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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Cleveland, OH, USA
    Posts
    475

    Default I think we need another thread about CCD.

    This one will be different, though, I promise.

    See, I've got this burning question - what is CCD?

    Now I realize many peoples' first response will be, "what are you, stupid?" But I will insist my question is valid. I've read numerous threads here involving CCD, or claiming to involve CCD. But I've seen people in them call what seem to be several different problems "CCD". It confuses me.

    When CCD first hit, my understanding (based on MAAREC's descriptions) was that the marker is one day your hive is completely empty, except for maybe the queen and some capped brood. No dead bees all over the place; no small-but-evident force of nursery bees; just...nothing. Gone. Abandoned. First you see them, now you don't. And nobody in the neighborhood seems to be particularly interested in the goodies that are left behind; not even wax moths.

    But I'm reading threads here about people emerging from winter to find several hives not abandoned but merely dead or extremely weak, and calling this CCD. People have been describing their hives slowly but steadily dwindling for a reason they can't immediately identify, and they call it CCD.

    Maybe I'm just reading the threads or posts wrong. I'd rather believe this, because we're all masters of our craft here (ostensibly) and I don't want to be telling somebody that he's describing a normal winter chill/starve kill or a colony succumbing to mites or whatnot as CCD, as this implies that he doesn't know what he's talking about. But the differing descriptions are confusing; they make it difficult for me to apply things I've already learned about CCD to new cases. I guess what I'm trying to say is, can you guys pick one single, homogenous definition of what symptoms, specifically and exclusively, equal CCD?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Cochise County, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: I think we need another thread about CCD.

    Well, I'm glad you asked! I've been wondering this myself. I recently saw a film called Vanishing of the Bees and over and over they used the word 'disappear.' But then they went on to talk about all sorts of things that could cause them to *die* (or otherwise fail). That's obviously important, but it's not the same as just up and leaving. Or, well, maybe it is all the same....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Cleveland, OH, USA
    Posts
    475

    Default Re: I think we need another thread about CCD.

    Maybe it is; but it's so difficult to tell. The thing is, to be able to discuss something meaningfully, we've gotta have a common frame of reference. When somebody says "CCD", we all need to know exactly what he means so that our posts can be relevant. I had always thought of CCD as a specific condition, but it seems that people are using it as a synonym for "the colony is weak/dying". For example, in another thread, somebody mentioned feeding certain medicines to bees suffering from CCD to keep the colony from dying completely. Except this makes zero sense to me whatsoever, because it's my understanding that when a colony has CCD there are no bees to feed.

    Another thing that concerns me is that if we keep associating hive weakness and death with CCD, it might breed complacency. "Everyone knows" there's no certainly-known cause for CCD, and therefore no sure cure yet. I'm worried that beekeepers who find dead hives in the spring may, rather than working their brains to find out why, be tempted to just write it off as CCD and not give it much more thought than that, when those hives may have died because of a methodology problem. It's easier to blame the pesticides the guy down the road is using rather than critically examine your own way of doing things...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Lindsay Ontario
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: I think we need another thread about CCD.

    > emerging from winter to find several hives not abandoned but merely dead or extremely weak, and calling this CCD

    How many bees on BB? How big (frozen) cluster vrs previous size of hive?
    A normal winter dead-out has at least 1 liter (often2-3) of dead bees on BB

    >my understanding that when a colony has CCD there are no bees to feed.

    Treatment is for the hive beside the ccd hive, that is still there, but "sick"
    If you have the suitable "lab rats" you quick enough learn to recognize the signs
    You have a SMALL time window in which to make a difference

    >therefore no sure cure yet
    Lots of people say this, but it's not strictly true -- from previous post

    I wonder how many of the posters have bees that HAVE ccd
    And BTW there are 3 things that you can do
    if your bees have ccd
    1st VD as low as possable (always)
    2nd Nosema test and control
    3rd VC (vitamin C) (Treatment NOT cure-- forever)
    All of above required

    dave

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Lindsay Ontario
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: I think we need another thread about CCD.

    >can you guys pick one single, homogenous definition of what symptoms, specifically and exclusively, equal CCD?

    I'll take a stab at this. You won't hear these thoughts anywhere else
    My bees have ccd for 4 years now, I have about as many (hives) now as at the beginning
    despite (over 4yrs) more absconds than hives (& very bad WL first 3 winters)
    The year previous (to ccd) I had zero WL (winter loss)

    1st Rear leg symptoms -- STR, ankle rub, (rear) feet too close (#'s, >6, >3, >2)
    I consider ankle rub definiative
    (requires some bees to be left, a barren dead-out is very suggestive of ccd)
    (barren does NOT mean no honey, usually there is lots of honey)

    2nd Favourable response to VC therapy (assumes all other possablities eliminated)
    ie TM, nosema, EFB, excessive VD, pesticide exposure

    The Q may be damaged, no recovery is possable then without requeening
    (it is very "iffy" to let a ccd hive raise its own Q, even if strong enough)

    dave

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,694

    Default Re: I think we need another thread about CCD.

    According to recently published research, CCD is caused by the combination of a newly discovered insect iridescent virus in conjunction with nosema ceranae.

    Until the iridescent virus was discovered, there was no real definition for CCD. It was kinda like ADHD children - the symptom is the 'disease'.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,711

    Default Re: I think we need another thread about CCD.

    Very good points raised, Melliferal.

    I've noticed a trend in many threads, to attribute hive losses, or near losses, to CCD, when the symptoms given, match death by varroa, and sometimes other causes.

    There was even a thread a while back where the guy gave his symptoms, to me anyway, clearly varroa. So I told him that, and how to treat. Next there's a whole bunch of people saying I'm wrong, so the guy didn't treat.

    Later he comes back, he'd had his bees tested in a lab. No apis ceranae, but a HUGE number of varroa. Too much time wasted though, the handful of bees left absconded, end of hive.

    If he hadn't had the lab test done, I'm sure it would have gone down as another CCD. Easy, cover all, explanation.

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