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  1. #1
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    Default Questions About Mysterious CCD Symptom

    I was at the Big Bee Buzz in Tulsa last weekend and heard about the latest thoughts on CCD, which seems to be that it appears to be related to a pathogen, viruses and Nosema Ceranae seem to have some correlation to the symptoms and we generally are putting pressures on our bees that may be hurting their immune system to activate whatever it actually is. However, nothing is certain at this point.

    The speakers on the subject were Kim Flottum and Ed Levi (a very knowledgable bee inspector from Arkansas -- you may not have heard of him but you should consider bringing him to speak at your club if he will oblige).

    One symptom of CCD, jumps out at me as very strange and unique, so that it might hold some clue to what is going on. Namely, the hives affected by CCD don't get robbed out by bees or even other types of critters for a period of time after they collapse.

    My questions:

    1. How common is this "symptom" when hives collapse and are diagnosed with CCD?

    2. Any theories about why this symptom exists, what is going on or what it means?

    Thanks, ndvan

  2. #2
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    I dont think anyone really knows yet,

    Migratory beekeeping seems to be common amoungst these hives, as far as I understand, might be providing a large stress factor on the hives.
    Two seasons ago there was wide spread dryness and outright drought in large regions in the US, I thought for a while that had an impact. The arguement was poor nutrition, and it still holds today.
    Viruses, Nosema, vorroa, pesticide

    My local extention bee guy said it may well be just too much for the bees to handle together, alone the bees are able to tolerate the problems. Mix intensive management and perhaps this is what might happen.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ndvan View Post
    Ed Levi (a very knowledgable bee inspector from Arkansas -- you may not have heard of him but you should consider bringing him to speak at your club if he will oblige)
    I agree!

  4. #4
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    Default yes

    The bees can see and smell things we can't. Something is in those boxes and it has been difficult to figure out.


    Also, Ian, stop bashing migrtory bee keepers, as the quote goes, stop looking at the splinter in your friend eye and pull the plank out of your own.


    Translated, We all have problemes, and there are no simple answers yet. At any time, any one could run into a problem, and they have. So let's support each other to find answers.


    Larry

  5. #5
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    Default

    Before we jump all over comments in this thread, too, let's back up just one second.

    Ian mentioned that, "Migratory beekeeping seems to be common amongst these hives," and, ". . . might be providing a large stress factor on the hives."

    I cannot confirm or deny that many of the hives afflicted with CCD have been in migratory operations. Certainly the biggest losses seem to have been in migratory operations, but the biggest operators are migratory (i. e., they have the most hives to loose).

    As far as stress being put on bees by migratory operations, I believe that one is obvious: moving bees is stressful to the bees. And the demands on the bees in pollination contracts are likely additional stresses.

    I see nothing in his comments that blames CCD on migratory operations, just that migratory beekeeping may be adding stress(es) that contributes to or causes CCD.

  6. #6
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    Default assumtions

    how do you know, you assume its stressful, stress may be higher by leaving them in one place that runs out of a food source for 3 to 4 months out of year. Did you think of that?

    And yes, if you read Ian's other posts he has been bashing migratory beeks.

    We need to be looking at all aspects of our beekeeping practices, testing , monitoring to find methods to keep bee alive, I can't assume

  7. #7
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    Have you ever moved a hive, even a short distance, and returned a short while later to see how the bees have reacted to the move?

    And, sure, being in a place that runs out of resources for three to four (or more, for many of us, considering that here the last nectar flows are over by the end of September and the first do not start until into April) is likely stressful. Of course, that seems to be why bees have adapted by storing up reserves of honey and pollen.

    But migratory beekeeping, as it is practiced today, adds some very different pressures on the bees. Most of the hives in the United States are packed into small areas, leading to very high population densities. These bees have to compete with one another for resources, their increased interactions help spread pathogens, and the concentrations increase pest populations. Then, those bees are dispersed around the country. Any pathogens and pests associated with them can easily be spread to any bees that are not migratory.

    Oh, and those migratory operations tend to move bees into areas with limited diversity of food resources. Think "almond groves" and "blueberry barrens" and the like.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ndvan View Post
    One symptom of CCD, jumps out at me as very strange and unique, so that it might hold some clue to what is going on. Namely, the hives affected by CCD don't get robbed out by bees or even other types of critters for a period of time after they collapse.
    Ah! Someone else has heard this! I heard this a good while ago, and was amazed that no one else seemed to take any note. And it's not just not getting robbed out: Even ants won't go in after the honey for about 2 weeks (according to what I recall, and can not now find the source), and sheesh, ants will take just about anything. This, to me, was a huge red flag saying that something is wrong with the honey or comb, but it's something that dissipates over time. I hope someone follows this trail. I will be very interested to see the findings.
    “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” -Henry David Thoreau

  9. #9
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    I don't put much weight into the old "Bees don't rob out the dead hives." I can have dead outs sitting around for months throughout the summer, and not a bee goes into a hive. They would rather collect nectar than rob out another hive. Now, tell me this happens in a dearth, or a situation where hives were starving and still did not go into a dead out hive, and perhaps I could be impressed.

    I also don't buy into the old "Bees left and could not find their way back home". I believe bees that are sick purposely leave the hive and do not return. That's old school knowledge.

    Maybe bees can smell something in the hive thats dead. So what? CCD hives have unusually high levels of EFB, nosema, and about anything else you would want to list. Many multiple diseases have been found in almost ALL CCD hives tested, indicating to me anyways, something more than some pesticide that caused bees to forget their way home, or tainted pollen. Its a complete collapse of their immune systems, and any normal bee duties being carried out. That's why bees don't come back home and leave to die outside the hive as they always have for hundreds of thousands of years.

    As for the migratory beekeeper bashing...I say bash away. Illegal crap, wink wink, and a nod, nod, have been going on for years. I was told for years...."Turn the other way, and ignore it! And "Do not mention this to anyone" and "We are bee inspectors, not the pesticide police". ....when I openly asked about illegal chemical use and the like. This past fall, and as I commented in an article in the PA. state association newsletter a couple months ago, we had a round table discussion with some of those so called professional beekeepers who refuse to look in the mirror. A very surprising discussion about how "they" treat hives for mites quickly developed into a chat about off-label chemical use. I was shocked it was so "every day", that it seemed to phase nobody on the panel of talking about their use in front of peers and researchers from across the spectrum. And yet at the very same conference, at least three seperate researchers noted the very high levels of chemicals found in CCD samples, all from applications from beekeepers themselves. Hmmmm.....yeah, no need to bash anyone or even suggest a review in the mirror?

    Yeah, I'll bash a few migratory beekeepers. Although I prefer to discuss it in terms of constructive criticism, and involve mature people that are beyond brushing it under the table and denying that this stuff goes on.

    And if you search the forum, you will see that myself and I believe a few other (J.F. perhaps) have discussed this "bees don't rob out the hives" several times in the past. At least 6 months ago it was openly suggested that this does not add up, and although repeated many times, little has been tested on the matter. Its like a comment that reached "urban legend" status overnight, but carries little proof.
    Last edited by BjornBee; 03-28-2008 at 01:11 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BjornBee View Post
    And if you search the forum, you will see that myself and I believe a few other (J.F. perhaps) have discussed this "bees don't rob out the hives" several times in the past. Its like a comment that reached "urban legend" status overnight, but carries little proof.
    It sounds like you believe that Jerry Bromenshenk and others who did initial investigative work on this in 06-07 were incorrect in their reported observations of collapsed colonies not being initially robbed out or invaded by other insects.... or maybe I'm missunderstanding your statement.
    Just curious.

    http://www.ento.psu.edu/MAAREC/press...Update0107.pdf
    To everything there is a season....

  11. #11
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    >>Also, Ian, stop bashing migrtory bee keepers, as the quote goes

    >>And yes, if you read Ian's other posts he has been bashing migratory beeks.


    I am not bashing migrtory beekeeping, nor have I ever. Better read a bit more of my postings, probably a problem with translation.

    I would participate in the migration of beekeepers my hives IF I had the opertunity to, but I cant so I dont. Oh, how ever envious I am, well, until I consider the actual economics of the practice. I probably would have a hard time penciling it out, BECASUE I CANT LEAVE WITH THEM.

    Anyhow, I think if youd actually read what I type, youd see I more less present a voice for these guys, I am one of these guys,

    Your probably confusing my comments with the conversations I have had with you, that were directed straight at YOU.
    I just dont like fellows presenting facts based on personal opinions, only confuses the issue that are being discussed.

    Get over it Larry, grudges only create barriers, its not that I wasnt listening to what you were saying, it just didnt make any sence.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  12. #12
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    >>have discussed this "bees don't rob out the hives" several times in the past. At least 6 months ago it was openly suggested that this does not add up, and although repeated many times, little has been tested on the matter. Its like a comment that reached "urban legend" status overnight, but carries little proof.


    Isnt that interesting. Even my local extentions officer will provide this symtom as being associated with this loss. If it mearly urban legend, then where is this myth comming from? Why is this specific and widely taked about symtom being promoted as one of the basic symtoms of CCD?
    Could you provide me with a link to your previous conversation on this issue if the answers have already been covered
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Gillmore View Post
    It sounds like you believe that Jerry Bromenshenk and others who did initial investigative work on this in 06-07 were incorrect in their reported observations of collapsed colonies not being initially robbed out or invaded by other insects.... or maybe I'm missunderstanding your statement.
    Just curious.

    http://www.ento.psu.edu/MAAREC/press...Update0107.pdf

    No, you heard me correct.

    It was at the Pa. state bee association in November 06 when phone calls were being made about what was being found in hives in Florida. I actually heard a certain person say "Somethings wrong, I'm heading to Florida"

    So warp speed from November 10th and 11th. to the mind boggling research packed date of 15 December 2006 (Keep in mind....this was when the initial report was released. How many days prior to this was this all confirmed? Within 15 days of looking perhaps?) And lets just assume that all the researchers in the world all ran to Florida, researched everything they needed to research, test all they needed to test, and they came to such conclusions within 30 DAYS that allowed them to write a preliminary report with such "observations'.

    I questioned it then, I'll question it now. And since that early report suggesting that hives do not get robbed out, I have seen little research or followup on the matter, to even slightly suggest that this is a pattern or the case. But those comments have been repeated many times over. Can you show me something besides a preliminary report written 30 days after CCD was discovered? Or at least one better researched or study based on more than the first initial observations?

    Please show me a case of side by side hives, one being a CCD hive and one not, and the robbing out that happens? Thus far, I have seen nothing.

    The no robbing out comments are made to suggest that pesticide poisoning is present. Thats been the angle. I think if anything, the combs are so riddled with disease, PERHAPS other bees stay away due to EFB, and other KNOWN diseases that these bees are aware and familiar with.

    To suggest the first hive would collect tainted pollen and realize nothing, but the next hive stays away AFTER the first hive dies, does not seen plausible.

    I question the whole period of time it takes to see robbing, as I also see dead hives sit around for certain periods of time of the year, without robbing starting. I also question WHY, IF bees are ignoring dead hives. But that certainly does not fit into the mold or theory that these hives are poisoned and bees know to stay away.

    That's my thoughts.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    >>have discussed this "bees don't rob out the hives" several times in the past. At least 6 months ago it was openly suggested that this does not add up, and although repeated many times, little has been tested on the matter. Its like a comment that reached "urban legend" status overnight, but carries little proof.


    Isnt that interesting. Even my local extentions officer will provide this symtom as being associated with this loss. If it mearly urban legend, then where is this myth comming from? Why is this specific and widely taked about symtom being promoted as one of the basic symtoms of CCD?
    Could you provide me with a link to your previous conversation on this issue if the answers have already been covered

    Ian, I'll do a search for you tomorrow. This HAS been discussed, and others have questioned the whole "Bees do not rob out CCD hives" here on the forum. I'm going to bed.

  15. #15
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    Ian, here is one I found. See post #4. This was a discussion in 4/07 on the matter.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=209349

  16. #16
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    Thanks for searching for my, my searches were unsuccessful,
    skimmed through your thoughts, and basically get your drift.

    Just one question I would like to ask,
    Is it that you dont believe the "not robbing" to be a symtom of CCD, or are you suggestin that we are still so in the dark with this whole syndrome that this obsevation perhaps be caused by something else, unreleated?

    Is "not robbing" a consistant observation when diagnosing CCD dead outs?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Thanks for searching for my, my searches were unsuccessful,
    skimmed through your thoughts, and basically get your drift.

    Just one question I would like to ask,
    Is it that you don't believe the "not robbing" to be a symptom of CCD, or are you suggesting that we are still so in the dark with this whole syndrome that this observation perhaps be caused by something else, unrelated?

    Is "not robbing" a consistent observation when diagnosing CCD dead outs?
    Ian,
    I think my doubt and pessimism comes from the fact that this "observation" was determined within the first 30 days of anyone looking at CCD. Now, I'm not one to debate how long research should take, but this seemed like a knee-jerk observation that was not properly studied. I understand the rush to be the first in getting the CCD story out and all the stuff that is part of the research platform.

    Has there been clear studies in the past year and a half, to back this up? There may be, but I have not seen it.

    As I already commented, I think there may be many factors why bees don't rob out a dead hive. But this whole "Bees don't rob out CCD hives", was from the beginning used to justify or back claims of some poisonous condition (Tainting from neonicotinoids) in the hive.

    I think simple questions such as....

    1) Was there other robbing going on at the time with healthy hives, while of the observations made concerning CCD hives were made?

    2)Was there any flow going on at the time this was seen?

    3)Were there even healthy hives in a position to rob out hives?

    4)If there was in fact proof shown to justify claiming bees do not rob out CCD hives, what period of time was needed for it to be seen? I heard a couple weeks. But I can have dead outs just about anytime of the year not be "found" for this period of time.

    In light of the chemical levels found in tested samples of CCD hives...and they are astronomical....is it any wonder why supposed ants or other insects stay away?

    Perhaps other bees do not go into CCD dead hives. But finding out why, would be nice prior to claims of chemical contamination, which is what was used in prior claims. That may or may not be true. It could be a cesspool of toxins from nosema, EFB, and the other diseases that have been found at high levels, and the bees simply know better.

    I don't have the answers. I just question the fast knee-jerk observations that seemed to be made with little time for proper testing. And since then, I have seen little come forward, other than the often repeated comments, with justifications based on the initial report done in the fall of 2006.

    Like "AFB smells like glue" or "Dropped comb will attract SHB" or "Russians are nasty and mean".....it seems once a comment is made, it will travel for decades as urban legend type status in the bee industry.

    I questioned it from the start, and will continue to do so until proven beyond what I have seen thus far.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BjornBee View Post
    Like "AFB smells like glue" or "Dropped comb will attract SHB" or "Russians are nasty and mean".....it seems once a comment is made, it will travel for decades as urban legend type status in the bee industry.
    Hey, you left mine out: "From all the evidence so far, the most effective "treatment" out there is to not be migratory."
    Regards, Barry

  19. #19
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    Big Grin

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Hey, you left mine out: "From all the evidence so far, the most effective "treatment" out there is to not be migratory."
    Hey.... there's that stress thing again.

  20. #20
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    This might be a little off the subject however, Where would pollen patties and other feeds a migratory beek feeds bees originate from? Why is everyone starting to advertise that their pollen in their feeds now comes from the U.S.A.? Weren't animial feeds that were imported causing lots of problems around the same time this came about?
    Were the actual products being feed ever analized?
    I've asked this question to many guest speakers that have brought up this subject or spoke on it before and never got an answere.

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