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  1. #1
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    May 2010
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    Olean, NY, US
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    Default Lost a hive - evidence doesn't point to any disease I read about.

    I've been keeping a few hives for about 5 years and lost my first one this spring. It came out of our very long winter weak, but still had activity. Over the last week or so, the activity fell greatly, so I opened it today and only found only a couple hundred bees still alive. The queen was one of them. They seemed slow and wandering. The other bees were not paying any attention to the queen. There was probably 50 lbs of honey still in the hive.

    What I'm guessing is larva, was all dead and uncapped. The cells had a white grainy looking substance in them. I don't know if this was just a stage of decomposition, but they were still very white. There were very few cells where something had decomposed to the point of turning yellow, and they were all on one side of one frame. I didn't see anything that looked like capped brood.

    Any ideas?
    Steve

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Baden Wurtemburg Germany
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    144

    Default Re: Lost a hive - evidence doesn't point to any disease I read about.

    could you post a picture of the yellow and the white grainy stuff.

  3. #3
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    May 2010
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    Olean, NY, US
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    Default Re: Lost a hive - evidence doesn't point to any disease I read about.

    This is the best I could come up with, but it's not accurate for color. The flash caused everything to look very yellowish. The substance in the cells is snow white.

    hiveDead3.jpg
    Steve

  4. #4
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Lost a hive - evidence doesn't point to any disease I read about.

    Honey in a hive can granulate and end up looking like that if the bees cannot look after it, I think that's what it is. Can you do a pic of a comb with sealed brood & open brood?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    Default Re: Lost a hive - evidence doesn't point to any disease I read about.

    Looks like granulated honey, or dried sugar syrup. I see it all the time. The bees can't eat it unless they have access to water, too.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #6
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    May 2010
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    Cupertino, CA, USA
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    280

    Default Re: Lost a hive - evidence doesn't point to any disease I read about.

    I had a hive die similarly where they dwindled down to nothing but had a queen all along. I just assumed that the queen got old and stopped laying and the workers stuck with her because they "had a queen".

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    moravia,ny
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    Default Re: Lost a hive - evidence doesn't point to any disease I read about.

    have you ever treated for mites?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Olean, NY, US
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    Default Re: Lost a hive - evidence doesn't point to any disease I read about.

    This substance is snow white. Is granulated honey snow white? Like I said in my original post, there was almost no capped brood anywhere, at least no more than a few. These few seems to have normal larva in them, close to emerging, but may have been there for many months for all I know.
    Steve

  9. #9
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Lost a hive - evidence doesn't point to any disease I read about.

    Any 1/2 emerged, with their tongues poking out?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Olean, NY, US
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    Default Re: Lost a hive - evidence doesn't point to any disease I read about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Any 1/2 emerged, with their tongues poking out?
    No, none that fit that description.
    Steve

  11. #11
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Lost a hive - evidence doesn't point to any disease I read about.

    OK, well hard to know without looking at the hive. It may be the queen has just stopped laying, this can happen. But there are also some other possible causes.

    My suggestion is take a comb of brood from one of the other hives & put it in a nuc box. Shake the bees from another couple of frames into the nuc box also, as a lot of the bees will return to the old hive, just the young ones will stay and you need enough bees to keep the brood warm. Leave the nuc somewhere apart from the other hives for 2 hours, with a small entrance. The unite it to the weak hive, they should accept the queen. If the queen turns out to be good she will start laying in a few days.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    5,325

    Default Re: Lost a hive - evidence doesn't point to any disease I read about.

    This is crystallized/granulated honey with a little sugar syrup in there too -->



    Bees will starve if they can access nothing but this, and if they can't access water to liquefy it with. This is not the remains of dead brood.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  13. #13
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    May 2010
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    Olean, NY, US
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    Default Re: Lost a hive - evidence doesn't point to any disease I read about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    This is crystallized/granulated honey with a little sugar syrup in there too -->



    Bees will starve if they can access nothing but this, and if they can't access water to liquefy it with. This is not the remains of dead brood.

    That is good to know, though mine still had a lot of liquid remaining in the cells. There was a fair amount of honey still left, but it was on one side. I noticed the pile of dead bees was on the opposite side, so maybe most starved because they didn't move over before it warmed up.

    I took oldtimer's suggestion and put the queen into another hive box (didn't have a nuc). and added a few frames of brood from a strong hive and a few frames of honey that they didn't get to in the hive that failed. That hive was probably going to swarm anyway, since I found some swarm cells on the frames I moved over. I left them there in case the old queen was no good. The hive that failed was only a year old, so I think the queen is a young one, but I did a split with another hive to make it, and maybe I moved the old queen over, even though I didn't think so.
    Steve

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Olean, NY, US
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    Default Re: Lost a hive - evidence doesn't point to any disease I read about.

    Quote Originally Posted by beeware10 View Post
    have you ever treated for mites?
    No, I haven't. I thought that it might also be a problem, but don't know. Up until now, I have not lost a hive, even though I've only had 3 at one time. I haven't even had a weak one. It may be time to check for that possibility.
    Steve

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