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  1. #1
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    Jun 2007
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    Default trapping bees from a CCD colony

    from what i've read, it seems like they can't ever find any of the disappearing bees from CCD colonies. i know that they isolate colonies and take samples from them, but do they ever get any of the bees that disappear or leave the hive to die? hackenburg said he got on his hands and knees and crawled around all over looking and could not find even one bee. what if someone could catch some of the bees that leave the hive and don't return to examine them? is anyone trying to do this? if no one is trying to, they should. examining the bees in the colony is not actually showing what is happening to them, which is evident because they still don't know why it's happening. when the bees decide to leave the colony and not return maybe they are experiencing a physiological mutation of some sort, which could be traced to a cause for it. if you put a CCD colony into a large, a very large, cage of #8 hardware cloth, you might be able to pick up some dead bees around the inside perimeter of the cage. the bees might cling on the cage refusing to go home. these are the bees that need to examined. inside the cage there would need to be multiple feeding stations. with enough food for them to forage from within the cage they would be disinclined to try to leave the cage for other forage unless they are truly trying to disappear. a sheet of white plastic could be laid onto the ground over the entire area inside the cage. this way you could find nearly every single dead bee there is for examination. i can imagine a cage the size of two football fields with a high ceiling and white plastic completely covering the ground with about fifty to a hundred different feeding stations to choose from. does anyone know of any kind of research taking this approach? probably not because it would be too costly.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    owensboro,ky
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    Question trapping

    ithought they were not CCD 'till they had dissappeared?
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  3. #3
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    Jun 2005
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    Crown Point , (NW) Indiana
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    Default

    If you trap enough, perhaps you will cause CCD??
    There is always more than one way to skin a cat, that's of course if you're into eating cats.

  4. #4
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    Default

    >ithought they were not CCD 'till they had dissappeared?

    i guess you didn't watch "silence of the bees". researchers will obtain colonies showing symptoms of ccd and move them to where they can access them easily to conduct their research. however they can only examine the bees coming from within the colonies, not the ones who have decided to abandon it. if they put these colonies in a large cage, they could catch or have means to locate and catch the bees that won't go back to the colony. if they looked at these bees, maybe they could discover the mechanism that triggers this behavior.

    >If you trap enough, perhaps you will cause CCD??

    that would be irrelevant seeing how the research is carried out on a colony ALREADY showing symptoms of ccd.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    owensboro,ky
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    2,240

    Smile tv

    "i guess you didn't watch "silence of the bees". researchers will obtain colonies showing symptoms of ccd and move them to where they can access them easily " you quessed correctly, i can't get PBS and anyway very rarely watch anything on satelite but the news
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
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    Default

    WVbeekeeper is absolutely correct.

    If hives were "tented", as is done in very-controlled pollination studies,
    any bees that left would still be inside the tent, and thereby, could be
    found.

    But which hives to tent? There's the problem - no one knows what
    the symptoms of a hive about to come down with CCD look like.

    That's why all the ballyhoo about the IAPV virus. Until recently,
    the authors of the paper in the journal "Science" thought that they
    had a "marker", could go look for hives with IAPV, and watch them
    later "get" CCD. For all anyone knows, this might still be a decent
    approach, but the more recent findings show that it might be no
    better than a coin flip for any one hive.

  7. #7
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    May 2007
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    dekalb,alabama,USA
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    Default Tracing the CCD Bees

    Perhaps they could put some type locator on the bees so they could locate them by satellite when they were gone and then they could find out where they go and what they do. LOL

  8. #8
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    Default

    >But which hives to tent? There's the problem - no one knows what
    the symptoms of a hive about to come down with CCD look like.

    i know i don't having never been around an apiary that experienced it. i thought that the guy on "silence of the bees" that had the few colonies for taking samples from showed signs of ccd and that was why he was sampling them. if not, i don't know what good examining a random hive would do. i thought that if someone was vigilant enough in their observations that they could determine a colony in the process of crashing due to ccd by the sharp drop in population. once a colony is speculated to be crashing from ccd it could then be moved into the tent or cage. this way any remaining bees in the colony which choose to leave and not return can be confined and gathered for examination. Jim, do you know of anyone who has examined any of those bees which "disappeared"? those are the ones that need to be concentrated on, imo.

    >Perhaps they could put some type locator on the bees so they could locate them by satellite when they were gone and then they could find out where they go and what they do. LOL

    i know you were joking, but someone has invented and patented a small transmitter that can be put onto a queen to ensure the same queen (or at least transmitter) is within the hive without having to open the hive to make sure. there is also a patent that counts bees entering and leaving the hive. if you used the counter, you could quickly see a spike in bees leaving and not coming back once it occurs. some bees will leave and die in the field which is normal and under normal circumstances the ratio of bees leaving to the number of bees returning should be fairly consistent (other than winter), depending on how many round trips each bee makes. when the colony starts experiencing the massive loss of bees associated with ccd then you would see a massive drop in the numbers of bees returning. a loss of returning bees could be caused by swarming, which is unlikely later in the season when ccd occurred last year. once a trend is established that the colony is definitely losing its' members it can be moved into the tent or cage.

  9. #9
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    May 2007
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    dekalb,alabama,USA
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    Default Trapping bees

    Well, I was and was not joking, because we really do not even know if the bees which leave would have even died if they had remained within the colony near a food source, and remained within a cohesive cluster. It is still assumed that they are leaving because they are dying but they may be dying only because they are leaving and not returning to the colony. The problem may be related more to the cohesiveness of the cluster and modified absconding behavior due to the stresses and diseases. Several years ago I was noticing a similiar problem in some of my colonies, but due to the fact that I was looking in them regularly, within days each time, I noticed the drops in strength and the lack of an ability to build up as well even though colonies within the same yard were having no apparent problems. So I came up with a solution.What I did was to go into the colonies which were doing well and shake a package of fresh young bees, and dump them in the colonies which were having a problem, the problem stopped and from that point the colonies recovered. I would not have done this except that I noticed no problems with the brood itself, and the queens were trying real hard to build the colonies up as could be seen by them still trying to lay a lot of eggs. Also I realized that what I was doing was modifying the Infection Threshold if an Infection of Uknown Origin existed by adding a large influx of apparently healthy bees to a colony which might or might not have some type problem or Infection of which I was unaware or unable to determine.

  10. #10
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    Default

    >It is still assumed that they are leaving because they are dying but they may be dying only because they are leaving and not returning to the colony.

    That's one of the reasons for the cage. It would be nice to see if the bees cling on the cage refusing to return or if they simply die. Either way, you can collect these bees for analysis.

    That's interesting about your bees. What time of year did this happen? If it happened in the fall, maybe the loss of bees can be attributed to the queens shutting down during the dearth before the fall flow. When she started back up laying brood the older bees had already lived out their life unit and were expiring, hence a decrease in population. Maybe the reason you seen a difference between the colonies is due to genetic variation between colonies, some strains will continue to lay brood through a dearth and some will not. Of course there could be other reasons.

  11. #11
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    dekalb,alabama,USA
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    Default Trapping Bees

    This was in the fall under feeding conditions about Sept., Oct. while building bees up for the purpose of making fall splits, feeding outdoors and also feeding pollen sub. outdoors. The bees all started out relatively the same strength and all Queens were laying very heavily, almost as if a spring flow was occurring. No Mites anywhere, No signs of any Brood Diseases, No sign of any Viruses, however some colonies refused to gain any strength and others began to deplete quickly and obviously were losing bees so quickly they could not cover their Brood.

  12. #12
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    Default

    Under those conditions it does sound like the ones that lost the bees might have shut down during the dearth. With those colonies having mostly older bees it makes sense that you would see a loss of population because there was not much brood being reared during the dearth to replace those older bees a month later. Second scenario, the queen could have been superseded which could have caused those colonies to experience a period of time in which no brood was reared prior to Sept/Oct. If there is a lull in the rearing of brood there will be a decrease in population following thereafter before the colony builds back up.

  13. #13
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    Default Trapping

    The bees were still working Goldenrod, we had finished taking off supers, all colonies were in a state of unrestricted brood rearing, continous broodrearing, the colonies were average strong, no dearths and no major dieoffs because up until this happened the colonies were replacing all bees then some just started to dwindle rapidly over a period of days to a week or two, others did not change at all in strength and others got much stronger. This occurred when the bees would have normally been raising the most of their fall bees. Also the switch to feeding occurred without interruption from fall flow to feeders, and because I know the question would be raised, NO, not very many bees lost in the feeders because the real secret to feeding this way is feeding surface area to prevent drowning and or fighting in the feeders.

  14. #14
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    Jun 2007
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    Boone County, West Virginia, USA
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    Default

    so you don't have a dearth in late july/august like we do here? what plants do you have for forage in your area around this time?

  15. #15
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    May 2007
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    dekalb,alabama,USA
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    Default Trapping Bees

    Cotton, Soybeans and other natural plants.

  16. #16
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    Default Trapping Bees

    Not neccessarily saying it was CCD but the similiarities are close, however I have seen major cases of dwindling before but none before until then which even looked close to what has been described by beekeepers who I have talked to about this problem, and I have been keeping bees since I was about thirteen. Was keeping around a thousand colonies before the Trachael Mites hit, and have gone through many ups and downs since then. Anyway I determined it to be a Bee problem and not related to the Queens, seemed that way anyway since the influx of new bees cured the problem.

  17. #17
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    Default

    >Cotton, Soybeans and other natural plants.

    in an agricultural area, could pesticides also play a part in some of your colonies' bee population dwindling?

  18. #18
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    May 2007
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    dekalb,alabama,USA
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    Default Pesticides

    No this was not related to pesticides, I have seen this before in most of its forms, dead bees in the hive, at the entrance and even on the ground at distances from the hive, this was simply the bees disappearing and not returning to the hive.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Beverly, Mass
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    297

    Default Ccd

    Are the nurse bees disappearing too? It seems to me that
    the nurse bees would not have much contact with the outside
    world and rely on the foragers?

  20. #20
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    May 2007
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    dekalb,alabama,USA
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    Default Trapping Bees

    When this occurred it seemed that all the bees were disappearing as the older bees disappeared the younger bees seemed to take up foraging duties, but this is old hat this occurred several years ago it is not happening now. I was relating an occurrence which was similiar to CCD which happened years ago, but is not happening now.

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