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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    greer south carolina USA
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    156

    Default bees can not crawl out of comb

    this is a first for me. this hive went drone layer, finally got it queen right. now i opened it up today and there were 20 plus bees trying to crawl out of comb. i got a few out and it looked like there was wax stuck to there butt, any body seen this? as if those wax glands started to work early

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    5,381

    Default Re: bees can not crawl out of comb

    Wax moth larva have tunneled in and around the extremities of your young bees and bound them together with their webbing, they will not be able to emerge. After they expire, the house bees will clean them out of those cells. If the cells are damaged, the house bees will repair them. If you hadn't been inspecting, just then, a few days from now you won't even be able to tell that it happened.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
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    970

    Default Re: bees can not crawl out of comb

    I found a bee yesterday on its back on the landing board, and collected it for examination. It was alive but its rear legs were not working. It looks immature, undoubtedly hauled out with the garbage by my hygienic girls. No deformed wings, mites, etc, but the abdomen looks a bit puffy. I doubt it could have gotten out of a cell by itself.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Hampstead, NC USA
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    608

    Default Re: bees can not crawl out of comb

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoebee View Post
    I found a bee yesterday on its back on the landing board, and collected it for examination. It was alive but its rear legs were not working. It looks immature, undoubtedly hauled out with the garbage by my hygienic girls. No deformed wings, mites, etc, but the abdomen looks a bit puffy. I doubt it could have gotten out of a cell by itself.
    Um.....yea.....no doubt about that.....I guess??? Your "girls" are bugs so they are actually not "girls". Girls are young female humans. That's just for the record. Perhaps you are correct that the bees dragged out this poor deformed bee but true hygienic bees pull out brood that has pupated. In addition bees don't typically leave a clean up on the landing board. They pull them out an onto the ground or they fly them off. That one bee you "examined" was likely a different situation all together. The bees wouldn't leave an undesirable right at the front door. If they did then this wouldn't be very hygienic would it?

    As for the stuck bees this is indeed what Mr. Clemens stated. Many times there are wax moths that have just the smallest occupancy and they do this. I've seen this many times in my own hives and these hives have no other signs of wax moths. I'll look closely and sure enough there is an alien which I dig out and torture and then kill (kidding kidding kidding-lighten up). Generally a hive with even decent strength will keep wax moths easily in check. Too much room or too few bees is always a top priority IMO. Wax moths infestation is only due to poor management period. This doesn't make you a bad person though

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,999

    Default Re: bees can not crawl out of comb

    Once varroa mite levels build to a point where some larvae have 2 mites in with them, if they survive, come hatching time they often do not have the strength to get out of the cell. If they do get out, they have small abdomens, are weak & sickly looking, and have white frass hanging off their butt.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
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    970

    Default Re: bees can not crawl out of comb

    Oldtimer, if you're talking about the bee I found, she's actually still alive, in a small exam cage. Makes a nice practice photo subject because she can't move around much. I can sometimes get her to accept a little honey, so the idea is to try a close-up of her feeding. Fat abdomen, no frass, no mites visible. She's actually gaining a little use of her hind legs. I did a sugar roll the previous day and that hive produced one mite in 300 bees. A follow-up sugar dusting produced no mites dropped. Their mite load is exceptionally low.

    My understanding is that, out of 1500 bees a day, it is perfectly normal for a few of them to be defective. Possibly her cell was damaged during inspection, or just a random defect. As I catch up on chores, I intend to build corpse boards to place in front of the hives. Bayer uses them at their bee center to collect corpses for study. My goal is to learn autopsy methods.

    Challenger, a lot of us call our bees "girls", and there's not a thing wrong with it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Ashtabula, OH
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: bees can not crawl out of comb

    I call mine girls too, so are my hens and cows too.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,999

    Default Re: bees can not crawl out of comb

    Phoebee I was more just giving Seamus some things to look for to see if mites could be involved. The symptoms you mention are not typical mite damage. Although having said that, if your bees are affected by a virus, mites can spread viruses. However you say testing shows you have few mites, plus symptoms are not really mite associated, so for you, it's probably not mites.

    Not so sure it is normal for a certain percentage of emerging bees to be defective. In my own hives it would be extremely rare to see a defective newly emerged bee, other than when mite levels are getting up and doing damage.
    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
    May 2014
    Location
    Seale, AL
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: bees can not crawl out of comb

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoebee View Post
    Challenger, a lot of us call our bees "girls", and there's not a thing wrong with it.
    Same here

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Cumberland Va.
    Posts
    1,043

    Default Re: bees can not crawl out of comb

    Challenger you are being Challenged................

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Hampstead, NC USA
    Posts
    608

    Default Re: bees can not crawl out of comb

    Anthromorphism
    I know many people call their animals girls and boys. I've never heard these terms from long term beeks. I've also read here and elsewhere that some Beekeepers think their bees, "like" them or "know" them etc. IMO giving bugs attributes that only humans have been known to possess is quite odd. Then again I am frustrated by many societal changes. People calling their animals boys and girls doesn't harm a thing. Makes no sense to me that's all. No biggy. Call them whatever you want. Tuck them in, celebrate their birthdays etc. Have a ball.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Manassas, Virginia, USA
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    970

    Default Re: bees can not crawl out of comb

    Anthropomorphism? Absolutely! And what's wrong with that? As long as we realize we're doing it, it just gives us a connection with our bees that makes us appreciate what marvelous creatures they are all the more. If you don't stop and think about what goes on the in the tiny little brains of individual bees to make them operate for the common good of the hive, you're missing the heart of the joy of beekeeping, IMO. Is it just "positive reinforcement" upon finding good forage? Some mechanical, automated, instinctive "behavior" with no hint of anything we would call "pleasure"? Or do bees in some primitive way "enjoy" doing their jobs well?

    Can you tell ours are pets, and not commercial bees? Mind you, the present foragers still tell of the days when they were trucked back from the almond groves as youngsters.

    Sorry, doing it again.

  13. #13

    Default Re: bees can not crawl out of comb

    I call my queens "Dollies".

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Hampstead, NC USA
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    608

    Default Re: bees can not crawl out of comb

    Bees are bugs. Extremely fascinating and incredibly efficient bugs but still bugs. I'll never understand the complexity of their behavior and I thoroughly enjoy being mystified by them. Still they are bugs. How does one determine which bug is more worthy of praise than another bug? All bugs seem to have a purpose so is it the "cuteness" that draws some bugs into a persons heart? That is my theory. People seem to think more highly of some creatures than other and, I feel, it is mainly due to the fact that these chosen creatures are "cute". In my mind, where the term "gray area" is nothing more than an term used to make excuses or rationalizations, it is black and white. No one creature is above any other plain and simple. Just to be clear I am excluding people in my creature list. People are above any other creature in every regard. Unless they are in Walmart.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,999

    Default Re: bees can not crawl out of comb

    Challenger you are correct of course.

    But them bug hugging bee petting anthropomorphisists have you outnumbered, I don't think you are going to win this one LOL.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
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    970

    Default Re: bees can not crawl out of comb

    Challenger, since you're trying to be very correct, I must point out that bees are NOT true bugs. They are insects, but by the entomological definition, "bugs" is actually more restrictive than "insects."

    Stink bugs are an example of true bugs. I know a lot of people who keep and love honeybees. I don't know of any who raise or even like stink bugs. If they developed in combs, there would be nobody posting with concern if they were unable to emerge from it, except for a few pest control researchers trying to figure out how to capitalize on it. Does fuzzy and cute matter? You bet!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemiptera
    Last edited by Phoebee; 06-05-2014 at 06:58 PM. Reason: Added thought.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Hampstead, NC USA
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    608

    Default Re: bees can not crawl out of comb

    I use the word "bugs" but I'm sure anyone reading understand I'm including insects and any other crawly/flying/burrowing creatures.
    Thanks for confirming my theory about the bug discrepancy.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
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    970

    Default Re: bees can not crawl out of comb

    I think there's also the matter of humans having a profound respect for the honey bee work ethic. We see something in them that is honorable by our own standards. That is the clearest evidence of anthropomorphic thinking. This hardly hurts the bees, but perhaps makes us better people. And, in fact, if we're a little more careful in our hive manipulations, and talk our neighbors into being stingy with pesticides and into planting pollinator gardens, anthropomorphization probably helps bees considerably.

    For the Egyptians, the scarab beetle was the one they anthropomorphized. This dung beetle spent its adult life collecting dung into a ball. It finally laid its eggs in the ball, which was its legacy to its children. The Egyptians thought this was a good lesson for their own lives. This was probably a very good situation for the scarab, as being elevated to a religious icon probably increased their survival considerably.

  19. #19
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    May 2009
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    Hampstead, NC USA
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    608

    Default Re: bees can not crawl out of comb

    Good points.
    I certainly respect the bees work ethic but I'd hazard to say most would look at a creature that works itself to death (speaking strictly of worker bees mind you. I won't get into what "work" causes the drone's demise) and say, "look at those suckers, I'm living my life". Then we have the whole hoarder mentality of the honey bees which isn't all that common a trait in the bug world. Correct me if I'm wrong there. Bees hoard honey and, given circumstances I've never been lucky enough to witness, will fill countless cells with excess honey which they may never use or need. This is something we, as humans, seem to do with "stuff". Not all of us of course but enough of us that they make TV shows on this subject.
    I think we agree more than disagree when judged on the whole beekeeping picture. I envy the way a group of say 80-100K individual creatures can inhabit a common space and perform, function and thrive (hopefully). There is no denying the way a colony of bees can be compared to the brain of more "advanced" animals with each bee being compared to a neuron that helps the brain, or the hive, make decisions. This in, and of, itself is enough for me to pause and take note of these incredible things.
    Actually, now that I think a bit more on the comparison between bee and human work ethic I may be inclined to think the bees are the exact opposite???
    Last edited by challenger; 06-06-2014 at 04:17 PM. Reason: Left out a comma, a period, and..... Oh I forget

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Manassas, Virginia, USA
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    970

    Default Re: bees can not crawl out of comb

    Now you're getting into the spirit, anthropomorphizing with the rest of us!

    What we think the bees think doesn't change the bees. It may change us.

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