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Discussion Starter #1
Thanks for looking over my question.

Assuming a beehive has in fact been poisoned, is anything I am able to do to assist the colony in getting though this? I know I did not go into detail about colony size. etc.., but I'm really only asking for the standard "bee poisoning first aid" if there is any?

This is my first year keeping bees, so my experience / knowledge is limited, but what I did do was to put an inside feeder with 1:1 and reduced the entrance, and I am wondering if there's anything else that can be done to help? Or if I need to undo what I just did?

Further assuming that is was a systemic poison, are the colonies always a complete loss?

(And I have another hive next to it, that has no indications of being poisoned, if that matters.)


Thanks again,
b1rd
 

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Unless you know the poison, you can't apply the proper antidote.
Most pesticides don't have identified antidotes for insects, only humans.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm really just trying to find out if there's a standard protocol for a hive that's suspected of being poisoned as far as support intervention. Example: I reduced the entrance to keep other bees out since the hive is weak, added a feeder for food supplementation. That type of a thing.

I don't know if this helps, hurts, or just a waste of time, but if there's anything else I can do I'd like to know, as this is occurring as I type this.

And I'd also like to know if a systemically poisoned colonies have a chance of pulling though?


Thanks,
b1rd
 

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I would also throw out any frames with uncapped/newly capped honey. If the bees were poisoned by the honey they brought in you want to get rid of it before the eat it during the winter.

edit: getting rid of uncapped frames may also help encourage the bees to consume syrup for food, which is safe for the hive right now. You may also want to get rid of frames with new pollen if you know which ones they are.
 

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First of all, I have no experience or expertise. Nor have I heard of anyone who does.

I think your best bet would be to move them to all new equipment, and feed like crazy, if inded they have been poisoned. Of course it may be a lost cause, and result in tainting a second set of equipment for no good reason.

But have you eliminated more common causes of ill health?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies,

Removing the new honey frames is something I didn't think of, thanks. I'll look into that later today.

I did check things this morning and there were far fewer dead bees than I expected out in front, which is good for now. Still about 20 or so at 7AM, so unknown if the hive is full of dead ones that have not been pushed out. The feeder was close to being empty, which I took as a good sign as well.

I'm feeling a *little* better about the circumstance, but it's still early so fingers cross.

As far as new equipment, I'm not sure I'm up for that at this point, but thanks. I think I would do a big-time cleaning on everything, and at most I'd replace the foundations. And since bees travel so far to forage, I'm not sure how I'd ever be able to locate the actual source, sadly.


Thanks again,
b1rd

(And I'll update this posting for anybody who find themselves in a similar position.)
 

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Just boil all of your frames after removing the comb, and install with new wax foundation.. If you bought plastic, then you are FUBARed.

Crazy Roland
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I thought I'd check back in and report some good news.

It seems as if only a small amount of bees were exposed. There were only around 10-15 dead bees there yesterday, and as of 11:00 AM this morning- Zero dead bees!

Feeling much better about the situation, and thanks again for everybody's help.


b1rd
 

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What often happens with poisoning is there is a pile of dead and dying bees, and the other bees stop going to that source, and in a few days things are back to normal, which may be what happened in your case.

Feeding syrup to a hive with problems exposes them to robbing, would not recommend.

Destroying combs etc would be needed if a good dose of a poison such as fiprinol got into the hive, but this would be rare, most poisoning cases self resolve.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
... most poisoning cases self resolve.
Thanks. I was hoping to hear this.
 

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b1rd - my limited experience suggest a morning pesticide spray and the bees foraged on the contaminated water. I would check to see if the hive is strongly foraging before stopping the syrup. Otherwise I would think they need "support" to rebuild population this late in the season.
 

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Oldtimer - I must beg to disagree. It is my belief that pesticides linger in the comb for years,. How else do you explain the fact that hives started on wax foundation routinely out perform those on old comb?

Crazy Roland


C
 

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Fair point Roland and indeed what you say will be correct in many cases.

Just my own observations (not in the USA i should add to be fair), are that decades ago when long lasting poisons were used this may have been the case, but now there has been a move to poisons with a much shorter 1/2 life and comb contamination is much less of a problem, all poisonings I have seen here within probably the last decade, may have looked alarming the first few days but have then self resolved.

But in some cases long lasting poisons are still used and if that is the case, then what you say would apply. IF the bees made it inside the hive and were able to store their contaminated product.
 

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Oldtimer - sub lethal effects are what we are seeing. One has to have a sharp eye to spot them, but they show up when you start to analyze the numbers.

I bet the 1/2 life is alot longer when dissolved in beeswax, according to our lab results.

Crazy Roland
 
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