Fall absconding
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Thread: Fall absconding

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Cloquet, MN
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    73

    Default Fall absconding

    In last 2 weeks I have had 2 hives and a duplex abscond. Today I found the biggest hive gone. Left 2 supers of capped honey. I have never had such fall abscond. Hives treated in spring and late August/September with oav. I have 2 other out yards where there has been non of this. I'm stumped.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
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    7,793

    Default Re: Fall absconding

    I would personally bet on high mite levels. Getting late but do some alcohol washes or just treat again prophalactically.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Hubert, North Carolina
    Posts
    374

    Default Re: Fall absconding

    I'd consider CCD as well. Did you find the queen and a few bee's left in the hive, or were they all gone?

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: Fall absconding

    I think it is the location of where you put your hives. No matter if they're big or small hives they
    will stay when the bee environment is favorable. Maybe you should find another out yard or break down
    the bigger hives into nucs to overwinter them. A small nuc hive will focus on building up their hive population
    almost like the early Spring time but in late Autumn bee environment.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
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    8,106

    Default Re: Fall absconding

    I don't really buy into the autumn absconding theory that has gained such popularity over the last couple years. Honey bees don't abscond in the autumn, especially in the north, in places like Vermont and Minnesota.

    So, how are you determining that your three colonies absconded? Absence of bees? I'm with Vance. I bet your colonies died from varroa/viruses. Symptoms are right. Strong colony disappeared. Probably a scattering of a few sealed pupae. Plenty of honey. No bees. And you treated with something that can be less than effective, and the late treatment was too late, and then with oav when the colonies had brood. I'm not trying to be critical, it's just that all this talk of autumn absconding has to be addressed.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Vancouver, B.C., Canada
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Fall absconding

    I agree with Vance and Michael that autumn absconding is usually varroa and associated viruses. Oxalic acid has been used for years in Europe and traditionally in winter (Christmas in Britain) when there is no or little brood because it has no effect on the majority of mites which are in the brood cells.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Rib Lake WI
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    1,705

    Default Re: Fall absconding

    One thing I will do every time I treat is do a sugar roll before and after treatment. You need to know how well the treatment has worked. I must of had a bad batch of MAQS and it didn't knock down the mites at all and a three week round of OAV doesn't do enough, I still had terrible mite loads after that. So know the mite count and make sure your treatment works.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Vancouver, B.C., Canada
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Fall absconding

    Very sound advice except I use a test board under my screened bottom.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    8,106

    Default Re: Fall absconding

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan the bee guy View Post
    You need to know how well the treatment has worked. I must of had a bad batch of MAQS and it didn't knock down the mites at all
    Yep, doesn't really work well enough...unless the conditions. Seems you have top fry brood and queens to get an acceptable kill. One of our county members sampled colonies. One had a 15, so treated with maqs. After treatment, sample was down to 12. NOD was called, and their reply...sometimes you have to treat 2 or 3 times.

    Oh please.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Rib Lake WI
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    1,705

    Default Re: Fall absconding

    Quote Originally Posted by Baja View Post
    Very sound advice except I use a test board under my screened bottom.
    So do I but testing the bees in the hive is what matters. After 7 or 8 rounds of OAV I still had large mite fall, only after the queen stopped laying and all the capped brood emerged OAV finally had a good mite kill. The queen did start laying again but I think it's going to be to late for that hive to make it through the winter.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    6,034

    Default Re: Fall absconding

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Yep, doesn't really work well enough...unless the conditions. Seems you have top fry brood and queens to get an acceptable kill. One of our county members sampled colonies. One had a 15, so treated with maqs. After treatment, sample was down to 12. NOD was called, and their reply...sometimes you have to treat 2 or 3 times.

    Oh please.
    MAQS bit me last year similarly. I did before alcohol samplings on some, but not afters. Bad call.

    Apivar this summer. 2-3 times for MAQS? Geeze. I've been pretty lucky with queens surviving (but maybe that lends itself to too many mites surviving too), but 2-3 times in a summer?

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