Fresh dead bees on warm winter day
Normally stays cold enough here to keep the bees in a cluster throughout January. However we've had a few days recently where they broke cluster and spent a part of the afternoon flying. On both days we saw some flyers bring in orange pollen.
On both of those days, we've noticed the bodies of freshly dead workers on the landing board and in the grass at the front of the hive once things cooled down. On the second day my wife brought some in for examination. They all had quite a bit of the fuzz typical of newly hatched adults, and they appeared on the small end of the range size-wise. Otherwise, they, and the hive entrance, appeared normal, no deformed wings, no greasy look to their bodies, etc.
I checked varroa mite drop recently and recorded an average drop rate of one mite/day. The monitoring boards didn't reveal anything surprising either, some wax, some pollen, a very few body parts, etc.
Does anyone know of a disease or condition that causes death in young adults under these circumstances?
Kind thanks in advance.
Are tracheal mites a problem in England? I am having a lot of bees coming back from flights dying in front of the hive. Some that are alive and too worn out to make it back appear to abdomen heaving quickly and heavily, so I suspect tracheal mites. Just a guess. I plan to treat as soon as our daily temperatures get warm enough.
Tracheal mites are rarely a problem here that anyone knows about, but it's always worth checking. It seems a bit early for spray damage. What were the mite levels like last year?