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Thread: Dying hive

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Guilford, CT
    Posts
    69

    Sad Dying hive

    Today I went out to the beeyard to do inspections and remove MAQs from the hives I treated. As soon as I stepped out of my truck, I smelled something like a dead animal. The first hive I went to had probably a quart of dead, rotting bees around. The smell was unbelievable. As I inspected that hive, at least 75% percent of the bees AND brood were dead, and the "survivors" were head first in the cells. The bottom board was covered with dead & dying bees. Last week this hive had healthy brood and honey stores...today only death, no queen, no healthy brood, and NO honey. I inspected 5 more hives and everything was perfect, the ones with MAQs looked as good as they did last week.

    When I went to feed a hive I made from a nuc in July, I could smell it before I opened it. The bees in the top deep looked and acted fine, but again no healthy brood and no honey. The bottom deep was mostly dead, bees in the cells headfirst, and thousands rotting on the bottom board.

    I will send a good sample out to Beltsville tomorrow. What do you all think ? Pesticide kill, but we are in about 75 acres of woods, pasture, and no one sprays anything.?? The other 5 hives I looked at today, in the same yard, were thriving. I am really shocked by this, and saddened too.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    mineral county,Montana USA
    Posts
    801

    Default Re: Dying hive

    did you set the 2nd box back for venting when you treated. my thought is a bad robbing frenzy. the bees with their heads in the cells were probably robbing, and the bees in the hive from the nuc could have been robbers as well. sorry about your hives. justin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Guilford, CT
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Dying hive

    Thanks Justin, yes, I set the box back, and the nuc hive wasn't treated but were being fed, tho I did have the entrance reducer on for a one-bee passage. Thank you for your concern.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Amherst Virginia USA
    Posts
    146

    Default Re: Dying hive

    whats MAQ?
    I love my honey bees!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Guilford, CT
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Dying hive

    MiteAwayQuick strips, a softer formic acid treatment to control vaeeoa nites

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,764

    Default Re: Dying hive

    This is the prime time for robbing. Bees are hotter, days are shorter and it takes less than a drop of spilled sugar water to set off a frenzy. There are plans for robber screens on Michael Bush's site, but even a wooden entrance reducer, and a piece of window screen 4 to 6 inches tall and the width of the hive, and a staple gun, can confuse the enemy. Reducing the entrance on the stronger, aggressive hives seems to help slow things down too. With our ongoing drought I use zero top entrances and except for a major flow, keep all entrances pretty small. I just ran around and stapled screen after seeing a lot of dead bees on the ground around my strongest hive 2 days ago. My neighbor's hive, which I tend, across the street, is even stronger. Looking to do fall splits if I can find queens, find these lady bees something else to do.
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,781

    Default Re: Dying hive

    sounds like robbing, whether is was before or after the hives died is the real question though.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,902

    Default Re: Dying hive

    I don't use MAQS but do use formic acid from a fumigator board, and have, on occasion, had robbing caused by that.

    The way you describe things, there is a risk. First, it's robbing season. Bees are cruising around looking for any opportunity. Then, the MAQS (formic acid) disrupts the bees and they do not do guard duty as well as normal. In addition you offset the boxes making easy access for robbers. Kind of a perfect storm.

    Thing is, there is no honey. We therefore know robbing occurred. However as per JRG, the question is when. But to me, it's highly likely it had something to do with the MAQS. I have to take a lot of precautions when using formic acid but even with that, I accept I'll have the odd hive robbed.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Guilford, CT
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Dying hive

    Thank you all very much. I guess a little success is no match for all your experience. I never thought that robbing was so devastating to hives, but it makes sense now. My sincere gratitude to all the kind, knowledgeable beeks out there.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Sydney, AU
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Dying hive

    I have been speaking to a research scientist who has be working in a government funded research centre who has advised that they are looking at the correlation of GMC (genetically modified crops ) to bee mites and their increase potency to killing Bee's.

    Have you heard of this been mentioned before.
    As i feel that this could have some credibility as since the introduction of GMC the proliferation of diseases and mites infecting bee colonies with deadly consequences

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,764

    Default Re: Dying hive

    I am interested in reading the results. I have not been keeping bees long enough to have any idea what it was like before GMO crops and neo nic pesticides
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Belews Creek, NC, USA
    Posts
    328

    Default Re: Dying hive

    I believe its robbing as well. I had a new nuc started and as soon as I put a feeder on, it was robbed big time. My reducer was on the smallest opening as well. Every time I would add more stores to the nuc (wouldn't add more syrup), it would get robbed again. About 2 weeks ago there was a thread about building a robber screen. I made one out of scrap, installed it and no more robbing. Took the girls a while to figure out the new entrance but it took care of the problem immediately.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Dying hive

    I bought a robbing screen from, I think, Mann Lake. It was for their nuc bottom board so I had to modify it a little to fit my Brushy Mountain nucs. It works pretty good. I have brood in both nucs plus I am feeding throug the inner cover opening with it covered by another nuc with top board to hide feeding.

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