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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    miami, florida, USA
    Posts
    18

    Default strange absconding conditions

    Hello.

    This is my first post. I live in Miami Fl and I have been keeping bees for about six years (still learning) I have had my current hive for about two years, but have come across a few problems. About a few weeks ago, after a beetle problem, my bees absconded, but they left behind brood and honey, which is not normal. I re-captured my bees and put them in another hive. After three weeks they seemed to be doing fine (although there numbers greatly decreased to about 12,000), laying eggs and collecting honey. Then, this afternoon, I discovered that they have left again to the same tree, this time only about 4,000 bees were there, and they once again left there brood. I was able to recapture them again, but I'm not sure if they are going to make it.

    My question is, why are the leaving behind brood. I don't know why they left the second time, they had syrup and no beetles or other problems as far as I can tell. They have been in the same location for about 2 years.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    dadeville, alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,163

    Default Re: strange absconding conditions

    Bee will absond as you know do to beetle infestations. I want to ask you what race or strain of bee is this??? Being in the Miami area, there could be a little African genetics in your bees. They are bad about absconding. One of their weapons against the beetles is to leave the hive.(But a heavily beetle infested colony of Italians will do the same thing) Do you requeen on a regular basis??? Just some things to think about as you piece the puzzle together on why they keep running away from home...TK

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,388

    Default Re: strange absconding conditions

    Apparently the main reason I occasionally have a hive abscond, is due to attacks by fire ants - they seem to find honeybee brood irresistible. If I apply poison ant bait on the ground near the hives, in early Spring and late Summer I can usually avoid most of those events.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    miami, florida, USA
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: strange absconding conditions

    They are italian bees, but they just requeened themselves recently. The second time they absconded is a mystery. I had problems with large carpenter ants a few years ago, but putting them on tables with oil cans worked.

    What I don't understand is that they are leaving behind brood. Aren't they supposed to wait until they hatch before they do that?
    Pray, Hope, and Don't Worry.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    miami, florida, USA
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: strange absconding conditions

    OK, They just absconded again and they were even smaller in numbers, Knowing that they won't make it if I hive them again, and they landed in my neighbors yard, I had to destroy them.

    I'm wondering now if they had some form of Colony Collapse Disorder. Have anyone heard of them leaving a hive all at once eaving behind brood and honey? (Though robber bees aren't afraid to take the honey left in the hive)

    I have no idea what is going on.
    Pray, Hope, and Don't Worry.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,297

    Default Re: strange absconding conditions

    Look for SHB larva! Once the hive has been slimed by the beetle larva, the bees will leave and not use that equipment again unless you get rid of the slime and smell, totally. One of the joys of FL beekeeping!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    miami, florida, USA
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: strange absconding conditions

    Thanks!!!

    It makes so much sense now. I was going crazy there for a second. I was able to remove the beetles, but I saved some of the better frames which must have carried the slime. Now I gotta clean my boxes very carefully to remove that slime before my package bees arrive(that means all my foundation too, ugh).
    Pray, Hope, and Don't Worry.

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