Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 25
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Sherburne, MN, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default A Few Hundred Bees, No Brood, and 1 Queen

    I have two hives and both have two deeps and a medium. I'm feeding both of them, but hive #1 hardly takes any while hive #2 is on its 4th refill (quart baggies). Hive #1 doesn't look to hot. It has barely any brood and some of them are sunken to the sides. Very spotty. I took a stick and swirled it around in the cell and all I got was white watery paste. No strings. There are no larva or eggs. I did find the queen and some varroa mites. I don't treat and my bees are Russians. There are about a few hundred bees and no drones. There is plenty of honey on the outside of the brood nest and in the medium (it is full). Plenty of pollen is also in stock, but all of the brood frames are empty except the cresent of honey at the top. What's happening? They were very strong 2 weeks ago when I last checked. So full of bees that they would roll off the frames. Hive #2 is doing well. There are eggs, larva, and a fairly tight brood pattern. I didn't see the queen, but I'm not worried. They have honey and pollen as well. The bottom deep is mainly pollen and there is no brood down there, only in the top deep. There are about the same amount of mites but there are a handful of drones and thousands of bees.

    I realize that they are downsizing for winter and the queens are slowing down, but something must be wrong with hive #1. What should I do? Hive #2 also has larvae sunken to the sides/bottom of the cell-what is this? Thanks, all help is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Sherburne, MN, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: A Few Hundred Bees, No Brood, and 1 Queen

    I've been looking on the web and I believe both of my hives have EFB. The pictures of the sunken white larvae are identical to what I saw in my hives. Both of my hives have the same symptoms- hive #1 just doesn't have nearly as many bees. The question now is what do I do? Should I combine the hives for winter? Should I get rid of the infected frames? I would rather not treat if I don't have to- the package wouldn't arrive until Wednesday anyway. I think hive #1 is too far gone to be saved- but hive #2 might survive the winter. What would you do?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,487

    Default Re: A Few Hundred Bees, No Brood, and 1 Queen

    Treat if you want, but expect to lose both hives. Had this happen last year, it's much to late as far north as you are to get a decent number of bees for winter. Won't hurt to try, though, you might get lucky.

    Peter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,381

    Default Re: A Few Hundred Bees, No Brood, and 1 Queen

    just curious, did you make your syrup slightly acidic prior to feeding it to the bees. i've notice much less disease in mine since i stopped using syrup. on his website, micheal bush quotes some studies that showed feeding bees syrup at ph 7 alters the gut chemistry of the bees and gives the microbes that infect bees a big advantage. i've decided honey only for mine, except in case of emergency. when i do give syrup, it's 1000 mg of vitamin c per gallon to lower the ph.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    929

    Default Re: A Few Hundred Bees, No Brood, and 1 Queen

    I am not as far north as you but I would treat and continue to feed. If you want to save hive number 2 (low probability) after treating you could try moving it to a 5 frame nuc and if you think hive 1 can spare it give them a frame of brood and honey and feed. They will likely not get strong enough to overwinter outside. You could baby them by closing up the nuc and moving it inside (unheated garage or out building) and try feeding them over the winter, dry sugar would probably work best. If you get a warm day, 50+, you could take them outside for the day, kind of like walking the dog.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Sherburne, MN, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: A Few Hundred Bees, No Brood, and 1 Queen

    I found some Terra-Patties in my basement that I bought earlier in the spring. I forgot I had them. I gave each of them a patty. I started feeding them syrup two weeks ago and I don't add anything to make it more acidic. It's a 5:3 ratio. It's supposed to freeze tonight, so I corked up the holes I drilled in all of the supers except the top one. I understand that both hives will not likely make it to spring, but I am willing to try. I'm thinking that I'll combine hive #1 with hive #2, then there'll atleast be plenty of honey for them. I'm going to continue to treat if I can. How many patties should I give them? Will the patties even help them, or do they only work as a preventative? What am I supposed to use to treat? Any suggestions are welcome. Thank you for your advice!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,764

    Default Re: A Few Hundred Bees, No Brood, and 1 Queen

    Now that is interesting about the pH of the syrup. Our water supply is alkaline here, comes out of the tap at 7.6 to 8.0, and the supplier I got my bees from suggested adding about a teaspoon of clorox (super alkaline) to the sugar water, to keep mold from growing in it. Been doing it all summer. My bees are multiplying like crazy, and healthy.
    Perhaps 7.0 is perfect for disease, but going acidic or alkaline is better to block disease.
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,381

    Default Re: A Few Hundred Bees, No Brood, and 1 Queen

    very interesting gypsi. i think the ph of honey is about 5.2 or something like that.

    t, i agree there are merits to combining now and splitting back in the spring. the only concern would be transmitting a disease from the weak hive to the strong one.

    do you have a state apiarist that could visit your yard and give you a definitive diagnosis?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Sherburne, MN, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: A Few Hundred Bees, No Brood, and 1 Queen

    Gypsi, I'll look into using something that will increase the acidity.

    squarepeg, I'll look into vitamin c as well. The second hive already has the same disease. I'm extremely certain it is EFB. There is a definite pugent sour odor and the pictures I have found of the cells are identical.

    Thank you for all of your help. Please keep the suggestions coming!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,381

    Default Re: A Few Hundred Bees, No Brood, and 1 Queen

    t, so sorry to hear about that it's efb.

    i'm not much for treatments, but they are not against my religon either.

    i only started beekeeping about two years ago with four really old hives.

    this spring, one of them developed afb. i burned it, and gave my remaining nine hives tylosin as a one time preventative measure.

    i had already gotten rid of all of the old boxes, and all of the old frames are now gone as well. i have also been careful about moving frames from one hive to another.

    this is one reason why i have avoided using syrup.

    in minnesota, i would think the bees are making their last rounds of brood. these will have to be the most healthy because they wil have to live longer and make it through winter.

    you don't have anything to lose trying to save them. i would think that the efb would require antibiotics at this point. if they don't make it, find out if the remaining resources are ok to reuse next year. best of luck to you.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Sherburne, MN, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: A Few Hundred Bees, No Brood, and 1 Queen

    I decided to terminate hive #1. They look miserable, and there's not very many bees. I'll probably do it sometime this weekend. I gave them each a Terra-patty, and today I did a powdered sugar shake over the brood nest to help them with varroa. What am I supposed to do with the frames of brood? Do I freeze them? Throw them away? Or will they be okay if I make candles out of the wax? I'm also wondering about the honey that's in there. I know you can't eat it since I put the patty on (it has sugar syrup in it anyway), but can I keep it and feed it back to my other hive in the spring if they make it? Should I just dispose of it? I was planning on cutting out the wax and boiling the wooden frames. I read this somewhere on the web, does this seem....resonable? What should I do with the boxes?

    Thank you for all of your help,

    T152

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,764

    Default Re: A Few Hundred Bees, No Brood, and 1 Queen

    You could just shake the bees out in front of the other hive - they are all sick anyway, with numbers they might be able to respond to treatment. AFB equipment must be burned. EFB - maybe gone over with a propane torch? But I don't think boiling. I daresay the wax is fine for candles, but the stores - someone else will have to answer.

    I would feed the brood to my chickens, do you have chickens?
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: A Few Hundred Bees, No Brood, and 1 Queen

    You really need to first make sure its not AFB. Maybe its worth your time to have your state inspector look at it and determine the issue. If its indeed EFB then dont worry too much about it. A simple break in the brood cycle will end it as it only focuses on open brood and will immediately go away once you no longer have brood (unlike its ugly cousin). Shake the weak ones out on the ground and store your equipment for the winter. Keep the brood ones in freezer till next spring and place it on your strong hive to clean out the dead brood.

    The important part is to ensure its not AFB before you go any further.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Sherburne, MN, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: A Few Hundred Bees, No Brood, and 1 Queen

    It's not AFB. I know for sure. The brood die before the cell is capped (they are collapsed on the bottom of the cell) and there are no sunken cappings. The stick test conclusion is not stringy but definitely runny. The hives do smell, and the brood is spotty (nonexistent in hive #1). The queen in hive #1 isn't laying any eggs, but queen in #2 is laying what looks to be well. Eggs and larva are in the cells between the dead and the capped. Thanks BMAC. Gypsi-no, I do not have chickens

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,381

    Default Re: A Few Hundred Bees, No Brood, and 1 Queen

    t, have you thought about sending a sample to beltsville lab? it's fast and free, and they can tell you for sure what you have, as well as what treatments would be effective.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,764

    Default Re: A Few Hundred Bees, No Brood, and 1 Queen

    that sounds like a really good idea. (I know just enough to be dangerous too, esp w bee diseases.)
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Sherburne, MN, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: A Few Hundred Bees, No Brood, and 1 Queen

    squarepeg, I knew you could send samples to a lab to get a diagnosis, but I didn't know where or how I could send one. I looked on their webpage and it seems easy enough. I think I will send a sample tomorrow. It will help a lot to know for sure, although I'm extremely certain it is EFB (can't really say 100% sure because there is always a chance something could be wrong, but I'm 99%). The lab will verify anything that I may have suspected. I really appreciate all of your guys' help! Thanks.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,381

    Default Re: A Few Hundred Bees, No Brood, and 1 Queen

    good deal man, let us know what you find out.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Sherburne, MN, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: A Few Hundred Bees, No Brood, and 1 Queen

    I sent them a sample today along with a typed paper full of questions. I hope they answer them!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,381

    Default Re: A Few Hundred Bees, No Brood, and 1 Queen

    it only took a few days to get my results. they called me on my cell phone and answered my questions. they also sent a copy of the results to the state dept. of agriculture.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads