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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Aurora, CO USA
    Posts
    129

    Default 4 Weeks in and trouble outside the hive, HELP!

    I opened up my hive to have a look around because I found several bees on the ground out side the hive stumbling around as if they were drunk. They couldn't fly and their wings were widely spread unlike the rest of the hive's bees that have their wings laying down flat toward the back of their bodies. In total I found 5 bees with this condition anywhere from right in front of the hive to 15' away from the hive. All of them in perfect condition otherwise, no tattered wings or other damage.

    In reading my Beekeeping for Dummies I see this condition can be associated with several issues. Nosema disease, tracheal mites and after visiting the bee store this afternoon they said it could also be causes by the bees getting into pesticides.

    After talking with my wife she told me that a door to door pest control salesman stopped by offering to spray for spiders and other bugs all around the base of the house. We never pay for that service because I am totally against spraying pesticides just to keep a few bugs away from the house. I like the spiders and other bugs in my garden. But I can't say that some of my neighbors didn't buy the service. And with the bees ranging all over my neighborhood they could have run into some of this crap.

    The lady at my local bee supply store said that I could take a wet sheet and cover the hive later tonight after all the bees get back in from foraging. This would keep them in the hive, but allow them to get at a water source and keep them away from the pesticide for a day or so. Is this even feasible?

    I'm rather perplexed and concerned. I haven't noticed any of this before today. Any advice?
    _____________________________
    Chas Gordon

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,295

    Default Re: 4 Weeks in and trouble outside the hive, HELP!

    It's only 5 bees i would not worry.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 32 hives==== T{OAV}

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Aurora, CO USA
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: 4 Weeks in and trouble outside the hive, HELP!

    But the described condition of these bees matches previously mentioned disease or mite infestation. At what point do I need to worry? When there are 100 "drunk" bees not flying around? And will that be too late? I would love to believe that nothing is wrong and these few poor bees ran into something odd or were just dieing of old age maybe, but what if there is something I can do that could save my hive? And what if I don't do anything?
    _____________________________
    Chas Gordon

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Bell County, KY, USA
    Posts
    425

    Default Re: 4 Weeks in and trouble outside the hive, HELP!

    Lol
    I would like to know the number of bees that die each day from a typical hive.
    5 is nothing to fret over.
    I sat outside earlier today and watched Eastern Bluebirds and a pair of Thrushes picking my bees out of the air.
    I am not worried.
    Bees lay so many fresh eggs a day, the birds cant possible keep up enough to put a dent in the population of a booming hive.
    I have my suspension that some loss is a good thing.
    That by some not making it back to the hive, it actually increases the turnover of the roles within the hive (nurse to forager) and amps up the production of more bees to match.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Aurora, CO USA
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: 4 Weeks in and trouble outside the hive, HELP!

    Yes, I agree that some death is part of the cycle of a healthy hive. Birds eat a few bees, some get squished in the inspection process and some just die of old age. But these are not dead bees I'm talking about, but bees that are acting in such a way that is described in a fairly well respected text. And I'm not freaking out about simply 5 bees. I know I've accidentally killed many more than that. It's the possibility of a more serious issue that concerns me.

    The hive has been growing and I have seen eggs, larva and capped brood. And recently I have seen newly hatched, smaller bees in the hive. So things are generally looking good, its this drunken bee thing that has me wondering and concerned.

    Also, this is a month old hive. Too many looses can't be all that great for overall hive health. I just want this to be a success and not a total failure.
    _____________________________
    Chas Gordon

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,295

    Default Re: 4 Weeks in and trouble outside the hive, HELP!

    Your hive is young it take mites some time to build up i lost 4 last year to mites and they were all 2nd year hives all my nucs did well same with my splits and swarms. If your realy worryed do a mite count then you'll know theres many diffrent ways just research you'll figure it out.
    Did you have a package or nuc? Either way i bet it'd not mentioned disease or mite infestation hope not any way good luck.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 32 hives==== T{OAV}

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Cleveland, OH, USA
    Posts
    475

    Default Re: 4 Weeks in and trouble outside the hive, HELP!

    I would keep an eye on them. You have independent information that someone is likely spraying pesticide in your immediate area, so that can't quickly be dismissed. However, a half-dozen bees isn't quite a crisis yet, so for now just watch. If significant numbers of bees begin to behave like this, or you start seeing dead bees collecting at or in front of the entrance, go ahead with the wet sheet contingency.
    Beeless since 2012; coming back in 2014. Suffering from apicultural withdrawal!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Aurora, CO USA
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: 4 Weeks in and trouble outside the hive, HELP!

    It was a package I started 4 weeks ago. I'm not thinking its varroa, but I will check. I am most concerned with the local knuckleheads spraying for other bugs and spiders around their houses. I've had these door to door salesmen come through the neighborhood before and they have some compelling arguments for their service. I can see some folks near me paying for the service as horrible it is.
    _____________________________
    Chas Gordon

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Bell County, KY, USA
    Posts
    425

    Default Re: 4 Weeks in and trouble outside the hive, HELP!

    Your bees wont be crawling around in the cracks & crevices of where someone would spray for spiders.

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