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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Decatur, Georgia
    Posts
    4

    Default Bees crawling in front of hive/falling off hive

    Hello. I'm new to beekeeping (got my first two nucs four months ago), and I have a sudden problem. Yesterday, bees were crawling around in front of their hive, and other bees were climbing on the outside of the hive, falling off and unable to fly. There is some orangish-brown material on the outside of the hive that could be dysentery. Some of the bees looked like they were "guarding" this material. Very strange. The only thing I have done differently is feed the bees bee tea instead of plain sugar syrup (bee tea = sugar syrup plus chamomile tea, a little sea salt, some thyme, and a little lemon juice to lower the pH of the syrup).

    Could the tea be causing the dysentery? Or do they have nosema? This attack seems sudden and acute and I have no idea what to do at this moment. Any advice would be appreciated!
    Cheryl

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,997

    Default Re: Bees crawling in front of hive/falling off hive

    I don't know what to tell you but if it was me and I had just introduced something new to the bees and suddenly they started acting in a way that worried me....I'd quickly take away that "something" from them!

    Ed

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    fairfield,ohio
    Posts
    672

    Default Re: Bees crawling in front of hive/falling off hive

    First thing I would do, is stop with this bee tea. Never heard of it. If the only thing you have done different is this, than that would be my first suspect. After removing,If it is dysentery, it should clear up in a day or two.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Tucker, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Bees crawling in front of hive/falling off hive

    I would have to agree with Ken. Bee tea?! I am curious to see a picture of this material on the hive. Got any pictures?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,390

    Default Re: Bees crawling in front of hive/falling off hive

    Bee tea?? Where in the heck did you hear about that for bees!! I see your new here, you might want to do a search for feeding bees, you will not find bee tea or anything with the likes of tea for feeding bees that I know of and there are all types of bee keepers from hobby single hive keepers to large commerical guys and everything in between.

    I would suspect that your "bee tea" is what is making the bees sick. And the other bad thing, that concauction is stored in their comb and will effect more bees to come.

    Sometimes it is just more assuring and do things the simple way and feed just plain sugar water or if you want to get fancy, add Honey B Healthy. I feed just plain sugar water and have not had sick bees yet..............and also remember, you dont want to cook he sugar in the water on the stove, if the sugar caramelizes it will make the bees sick, just bring the water to a hot enough temp that you cant stick your finger in, shut off the stove and add the sugar and start stirring.

    Im sorry if I come across as mean, but I really think people need to do a whole lot more research when it comes to certain things. Heck, I read a whole bee book and spent a lot of late nights reading this site before I got bees!!

    Chalk it up to lesson learned I suppose.
    Coyote Creek Bees

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Decatur, Georgia
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Bees crawling in front of hive/falling off hive

    Thanks for your answers, everyone. I'm attaching a picture of what the hive looked like yesterday. (At least I'm trying to attach a picture; let me know if it doesn't appear.)

    In happy news, the problem seems to have resolved. The bees are flying and foraging away today, there are no new droppings on the outside of the hive, and no bees crawling (or dead) out front.

    To your comments, BeeGhost: bee tea is not something I made up. You can find plenty of information on it with an online search. Linda T, who writes the Beekeeper Linda blog and is a Master Beekeeper here in ATL, feeds her bees this tea with no ill effects.

    I am indeed new to posting to this forum, but I've lurked on it for a long time, gathering information. One thing I learned here is that beekeepers have strong opinions at times, so I am taking your comments in the spirit of "just concerned about the bees." So thank you for being concerned about my bees. That said, I did do my research and took a short course offered by the local association before getting my two colonies (the second of which has done quite well on the bee tea), and I just got my certification from UGA's Young Harris Master Beekeeper program.

    Which just goes to show the bees don't really care what you've read or what your credentials are!

    Even though the problem is resolved, I'm still going back to sugar syrup, based on all the comments here and my own instincts....

    Thanks again too all for taking the time to respond.
    Cheryl

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,390

    Default Re: Bees crawling in front of hive/falling off hive

    Like I said, im sorry if I came across as mean, ive never heard of bee tea even after a search on here and suspected that would be the number one cause of things.

    I have met a couple of master beekeepers that let everyone know they are master beekeepers.............yet I learned a heck of a lot more from commercial guys that make a living raising bees than a master beekeeper that has a few hives and the time to go through the classes.

    And I couldnt agree with you more with this statement: Which just goes to show the bees don't really care what you've read or what your credentials are!

    I first learn about something I have an interest in by reading, then its all about hands on and asking questions. I argue with our engineers all the time about things they said should work becuase the book or computer says so..........till I tell them to come out into the field and experience first hand why the issue is not working!

    Im glad you reported that your bees are better today.
    Coyote Creek Bees

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