Why?
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Thread: Why?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Mercer, NJ, USA
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    88

    Default Why?

    Found this today in 2 hives. The photo shows about 25% of the population in the hive. There was zero brood of any age. Some scatter capped cells, with small holes in the caps.
    During the last inspection the population was noted as being low. I treated with Apivar strips about 35 days ago. I did not do a mite test before treating because a couple of hives in the apiary showed enough mites to merit treating and I treated all the hives (6) at once.

    Obviously the painted queen is original to the hive.
    Two of the six hives were in this condition. The others are thriving.

    Any thought, insights? There was no odor in the hive, but the cappings that were there didn't look normal.

    I added a close-up of the capped cells.
    ab20170912_111247.jpg


    a20170912_111231.jpga20170912_111247.jpg
    "Half a bee, philosophically, must ipso facto, half not be." -- Monty Python

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Bergen County, NJ
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    907

    Default Re: Why?

    How long ago was that last inspection ? Are there any bees left at all ? Any queens cups or cells ? Unless you shook bees off these frames, it looks REALLY thin.

    And that yellow marked queen looks awefully thin/small, like an unmated queen.

    About pictures, its better to upload high-res pictures to google drive or such and then share that link here.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Mercer, NJ, USA
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    88

    Default Re: Why?

    I did not shake the frame.
    Apivar strips 8/6. Fed them 8/20, but didn't do an inspection.
    The queen has been with the hive since it started.
    "Half a bee, philosophically, must ipso facto, half not be." -- Monty Python

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Mercer, NJ, USA
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    88

    Default Re: Why?

    "Half a bee, philosophically, must ipso facto, half not be." -- Monty Python

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kirksville, Missouri USA
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    1,768

    Default Re: Why?

    I see some deformed wings, and it looks like it could be mite droppings in cells. There's also a bee on the bottom bar in about the middle of the pack that has a dark reddish patch under it's wings. Could be the treatment was too late.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    7,861

    Default Re: Why?

    Agree with Daniel that this hive crashed under the high mite pressure. Should of treated it earlier. I started
    my IPM back in the last week of June. All hives are under control now with the mites. With the new queen laying there will
    be another IPM before the winter sets in.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    4,228

    Default Re: Why?

    Okay, I looked carefully at the pictures and did NOT see a single bee with deformed wings. DWV is very classic looking, where the wings are shriveled and completely unusable. What I do see in these pictures are bees with K-wing, which typically results from nosema, tracheal mites and possibly viruses (which could be mite related). The conclusion reached above about varroa mite related failure is probably true, but it may have had a viral component too. Of course there's the potential of tracheal mites too, which are still out there lurking.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Washington, USA
    Posts
    473

    Default Re: Why?

    Mite crash and a colony robbed dry.

    Sorry, there's pretty much nothing you can do now.

    I know this all too well.
    Somebody forgot to give my bees a copy of the book.
    Zone 6B

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kirksville, Missouri USA
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    1,768

    Default Re: Why?

    AstroBee, I see 3 with K wing and considered that deformed wings. Sorry if it wasn't considered deformed. I should have been more specific. With just a couple of pictures, I saw 3 different things that hinted towards Varroa and said it could be treatments were too late, giving him something to look further into.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Why?

    Well, you still have 4 strong hives to distribute the resources from this hive to. I'm sure they can use
    them for the winter bees build up. Not all is lost in beekeeping if you stay flexible enough. The drawn frames have
    to be put away in safe storage for next season's hive expansion. I'm sure you know how to protect these valuable
    comb.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Washington, USA
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    473

    Default Re: Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    Well, you still have 4 strong hives to distribute the resources from this hive to. I'm sure they can use
    them for the winter bees build up. Not all is lost in beekeeping if you stay flexible enough. The drawn frames have
    to be put away in safe storage for next season's hive expansion. I'm sure you know how to protect these valuable
    comb.
    With all due respect, from the pictures shown, there is nothing that can/should be salvaged except drawn comb.
    Somebody forgot to give my bees a copy of the book.
    Zone 6B

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Why?

    Make a 4 or 5 frame nuc hive with a mated queen by swapping out the frames with the other 4 strong hives.
    Then salvage the rest of the drawn comb. It can be done!
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Ozark, AL
    Posts
    826

    Default Re: Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    Make a 4 or 5 frame nuc hive with a mated queen by swapping out the frames with the other 4 strong hives.
    Then salvage the rest of the drawn comb. It can be done!
    In NJ this late in the year likely a waste of resources and would just make other hives weaker. But he can always try if he wants to.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kirksville, Missouri USA
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    1,768

    Default Re: Why?

    Moe, I wouldn't weaken your other hives by making a split this late. they may have mite issues like this one and need all they can get. If you have OAV potential, maybe treat the others again. If they robbed this hive, they could have taken mites home with them. Keep your other hives strong so they more likely get through winter. Spring will be a better time to split if you want to.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Why?

    Always goes according to your local bee weather. My newly mated queens do not shut down over the winter. In our mild winter area I can make splits with a mated queen until mid-October with proper feeding. With the drawn comb if the 5 frame nuc hives grow too fast I will also make a split. Then give them plenty of food to overwinter in. Combine or make a split with the hive situation there. Mike Palmer does it well in the snow country so I'm following his step in our mild winter area with the nucs. If I cannot make splits and rear my own queens then my apiary cannot be sustainable for long. Into 5 season and still going strong thanks to the tf bees that take care of the mites with some help from me. Can you see that an overwintered nuc hive will grow like crazy on the flow next Spring? If you make a new nuc hive next Spring then you have to wait another year for it to established itself. Don't like to keep on buying bees and queens anymore. To the OP it is just like buying a late season nuc hive however strong you can make it!
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

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