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Thread: Deformed wings

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
    Posts
    523

    Default Deformed wings

    Went to check on two of my top bar hives today. Added a quart of sugar syrup to one yesterday and left a partial quart in the hive for them to clean out. Planned on just pulling this jar out today.

    Took a look at hive 2 and noticed a large amount of dead yellow jackets on the ground and lots of drones that had been kicked out. This hive is packed full, no more room to expand. Activity seemed normal. I looked down at my shoe and saw a bee crawling on it. Took a close look and found her to have deformed wings. I found a total of 3 like this.

    Bee in the following photo has sugar stuck to her. I took 2 bees home in the empty sugar syrup jar. Seems they got a bit sticky in the jar.



    I obviously overlooked early signs of a problem. Hive is packed full of bees and they seem to be going strong. Last check of brood pattern indicated a solid pattern is a smaller brood area as the bees started to fill things up with honey. Time to dig back in and check things out.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Dexter, Maine
    Posts
    1,037

    Default Re: Deformed wings

    You have a mite problem, and deformed wing virus. Treat for mites.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,696

    Default Re: Deformed wings

    That is one sick little bee. If you want to know how bad the brood is, uncap a few on some frames. pick out the bee and check her out. Look for signs of a bee unable to get out. Her head will be out and the tongue stuck out and dead.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Malabar, FL
    Posts
    1,263

    Default Re: Deformed wings

    DWV= mites, you have a problem and its been a problem for a while, DWV does not just happen overnight.
    A government large enough to provide everything you need is strong enough to take everything you have. T. Jefferson

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada BC Delta
    Posts
    496

    Default Re: Deformed wings

    Treat for mites immediately, the hive MIGHT survive the winter.
    Or don't treat and they might survive the winter. It really depends on the colony as some colonies can and do handle mite loads that show DWV. I've seen it enough. If you don't treat and they do happen to make it through the winter and into drone production time you will see many under developed and wingless drones outside the entrance and very few deformed workers. The key in my view is to split this colony up if and when they build to swarm mode using their own queen cells. Then you have a chance of these new colonies getting through the next wintering without treatments. That's if you want to stay away from treatments. But if you don't mind treating you may want to do that. Still no guarantee they will make it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada BC Delta
    Posts
    496

    Default Re: Deformed wings

    plus we didn't have varroa here back then.
    The varroa has changed many things in beekeeping.

    I don't think the varroa has been in your country all that long so I would agree with your observation of very high mortality without treatments and in many cases that is true over here too. In North America the bees have been showing a little more tolerance toward them than when they first landed. In part because of the efforts in developing mite tolerant bees and bees themselves trying to work it out. There are many Keepers that have been treatment free for many years and feral populations are making a decent come back, which I think will help in the long run. There is still a long way to go.

    I started a package imported from your country 4 years ago and have 4 colonies descendent from them today. No treatments at all in that time. They look better today in regards to mites and DWV then the first few years. I'll give it another 3 years to see if this trend continues.

    As a hobbyist I have my bees that make enough honey for me and a little to sell. When fall arrives I always keep my fingers crossed in hope that all the hives will get through to spring and always look forward to see the outcome. This to me is all part of the fun in having bees.

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