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  1. #1

    Default Another one bites the dust

    As I’ve made some warm weather rounds, I came across this deadout. It was on my list to feed…but wasn’t desperately low on stores.



    When I opened it about three weeks ago it appeared to be a thriving colony. It was in a yard with another dozen hives, all of which appear to be doing well. The bees in the photo were dumped off of the screened bottom onto this sheet.



    As it was on a screened bottom board with the plastic drop sheet in place, I went through the debris….and nary a mite. I shook the pile of dead bees over the sheet. Mites? Zip! All the same…you know what killed it? Mites…well along with a bit of ppb.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,127

    Default Re: Another one bites the dust

    It can't be fun to find a once healthy looking hive completely lifeless, sorry for your loss Dan. Have you ever sent a few bees in to a bee lab for evaluation? They might find something you don't expect......

    ppb...? What is that, parts per billion?
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,143

    Default Re: Another one bites the dust

    Know the pain. Do not usually see the evidence. Just the ghosts of beehives past.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,240

    Default Re: Another one bites the dust

    thats what i find here in KY after a losing battle with robbers-lots of dead bees on the bottom.
    any stores left?
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,572

    Default Re: Another one bites the dust

    ppb? errrrr its sort of an acronym that describes the beekeeping practices employed. I think its ummmm "probably" poor beekeeping....or something close to that. It happens to all of us though, its just that some have more trouble accepting blame than others. If I hit myself over the head every time I ever screwed up in this business I would have been dead long ago.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  6. #6

    Default Re: Another one bites the dust

    Quote Originally Posted by Lburou View Post
    ppb...? What is that, parts per billion?
    It is a beekeepers' acronym for pis....er....pretty poor beekeeping.
    In this instance the hive was in a yard that I use for demonstrating mite counting and treatments for beginning beekeepers. This particular hive got the hopguard treatment. I only got to it twice...about two weeks apart and never did a follow up mite count. No doubt in my mind about who is to blame.

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    It happens to all of us though, its just that some have more trouble accepting blame than others.
    Truer words have never been spoken. It is painful to accept the responsibility for a collapse like this. But denial only means you are destined to repeat the mistakes….although acceptance isn’t a sure solution either.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  7. #7

    Default Re: Another one bites the dust

    Quote Originally Posted by mike haney View Post
    thats what i find here in KY after a losing battle with robbers-lots of dead bees on the bottom.
    More typically, in my experience, robbing at a relatively strong hive results in dead bees on the bottom as well as loads on the ground in front. In this case there weren't any significant numbers on the ground.
    Although it had been robbed, I'm pretty sure it was after the fact.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Another one bites the dust

    Possibly this was a study on screened bottom boards. Not terribly low on stores but when bees are forced to a small cluster by unnatural lack of climate control, means they can't get to feed an inch away.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Another one bites the dust

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    Not terribly low on stores but when bees are forced to a small cluster by unnatural lack of climate control, means they can't get to feed an inch away.
    Maybe...but in that case I would expect to find hundreds, dead, headfirst in empty cells. Not so with this colony.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,558

    Default Re: Another one bites the dust

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    All the same…you know what killed it? Mites…well along with a bit of ppb.
    Calling it "Operator Error" would be kinder and more appropriate.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Another one bites the dust

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Calling it "Operator Error" would be kinder and more appropriate.
    Yeah...I don't usually give myself much slack.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Killington,VT
    Posts
    143

    Default Re: Another one bites the dust

    This is the kind of sharing I like to read. It helps me learn more. Thanks to those who have contributed and will contribute. It has been difficult on some other threads to weed through the trash postings.

    When I found a hive dead like this, it was because they had gotten wet then chilled. Any possibility of that in this case?
    Zone 4a-b

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Corvallis, OR
    Posts
    223

    Default Re: Another one bites the dust

    I'm curious why you are convinced that mites are the culprit when you didn't find any on the tray? All of my hives have at least a few mites on the tray under the SBB. One (where Apiguard didn't work) is dropping 30+ mites per day but is still packed with bees. I don't have high hopes for that one despite OA treatment yesterday, but I think I would need to see DWV and high mite drops prior to deadout to be convinced that mites did the job.

    Mark

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Benton, Ks
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Another one bites the dust

    Did you find a bunch of be excrement on the outside of the hive? Also, when they were still alive, did the have tattered wings and sluggish movement? Was there any new bees or fresh brood?

  15. #15

    Default Re: Another one bites the dust

    Quote Originally Posted by vanderchevy18 View Post
    Did you find a bunch of be excrement on the outside of the hive? Also, when they were still alive, did the have tattered wings and sluggish movement? Was there any new bees or fresh brood?
    No poop on the front. They were all totally dead. There was some capped and some partially emerged brood.
    Quote Originally Posted by Luterra View Post
    I'm curious why you are convinced that mites are the culprit when you didn't find any on the tray? All of my hives have at least a few mites on the tray under the SBB.
    The hive had mites when the bees were alive. Dead mites disappear quickly in this part of the country. They are highly favored by ants. In late summer this hive had a high mite count (sugar shake). I used it as a demonstration for mite treatments but I didn’t properly follow through with the follow up treatments and never did a follow up mite count either. Late fall/early winter sudden collapse is one of the typical symptoms of heavy mite parasitism. I don’t see any evidence to suggest anything else.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Benton, Ks
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Another one bites the dust

    OK. Its still odd that they would die so quickly. Dead brood or were you at least able to save it for another hive?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Corvallis, OR
    Posts
    223

    Default Re: Another one bites the dust

    Ants remove the dead mites...that completes the puzzle. More proof that all beekeeping is regional. Not many ants active in northern tier states this time of year.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Benton, Ks
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Another one bites the dust

    ^^ For sure. We don't have ant problems like that here in Ks.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Another one bites the dust

    Quote Originally Posted by vanderchevy18 View Post
    OK. Its still odd that they would die so quickly. Dead brood or were you at least able to save it for another hive?
    It is actually one of the more common mite driven failure modes (another being 'the bees all disappeared'). The brood was all dead too....I'll keep the frames for next spring.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  20. #20

    Default Re: Another one bites the dust

    Quote Originally Posted by vanderchevy18 View Post
    ^^ For sure. We don't have ant problems like that here in Ks.
    It really isn't a problem. Ants are scavengers. While the colony is alive...they keep out. As soon as it dies they start to clean up. The world would be a much worse place were it not for scavengers...big and small.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

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