
    1) absconding is a common behavior of Africanized honeybees (AHB) during dearths.
    2) AHB genes get mixed in to the US EHB gene pool every February in California
    as commercial pollinators from FL, TX, NM, AZ and southern CA move to almonds.

  16. #16
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    >>mere evidence of prior exposure to the virus, perhaps even
    several generations back.


    Could you elaberate on that?
    What does prior exposure to the virus have on the bees, that can be diagnosed several generations later?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  17. #17
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    Could have been a drone layer. Could have been a heavy mite count. Could have been a number of things. Diagnosis of a colony of bees without first hand observation is very difficult.

    If the beekeeper really suspects CCD shouldn't he get lab verification? CCD being the newest thing makes it real easy to jump to asw a conclusion.

    Nothing wrong w/ discussion though, right?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  18. #18
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    Nosema has been showing up alot lately.
    Some feel spores in the combs are doing alot of the damage.

    Some also think that's why bees do better on new or irradiated combs.

  19. #19
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    As for my own hive commented on earlier, it seems no further problems exist. The hive I added the comb to is doing well, and no other hive shows any symptoms.

    I'm not sure about this other beekeepers hive as he is out of town.

  20. #20
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    >> mere evidence of prior exposure to the virus, perhaps even
    >> several generations back.


    > Could you elaberate on that?

    Sure. Exposure to IAPV results in modifications to the bee
    genome. This finding is a result of fully sequencing the virus
    and also fully sequencing bees that were exposed, but survived.
    The speculation is advanced that the fragment of the IAPV
    genome (about 400 base pairs long) found in the bee genome
    is the mechanism for "immunity" to IAPV. Like any genetic
    variation, it can be passed down to subsequent generations
    if queens and/or drones are exposed and survive.

    See the Sela paper in "Virology" of July 2007.

    > What does prior exposure to the virus have on the bees, that can be
    > diagnosed several generations later?

    See above. While IAPV showed very different symptoms in Israel,
    and killed brood dead very quickly, bees with the genetic "mark of
    IAPV" did not get IAPV, even when exposed.

    Note that even if everything I say above is correct and applicable
    to the "virus" claimed to be IAPV and claimed to be found in US
    and AU bees, it is still possible that this "inherited immunity to
    IAPV" >>> IS A SIGNIFICANT AND PROXIMATE CAUSE OF CCD <<<.

    Note that I think that the paper in Science was very sloppy work,
    with holes one can drive trucks through. This is very different from
    saying that I violently disagree with the conclusions. I don't violently
    disagree with the conclusions, I just am forced to point out that the
    paper itself proves none of them to a level sufficient to be called
    "science", so I think that there are other possible explanations
    for the data presented, such as it is.

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