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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Hillsdale, MI USA
    Posts
    110

    Default dry camp sugar and dead bee's?

    About April 1st I put 5 lbs of sugar on top of each inner cover of 2 hives. They ate about half and then slowed eating it as the weather warmed and things started to bloom. When you open the hives you will normally see 8-10 bees on the sugar. I also have been giving 1 to 1 syrup to both as well as a third hive next to them. They have been taking syrup all along. I have been checking them about every two weeks or so, they have been taking the syrup still. Everything has been normal until yesterday and I found hundreds of dead bee's as well as a lot of bee's that could or would not fly in the two hives that had leftover sugar on inner cover. The third hive was booming and ok. IS it possible the sugar is killing my bee's after all this time with no bad effects? If it is a poison from somewhere else ,why is hive three not effected? Any thoughts?
    "The true meaning of life is to plant tree's, which under whose shade you do not expect to sit" Nelson Henderson

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Seneca, sc
    Posts
    832

    Default Re: dry camp sugar and dead bee's?

    Its probably not the sugar.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    West Paris, Maine
    Posts
    1,660

    Default Re: dry camp sugar and dead bee's?

    I agree it's probably not the sugar. Putting dry sugar on and feeding syrup seems counter-productive, not to mention unnecessarily cumbersome to work with during a busy part of the season. Stick with syrup if necessary to feed except in the dead of winter.

    Added: Could you be getting robbed by other bees or wasps attracted by the sugar? If you have booming hiives, maybe it's time to pull the plug on the sugar?

    Wayne

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,415

    Default Re: dry camp sugar and dead bee's?

    Sounds like a pesticide to me.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Hillsdale, MI USA
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: dry camp sugar and dead bee's?

    I am at a complete loss as what could have happened. There has been no robbing and way to many dead bee's for that. The sugar was just left over from earlier cold weather and I didn't think it would hurt to just leave it. If it is pesticide i wonder why hive three shows no signs as it sits 18 inches from the others. I would think they all forage same area. I'm glad to hear it's probably not the sugar as I wouldn't have wanted to be the one who caused the harm. Thanks for your opinions. Lost about 1/4 of the bees in each hive and bummed.
    "The true meaning of life is to plant tree's, which under whose shade you do not expect to sit" Nelson Henderson

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Franklin Co, PA, USA
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: dry camp sugar and dead bee's?

    Have you checked for varroa mites? Do the non-flyers have deformed wings (deformed wing virus)? Does the brood in the hives look healthy? Is there a laying queen in each hive? Any of these or a combination might contribute to your losses. I'd start with a careful inspection of what's going on inside the hive. I'd get rid of the sugar, will just clog-up the bottom board and attract ants during warm weather. Good luck and keep us informed.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Hillsdale, MI USA
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: dry camp sugar and dead bee's?

    I have not checked for varroa mites. One of these hives is half of a walk away split, the other is the parent hive. So one of these had the brood cycle interupted. The queen was raised, mated and is laying. ( my first attempt ever). The non-flyers do not have deformed wings. The open and capped brood look fine. I went through both deeps on both hives and things look normal other than a lot dead bees and bees that will not fly. I scraped off the sugar from top of inner cover (the only place I put it) and disposed of it as soon as I saw the problem. The bees last nite were bringing in pollen and I did not open hives again as it was cold and rainy. Thanks for your help.
    "The true meaning of life is to plant tree's, which under whose shade you do not expect to sit" Nelson Henderson

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    378

    Default Re: dry camp sugar and dead bee's?

    Agreed that it is probably not sugar, but probably mite load or nosema ceranae. I have not seen a poisoning that matched that description, but I couldn't rule that out. I'd continue to monitor and consider sending a sample for testing.

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