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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brewster Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    67

    Default Dead Hive-next steps???

    I inspected my hive this morning and found all the bees dead. Not sure why, possibly after
    hurricane sandy. First year beek here....so trying to figure what to do next. I've got some questions:

    1) I had put Apstistan strips in the hive in September (had mites).... There are some full frames of
    honey in the hive... I'd not eat this honey due to the apistan strips....but is it worth saving for something??

    2) All the frames are built out, and wondering if I should just remove and toss the foundations (with built out areas)
    as there might be some sort of disease on them.... and just reuse the frames next season?... or can I reuse the frames
    and keep the existing built out foundation?

    3) I was going to wash all the hive bodies with soap and warm water, prior to putting them away for storage....
    does this seem like a good idea?

    4) I noticed some of the individual combs had a white chalky surface to them... not sure if this is some sort of mold
    because they were just out there in the moist environment.... or is this some sort of chalk brood.... sorry i don't have a pix.

    One thing I'll mention... when I took apart the hive there were a minimal numbers of bees dead on the various frames.... and
    a pile of, maybe 200 bees, on the bottom screen. During the beginning of fall, the hive seemed pretty strong with, i'd assume,
    many thousands of bees..... so where'd they all go?



    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,423

    Default Re: Dead Hive-next steps???

    For future reference, from the directions on the Apistan label:

    Remove honey supers, place APISTAN STRIPS in hives, and remove strips after a 42-day treatment period. Honey supers may be replaced after the APISTAN STRIPS have been removed. Effective varroa mite control is achieved during the treatment period. Hives are only to be treated in the spring before the first honey flow and in the fall after the last honey flow.
    http://www.drugs.com/vet/apistan-can.html
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3

    Default Re: Dead Hive-next steps???

    You may want to read this thread....
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...Autumn-Abscond
    It is very unlikely that your bees absconded but I expect that the 'missing bees' are a product of varroa. Apistan is pretty much ineffective any longer in many (most) varroa populations.
    If you choose to use it, I would recommend a pretreatment mite count followed by a post treatment count to assure yourself that it is effective.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brewster Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Dead Hive-next steps???

    Thanks for the replies. I had harvested all the consumable honey prior to inserting the
    apistan strips. The honey filled frames that were left in the hive were left for the bees to
    winter on. I wanted to try the Apistan strips... I had read there was questions as to their effectiveness,
    but had the impression since this was a new hive, maybe the mites would not have a resistance to the
    strips.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brewster Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Dead Hive-next steps???

    I've attached some photos of the "weird" looking comb sections... that appear to be mold
    but wondering if it might be something else I should know about. Again, there was
    plenty of honey filled comb in the hive, plenty of pollen filled comb and wet uncapped
    honey. Also a lot of capped brood.
    thanks




  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brewster Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Dead Hive-next steps???

    OP here.... i carved out a few of the capped brood combs to what the bee in the comb looked like.
    Many had no wings. The ones with no wings were an almost black color. Some looked fairly normal,
    normal coloring, with wings. But many were missing wings. Any insights here?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,087

    Default Re: Dead Hive-next steps???

    The varroa in all likelihood damaged the pupae to the point wings didn't grow. That is a good looking comb full of treasure! That pollen is worth its weight in bees. By all means, preserve it for the use of your replacement bees. The apistan has been defeated by the mites. Using it is a waste of time that could be used doing an effective treatment. Consider finding bees from a breeder of varroa resistent bees in your area. You will need to order soon because the folks who have that stock sell out quick. Then, you need to start a regular monitoring of your bees for varroa levels. When you start getting indications that you have mites, you need to make a plan to treat them. You have the winter to read all over this forum what people find a damaging level of mites and how to treat them. I know what works for me so far in my area. You will need to find what is best in yours. But if you don't have a plan, you will just keep being a customer and not a beekeper.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Aguadilla - puerto rico
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: Dead Hive-next steps???

    DONT KNOW HOW COLD THE WEATHER IS UP NORTH BUT CHECK ALSO FOR MOTH WAX WORMS THEY LIVE INSIDE THE COMB, THEY COULD DESTROY A HIVE AND CHECK IF SOMEONE BEEN SPRAYING AT YOUR AREA , FOR THE HONEY I WOULD HAVE THROW THAT AWAY YOU DONT KNOW OF IT BEEN contaminated with something that kill your bees, and check for mites


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,700

    Default Re: Dead Hive-next steps???

    The weird looking comb is just the bees trying to fit in some drone comb where they can. They will sometimes rework foundation to fit in some drone comb. Nothing to worry about.

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