Bees with no wings
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Pensacola,Florida,USA
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    Default Bees with no wings

    I saw about three or four worker bees crawling around the ground in front of one of my hives this morning with no wings. ( wings either non existent or badly deformed ) Still very much alive. I picked one of them up for a closer inspection but couldn't tell if the wings had been chewed off or if they had been born that way. Never noticed such a thing before. My first thought was a mite problem. I'm into day #30 of apistan strips in this particular hive but didn't have a particular high mite count to begin with. Any other thoughts ?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Medford, New Jersey, USA
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    Default Re: Bees with no wings

    Sounds like deformed wing virus (DWV) which is usually associated with mites. Depending on who you read, it's caused by mites, vectored by mites, aggravated by mites, occurs naturally in the hive but not noticed until you have mites--you get the idea. From what I've been able to learn, you'll have more DWV with a heavier mite load. There's no cure for it, but reducing the mite count tends to keep the DWV to a minimum. Sounds like you're on the right track with your mite treatment. There will always be some DWV bees in the hive--small numbers are "normal" (again, according to who you read). Hope this helps,
    Chris

  4. #3
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    May 2010
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    Pensacola,Florida,USA
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    Default Re: Bees with no wings

    Thanks for the info.
    I haven't noticed any more today.

  5. #4
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    Sep 2005
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    YANCEY CO., NC
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    Default Re: Bees with no wings

    I was at a friends hives today and saw the same thing.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Pigeon Falls, WI
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    Default Re: Bees with no wings

    When you see that this time of year it is hard to save them unless the queen is laying good yet.
    Leer Family Honey Farm-Shannon Leer

  7. #6
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    Jun 2009
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    Malabar, FL
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    Default Re: Bees with no wings

    Quote Originally Posted by Beeslave View Post
    When you see that this time of year it is hard to save them unless the queen is laying good yet.
    I second Shannon's statement
    A government large enough to provide everything you need is strong enough to take everything you have. T. Jefferson

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Santa Clara, CA USA
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    66

    Default Re: Bees with no wings

    Is it particularly cold in your area or have you had a cold spell for a few days in the last 3 weeks or so? If so, the bees may not have had sufficient numbers to cover the entire brood and as a result some of the bees were chilled during development. In my area we have had a couple of cold spells and I have discussed this with a few beeks in my area that have had the same thing happen. Conclusion was chilled brood as the mite count in some of the affected hives was next to nil.

  9. #8
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    May 2010
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    Pensacola,Florida,USA
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    Default Re: Bees with no wings

    Thanks for the comments. We have had a couple of cold fronts move through the area. The first of the season. Got down into the Mid 40's for the first time this year. I don't understand the beeslave comments regarding "It's hard to save them". Do you think my entire colony is history or I should just be a little more dilegent and monitor the situation? My hive population looks good and there seems to be plenty of brood, two completely full deeps of brood , honey and pollen. Didn't notice anything unusual around the hive this morning.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    havana fl
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    1,400

    Default Re: Bees with no wings

    If it’s chilled brood you will see pupa being dragged out of the front entrance. If ya check the sealed brood and ya see some brood uncapped with under developed bees scattered among the sealed brood that’s a mite problem. If the brood were chilled the bees wouldn’t have emerged with deformed wings. They wouldn’t have emerged at all. Mites I tell ya mites. Sorry. Your mites may have developed a resistance to apistan like in many areas. I would switch to a thymol or formic treatment now before it gets to cold to be effective.
    Iím really not that serious

  11. #10
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    Sep 2010
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    Medford, New Jersey, USA
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    Default Re: Bees with no wings

    DeepSouth: A lot of beek's with way more experience than I will say that whenever you have DWV you have too heavy of a mite load and the whole colony will die over the winter. I, personally, don't agree with that statement with caveats. Beeslave is from wisconsin where they're probably into winter already. As an example, there would be no hope of treating for mites at this time of year, so probably his hive would be history. Down in Florida where you are, you've have some cold nights, but you probably have enough warm days to treat with a thymol product or formic acid. As mac said, you may have Apistan resistant mites and might need to switch your treatment.

    Having said all that, we inherited a neglected hive in the beginning of September. Everyday we saw 30-50 DWV bees being thrown out. We thought the hive was a goner. We treated with ApiLife VAR and hoped for the best. The DWV bees have gone down to only a couple/few and some days none at all. When looking into the hive for winter prep, we last saw about 40,000+ bees and now several frames of nice capped brood, along with plenty of winter stores. Mite counts are very low and it appears we have enough healthy bees to get through winter. The first "help" I got when I posed this same question on the disease and pest forum was several beek's saying I should just let the hive die because it was doomed anyway and wouldn't survive the winter (too heavy mite load, DWV, god knows what else, I think someone even suggested I had foulbrood, too).

    Read and take all opinions, then do what you think is best, but don't panic. If you have enough warm days left in the season to treat with thymol or formic acid, then do. To be honest, it doesn't sound like you have a severe mite problem anyway, and sounds like you're doing "everything you're supposed to" this time of year. The hive has enough occupants and stores to go through your winter down there. Keep an eye on it and keep us posted. Hope this helps,
    Chris
    P.S. I mean no personal disrespect to anyone's knowledge or opinions by my answer. Just speaking from my own experience thus far.

  12. #11
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    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: Bees with no wings

    Quote Originally Posted by mac View Post
    Your mites may have developed a resistance to apistan like in many areas. I would switch to a thymol or formic treatment now before it gets to cold to be effective.
    Very good point, that is a real possibility. Before treating with something else as suggested do a quick sugar shake and then you will have a pretty good idea of what you are dealing with and how to proceed. Being in Fla you have time to get it turned around.

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...gar+shake+mite

    Check the link that Michael Bush posted on the thread for information on the sugar shake
    To everything there is a season....

  13. #12
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    Jan 2008
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    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
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    Default Re: Bees with no wings

    Quote Originally Posted by criscojohn View Post
    Sounds like deformed wing virus (DWV) which is usually associated with mites. Depending on who you read, it's caused by mites, vectored by mites, aggravated by mites, occurs naturally in the hive but not noticed until you have mites--you get the idea....

    ...There will always be some DWV bees in the hive--small numbers are "normal"...

    totally NOT...a healthy hive should have no DWV, plain and simple. DWV is a sign there is a problem and will continue to be a problem until either the hive as a whole colapses and dies or until we as beeks get our crap together and find the problem and fix it. The fix could be as simple as treating and continued monitoring for mites, adding pollen patties to the mix, and requeening to give the hive a strong healthy queen on top of treating.

  14. #13
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    Sep 2010
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    Medford, New Jersey, USA
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    Default Re: Bees with no wings

    Honeyshack--really don't want to get into a piss-fight but. . . along those lines then a healthy hive shouldn't have ANY wax moth, small hive beetles, nosema spores, chalkbrook, or sacbrood, plain and simple. It's my understanding from the experienced beek's who've mentored us and taught us that DWV may always be present in the hive. The key is how much. Yeah, if the bees are throwing out enough deformed bees that they're covering the ground in front of the hive, then yeah, the hive might collapse. If the number is just a few AND the hive is being treated, and all else being equal, then I don't think the hive will collapse (IMHO). I think DeepSouth said that the queen seems to be strong (several good frames of brood), and they're treating with Apistan, and there are adequate winter stores. They also wrote that there were only a few that day, and subsequently things looked normal in the hive.

    This is what I was alluding to when I signed on--being slammed by beek's who have a different opinion or experience. I'm sure your experience is different in Manitoba, from mine in New Jersey, from DeepSouth's in Florida. By the way, my hive, which was neglected for 2 years, had a heavy mite load, had lots of DWV, etc., is doing fine now and is ready for winter. If it crashes and burns over the winter I'll be sure to get online and report it come spring.

  15. #14
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    Dane County, WI.
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    Default Re: Bees with no wings

    "Bees with no wings".

    Do not make honey. Proverb: 101.

  16. #15
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    havana fl
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    Default Re: Bees with no wings

    Quote Originally Posted by criscojohn View Post
    A healthy hive shouldn't have ANY wax moth, small hive beetles, nosema spores, chalkbrook, or sacbrood, plain and simple.
    That is correct sir. DWV will clear up once ya get rid of the mites. DWV does not mean your hive will die. I have had it in the past and got it under control using of all things fgmo with thymol. It ainít the end of the world so donít panic. As a matter of historical perspective I kept bees before the mites arrived and there was no such thing as DWV before the mites arrived. So there does seem to be a correlation between DWV and mites. It is what it is. (I hate that phrase) I live just N of Tallahassee and most people here have switched to Apigard or something of that nature. I am now using powdered sugar and natural cell (no foundation) will see how that works. Everyone says it is doomed for failure. And so it goes. It is a true statement ďNo wings no honeyĒ
    Iím really not that serious

  17. #16
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    May 2010
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    Pensacola,Florida,USA
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    Default Re: Bees with no wings

    I Thank "Ya'll" for the comments and sugestions. I find it somewhat humorous and entertaining the amount of passion I derive from some of the remarks. I am also thankful that we have such a forum and a community that is willing to share thier experience and knowledge for the betterment of society, apiculture, entomology or those of us that are just trying to get started and learn. One of the things that I have learned in my short two years of beekeeping is that what works for one may not work for all. I will work the advise of some and ponder the advise of others, choose my plan and execute my stratigies and hope for the best, learning from my sucess and failures both. I don't think my colony will crash and burn this winter. I still have 10 days to go on my Apistan strips. Around the 15th of Nov I'll take another mite count and see how I stand. If I need to try something else at that time I will. Our days stay into the 70s here until Christmas. Maybe, "Lord willin and the Creek don't rise", this hive might make it.
    I'll keep you posted.

  18. #17
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    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
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    Default Re: Bees with no wings

    Quote Originally Posted by criscojohn View Post
    Honeyshack--really don't want to get into a piss-fight but. . . .
    Who said anything about a male bonding ritual. Yes I am from Manitoba, and yes our enviroments are different. However, DWV means there is a problem...or the hives are recovering from a problem and are not yet totally on the mend...which is prime time for something else to hit.

    DW bees can not fly and thus can not make any honey for either the hive to survive or the beekeeper to pay the bills.

    A healthy hive has no DWV or wax moths or anything else...thus the term a healthy hive.

    To accept such a thing as "there will always be some DWV in a hive" is settling for below status quo and our bees deserve better. When i see DWV, it is usually because i dropped the ball in some form or fashion. To me its " I screwed up again" and now I've got to go and clean up my mess. It costs more money, not just in dead or sick bees, but also in lost honey production, treatments, and risk on winter survival.

  19. #18
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    Covington, Ga, USA
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    Default Re: Bees with no wings

    Quote Originally Posted by honeyshack View Post
    totally NOT...a healthy hive should have no DWV, plain and simple. DWV is a sign there is a problem and will continue to be a problem until either the hive as a whole colapses and dies or until we as beeks get our crap together and find the problem and fix it. The fix could be as simple as treating and continued monitoring for mites, adding pollen patties to the mix, and requeening to give the hive a strong healthy queen on top of treating.


    Now HS, I am gonna have to disagree with you. My Russian Hybrids and Italians do have a small mite load and I WILL NOT treat them. THATS BEING SAID, i know that you make part of your income off of beeking, so you may do as you please and do whatever it takes to survive. There was a VERY specific reason i went to RH breed bees. Mites are heavy on some and light on others but seeing the DFW DOES NOT freak me out. I pay attention for sure, but i can't and won't treat. Call me whatever you want, but the goal is a breed of bee that can withstand the onslaught of the mites as they are becoming more and more resistant to chemicals, as MANY here have stated. If i make it through winter with one out of 8, i will continue to do the same. The breed does have some affect and while many do not like the Russian traits...i.e. small clusters etc...i think they will at least be part of the answer that we are all seeking. Just because you put out ant bait doesn't mean they will die from it....as the mites have shown. Yes, I know there will be some that say, well your gonna lose all 8, well maybe i will, maybe not, but if not, I assure you I will breed from the colonies that do make it. But.....remember, I am a newb and I do not make my living from it....hey HS, man I miss talking to ya...LOLOL
    "You laugh at me because I am different, but I laugh at you because you are all the same."

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Snohomish, WA
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    Default Re: Bees with no wings

    I was seeing "bees with no wings" in my first year hive and had my bees tested at the state lab. They told me 80% of the sample had tracheal mites. Good news was little varroa and no nosema. This was in October in the Pacific Northwest, where it rarely (if ever) gets over 60 in the fall. If I had recognized what I was seeing earlier I could have treated no problem.

    But now, I could write off the hive as a loss, but I was still seeing lots of eggs and brood, and they had a fair amount of honey and lots of bees. So I started putting towels soaked in menthol on the top bars and fed 2:1 like crazy until they stopped taking it. I can only wait and see how they fair.

  21. #20
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    Jun 2010
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    Carrboro, North Carolina
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    55

    Default Re: Bees with no wings

    We have DWV now and then... no big deal. We don't have a big mite problem and we treat only with powdered sugar and breaks in the brood cycle. Of course if you have mites, the DWV virus is present and some bees will show symptoms. If you have LOTS of DWV bees, then you have a problem, but a few cases is not the end of the world.
    If a colony splits in the wild, who is there to walk away?

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