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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Camino, CA
    Posts
    78

    Default Need Help Diagnosing Issue... Varroa, Buckeye Poisoning or AFB?(pics)

    Let me preface this by saying this is only happening to 1 hive out of nine in this out yard...

    Treated hive for Varroa using MAQS on 4/5/14, mite levels were at 7 using an alcohol wash. Mite levels in this hive were still high for some reason after treatment and were 4 per 300 bees using an alcohol wash when treatment was over on 4/12/14 but now would have to wait to re-treat. Ended up losing queen at some point during treatment because when the treatment was over on the 12th there were some eggs but they appeared to be close to hatching and as I found out later the hive was unable to requeen itself. All the capped brood from the treatment appeared to emerge normally.

    Still no eggs being laid on 4/30/14 but it had only been 18 days since the treatment was completed and I was leaving on a trip so just to be safe I added a frame of brood from another hive. When I got back from my trip that frame had been capped and no queen cells had been made from it. Went through the hive looking for evidence of a queen but much to my surprise in the bottom deep found evidence of laying workers, some multi egg worker cells and the drone comb was totally filled with it.

    Added another frame of brood with some eggs as well until I decided what to do with it... Went in today and found that a lot of the dead brood on the frame I added on 4/30, at least half of the brood has emerged but there are quite a few cells with(20%) dead bees inside. These bees appear to have made it to the larval stage where their eyes darken but then died. Some of the caps have been removed, some have just a pin prick hole in them and some still have the capping intact. Dug around in the frame quite a bit and tried the rope test for AFB but these dead larvae wouldn't rope, they just turn to liquid when stirred which is hardly more viscous that 1:1 sugar water. The ones that have dried out on the bottom of the cells still have the general appearance of a bee, meaning the head is still intact but the body has completely dried out flat and is stuck to the inside of the cell. I did notice a couple of the open cells with dead bees in them had dead Varroa stuck to them.


    Is this a case of there was so many phoretic mites that when they had some new brood in the hive they overwhelmed it because all the other brood had emerged? There are a few bees the have emerged with deformed wings but others are emerging fine. Is this Buckeye poisoning? I don't know what it looks like but I've heard you'll find dead larvae and deformed bees. We have a fair amount of Buckeye around here but the stuff close to this bee yard doesn't appear to have started blooming yet although down in elevation a bit it has and who knows where the bees are going because of this severe drought. Is this AFB? Even though I can't get any of the cells to rope, some of them do smell pretty bad.

    Any thoughts on this are greatly appreciated and here are some pics,I could only take a few because this hive is real hot now and I couldn't remove my gloves. What should I do with this hive, it's still packed with bees?


    Last edited by JMat; 05-18-2014 at 02:00 AM. Reason: Clarification

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Hartford County, CT
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Need Help Diagnosing Issue... Varroa, Buckeye Poisoning or AFB?(pics)

    I'm no expert, but all those small pinholes in your capped brood suggests a serious mite problem. I would start there.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,842

    Default Re: Need Help Diagnosing Issue... Varroa, Buckeye Poisoning or AFB?(pics)

    I say it looks like varroa. You have another hive, how does it's brood look? If it looks ok, then I'd say buckeye is not the problem.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Camino, CA
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Need Help Diagnosing Issue... Varroa, Buckeye Poisoning or AFB?(pics)

    Thanks for your responses... They certainly help reassure me that this won't be affecting the other hives on this property, I boiled my hive tool today and broke out the new glove just in case. On this property I have 9 hives and none of other 8 are exhibiting this issue. For some reason the MAQS treatment in this hive only did a partial knockdown of the mites even though I did a full treatment and followed the instructions to the letter. This was my first time using the product and I'm still trying to decide whether I'll use it again.
    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    I say it looks like varroa. You have another hive, how does it's brood look? If it looks ok, then I'd say buckeye is not the problem.
    Does Buckeye manifest itself like Varroa... With weak/dead brood and deformed wings?
    Last edited by JMat; 05-18-2014 at 01:58 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,842

    Default Re: Need Help Diagnosing Issue... Varroa, Buckeye Poisoning or AFB?(pics)

    I've tried apivar this spring and I am impressed with it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,076

    Default Re: Need Help Diagnosing Issue... Varroa, Buckeye Poisoning or AFB?(pics)

    No idea what Buckeye is. But the exposed larvae are not dead from AFB which looks very different, it looks like classic PMS ( parasitic mite syndrome ) caused by varroa mites.

    In these cases the presence of AFB can be masked by the many other sick cells making it harder to see AFB cells, but AFB is a pretty rare disease, if you cannot find any ropey cells best to start by treating the hive for mites. It is already pretty far gone and may not survive unless you also give it a comb or two of healthy brood from another colony.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

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