OMG, What is this?
I am a new beek. I bought 2 hives may 25, 2007. On June 25 I split both hives, so now I have 4 hives. Of course I had to install a queen in each of the 2 new hives. The 4 hives are all in a row with about 6 feet between each hive. The hives were doing very good until yesterday. I return from a 2 week trip and checked the hives. I detected an odor like from something dead . I would only get a small whiff of the oder from time to time. In checking around the hives I noticed dozens of dead bees in front of 1 hive.
Therefore I open this hive and had a look inside. There were several dead bees on top of the frames. They were rather black in color. The live bees are somewhat black as the have some Carniolan in them. But the dead bees were blacker. I could not particularly detect the oder in the hive! I looked around in the hive but I did not know what I was doing! Later, after I had closed up the hive, I noticed my hand had the odor I had smelled in the apiary.
I checked on the internet about foulbrood, and both AFB & EFB said the disease effected the larvae. Not adult bees!
So what is killing the bees in this hive? Insecticides? I live in a major agriculture area.
Are the dead bees in front of the hive giving off the foul odor?
Should I order some TM-25 and treat my hives?
I would need a bit more information to have any certainty as to your problem...
did this effect all 4 hives or just one hive?
afb/efb are brood disease and generally do not kill adult bees. look at the new unsealed brood. brood disease will first show themselves first as discolorization of the brood (it will not be pearly while as it should be).
dead stuff does smell when it decays.
I live in a major agriculture area.
what kind or type of crops are you talking about?
and tm25 can be purchased in just about any feed store. pfizer has mixing instruction for honey bees on their product bag.
I'd contact a local club or another nearby beek and have someone have a look. Most items like this have crossover characteristics that can make diagnosis a bit hard. Something does not add up for anything "normal", but the problem could be a couple things playing off each other.
Seek some help from someone who can go out and open them up with you.
First thing I would check is if they had any stores. Bees can die off quickly from starvation. The dead bees will create a "nice" smell.
The crops this time of year are cotton, peanuts, & soy beans.
Just the 1 hive has dead bees. The others seem ok.
I will open the hive up again and check the brood.
Thanks for the tip about the feed store.
Thanks for the help.
This hive has plently of stores.
OK, I have opened the hive and looked carefully at the brood. I found no trouble with the brood. I had to shake all the bee off each frame so I could take a long hard look at it. I dropped one of the frames as I was shaking the bees off it. Boy, that was a mistake! Just shaking the bee off the frame makes them mad, but dropping the frame turned them into fighting amazons. Those little girls eat me alive! I must have got stung a dozen times! I sure learned a lot today.
I will just take a wait and see attitude for now and see what happens next.
Thanks for the help.
the odor could be???? golden rod (which some thinks smells a bit like very dirty gym socks). we still have a bit of golden rod here... so you might also.
the dead bees at the entry (and possible those inside) may be???? robbers that were dispatched by the hive in question. is the hive in question the weaker of the 4? if it is robbing you might think about reducing the hive entrance. do you have migratory folks that come in about this time of year in your vicinity?
to move bees off an individual frame a brush is always advisable although a bit of smoke will most time get them to move aside for you to see what you need to see. for dislodging bees via shaking .... firmly grasp the frame by it ears, keeping about 1/3 of the bottom end of the frame still in the hive and then give the frame a quick flip with the wrist. this typically removes 90 percent of the bees and by falling back into the center of the box fewer of them are prone to fly and become defensive.
a lot of time.... waiting and allowing enough time answers a lot of questions.
We still have goldenrod here.
This is the second strongest hive.
No migratory bees here. People carry their bees a little further south into Florida.
Tks for the tips about getting the bee off the frames.
Have a nice day.
this may be what you are experiencing. you can google hairless black syndrome to read more if you want. you might need to requeen with a different strain of bees. you shouldn't have to keep bees that won't clean out their dead when there are so many out there that will. the ones you have may be genetically susceptible to the disease and not very hygienic. this is the best i could come up with;
" 3. Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus
Chronic bee paralysis disease is also referred to as the "hairless black syndrome." The virus that causes chronic bee paralysis is widespread and occurs in New Zealand and the United States, but is not reported in Hawaii. However the disease rarely causes economic damage. Because the susceptibility to the disease is genetically inherited, generally out-crossing bee stocks remedies the situation.
Possible sources of disease transmission are package bees (artificial swarms), established colonies with combs, and queens.
Chronic bee paralysis virus is not easily detected. Although individual colonies may show adult bees with the symptoms of chronic bee paralysis disease, positive confirmation requires serology. This disease is not included in health certificates used for interstate movement of honey bees in the United States.
Although chronic bee paralysis virus is "not reported" to occur in Hawaii, no valid surveys have been conducted during at least the past decade to scientifically support claims of its absence from the State. Consequently, chronic bee paralysis virus is not considered a Quarantine Pest subject to further consideration in this assessment. However, results from future, science-based surveys in Hawaii could cause reconsideration of this pest relative to imports from New Zealand to that State."
Thanks for the info WVbeekeeper,
I checked on the internet and found some info about Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus. One of the articles had a picture of a bee that had died from CBPV. She sure looked like the 2 or 3 dead bees on top of the frames in my hive. But not at all sure this applies to few hundred dead bees in front of the hive. I sure wish I had kept the dead black bees from the top of the frames.
The hive appears to be doing OK now. I have not seen any more dead bees. So I am just going to leave them alone, but keep a close watch on them.
But not at all sure this applies to few hundred dead bees in front of the hive.
this is why I though robbing was a much more likely cause. robber bees also tend to be older bees which are fairly slick to almost totally hairless.
then charles adds:
I sure wish I had kept the dead black bees from the top of the frames.
well I am not certain what you would have done with this one or two lone bees since this is likely inadequate (in terms of numbers) for any lab analysis. an additional problem is that in order to generate lab results you would also kind of need to know what to ask a lab to check for... then of course there is the $ tab for each analysis made.
anyway.... good luck on the beekeeping.