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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I film my bees almost every day. Yesterday I saw them drag out dozens of pupa. I googled this and never found a definitive answer as to why. Any thoughts? I picked all of them up and did not see varroa mites. In fact I've still never seen a mite in person. It did go down to 53 degrees the night before (which is strange for TN this time of year). Should I do a thorough inspection and look for disease? Here's the video.
 

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In my opinion varroa mites are still the most likely culprit. Once the ailing bee pupae has been removed from the cell...the foundress mite(s) will move on to another victim.
 

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What is the mite load in the hive? Pupa that have been infected by virus transmitted by the mite will be removed. This is worthwhile hygienic behavior, but also is a sign the mites are getting ahead of the efforts of the bees to control them. If you want to preserve the favorable genotype of the hive, you must consider reducing the mite count by an intervention.
 

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Like others have said, it could very well be a mite issue. Also, that pupa was quite large. Probably a drone. Mites are known to favor drone larvae. But, if the bees are evicting drones, could this possibly include drone pupae?

Shane
 

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If you want to preserve the favorable genotype of the hive, you must consider reducing the mite count by an intervention.
What good is saving this hygienic behavior via intervention? If one has to intervene to save the bees, I don't get its value.
 

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What good is saving this hygienic behavior via intervention? If one has to intervene to save the bees, I don't get its value.
If my hives were being decimated by mites--all but one--then yes I would definitely save that hive's genetics to use as a starting place. My goal would be to increase the hygienic behavior until it could whip the mites all on its own. THAT would become the hive I'd breed from.

Obviously wishing the mites away isn't working. Maybe breeding them away will have more success. In fact, that's precisely what I am trying to do with my own hives!

JMO


Rusty
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
But, if the bees are evicting drones, could this possibly include drone pupae?
Shane
They are also evicting drones. I filmed that too at the same hive just minutes after the pupa vid. I hope you're right Shane. I keep hoping my bees won't get mites because they have Russian genes, they were born and raised on 4.9mm small cell and I have first year foundation-less frame new comb. I know this is wishful thinking and I'm also aware that all bees in North America have mites. But just maybe.....

Anyway, now to figure out my options if in fact I do have mites. My plan was to be a TF beekeeper but I also have a responsibility to keep my animals alive. Here's a vid of the girls kicking out my drones. They tag team them. The vid cuts off just when it gets good because the mosquitoes were eating me alive!
 

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Wouldn't they eat the pupae instead of dragging them out? Seems like a waste of resources to just toss all that protein? Or is there a point in development that it doesn't make sense to do that?

Also, regarding that drone video... nature is a mean place! I keep waiting for my hives to do this, but they have not so far.
 

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Not too shabby on the video. I take it you have an image-stabilized camera?

That almost could be my hives ... on a stand with gravel underneath, and tame enough that they don't attack the camera. When I've done video at my mentor's place, you see his bees bumping the black camcorder. At our own place I can get in close.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
JustinH, your apiary is stunning. Do you mind if i ask where you got the hives? Are they cedar?
Thanks. The Ultimate Hive stands are from BetterBee. Supers (all 8 frame mediums) were from Kelley Bees and are pine I think. The copper garden style tops came from Dadant. Low VOC paint from Lowes. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
regarding that drone video... nature is a mean place!
I still feel bad for the drones being evicted like that. Since they don't sting, I'm tempted to bring them in the house but I know they would just die anyway. Maybe I could add them to my oatmeal and get some free protein. I'm only half joking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Not too shabby on the video. I take it you have an image-stabilized camera?

That almost could be my hives ... on a stand with gravel underneath, and tame enough that they don't attack the camera. When I've done video at my mentor's place, you see his bees bumping the black camcorder. At our own place I can get in close.
Filmed with my iPhone 5s. I suit up when I inspect my hives but when I'm just hanging out filming, I'm usually just wearing flip flops and shorts. My bees are not aggressive but they sting me sometimes. That's when I call it a day.
 

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Also, regarding that drone video... nature is a mean place! I keep waiting for my hives to do this, but they have not so far.
He sure was not cooperating. Very sad for a guy to watch.

Excuse me, I need to take a frozen green drone frame outside and examine dead pupae for mites.
 
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