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Thread: Lost Hive

  1. #1
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    Default Lost Hive

    ****... Lost another hive. This one was strong and had at least 2 full supers worth of honey. Checked them a couple weeks ago and all was fine. Today, my small, weaker hive was really busy but nothing coming out of the large hive. Pulled the top off and about 10-20 yellow jackets poured out of the hive. I only found a handful of bees and they were near death it seemed. I also, oddly enough, found the queen with them.

    Pulled the hive apart and there was no brood in the brood box. In the super above the brood box, there was a couple of frames with brood in various places so it makes me think that the queen either slowing down or the queen I found was new. The sporadic brook I assume was laying workers. I also found a couple of empty queen cells.

    So what do you think? Absconded or died out since the queen wasn't laying?

    I plan on checking the other hive to see if they are doing ok, but I swear if I lose this one also, I'm selling it all. This is one frustrating hobby.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Lost Hive

    If it had a queen, then it would not have had laying workers there is not enough time between queens for laying workers to develop.

    If the larvae are drone, the queen could be a drone layer.

    However, the brood pattern you describe fits PMS, and everything else you describe fits this scenario also.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Lost Hive

    Sounds like the YJ's attacked your hive. Here is a page I found googling the subject:

    http://thebeespace.net/2008/08/29/bees-under-attack/

    -james

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Lost Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    If it had a queen, then it would not have had laying workers there is not enough time between queens for laying workers to develop.

    If the larvae are drone, the queen could be a drone layer.

    However, the brood pattern you describe fits PMS, and everything else you describe fits this scenario also.
    I'll start checking them more frequently. I ordered some treatments for them so I'll hopefully get it in before it gets too cold.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Lost Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by dixiebooks View Post
    Sounds like the YJ's attacked your hive. Here is a page I found googling the subject:

    http://thebeespace.net/2008/08/29/bees-under-attack/

    -james
    I guess that could be a reason. There were several body segments laying around where they were killed. I think they made a nest right in front of that hive. Time to apply that trap they were talking about in the URL you're referencing.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Lost Hive

    Well if there's a YJ nest right in front of the hive, that's obviously a problem.

    The ones you found in the hive, may have included queens looking for somewhere to winter over.

    For the future, to kill YJ nests, go at night when they are all in, and pour 2 or 3 pints of gasoline into it. No need to block the hole and don't light it. The fumes will kill them.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Lost Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Well if there's a YJ nest right in front of the hive, that's obviously a problem.

    The ones you found in the hive, may have included queens looking for somewhere to winter over.

    For the future, to kill YJ nests, go at night when they are all in, and pour 2 or 3 pints of gasoline into it. No need to block the hole and don't light it. The fumes will kill them.
    HOLY FUMIGATION!!!!!, Oldtimer! 2-3 pints? A quarter ounce will do the job. Put a bit of gas in a small squirt bottle, squirt in just a bit and cover the hole with an upside-down jar to hold the fumes in better. Everything in the hole will be dead within a few minutes, including the grass in the immediate area. The more gas you use the more yard you will kill, so less is much better. -james

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Lost Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Well if there's a YJ nest right in front of the hive, that's obviously a problem.

    The ones you found in the hive, may have included queens looking for somewhere to winter over.

    For the future, to kill YJ nests, go at night when they are all in, and pour 2 or 3 pints of gasoline into it. No need to block the hole and don't light it. The fumes will kill them.
    Yeah, great planning on their part huh? I'll give that a shot. There seems to be a large nest there but I'd rather kill them than move the hives.

    Thanks for the suggestion.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Lost Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post

    don't light it.
    Now where's the fun in that?? I say NAPALM EM!

    In recent weeks I have lost 4 hives that were heck of strong, 3 out of 4 were 3 deeps tall. They were among my strongest hive.
    C2

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Lost Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Batman View Post
    Now where's the fun in that?? I say NAPALM EM!

    In recent weeks I have lost 4 hives that were heck of strong, 3 out of 4 were 3 deeps tall. They were among my strongest hive.
    C2
    No joke. I think I'd take some serious pleasure in doing that. If they'd hold still long enough, I'd get out my magnifying glass on them...

    How'd you lose your hives? My weak one is the one that survived... But, a long wet Winter is coming... Not sure I can convince myself to start over again after 2 years of failure.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Lost Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Batman View Post
    Now where's the fun in that?? I say NAPALM EM!
    Ha Ha!

    I do quite a few YJ nests, 3 or 4 daily during the season because our local city govt. refers calls to me from people. I quite often go to jobs where the people have already put gasoline in then lit it, and remarkably, the nest is still alive. My theory is that the fire burns out the gasoline before it can fully do the job of killing them. ( Fun that it may be and all! ).

    I don't use the gasoline method myself, because there is always that chance that someone after I've gone might succumb to the temtation to put a match to it, and if damage is done, well guess who's going to get blamed?!

    I once went to a job in the base of a brick house where they had put gasoline in, and lit it. they thought, it's bricks, we can light it. . Anyhow, WAY bigger fire than they thought, the side of the house scorched and paint burned off right to the roof, but fortunately no other damage done.

    YJ's still there though!!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Lost Hive

    Chandler,

    I just posted a thread about it. I'm assuming a little CCD action? These were well established and strong colonies. So much for "letting bees do what bees do." If I would have been micromanaging them, I might have been able to notice something going wrong sooner, or atleast saved the equipment from the WM destuction and the robbing.

    C2

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Lost Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Batman View Post
    So much for "letting bees do what bees do." If I would have been micromanaging them, I might have been able to notice something going wrong sooner, or atleast saved the equipment from the WM destuction and the robbing.
    You can call it what you want, but in my neck of the woods "letting bees do what bees do" ended a couple of decades ago. That is if you want to keep a hive alive for more than two years.

    I'm not suggesting you lost your hives to mites, but for me there is nothing 'micro' about proper management. That involves regular mite and SHB counts and treatment when needed.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Lost Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by dixiebooks View Post
    HOLY FUMIGATION!!!!!, Oldtimer! 2-3 pints? A quarter ounce will do the job. Put a bit of gas in a small squirt bottle, squirt in just a bit and cover the hole with an upside-down jar to hold the fumes in better. Everything in the hole will be dead within a few minutes, including the grass in the immediate area. The more gas you use the more yard you will kill, so less is much better. -james
    Let me know if you ever face this situation. Because if you do it your way it needs to be filmed, from a distance of course. I gaurantee that you will wish you listened to oldtimer. Or your yellow jackets are nothing mine.
    So much to learn, so little time!!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Lost Hive

    Sorry, I killed four YJ nests in one 2 acre bee yard in 2008. If they get started on a hive all you can do is reduce the entrance and hope. The traps made out of the two liter pop bottles work well, but 4 oz of gas in a longneck beer bottle pushed down the hole after dark, works the best.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Lost Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by valleyman View Post
    Let me know if you ever face this situation. Because if you do it your way it needs to be filmed, from a distance of course. I gaurantee that you will wish you listened to oldtimer. Or your yellow jackets are nothing mine.
    you mean the next time I "face this situation". I have done this before, yes. You think it takes a quart of gasoline? you're wanting to gas them, not drown them. My way, there is nothing to film unless you want a boring film. Squirt the gas in, cover with the jar, and walk away. Remove jar the next day. What's exciting about that? -james

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Lost Hive

    Hmmm..... Both are correct, it depends on the size of the nest.

    Most are the size of a football, or perhaps two footballs, ( if you dig it up to find out ), but the biggest I've done was larger than my car, contained hundreds if not thousands of queens, and took me 4 days to kill. I also got to be a TV star!! Wouldn't have done that one with 4 oz!

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Lost Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Hmmm..... Both are correct, it depends on the size of the nest.

    Most are the size of a football, or perhaps two footballs, ( if you dig it up to find out ), but the biggest I've done was larger than my car, contained hundreds if not thousands of queens, and took me 4 days to kill. I also got to be a TV star!! Wouldn't have done that one with 4 oz!
    Larger than a car? Them ain't no southern yaller' jackets you got there - that must be some sort of monster bee. At least, a different type of yellow jacket than what we have here. -james

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Lost Hive

    Believe me, when I said "letting bees do, what bees do", this is not how I normally run my hives. I just got kinda busy here and I just didn't get a chance to check on the bees in about 4 weeks. Normally I do like to poke in on them. What I was referring to was I basically didn't think that 4 weeks of neglect, yeah, I said "I didn't think" and "neglect" in the same sentence, that basically sums it up..I didn't think...that led to neglecting my ladies and I paid for it dearly, as did they. It's my fault for letting them slide for a little time. That's sometimes how we learn, and sometimes they are valuable lessons.

    C2

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