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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Sad Bring out your dead,

    In the last two or three weeks I have had five dead outs in about 65 hives. Four of these were strong enough a few weeks ago to warrant having at least one super on them.

    I have had the usual failed queens in the past, but never hives that simply disappeared. These hives had no bees dead or alive. They had no stores either, and they did not appear to have been robbed. There was very little pollen either and not many wax moths.

    There was at least one hive in each out yard, two hives in one location.

    This does not sound like CCD to me, and yet I have never seen it before either.

    There is a light flow of nectar from beans and the golden rod is starting to bloom. It's been hot and dry but I wouldn't call this a dearth.

    All of the affected hives had been looked into (top popped for a peek) at least two weeks before finding them gone.

    Any ideas?
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  2. #2

    Default

    Mites?

    Look closely at the frames and see if you can find mite fecal matter. Looks like white sugar crystals.

    Any dead pupae in the cells?
    BEE-L snob since 1999
    What's a swarm in April worth?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Erie, PA
    Posts
    2,030

    Default

    Perhaps they absconded? Then the question is "Why?"
    “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” -Henry David Thoreau

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Forsyth, Georgia
    Posts
    8

    Default Mites!

    Here in Georgia the heat has done a number on our golden rod flow. The flowers are blooming but with out any rain I don't think they can produce much nector or pollen. I have started to feed and added a pollen patty to try and build up for winter. I think the mites are really coming on hard right now with this heat and I guess that will be my the next thing to do "treat".

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,837

    Default

    Any connection to the "black seed sunflowers" nearby?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    770

    Default Sounds like CCD

    I think you noticed the missing colonies about a week or so after whatever the CCD event is actually happened. By then, the small (as in small apple/fist sized) cluster, maybe with queen, left for parts unknown. I've seen several very small "swarms" like this in the past 1-2 months; some of these were trying to join other colonies by hanging out on the side/bottom. Sorry for your losses .
    Triangle Bees

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,405

    Default Sunflowers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave W View Post
    Any connection to the "black seed sunflowers" nearby?
    I'm sure Bill has a pretty good handle on his mite situation.

    Good question, Dave. Probably a good avenue to explore a bit further.
    To everything there is a season....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Lightbulb

    >Perhaps they absconded? Then the question is "Why?"

    Exactly.

    >Mites? Look closely at the frames and see if you can find mite fecal matter. Looks like white sugar crystals. Any dead pupae in the cells?

    I can't rule it out but I don't think so. I haven't seen any sign of mites and not one bee with DWV all year.

    >Any connection to the "black seed sunflowers" nearby?

    Again I don't think so. Two of the hives were no where close to the sunflower fields.

    >I think you noticed the missing colonies about a week or so after whatever the CCD event is actually happened. By then, the small (as in small apple/fist sized) cluster, maybe with queen, left for parts unknown. I've seen several very small "swarms" like this in the past 1-2 months; some of these were trying to join other colonies by hanging out on the side/bottom.

    Now this is making a connection. Just this weekend I had a small suicide swarm in the yard with two dead outs. I had one a few weeks ago too that I had to replace the queen, she was a beautiful black queen with silver stripes but she was shooting blanks so I added a frame of eggs and they made another queen and are doing well.

    The small swarm from this weekend left the two frame nuc twice. I found them and put them in the nuc on Saturday and again on Monday. Then I had to do it again on Tuesday but that time I poured HFCS in the PC frames and they were still there on Wednesday. I know it is a terrible waste of time and resources to mess with this little swarm, but... I can't help it.

    Thanks for helping me noodle this situation out. Perhaps it is CCD, but the complete lack of bees dead or alive, no brood, and no stores threw me.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,115

    Default

    Is sounds like several symptoms of CCD. 1) strong hives suddenly crashing 2) no dead bees inside or out just gone? 3) no appearance of robbing. Keep a close eye on the other hives hopefully no more will crash. Sorry to rain on your parade.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Default

    BB,
    I'm not convinced about any connection to CCD.

    I see these little swarms, usually later in the summer and early fall just about every year. And never has it been associated with CCD or a hive collaspe. I don't believe in the "suicide" theory that others have put forth, and have commented on this in the past. Nature is usually not wasteful. It would be much easier to explain this throwing off of little swarms with other explanations or suggestions.

    BB, I had the same thing this past week. A small swarm(no dead outs) that I had caught three times, returning to a small tree every time. Finally they left for good after all this effort on my part.

    Asconding has been a mystery for ages. Many different guesses. We do know that we keep bees in very un-natural type situations with hives in close quarters, bees having to be more competitive that normal for floral sources, trace contamination from increased chemical use, and who knows, maybe some bees are just programmed to take flight every now and then to spread their genes and move into new enviroments.

    I think beekeepers of today are more ware of the hives and what goes on than in the past. Years ago, they took care of themselves. Now, we must stay on top of many things and we may just be seeing more of something that happened just as much in the past, but was previously not commented and discussed on outlets such as beesource.

    I have always noticed the one or two hives that just absconded or died with no real clear reasoning. Were talking insects here. Sometimes thats the way it is. I would heed and keep close watch and hopefully its not something such as CCD, whatever that may be.

    At this point, eveything you have said has been seen many times over the years.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Default

    >I have always noticed the one or two hives that just absconded or died with no real clear reasoning. Were talking insects here. Sometimes thats the way it is. I would heed and keep close watch and hopefully its not something such as CCD, whatever that may be.

    At this point, eveything you have said has been seen many times over the years.
    __________________

    Hmmm, it's just that I have never seen a hive vanish without leaving some indication of why. It is more usual for me to see queenlessness and the dwindling to eventual drone laying. I will keep a close eye on it and hope for the best.

    Thanks to both of you BB's
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,559

    Default

    Got SHB out there? I've seen some bees not tolerate SHB, particularly true in smaller hives. If they can't drive the beetles out they abscond, and this happens well before the sticky mess is found. I believe that its possible to have mite damage in late summer/early fall that starts to weaken the hives, which then allows SHB to get the upper hand, which could then stimulate the absconding event. Doesn't happen much, but I have seen it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oxford, Kansas
    Posts
    1,988

    Default bill it happen just down the road now

    Bill had a hive in the backyard had the same thing happen to it. It was a late june swarm that was kicking but. had it in one deep and was going to try to overwinter everthing looked good 3 days ago bees comming and going as usual nothing out of the ordinary wasnt feeding hive had plenty of nectar comming in and was gaining weight yesterday I pulled pollen off the trap on the hive next to it. I notice the hive had no activity same deal has you except it had about 10 bees in it one had pollen on here legs no dead bees no brood no stores and no evidence of robbing not sure what to think

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