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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    439

    Default One colony is failing already

    This colony is from a split and was given a mated local queen.
    They always seemed to be lagging behind the other hives throughout summer but in August the population boomed.

    I was feeding syrup to all the hives and this one never seemed to want it.
    While checking syrup levels today, I saw that they haven't touched it at all.

    After I opened them up I noticed a lack of bees.
    I found three partially finished queen cups in the middle of two frames that were empty.

    The top deep super (3rd box) had lots of comb but no syrup or honey.
    The 2nd deep super is about 80% full of honey and syrup. Some capped brood and not many bees.
    The bottom deep had minimal honey stored and lots of brood and not many bees.
    The brood looked all dead in both supers.
    Dead larvae was evident through partially capped cells.
    Some bees looked like they died before they could chew their way completely out of the capped cells.

    The back half of the bottom board had a layer of dead bees on it.
    There appeared to be no evidence of robbing and the entrance had been reduced for some time now.
    Didn't see any eggs and didn't try to find the queen.

    On the top of one frame in the bottom super I saw several dark grub like things. Not sure if those were immature larvae they were trying to remove or something else.
    No evidence of wax moth or hive beetles. No DWV that I could see.

    What should I do with the remaining bees and winter stores?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,095

    Thumbs Up Re: One colony is failing already

    You might find some relevant reading about colony collapse (echoing some of your symptoms) here.

    Good luck
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Plymouth Ma USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: One colony is failing already

    With out looking into it deeper the info you give with the dead bees on the bottom board and brood dead in the cells it sounds to me the bees got into some pesticide.. If it was C.C.D. you would find stores and no bees or very few bees in the hive alive and no dead ones.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    St. Petersburg, fl, USA
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: One colony is failing already

    all the dead bees sure points to a poisoning event. Do you have Misquito control fly overs or are you near an agriculture area? Are your hives accessible? Could it be vandals? The dark things are probably magots feeding on the decaying larva and bees.
    I would err on the side of caution and Scrape all the frame clean and scrub everything with soapy water and rinse well. If you are in the south it might be possible to start another hive now but anywhere else I would wait til spring.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tyrone, Pennsylvania,USA
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: One colony is failing already

    Allen,this time of year hives are dying from mites,did you you check the bottom board for mites?I have several hives crashing from heavy mite loads.We had an extended warm season this year and the mites really had a chance to build up.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    439

    Default Re: One colony is failing already

    There was spraying last August and the closest was about a mile away.
    Didn't see any differences in population and am on the list to be notified when the spraying happens.

    Don't think it was vandals and not many know the bees are here except for the immediate neighbors who like bees.
    Also gave care packages of honey earlier in Spring to all the neighbors and promised more when we harvest.

    There are mites in the hives.
    I'm going to look into ways to disrupt the mite life cycle for next year. Would rather not to have to use chemicals in the hive and know to expect losses because of that in the beginning.

    Thanks for trying to help

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,639

    Default Re: One colony is failing already

    >>The brood looked all dead in both supers.
    Dead larvae was evident through partially capped cells.
    Some bees looked like they died before they could chew their way completely out of the capped cells.'

    probably mites, but there are other brood diseases.

    i would 'consider':

    1. making sure this hive doesn't get robbed out by any other bees.
    2. having your state inspector take a look.
    3. sending a sample to beltsville.

    especially if the dead dark brood passes the 'toothpick test' for ropiness, which would suggest american foul brood.

    getting a certain diagnosis will help you decide what you can do, or not do, with the comb and stores.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    439

    Default Re: One colony is failing already

    Thanks.
    I reduced the entrance down to a very small size.
    We don't have a state inspector due to funding issues this year but a former inspector is in our bee club and will ask him to stop by.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,639

    Default Re: One colony is failing already

    perfect. if your comb and stores are reusable, they will help next year's replacement colony out a lot.

    sometimes all you have to do is freeze the frames.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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