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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Lawrenceville, NJ, USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Not going well need advise.

    Wow, this is great feedback from all of you. I greatly appreciate all the comments.

    I was finally able to upload the pictures, they may help. Also, I tried to provide additional clarity to the different questions you asked.

    Starting with pesticides. It is a possibility, however, my neighborhood if fairly green and we are surrounded by organic farms (5 to 10 miles away). Also the bees seemed health through November.

    The queen was not among the dead bees

    I did feed them protein patties in the fall and good pollen was available. During that period the hive did seem healthy to me.

    This hive did not die of EFB (see pictures), as of ABF, definitely not the cause (see pictures).

    As for Varroa mites, checking on the dead bee (see picture) I did not notice and deformities, however, not sure what to look for. Also I did not treat for mites this fall.

    Regarding Nosema I did not perform a nosema squash (was is that?), also there were no brown spotting on the outside the hive (I was told that this was a good indicator of nosema infestation (is this correct?).


    I had allowed for ventilation in the hive and did not notice any effects of humidity (no wet bees, no soggy inner cover, I have wooden telescopic covers).

    Too much ventilation may have been an issue (although I have a solid bottom), we did have some pretty cold days.

    Finally there were no brood in the frames.

    I am trying to understand if there was anything I could have done to prevent this.

    Thank you for your help and insights.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Coeburn, VA, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Not going well need advise.

    Jean Pierre,

    In my fourth year of beekeeping and until now had not lost a hive over the winter, but lost all 3 within the last month or so. Not that this helps you figure out what happened to yours, but your hive loss sounds identical to each of mine. Bottom box was empty, still had honey stores up top, bees with heads in cells and a very small cluster(maybe 50 dead bees in each hive, if that) and no queen in the hive. I did everything going into winter exactly the same as in other years except I practiced additional mite control throughout the summer months by freezing frames of drone brood. It's discouraging, but we may have to be content knowing we did everything we thought was right and can only speculate what may have happened.

    tc

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,929

    Default Re: Not going well need advise.

    As to a course of action, pretty much the only thing that would render your hive unfit for re-use, would be AFB. However the huge majority of these type of hive deaths are not AFB and in that case you could re stock your equipment with new bees with confidence.

    There are some very balanced and extremely high quality posts in this thread there is most of the information you want. Some people would say you should treat the combs for nosema, and other such things, but apart from AFB, if you start in spring with healthy bees, they should be able to handle pretty much any residual infection of whatever, that might be left in the comb.

    Just in case the hive did die of AFB, you can google some pics of AFB scale, and see if your hive has that. But if there is no dead brood in the hive, it did not die of AFB, as AFB kills the hive by killing the brood, by definition there must be some dead brood left behind as the last few bees are too weak to clean it out.

    You can keep bees in the same area, not all hive deaths are caused by neonics. Fact is, neonics is the verified cause of death in extremely few hive deaths, and hives used to die before there were neonics. What is a much more common part of the picture, is varroa mites. They weaken the bees, vector all sorts of diseases, and even if the hive died of something that was not mites, in a very large number of cases mites were an aggravating or causative factor. My advice is put new bees in, and keep mite levels low, especially in the lead up to winter.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Lawrenceville, NJ, USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Not going well need advise.

    Thank you all for the great feedback. I may not have a definite answer, however, I better sense of what may have happened.
    Thanks again,
    Jean-Pierre

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Belfast, Ireland
    Posts
    396

    Default Re: Not going well need advise.

    jpgero.
    Your photo number 7 of the floor debris looks like it is showing a lot of mites but it is hard to be sure from that camera distance.
    Have you another picture taken from closer to the floor or could you enlarge a section of that one and upload it?

    There is another photo showing pepperpot part capped brood and this is also a strong indicator of mites. The pupae are dead or damaged and the bees start to uncap and remove them.

    Otherwise, the comb looks clean to me

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Not going well need advise.

    Jpgero, what your seeing is a normal death of a hive. CCD is asociated with hives with no dead bees. Typicaly a small dead cluster will be mites and ascoiated problems Did you do a fall mite check? The queen is usually among them, but a dead winter queen can be very hard to discern. she has slowed down and is smaller, and then the dead dry out a bit more makeing her hard to spot.
    The small cluster cannot move around to get stores well. therein lies the reason they die with food in the hive. How big was your cluster going into winter???

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,997

    Default Re: Not going well need advise.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    <snip>The queen is usually among them, but a dead winter queen can be very hard to discern. she has slowed down and is smaller, and then the dead dry out a bit more makeing her hard to spot.<snip>
    I know what you meant here, but couldn't help but do a "ya think?".

    Ed

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westchester NY
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Not going well need advise.

    If you have alot of bees and no honey=starvation
    If you have a small number of bees and alot of honey=Mite dwindle/starvation
    Alot of people assume CCD but as I understand it that would imply most if not all of the bees absconding from the hive at the point of collapse

    I learned this the hard way 2 years ago, when I was unable to treat for mites and I lost many hives all with alot of honey stored YOU NEED TO DO MITE COUNTS IN THE LATE SUMMER so that you know where you stand otherwise you are just shooting in the dark. Most mite monitering methods will take under 10 minutes if you know how to do them.
    http://www.peekskillnurseries.com
    Specialists in Ground Cover plants since 1937. Talk to me about ground-covers!

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Not going well need advise.

    Just trying to point something out to newbies.... Its hard to pick out a dead queen in the winter.....not everyone relaizes she is not like a summer queen

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Belfast, Ireland
    Posts
    396

    Default Re: Not going well need advise.

    They can be small all right but look out for that pointy rear.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Stromness, Scotland
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: Not going well need advise.

    Quote Originally Posted by bobbarker View Post
    So, anytime a hive dies it MUST be related to CCD and Neonics? You're jumping to conclusions, and telling a new beek that if he can't locate exactly where the chemical that may or may not be being used in his area is at, he should stop keeping bees because they're just all going to die. Do you not realize how ridiculous that sounds? There are a plethora of possibilities for why that hive died, and CCD from Neonics is only one. Heck, for all we know, someone was stealing the bees a handful at a time until there were too few to keep the hive warm! So should he stop beekeeping because all of his bees are just going to get stolen?

    Telling people to stop keeping bees because they can't isolate and eliminate neonics use in their area is just as harmful to the overall bee population as CCD. Yes, Neonics are a problem. Yes, CCD is a problem. Yes, they are probably related, but lighten up a little bit and try to give some helpful advice and insight, or do your best to restrain your fingers.
    I stick with my opinion that this loss was due to neonics.

    So if the beekeeper cannot eliminate the source of the pesticide, should he get bees again, just to lose them the same way as this winter?

    Already half the colonies have been wiped out in the US this winter. There's going to be a huge shortage of bees.
    To restock in an area where they have little chance of survival is a waste of good bees and good money.

    I'd rather advice people to help get the neonics banned, and once we have achieved that I am very happy to talk about restocking.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,929

    Default Re: Not going well need advise.

    I would like to know what led you to pin this loss, for certain, on neonics.

    And, if he starts bees again and does not lose them this coming season, could you be wrong?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Stromness, Scotland
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: Not going well need advise.

    I have done my homework, read the studies and looked at lots of hives, some of them showing all symptoms of CCD.

    Of course this beekeeper could be lucky, whoever applied the pesticide might not use it again, grow a different crop, or the weather during flowering could be bad, preventing contamination.

    It's really up to him if he wants to try again.
    I wouldn't do it unless I was fairly certain that my new bees have got a good chance to survive.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Vermontville, Michigan
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Not going well need advise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stromnessbees View Post
    I stick with my opinion that this loss was due to neonics.

    So if the beekeeper cannot eliminate the source of the pesticide, should he get bees again, just to lose them the same way as this winter?

    Already half the colonies have been wiped out in the US this winter. There's going to be a huge shortage of bees.
    To restock in an area where they have little chance of survival is a waste of good bees and good money.

    I'd rather advice people to help get the neonics banned, and once we have achieved that I am very happy to talk about restocking.
    At least you admit that it's an opinion this time. I'm interested in where you got your information that "Half the colonies have been wiped out in the US this winter." Considering that winter isn't over yet, I somewhat doubt the veracity of your claims, as it would seem to be a waste of time for anyone to conduct a legitimate study at this point, and have time to compile all of the data.

    Furthermore, if half of the hives in the US have been lost this winter, there is no proof that that was caused by neonics. If there IS a study out at this point, there's no way they would have had time to correlate losses to neonic use in the area with any degree of reliability.

    IF there is pesticide factor involved in the loss of this particular hive, one that isn't going to go away, then it probably wouldn't be advisable to continually buy and try to keep bees, but since there is no way of knowing if there was a pesticide factor, advising someone to stop keeping bees until neonics are banned is bad advice. If the beek feels like they are doing everything right, and 2-3 years in a row loses bees and can't find an underlying cause, then yes, I would probably advise that they give it a rest, because something is going on. Whether that something is neonics, a string of bad luck, or something else altogether, I would still advise taking a break from beekeeping, because it's just throwing money away if the hives are consistently lost.

    What you're doing is unconscionable, and you ought to be ashamed of trying to scare people into following your opinion. Educate people, mobilize them to contact their representatives, raise money for fundraisers, but leave the scare tactics for Halloween.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,929

    Default Re: Not going well need advise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    I would like to know what led you to pin this loss, for certain, on neonics.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stromnessbees View Post
    I have done my homework, read the studies and looked at lots of hives, some of them showing all symptoms of CCD.
    Telling me you did your homework is not answering the question I asked.

    I am asking what led you to believe in this case, that it was neonics. ie, what symptoms, or whatever. How did you rule out everything else, etc.

    Saying you did homework tells us nothing.

    This question MUST be answered if you are going to tell people to quit beekeeping.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,929

    Default Re: Not going well need advise.

    Thought I'd bump this, still keen to learn how to diagnose death by neonics on the information given.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westchester NY
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Not going well need advise.

    Probably death by mites--take the dead bees do an alcohol wash see if you get alot of mites in there (although at this time of year the numbers arent going to be as high as when the hive started to go down)
    http://www.peekskillnurseries.com
    Specialists in Ground Cover plants since 1937. Talk to me about ground-covers!

  18. #38
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Vermontville, Michigan
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Not going well need advise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Thought I'd bump this, still keen to learn how to diagnose death by neonics on the information given.

    Me too.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Not going well need advise.

    Quote Originally Posted by xcugat View Post
    Probably death by mites--take the dead bees do an alcohol wash see if you get alot of mites in there (although at this time of year the numbers arent going to be as high as when the hive started to go down)
    Does this work? I would have thought the dead bees would be devoid of mites? haveing fallen off and out on the bottom or ground??

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westchester NY
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Not going well need advise.

    I would always check the bottom board first and you will probably have mites there--but if none then I would try the wash--I know it works in the season when they are alive so I thought It would work now--I guess it depends on how recently the hive died and the mites would fall off (but then you should see them on the BB) Someone out there who has tried it before would know for sure
    http://www.peekskillnurseries.com
    Specialists in Ground Cover plants since 1937. Talk to me about ground-covers!

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