Weird. You don't think it's something with the OAV do you?
Actually that's what happened to me last year, but I blamed it on the drought. They either absconded or I don't know what, they just lost it after mid August. I had one lone hive survive which started out slow in the spring but is now pretty strong, and I made an extra nuc with a new queen, so I have 2, hoping to rebuild next spring. At the time I wondered if the drought made them weak and a virus finished them off, because it was my 6th or 7th year and the first time I had that many die.
Trying to keep these bees alive is... trying. The bumbles do great, the wasps, the yellow jackets, the hornets, no prob Bob. But the honeybees, yikes. It's like they never became habituated to this continent.
The biggest thing for me is to get more rooted in recognizing the reality of the situation and not delaying dealing with it... Weak colonies combined.... Shotgun pattern brood requeened... No pollen in frames > added pollen patties... Starting syrup early enough to take advantage of the warmer weather instead of waiting to see if we can get a fall flow... EFB treated and requeened before the colony can decline etc.... Basically becoming much more active in managing my colonies to make sure they are strong, healthy and have plenty of stores for winter...
It's my 5th year as a beekeeper and I would have to admit that each time I think I've got everything figured out something new comes along.... I have found that my bees are great teachers, but hopefully I'm getting to the point where I can uphold my end of the bargain....;- )
we had a guy at the last bee meeting that said binformed had checked his mite count and it was really low, a short time later it was off the charts, so this warm weather may be contributing
mike syracuse ny
Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan
Unfortunately the situation sounded a lot like the IAPV losses we heard about in the Worchester holding yards earlier this year... If that was the case then there would be a number of dead/trembling bees near the hive... The fact that the losses are specific to one yard would tend to indicate something specific to that yard and not anything that would be common practice (like OAV) with the other yards... Something communicable or something in the local environment...
You might consider sending samples to Beltsville.... I would do that before burning the hives....
When oh when oh when are bees going to adapt resistance to those dumb mites. The Russian strain did, so it must be possible.
I'm out of town and only got on line now... answer several questions:
Both. lots of dead bees on the bottom boards and the remainder seem to have flown off and not returned. Found 2 queens dead on the bottom board, so they didn't swarm.Sorry to hear this Cam! What symptoms are you seeing? Dead bees in front or more like an abscomb?
No, all hives have been treated with the JB700 as Mike indicated.You don't think it's something with the OAV do you?
No, I did a count when I treated 2 weeks before, counts were 0 -4. Counts of dead bees on the bottom boards were almost all 0 except one hive had 6.I would hope he did a mite count while they were failing to see if he got mite bomb'd, that's what happened to us up here last year.
I saw no trembling bees in front of the hives, but I hadn't been around the hives until they all crashed. Too complacent. They were all heavy with honey, had 6 - 8 frames of bees in both deep boxes and were very healthy. They all crashed in less than 2 weeks.
Beltsville doesn't check for virus. I know the mite counts in the dead bees. Put several under the scope and no significant nosema.
Wow. You found dead queens. Could it have been an encounter with a pesticide or other chemical? Someone is spraying for something this time of year?
so Cam did they die around the same time last year?
mike syracuse ny
Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan
Interesting yard visit today. bees were bringing in small amounts of yellow, orange, and off white pollen. Bees are taking some feed but not as fast as expected. Did oav and bees were more docile then other times I have done oav. just really quiet although lots of them flying. At my home yard I had an explosion of wasps and hornets. I think I might have attracted them with an open feeder at one corner of the yard but besides the ones feeding on that there were lots just getting into trouble. I refilled my hornet trap and in less then an hour I had 30 or so. by the end of the day I have a 2-3 inch floating layer of them. Went out and bought some more for good measure. Went so far as to wait till dusk when the bees had stopped flying to the feed bucket and sprayed it with 2 cans of death. Had to be 400 plus. I then put the bucket which was empty of feed in a double black plastic trash bag and moved it so bees didn't get into it. It was a desperate act but as of today they had not fully attached the hives so I felt it was a necessary first strike. Watched a massive bald faced hornet on top of one hive pulling apart a bee. Looked like it was just for fun. it didn't sting the bee just kept pulling off pieces. Squished him with pleasure.
As much as I hate to say it, hurry up hard freeze! Looks like frost here tomorrow night anyway.
Fall still slowly settling in. Nighttime lows ranged from 47 to 69F and daytime highs from 59 to 75F. 4 days of measurable rain with rainfall for the month (Oct) at 1.11" and YTD at 26.40".
Goldenrod is still blooming and asters. Some yellow and lots of orange pollen coming in.
No swarms reported last week.
Hive temps are slowly dropping this week indicating the queens are shutting down significant brood rearing. Mite drops are spiking which is also an indication that brood rearing is slowing. OAV treated all production hives to knock mites down. Weights are pretty much stable but still feeding several hives that are under winter weight and bees are still taking it at roughly a gallon or so of 2:1 per week no matter how much I put on.
robbing by yellow jackets a major problem up my way. some hives putting up a fight while others are apparently too weak to do much. already lost 2 that I know of due to something and then robbed out. 3 10 frame deeps completely dry in one week. must have been carnage to watch. saw wasps of all variety probing every crack for an entrance. applied painters tape where needed. robbing screens did not help these hives for some reason. ordered more mouse screens
For mouse guards I'm going to be trying something new this year that I found on ebay and shipped from Greece... They look like these:
In the past I've used several different approaches from hardware cloth (easiest and cheapest) to the sliding type you normally order from the usual bee supply places.... What I like about this one is the design is not a punched hole but more of an arch which am thinking will prevent the stripping of some of the early spring pollen I have seen in the past... It also looks like it will be easy to reduce the entrance using mylar or duct tape if robbing becomes a concern which is the main drawback I've had with the hardware cloth... Time will tell whether it works but thought it worth a try....;- )
Awesome! Great minds think alike..... Thanks for the heads up on the rust... Will have to think of something I can do to prevent that....;- )
Definitely like the way you think....;- )
Mine are zinc coated as well... I just grabbed the first link I could find that showed the design... Spray paint or powder coat is a good idea... Will have to try it and see....