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?