Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 43

Thread: Autumn Abscond?

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,238

    Default Re: Autumn Abscond?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seymore View Post
    So...when you lose a hive to mites, I wonder how long it takes before any remaining mites die. I wouldn't want to take mite-infested equipment and introduce it to another hive. Hours? Days? Weeks? Anyone know?
    I'm not sure there is a definitive answer, as it may depend somewhat on temps but I would guess somewhere between 24 hours and a week.
    Xcugat: it's not unusual to see small clusters of really mite infested bees for weeks during the latter stages of collapse and a few handfuls of dead bees scattered about the hive but the majority of its previous population is usually nowhere to be seen.
    For the record I consider absconding a somewhat mysterious disappearance of ALL the bees in a hive and not the natural swarming of some fraction of the hive population.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Sebring, Florida, USA
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Autumn Abscond?

    I had this happen with fire ants, but you don't have those in your area.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,252

    Default Re: Autumn Abscond?

    Quote Originally Posted by the doc View Post
    i had a horrible time with absconding this year. All related to nucs. One would swarm out and several others would swarm and join them to make a mega swarm. Then they would fly around my yard, never happy enough to settle down when i rehived them. It made for an poor year in terms of increases.
    Did they abscond, or did they swarm? Did the nucs have swarm cells present when they left? Did the nucs wind up with new queens?

    I've had swarming/absconding problems over the years with my nucs. The difference is obvious, but you do have to look inside the box. When a colony swarms, they start queen cells before they leave. They don't necessarily have to be sealed before the bees leave...as production colonies cells usually are. I've seen them leave with queen cups/egg or day old larvae.

    When a colony absconds, they leave before they start queen cells. Almost all the bees leave with the queen, leaving brood and a few young bees behind...and whatever field bees that were in the field when the bees left. A week later, there is a small cluster of bees...many newly emerged bees, too much brood for the cluster to care for, and, the real clue....emergency queen cells at the edges of the brood pattern.

    So, if you don't look at the right time, and the virgins have emerged and mated, you really wouldn't know if they swarmed or if they absconded.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Autumn Abscond?

    In my way of thinking, probably swarmed. Nucs build so fast, ya really got stay on top of them. But absconding, in my understanding, leaves ZERO bees, correct? Wouldn't that be the true indicator?
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Auburn, NY
    Posts
    471

    Default Re: Autumn Abscond?

    What does the mite feces look like?

  6. #26

    Default Re: Autumn Abscond?

    Mites tend to deposit their fecal matter at a common site within the cell. Since their feces are white, the accumulation of it at that site makes it visible.
    Don’t take a lack of it as assurance that mites were not present. Before the colony fails, bees remove it as part of their cell cleaning. And, as I've pointed out on a number of occasions, there are any numbers of scavengers ready to remove any material of nutritional value from a collapsed colony. Mite fecal matter is easily removed and disappears pretty fast.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,277

    Default Re: Autumn Abscond?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan. NY View Post
    What does the mite feces look like?
    they were small white-ish flakes, located primarily on the 'ceilings' of the empty brood cells.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Auburn, NY
    Posts
    471

    Default Re: Autumn Abscond?

    Well hell... You guys nailed it with my issue. Mass amounts of small white substance on frames, easily shaken off. Looked like and fell like little teeny tiny hailstones falling when shaken. Gotta be mite crap. So much for my Minnesota hygenic queen and mite removal. Strangely, my superceded queen hive thrived right next to the collapsed one. Now I am worried as many bees robbed out the alleged mite collapsed colony. Can I treat still with formic or is it late in the season for that? I have strips on hand ready to go but didnt think they were needed. Live and learn, dont repeat. grrrr. thanks though.

    Dan

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Autumn Abscond?

    Installed 2 new packages in spring, both swarmed in July, I had seen signs of deformed wings so knew mites were a problem. So I made a formic acid fume board as per Amrine and Noel and tried it out on one of the new packages on July 13. It worked very well with an exess of 2000 dead mites the next morning. I then treated the rest of my hives over the next 4 months. I happened to check the hive treated in July in early November and found the bees removing deadbees and larvae from the last frme of brood they were uncapping and removing everything, this troubled me a little untill I opened up some myself and saw any mites. So I treated them again and dropped another 500 or so mites, My feeling is if I had not dropped the mite load that hive might be dead by now, they still might not survive the winter. If I had been aware of the formic acid fume board I would have treated the packages when they arrived, I had not seen a honey bee on my property for 7 or 8 years untill I brought in package bees, so where else coul the mites have come from
    John

  10. #30
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,686

    Default Re: Autumn Abscond?

    They came with the bees most likely.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Autumn Abscond?

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    They came with the bees most likely.
    Seems like a package or nuc should be inspected for mites before being sold... But then we'd probably never get to buy bees cuz there would always be mites or they would be cost prohibitive, eh?
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,252

    Default Re: Autumn Abscond?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seymore View Post
    Nucs build so fast, ya really got stay on top of them. But absconding, in my understanding, leaves ZERO bees, correct? Wouldn't that be the true indicator?
    No, not zero bees. Brood, newly emerged bees and field bees are present. Emergency cells are present.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Autumn Abscond?

    Not absconding. ALL bees leave when absconded.
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,252

    Default Re: Autumn Abscond?

    Well, I've witnessed absconding in nucs. The bees act as I stated above. 99% of the bees leave. Cluster that remains after is newly emerged bees and field bees. No cells present when they leave the hive. What would you call it than, swarming? Did you ever see a swarm take 99% of the bees and leave no cells?

    Have you seen bees abscond, or just witnessed an empty hive that was previously occupied and figured they must have absconded. What happens to the brood in an absconded colony? It continues to emerge. If the temperatures are hot, quite a bit will emerge and form a cluster. Those bees, and the field bees that returned after the cluster left the hive, construct emergency cells, and most will raise a new queen. The brood that can't be cared for dies.This talk of bees absconding when 2 weeks before they were so strong, really is off base. Absconding in our european honey bees isn't common, as it is in africans, Apis dorsata, and others around the world. If the bees in your hive have "disappeared", I would place absconding at the bottom of the list of possibilities.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    barry co., Michigan
    Posts
    302

    Default Re: Autumn Abscond?

    Micheal all my nucs absconded. I witnessed it several times. One nuc would get a bunch of activity at the entrance and then all the bees would pour out through the robber guard fly off and cluster in a nearby limb. No bees remained except a few brood that would emerge over the next couple hours. Next they would land on an adjacent occupied nuc on the outside and start running in and then all the bees would leave that nuc and that queen would be on the ground with a small court around her. This would happen several times and they would build up to a large basketball sized cluster. I would then try to hive them. They undoubtedly then left a few days later. Tried splitting, requeening with the newly abandoned queens, adding a frame of eggs to each split of the "swarm", this would happen again - incredibly frustrating

    These were definitely not reproductive swarms. No queen cells or even cups in any of these nucs.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,277

    Default Re: Autumn Abscond?

    that's downright freaky doc!
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,238

    Default Re: Autumn Abscond?

    doc: Could you describe these nucs. Give us a time frame for when they were made up, and what they were made up of and at what stage they were in when they left the hive. Also what other activities were going on in the yard, were there cell builders in the yard, were there other strong hives in the yard and if so were they affected as well and any other clues you can give us.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,252

    Default Re: Autumn Abscond?

    Quote Originally Posted by the doc View Post
    Micheal all my nucs absconded. I witnessed it several times. These were definitely not reproductive swarms. No queen cells or even cups in any of these nucs.
    I found it happens when the weather is hot and humid, and the nucs are strong and in single story. Adding the second story eliminated absconding in my nucs. Interesting that you found them uniting themselves. The nucs I witnessed abscond seemed to fly straight away over the trees and gone...no clustering in the apiary. Seeley and his assistant are going to try to get nucleus colonies to abscond next summer...by heating them up with heat lamps and waiting to see what happens. I mentioned in a talk this summer what I saw...the bees from absconds not clustering like swarming bees. I know what I saw, but maybe didn't see everything...as witnessed by Doc.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Cazenovia, NY, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Autumn Abscond?

    Thanks for all the comments. Still not sure- had no bees left at all- but mites seem to be the most likely cause.
    Tim

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Cazenovia, NY, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Autumn Abscond?

    I guess what confuses me is that there were no bees left - alive or dead.
    Tim

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

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