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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,592

    Default Ok... I need answers

    Checked my hive today to find no live bees at all, maybe 300 dead. They were last checked (very quickly) on Dec.22 (it was warm temps) with tons of bees and stores. Stores are all there, no mites on the bottom board or feces, no AFB, no shb, conducted an alcohol wash on the dead bees.... nothing.
    Why would all the bees leave? It makes no sense.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Ok... I need answers

    CCD possibly?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Plainfield, NJ
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Ok... I need answers

    How close was the cluster To the honey? How tight was the cluster? Softball? Basketball? How cold has it been for the last few weeks?

    I am thinking the 300 bees sounds like a small cluster and if it was cold enough, the swarm had issues even move a frame away to get to the honey.

    Chris in NJ

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,484

    Default Re: Ok... I need answers

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Beeman View Post
    Why would all the bees leave? It makes no sense.
    Welcome to beekeeping. You might get ten answers but you won't know what happen until it happens again knowing what the possibilities could be. Do you have one hive or multiple hives?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,869

    Default Re: Ok... I need answers

    Were the 300 clustered on the frames or on the bottom board? Any Pictures?
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,592

    Default Re: Ok... I need answers

    The bees were on two frames towards the top right next to the honey. Literally, there wer 300 or so dead bees left in the hive. Very few on the bottom board maybe 20.

    I will post pics tomorrow. I did have three hives... down to one.

    CCD is when the hive just dies right? All the bees dead all at once? The bees in this hive just took off. Wierd that I didn't see them clustered in a nearby bush or tree. Man... this has my mind reeling.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Ok... I need answers

    Maybe the live bees had enough warm days to clean out their dead? 300 sounds like a pretty small number. Any chance you are underestimating?
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,484

    Default Re: Ok... I need answers

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Beeman View Post
    CCD is when the hive just dies right?
    I think CCD is when the bees are just gone.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  9. #9

    Default Re: Ok... I need answers

    First you would only see mite feces in cells if the colony had been actively producing brood. Second…if the bees were dead, the mites would have fallen off and an alcohol wash wouldn’t have done any good. Third….if there were only a few hundred remaining bees and all the mites had fallen off…even a moderately high infestation would not leave a huge number of mites on the bottom.
    I am not saying that it was mites…I’m only saying that you haven’t established that it wasn’t.
    Did you test/treat during the season?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,484

    Default Re: Ok... I need answers

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    First you would only see mite feces in cells if the colony had been actively producing brood.
    Where does the feces go?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,592

    Default Re: Ok... I need answers

    I did test during the season and never found a mite. I checked the bottom board many times.... no mites. Never treated simply because there was no mites to be found.
    This morning I took the hive apart completely, no dead mites. You would think I'd find one if I had a problem.

    Wierd thing that may help is that I found the queen on a frame with 100 or so bees. All dead of course. NO superceedure cells, NO queen cells, nothing to indicate she was new.

    Lots of head scratching going on this morning. lol

  12. #12

    Default Re: Ok... I need answers

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Where does the feces go?
    The bees clean the cells out....feces and all. In a brood producing hive that is simultaneously collapsing from varroa, housecleaning will suffer. When a bee colony goes into a broodless period and is not in iimmediate collapse....those recently used cells will get a clean up.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  13. #13

    Default Re: Ok... I need answers

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Beeman View Post
    I did test during the season and never found a mite.
    I'm not looking to be confrontational but....all bee colonies in North America have mites. Rather than presuming that I had no mites....I'd reevaluate the testing technique.
    Again....I am not saying that varroa were a factor in your bee loss...
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,592

    Default Re: Ok... I need answers

    I appreciate the replies and advice.
    Shouldnt I find one dead mite on the bottom board? The bees cant get at it to clean it.
    I will say however that I have learned a lot this year and my proceedures on keeping bees will change. I have to help eliminate or at least decrease the chances of this happening again.
    I don't believe you are being confrontational beemandan. I'll be the first to let you know though. lol

  15. #15

    Default Re: Ok... I need answers

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Beeman View Post
    I will say however that I have learned a lot this year and my proceedures on keeping bees will change.
    And like most of us will do so every year.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: Ok... I need answers

    CCD the bees leave and can't navigate to find there way back. Usually leaving a small number of bees and the queen.

    There many reasons a hive will abscond. You found the queen so they did not abscond.

    How much honey left? Save it for you or your next hive.

    I agree there has to be mites somewhere in your hive. Do you have a bottom entrance all the way open? Maybe wind or insect cleared the mite off your bottom board.

    A closed SBB with a tray or sticky paper will hold on to those mites, along with other pests.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland. U.S.A.
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Ok... I need answers

    Sorry about your hive Mr. Beeman So there were two separate clusters, queen w/ the smaller ? distance between/orientation in box ? which varroa test(s) did you perform/frequency ?
    Agree w/ :
    -Flower, SBB
    -beemandan, - the varroa test you described is not instructive

    My feeling ? What was the temp on Dec 22nd ? Warm is a relative term, my guess is if I had popped up for dinner @ your place from MD,(In my LearJet 75) we would have disagreed on the matter. I would have come in Carhart coveralls and you'd be in shorts (My cousins are in/around Imlay city) Be that as it may..... When you checked on the 22nd 300 bees looked to you like tons. Why ? Cause they came rushing to the top of the combs to preserve heat. Also, in the hive you describe,(a colony of 300) you are looking for 9 mites, is perhaps a good way to consider varroa ? (my admittedly limited understanding) others will correct my #'s, along with everything else
    Conclusion reached knowing absolutely nothing
    in the end they froze, why were they so weak ? have to go back another inspection. Had the situation been known, could 300+queen have been, extra insulated ? divided off inside hive ? heated ? brought in ? and wintered successfully. would have made for interesting experiment
    Cheers,
    Drew

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,592

    Default Re: Ok... I need answers

    Drew I appreciate the reply. Actually when I checked on them on the 22nd of Dec. there were 30,000 40,000 plus that were very much alive. When I checked yesterday there were only around 300 or so, but dead.

    Warm here is anything above 32 degrees F. lol Seriously it was around 60F.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Ok... I need answers

    Quote Originally Posted by Maryland Beekeeper View Post
    -beemandan, - the varroa test you described is not instructive
    What test did I describe?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ludington, Michigan
    Posts
    638

    Default Re: Ok... I need answers

    On Dec 22 your low temp was 23.3 deg and your high was 34.4
    How do you know that you had "tons of bee's"

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