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Thread: deformed bees

  1. #1

    Default deformed bees

    OK so I have a problem with deformed bees being thrown out of the hive, but first lemme lay out some background.

    A. this is my first season and I captured a feral swarm and installed them into a empty hive.
    B. last time I inspected the hive I did some serious brood damage by scrapping down 2 of the frames top to bottom... leaving larve exposed and hanging out.
    C. I have not treated for mites at all, nor have I seen any.

    these bees have 1 or two undeveloped wings and sometimes have undeveloped eyes. I have seen a total of 8 of these bees below the hive. I've also noticed a considerable size difference between some of the worker bees.

    and before i get comments about B such as, "yeah, dont do that." lemme explain what happened.

    So there is two deep bodies and when I picked up the top hive body full of honey the frames from the bottom hive body were attached by bur comb. I did not realize until I had lifted them out and already done substantial damage to the brood inbetween the top and bottom frames and the frames that got scratched as they were lifted out. It was a bee tragedy. not to mention, whatever rope i was burning seemed to kill the bees also... this was a LEARNING experience.

    So
    1.) would the bees just cover the exposed brood after being uncapped and damaged?
    2.) is it necessary to test for a possible varroa mite infestation this first year?
    3.) I have a screen bottom board now, but where do i get this sticky mite trap board im hearing about? I cant seem to find them in the online stores. is there anything I can just pickup from lowes?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,280

    Default Re: deformed bees

    The exposed brood would be discarded from the hive by the bees. The deformed wings you see are caused by Deformed Wing Virus, which is a pretty good indication you have a mite problem. I would guess the deformed eyes are the same problem - mites. At this time of year, it is too late to requeen with a mite-resistant queen, and have it save the hive. I'd do a mite count, and treat, pdq. Even so, your colony may not make it through the winter.

    now the caveat - as I use resistant bees myself, and never treat for mites, I've had one colony crash, a few years back. Only one. And the precursor to the crash were bees with deformed wings. You are right to be concerned - I'd get any honey off the colony I wanted to harvest, and then treat for mites were I in your shoes.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Allegany County, MD
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: deformed bees

    How about the size difference? I noticed that in my hive. No deformities but some of the workers are tiny. I mean nearly half the size of the larger workers...and they are also more gray in color rather than gold. Just different genetics showing in that "batch" of workers or is that an indication of some problem?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Palermo, Maine, USA
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: deformed bees

    Here is a link if you want to purchase a sticky board: http://www.mannlakeltd.com/m23Search...DSearch=262615

    You may be able to make one from thin plywood coated with vaseline.
    Like us on facebook This is the place to bee!
    Ralph

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Phelps Co. Missouri USA
    Posts
    856

    Default Re: deformed bees

    As you probably know now; when you lift a box just a little, turn it 90 degrees to the right then 90 degrees to the left.

    StevenG is correct in what he says, PLUS you being in N.C. you DO have mites.

    Go to wally-world and get some self stick shelf paper, turn it sticky side up on a board under your BBS , course naturally you have it low enough below the screen that the bees don't stick to it !!

    PCM

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Westford, MA, USA
    Posts
    479

    Default Re: deformed bees

    Probably unlikely to have a major mite problem with a swarm as that would break the varroa brood cycle too. Sticky board not much use to you unless you have an sbb with a slot to insert it. Most of the brood that you broke open between the boxes would be drones as that is typically the cell size bult in the burr com between the boxes, in any case those exposed brood would be pitched. Difference in size and colour of the worker bees would be due to the genetics of the drones that the queen mated with. Many people will claim that the smaller bees who will build smaller cells are more varroa resistant - you may want to google Dee Lusby or organic beekeepers for MUCH discussion on this. That being said DWV is an indication of mites but 8 is not an indicator of a major issue.

  7. #7

    Default Re: deformed bees

    so this virus spreads amongst the bees? when nurse infected start feeding the larve? or does it have to be transmitted through the mite?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Dexter, Maine
    Posts
    1,037

    Default Re: deformed bees

    You need to treat for mites, NOW. You can talk about all this other stuff later.... I'm just say'in

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,256

    Default Re: deformed bees

    Quote Originally Posted by TattooedBeek View Post
    How about the size difference?
    Another symptom of PMS is worker bees emerging with stunted, flat abdomens.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,230

    Default Re: deformed bees

    Not to mention the difference in size between drones and workers. Tattoo, do you know the difference? Maybe that is what you are seeing and why you are seeing so much a difference in size.

    PMS= Parasitic Mite Syndrome, in case anyone was confused.

    Saw some signs of this yesterday, but didn't notice workers that were half the size of other workers.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Allegany County, MD
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: deformed bees

    Yeah...I know the difference between the workers and drones. No drones in my hive atm. These tiny workers are very small and gray in color rather than gold/orangish. I'll see if I can get some pictures. They just started appearing recently and I just requeened about a month ago so I can only assume that they are her bees...just a genetic difference. But I would like to make sure in case there is a problem I'd like to nip it in the bud.

  12. #12

    Default Re: deformed bees

    yup, I definitely had varroa... now I just hope the neighbors bear problem doesnt become my problem with all that powdered sugar.

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