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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    New Cumberland, PA
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    1,380

    Default Is Chloramine treated water toxic to bees?

    I am on a public water system that changed this summer from Chlorine to Chloramine.

    Last year, I had backfed my bees with sugar syrup using Chlorinated water and I didn't notice any effect.

    But this year, I am seeing major collapses of my bees in various beeyards and I have been feeding my bees major amounts of sugar syrup in order to get them ready for winter and I was using Chloramine treated water.

    Is Chloramine toxic to bees as it is for fish. How does one neutralize the Chloramine. I am just sick knowing that my hives are extremely weak and that I might have indirectly caused this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,659

    Default Re: Is Chloramine treated water toxic to bees?

    Good question...

    Makes me want to ask at what temperature regular chlorine leaves water, if it does.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Dexter, Maine
    Posts
    1,037

    Default Re: Is Chloramine treated water toxic to bees?

    Here is what I found,


    •Filtration for chloramine is very expensive compared to filtration for chlorine.
    •To remove chloramine, an extensive carbon filter (to remove the chlorine part of the chloramine molecule) followed by a reverse osmosis or cation filter (to remove the ammonia) is necessary.


    It also says toxic to marine inverterbrates, mind you bees are not marine, but it looks like bad stuff.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,945

    Default Re: Is Chloramine treated water toxic to bees?

    Our area has been on cloramine for years, and unless it is the cause of CCD, the bees seem to thrive fine. The dieoff we have becomes intense in cold rainy spells, not when the bee are drinking standing city water. I fed honey diluted with water for a few months to weak hives and the bees are fine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Santa Clara, CA
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Is Chloramine treated water toxic to bees?

    Not sure if it's relevant, but chloramine is definately bad for fish.

    Before using chloramine treated water in an aquarium, it is treated using AmQuel or other products designed to neutralize it. Just pour some in the water, stir, and it's good. No fancy/expensive filtering is required.

    -tmk

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,394

    Default Re: Is Chloramine treated water toxic to bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by CentralPAguy View Post
    Is Chloramine toxic to bees as it is for fish. How does one neutralize the Chloramine. I am just sick knowing that my hives are extremely weak and that I might have indirectly caused this.
    Find an HFCS source in your area.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,163

    Default Re: Is Chloramine treated water toxic to bees?

    We have had cloramine for years without a problem also.

    For my fishtank I buy a product called prime, one cap full will tread 50 gal of water. It removes chlorine ammonia, & cloramine.
    I think cloramine is ammonia, & chlorine bonded together somehow.
    Dan

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    New Cumberland, PA
    Posts
    1,380

    Default Re: Is Chloramine treated water toxic to bees?

    For those of you that have Chloramine treated water -- Did you feed massive amounts of sugar syrup to your hives like 3 gallons at a time within a top feeder.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    New Cumberland, PA
    Posts
    1,380

    Default Re: Is Chloramine treated water toxic to bees?

    I went out to my large beeyard of 50+ hives and the bee dieoff was massive. Queens are missing, multiple hives are empty of bees and the honey in these hives were not robbed by the other bees. On top of that, the waxmoths have not done much damage if at all. It sort of reminds me of what I have read about on CCD, yet it appears to have started when I fed them sugar syrup mixed with Chloramine treated water.

    But in this yard, I did an open air feeding, which was unlike in my other yards.

    One hive just smelled of fermented honey -- No bees left, just a few dead bees at the bottom of the hive. It makes me wonder whether the bees absconded from this particular hive.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    New Cumberland, PA
    Posts
    1,380

    Default Re: Is Chloramine treated water toxic to bees?

    Yesterday, I was able to get into three hives -- two were missing their queens and one was there but with a small contingent of bees.

    I have read that Chloramine will become the preferred method to treat your water on public water systems.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Westford, MA, USA
    Posts
    479

    Default Re: Is Chloramine treated water toxic to bees?

    Have you also been treating with a thymol product?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    New Cumberland, PA
    Posts
    1,380

    Default Re: Is Chloramine treated water toxic to bees?

    I did not use Thymol.

    A yard that had 500,000 bees in August is down to less than several thousand, hive after hive decimated. Another yard that once boasted 50 hives barely has bees in them at all.

    I did not treat my bees this year and I do know that I have mites. My thoughts are that my hives should be in various stages of declines, not total decimation.

    The only thing in common that I can come up with is the water that I used to treat the bees now has Chloramine in it and that started in July.

    I had a shallow super that had a little bit of honey in it from one of the yards and I left it out for the bees in my backyard to clean up and when I looked at them this evening, there were hundreds of dead bees. I am wondering if the honey that was made by the other bees contains chemicals in it.

    I truly am at a loss to explain what might have happened.

    Tomorrow, I am contacting both Penn State University and our Department of Agriculture to forward samples of bees, shallow,honey, sugar syrup and whatever they might need.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Re: Is Chloramine treated water toxic to bees?

    I would run a test with all things equal, except for the syrup. I would run some with no syrup (control), some with HFCS, some with the "culprit" syrup, and some with syrup made with water from a different system, or use jugs of water.

    My .02

    Mike
    Please check out the new kingfisherapiaries.com!
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    New Cumberland, PA
    Posts
    1,380

    Default Re: Is Chloramine treated water toxic to bees?

    Wouldn't it be nice to run a parallel test -- Unfortunately, disaster has struck all of my beeyards and it appears to have followed me after backfeeding the sugar syrup.

    What was once prosperous yards of bees have now become graveyards for my bees.

    I live really close to Harrisburg and after calling PA State of Agriculture department to report the complete desolation of all my hives within two of my yards (70 hives), they were at my house within 45 minutes in in my beeyards another 15 minutes later. They have taken this really serious, which I am very grateful for.

    They have taken samples of my bees, frames of brood, frames of honey, bees, queens, sugar (I was using Walmart brand), and my tap water containing the Chloramine in it. They will be doing the testing plus shipping some samples up to Penn State for further testing on live bees.

    After visiting the two yards, we drove to another yard that I just put on syrup and the hives since last Saturday have significant noticible drops in bee population.

    One sad queen had about 30 to 40 worker bees and they were desperately trying to keep her 20 to 25 cells of young brood alive. She and her workers were donated to the cause to find out exactly what happened to my bees.

    Right now, everything is suspect, but from my visual observations, I am very suspcious of my water.

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