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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Anderson County, Texas
    Posts
    1,254

    Default Re: Bees up and left a hive full of honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Grand Junction, corn as far as the eye can see! A neonic paradise!
    Last spring [towards the end of April] I took 6-7 of my strongest colonies to my brother's place about 70 miles west, to place on mesquite just starting full bloom. Most of the non cultivated land is in mesquites, but also all around was corn about 18" tall for the cultivated areas. These colonies were 3 mediums and packed and boiling with bees. I pulled the screens off, added another super, and watched them about an hour and half as they covered up the mesquite blosoms around me. I went back the next weekend to find all the populations down to what you would expect in a nuke. Fresh honey in small amounts in the frames but nothing sealed. I loaded them up the next day and brought them home and they were much lighter than when I took them.

    Few months later I took 16 strong colonies with lupster's bees to west Texas to put on cotton. About month and half later, went to pick them up, and had 3 colonies with no sign of bees and all the rest were weak. I might have averged 20# of honey per colony. 4 more died before I got them ready for winter and I went into winter with 9 and came out with 9, though 1 was queenless. I am through with the migratory beekeeping.

    Kindest Regards
    Danny
    "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." Nathan Hale, 1776

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,680

    Default Re: Bees up and left a hive full of honey

    Danny -

    Cotton has always been reported as a tough crop on bees. I won't pass judgment on that. The OP is from Grand Junction, CO, and last time I looked, it's a vegetable and fruit growing area.
    Regards, Barry

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,876

    Default Re: Bees up and left a hive full of honey

    Quote Originally Posted by GLOCK View Post
    What a great way to make someone new feel welcomed to the forum .
    Geuss time will tell if JOHNTHEFARMER has anything to add to BEESOURCE.
    I know i have had hives take syrup when there was a flow and i have had bees clean up old honey frames when there was a flow . Just saying.
    But what do i know i'm only a 4 year beek like JOHN THE FARMER.Peace.
    My Heartfelt Apology to JohnTheFarmer.
    All I can say is it must have been a bad cup of coffee, and I've just gotten upset from the postings lately blaming all beehive losses on CCD and Neonics. I had no reason to lash out so and I'm sorry.

    But, I've had strong flows where chunks of dripping honey was laying out with no bees paying attention to it, the ants seemed more interested. This was in a strong late spring flow. On the other hand, I've had days when bees would not leave my glass of Pepsi alone as I ventured out to watch them flying. That was at late summer dearth. Anything sweet out at that time was investigated by the bees, and a frame of honey was robbed out with a frenzy. My good friend in beekeeping used to always have a frame of honey hanging on his porch, he used it to monitor nectar flows at his yard. So it's been my observations that setting honey frames out to see if they get robbed back or not, is not a valid test to see if your hive has been vacated because of CCD or Neonic contamination.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    collbran, co
    Posts
    563

    Default Re: Bees up and left a hive full of honey

    it's hard to tell what happened with out inspecting the hive.id be happy to help u out as i go to grand junction frequently

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Grand Junction,Colorado, USA
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Bees up and left a hive full of honey

    I would like to thank JohnTheFarmer for responding to my initial question and to my subsequent comment. I appreciate his concern for the well-being of my bees and would tend to agree with his last statement about bees using honey when it's easy to get and already converted to food. My understanding is that bees will choose the highest quality food source they can find--that is why they will forage on a particular flower to the exclusion of others with nectar of lower sugar concentration. Honey would have a much higher sugar content that any nectar, and if a honey comb were 10 feet away why would bees fly a mile to forage on nectar with only 10-20% sugar content? Moreover, there is a golf course very close to my home and several small home orchards. Agriculturalists here are mostly of the mentality, "better living through chemicals" so I would not discount the possibility of pesticide toxicity as John suggests. In fact I may contact the golf course and ask them what they are spraying. BTW, beekeepers behaving like angry bees is not very attractive to anyone, especially new beekeepers like myself and new visitors to the forum. I hope our colleagues in the UK won't think all Americans are rude.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Grand Junction,Colorado, USA
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Bees up and left a hive full of honey

    Thanks. I sent you a PM.

    Quote Originally Posted by franktrujillo View Post
    it's hard to tell what happened with out inspecting the hive.id be happy to help u out as i go to grand junction frequently

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,046

    Default Re: Bees up and left a hive full of honey

    I had an odd abscond last fall as well. If the bees are totally gone, AND you've been monitoring them so you know it's not just a CCD that deaded-out, they absconded which is different than CCD. Not to troll, but there are a lot of colony losses that are mis-attributed to CCD. Remember there are lots of old-fashioned ways a colony can die that are still the major threats!

    If it were my colony, I'd re-use the honey and equipment. And our winter hasn't seemed very bad over on this side of the divide, just more drought and too-high temps. Another colony-killer , I'll take a cold winter anytime.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,876

    Default Re: Bees up and left a hive full of honey

    LaReine,
    I'm sorry for being the angry bee and messing up your thread here, I'm not usually that way and have no excuse.

    But I thought i would try to answer a question you had ... " Honey would have a much higher sugar content that any nectar, and if a honey comb were 10 feet away why would bees fly a mile to forage on nectar with only 10-20% sugar content?"

    The bees would fly that mile because they consume nectar and feed nectar to the brood. They would need water for dilution to use the honey, so would make the trip to get nectar when it's available. That's why when a heavy flow is on they will not rob out frames set outside, especially not like they will when there is not enough nectar flow to feed the brood in the hive.

    I'm sorry I am an angry bee and am just trying to focus on sharing info on the bees in a hive, I hope this helps in your adventure with beekeeping.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Keene, NH, USA
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: Bees up and left a hive full of honey

    Ray,
    You are one of the folks whose posts I always read. I find you to be knowledgeable, sensible and courteous. We all have a bad moment. I look forward to learning more from you and hearing more from JohntheFarmer.

    Cheers,

    John
    7 yrs, 6 hives, TF for 6 years, small cell, moved to OAV this fall.
    www.honeymeadowfarm.com, www.nhbees.wordpress.com

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Central CA.
    Posts
    542

    Default Re: Bees up and left a hive full of honey

    I would say Joseph hit the nail on the head, your hive went queenless......so I would follow dekno's advice, he has it figured out, don't breed from the dead queen.

    Jim
    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    Sounds to me like the now vacant hive, lost their queen (or had a failing queen) in late Summer/early Autumn, the beekeeper didn't notice (though it seems you did, since you mentioned they had more honey than brood) and their wasn't sufficient brood to produce a population of Winter bees, and the remaining Summer bees dwindled away during the Winter.

    Instead of just giving some of the one hives honey to the more populous one (I count brood as bee bodies, too), you could have also given the less broody hive some of the other hives brood, or better yet, requeened them.
    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    I would say, don't breed from the queen that didn't make it. Breed from the other one instead.

    Deknow

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Grand Junction,Colorado, USA
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Bees up and left a hive full of honey

    Thank you, Ray, and others for your knowledgeable comments. Yes, I see why having to dilute the honey to feed it to brood changes the equation:

    "The bees would fly that mile because they consume nectar and feed nectar to the brood. They would need water for dilution to use the honey, so would make the trip to get nectar when it's available. "

    Also I am starting to agree with those who suggest the hive failed because it went queenless in late summer/early fall and I was not experienced enough to notice (was the fact that they were making more honey than brood a sign of a weak queen?). There is so much to learn about these fascinating insects. I'm looking forward to keeping the healthy hive healthy, and starting over on the empty hive, with some improvements.

    Paul

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,876

    Default Re: Bees up and left a hive full of honey

    Yes, one storing more honey than the other can be a sign of a failing queen, but can be for other reasons as well.

    If a queen is failing when there is still strength of numbers in the hive (so this would be as she first starts slowing down or failing) then there are still great numbers of foragers bringing in nectar. The nectar gets stored and used for brood rearing first. If the brooding of the queen is slowing down, then more nectar is stored above and dried into honey. So the hive with failing or slowing queen will have more honey stored than a hive with a stong actively laying queen would have. This happens more in the late summer into fall, that I've noticed in my bee yards over time. A thing to check for was to compare the size of the actual brood between the two hives, it is my guess that the one with more honey had a smaller brood area.

    Also, as a hive fails, the healthy bees will abandon it slowly over time, and will join into a stronger hive close by. If the queen finally shuts down, the remaining small patch of brood would emerge and abandon the hive, with or without the queen.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Blacksburg, VA
    Posts
    461

    Default Re: Bees up and left a hive full of honey

    Quote Originally Posted by johnthefarmer View Post
    Yes, it is CCD if most of the bees disappeared suddenly.Sometimes the queen is still there, sometimes not.Don't feed the rest of the honey to other bees, as it might still have neonicotinoids in it, which caused the problem in the first place.
    These symptoms describe a classic hive crash from a high varroa population and it's vectored diseases (viruses). We have no neonics used within 5 miles of our yards and those of many I know, and this is what happens to our hives with high varroa infestations, and no neonic exposure.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Bees up and left a hive full of honey

    Queenless then dwindled away???? In mid winter??? I would have suspected a small frozen cluster left at least??? (never had one with no bees left) Its my understanding that is the normal situation of what most are actually calling CCD? most if not all bees just flat missing.

    Also never heard before that bees were smart enough to avoid honey from CCD or "contaminated honey" if they were that smart why did the collect it in the first place??
    Sorry lariene, no answers for you, but more questions brought out by what seems to be a lot of contradiction??

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