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I went back and looked at the video, can't tell but do any of the bees have pollen attached? if so that may help to identify where they are going. One other thing I noticed some drones in the piles, they don't normally get into pesticides, so they must be getting it from inside the hives.
 

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Or the drones are just being evicted which happens this time of year in some locations. When I first started watching, I noticed a lot of drones so was wondering myself.
I wonder if they are getting into some kind of poisonous pollen or nectar from a plant close by that is not good for bees to forage on? One such plant here is California Buckeye which has poisonous pollen to the bees. It blooms in my area in May along with blackberries, and each year at may my bees slow down drastically as far as brood rearing and nectar storage. It gets fed to the larva and the hives take a pretty good hit from it, but I've not noticed the crawlers and piles of bees like what is posted here.
 

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Contact the Dyce lab at Cornell & send some pollen samples/bee bread for a thorough pesticide analysis. It costs only $90 & is well worth the cost. Cornell's pesticide analyzer can detect over 100 compounds & they must charge a fee to recoup expenses so the $90 price tag. The feds charge $400 for a similar service
 

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In my area, July is when Mosquito sprays get started. It's quite possible that is the problem for your friend as well. Someone in the close area is spraying for Mosquitoes or some other pesticide spray for something. It could also be close neighbor spraying in the garden or around the house from a pesticide company. Anyway, I'm like most others here, someone close by is spraying something.
my thoughts exactly it's quick also
 

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Look for some one growing vegetables close by and spraying sevin on his stuff. I could not keep colonies alive in one area and chanced upon a guy spraying plants close by, asked him what he was spraying, Sevin was the reply. I removed everything from that little yard and never went back.
Twice I have had bees accidentally poisoned. Once it was a gardener dusting their plants with sevin (including the blooms). I came home one day to a shovel full of white powdery bees laying in front of the hive. Many make it back to the hive then die when they are not foraging very far. Both times were in my old neighborhood where the lots are about .25 to .3 of an acre. The second time, I looked over and saw a neighbor 2 yards away spraying their apple trees to get rid of the large spider webs in the tree. It was loaded with blooms and my bees were all over them. I could literally see the stream of bees going to and from hives and apple trees. I ran over there and instructed them to never spray blooms with insecticides. Also said if you feel you must then do it late in the evening and let me know ahead of time.
He gave me what seemed to be a sincere apology and never had trouble with that neighbor again.
One possible reason his bees have been dying and yours weren't is bees will go a long distance if they have to but often don't if they have an abundance a short distance away. Sorry, a lot of this probably sounds like repeat of what others have said.
 

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The video you show is classic poisoning. How? well that's the issue.

Poisoning will often not be able to be detected by a lab, because a test has to be run for each of the thousands of kinds of poison that exist, and it often cannot be done.

50 years ago when I first started in commercial beekeeping the majority of bee poisonings here were from sloppy agricultural practices. But that has been tightened up now and is pretty rare. Most local bee poisonings now are from a couple of toxic plant species that grow here in our native rain forests. I don't know if in the US you have species toxic to bees?

Then as you have suspected, it is always possible someone is actively poisoning them. A little while ago here there was even someone worried about large numbers of wasps in their garden who posted a recipe on Facebook to poison wasps, the recipe being honey, water, and a locally available flea killer. They were attempting to get as many local people as possible to do it, of course this would also have been deadly to bees.

Only solution I could offer is move the hives. Much as he may like them at his house, is the pain of seeing this happen every year worth it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
For some reason beesource quit emailing me when people responded here and I am not often on the site. I really appreciate the responses and will have to look into sending samples. I do not have any Beltsville report as they weren't my bees, but will ask him if he does.
 
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