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Thread: AHHHHH RATS!!!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    winston salem, nc usa
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    Default AHHHHH RATS!!!!

    Well right when I thought I was starting to get a handle on beekeeping, I checked my hives yesterday and noticed that 3 of my good hives were completely gone. 1 hive in particular was doing really well. It was stacked with 3 deeps and the bees seemed happy. I hadn't checked the hives in 3 days and within that 3 day period 3 hives completely bailed.

    I'm currently using Italians and now I'm contemplating using another breed. Has anyone ever had this happen to them and if so, do you have better luck with a particular breed?

    Thanks for the input gang. RATS!!!!!!!

  2. #2
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    Jun 2013
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    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
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    Default Re: AHHHHH RATS!!!!

    The bees absconded? Meaning no bees left behind, or did they swarm leaving some bees, brood and food behind? Did they just all die suddenly?

    I've read that sometimes bees under severe pressure from pests (SHB and possibly varroa) might depart en masse, but three at once sounds bizarre.

    Any chance these hives had human intervention - a bee thief, perhaps?

    My girls are all formerly feral mutts, so I can't help with designer bee questions. I would be slaw-jawed with disbelief if I found that in my apiary.

    Sorry to hear of your troubles!

    Enjambres

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    N.E. KY
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    57

    Default Re: AHHHHH RATS!!!!

    3 good hives, That's all I have. I would be devastated. Do you think the type of colony would be to blame?

  4. #4
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: AHHHHH RATS!!!!

    very strange. what did you find left behind in the hives?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Cumberland Va.
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    Default Re: AHHHHH RATS!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    very strange. what did you find left behind in the hives?
    X2....G......

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Marshall county, AL
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    Default Re: AHHHHH RATS!!!!

    I hope you share more details, this is very interesting.

    This time of year I am lucky to check my hives every 3 weeks and that's just a drive by. I surely haven't had any come up missing, but I do think I had one swarm lately.
    Purveyor of almost organic honey and treatment free bees.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    winston salem, nc usa
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    Default Re: AHHHHH RATS!!!!

    I'm starting to think the bees swarmed out. I checked all three hives and noticed only a few bees in each hive. May have been robber bees cleaning out what was left. I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary three days prior to the bees leaving. It looked like they were doing pretty good. Especially the one with the 3 deeps(10 frames each). Got a lot of honey off the hive with the three deeps also.

    I've got to get back to them before the wax moths move in and destroy the frames. Depressing.....

  8. #8
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    Default Re: AHHHHH RATS!!!!

    Makes no sense, something had to happen. G

  9. #9
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: AHHHHH RATS!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by bluescorpion View Post
    Got a lot of honey off the hive with the three deeps.....
    were they other two pretty much empty? any capped brood left behind?

    could it be that the smaller two collapsed earlier and the bigger one robbed them out and then collapsed?

    if it was mites they would have all ended up in the big hive and may have crashed it.

    uncap any brood left behind and pull it out to see if it is diseased, and look for mite frass in the empty brood comb.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  10. #10
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    Feb 2013
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    Casper, Wyoming
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    154

    Default Re: AHHHHH RATS!!!!

    Sounds like what I have read about Colony collapse disorder?

    Sorry

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    SNOW SHOE PA USA
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    1,268

    Default Re: AHHHHH RATS!!!!

    Do you treat for VARROA? I had 2 hives do the same thing in SEPT. 2012 from VARROA .
    How old are your hives?
    If you don't treat I bet it's VARROA.
    They where some of my strongest hives that year .
    VARROA happens fast.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  12. #12
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    Apr 2013
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    Sebastopol, California, USA
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    Default Re: AHHHHH RATS!!!!

    I've learned that if you remove/disturb too much burr comb, the bees will abscond.

  13. #13
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    winston salem, nc usa
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    Default Re: AHHHHH RATS!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by GLOCK View Post
    Do you treat for VARROA? I had 2 hives do the same thing in SEPT. 2012 from VARROA .
    How old are your hives?
    If you don't treat I bet it's VARROA.
    They where some of my strongest hives that year .
    VARROA happens fast.

    I didn't see any signs of mites but I may have missed something. I'm going to break the empty hives down later on today and do a closer inspection. In my neck of the woods wax moths and hive beetles have been rampant the past few years so I'm sure the wax moths have come in and had a field day by now. This is my fourth year as a beekeeper and I was up to 6 hives. I've been waiting till around late September and treating the hives with essential oils for mite control. Seemed to work fine till this week.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Pinellass County, Florida
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    Default Re: AHHHHH RATS!!!!

    Ants
    I'm betting you have them

    Go out at night with flashlight

    I had it happen the bees absconded over night
    I went back the next night to find them sob's
    Destroying another colony
    It was a parade from the ant hill right to the hive and back
    They are out in force after dark

  15. #15
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    Default Re: AHHHHH RATS!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by tommyt View Post
    Ants
    I'm betting you have them

    Go out at night with flashlight

    I had it happen the bees absconded over night
    I went back the next night to find them sob's
    Destroying another colony
    It was a parade from the ant hill right to the hive and back
    They are out in force after dark

    You know that is an interesting point!!!! I have noticed ants during the day but just brushed them off and kept going. This is also the first year that I have not used anything on the ground underneath, and around the hive. I normally use denatured earth to keep the crawlers away. Just didn't think about it this year.

  16. #16
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    Aug 2011
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    KC, MO, USA
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    Default Re: AHHHHH RATS!!!!

    Post pictures of any new empty brood comb that is yellow on the edges with brown patch inside. And pictures of capped brood. If there is any.

    Was there any capped brood left?
    Any honey or pollen stores left?
    Did you feed HBH or EOs?

  17. #17
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    Sep 2012
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    winston salem, nc usa
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    Default Re: AHHHHH RATS!!!!

    Ok gang. I was able to get inside the hives and there was no brood, no honey, NUFFIN!!! I took the frames and put them in the freezer because wax moths had already started to move in. I noticed in the bottom of each hive that there was, what appeared to be, cappings that were chewed up. I noticed on some of the frames also that the tops of the cells looked as if they had been chewed around the edges.

    I'll try to get some pictures after the frames are in the freezer for a day or so to kill the wax moth. Got dark on me quick.

  18. #18
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    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: AHHHHH RATS!!!!

    Sounds like classic abscond for lack of field forage.
    Walt

  19. #19
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    Feb 2013
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    Quincy, Mass USA
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    Default Re: AHHHHH RATS!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by bluescorpion View Post
    Ok gang. I was able to get inside the hives and there was no brood, no honey, NUFFIN!!! I took the frames and put them in the freezer because wax moths had already started to move in. I noticed in the bottom of each hive that there was, what appeared to be, cappings that were chewed up. I noticed on some of the frames also that the tops of the cells looked as if they had been chewed around the edges.

    I'll try to get some pictures after the frames are in the freezer for a day or so to kill the wax moth. Got dark on me quick.
    Ragged chewed cells and caps is a pretty sure sign it was robbed out.....
    Since '12 Zone 7a 5H TF SC

  20. #20
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    Sep 2012
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    winston salem, nc usa
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    Default Re: AHHHHH RATS!!!!

    Hi All

    I was able to look closer at more of the frames after the freezer took care of the wax moths. I noticed that some of the frames still had what appeared to be pollen packed about halfway inside of the cells.Bee Pics 288.jpg

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