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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We just rescued a swarm from a chicken feed storage box in a neighbors backyard--this is not our first removal, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Since we got them home, though, none of them are flying. They fall from the landing board, tons of them writhing in the grass, and the fall off frames too! Queen has been in a cage, we have made sure she had water, and they are doing no work. We put a fresh frame of brood and honey in with them, but still nothing. Let the queen out of the cage and she promptly threw herself from the hive... Three times! Just put her back in the cage until I can figure out what is going on... Can't find info on-line. Please help. it's not our only hive, but it is the only one acting so strangely. This has been happening for two weeks now
 

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I would think pesticide, but they have lived for 2 weeks.
 

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Do their wings look normal? If you pick up a few and shake them off your hand do they fly away or drop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for responding--if I shake them off my hand, they drop... It's really disheartening to watch and I don't know what to do--if I let the queen out she falls from the hive, but doesn't right herself or try to fly... She just flails.... As for putting them in a new box, the one they're in is brand new, and they didn't come with comb so I gave them a frame of brood and honey from our most productive hive, checked that today, and it has hive beetles in it (but no beetles in the hive the frame came from). Killed the infected larva and added a hive beetle trap, but it's not looking good--any suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have noticed some K wings but no mites on the bottom board yet--could something in the chicken feed that they swarmed in hurt them?
 

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Lots of bees have gathered chicken feed dust without problems. Would not invest good bees after bad. Pesticides and bees suck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Most likely pesticide.
Update:the queen died this morning--no bees tending her (maybe stung through her cage?)... Bees still falling instead of flying or balling up in the bottom of the box... No evidence of K wings or mites anywhere... Bunch of hive beetles, but I have heard they are attracted to dying/dead bees, not to mention the full frame of unprotected brood and comb. Gonna let them live out their days 'cuz I don't have the heart to kill them. (Sigh) This sucks :(
 

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Update:the queen died this morning--no bees tending her (maybe stung through her cage?)... Bees still falling instead of flying or balling up in the bottom of the box... No evidence of K wings or mites anywhere... Bunch of hive beetles, but I have heard they are attracted to dying/dead bees, not to mention the full frame of unprotected brood and comb. Gonna let them live out their days 'cuz I don't have the heart to kill them. (Sigh) This sucks :(
You might already be thinking this, but just in case... I would get rid of anything those bees touched. Box, frames, feeder, whatever. Some will probably say that's drastic, but why take the chance of killing more bees?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You might already be thinking this, but just in case... I would get rid of anything those bees touched. Box, frames, feeder, whatever. Some will probably say that's drastic, but why take the chance of killing more bees?
Oh definitely, I already isolated the remaining bees. I am also sending a sample for testing. What I THINK happened is they either swarmed because of pesticides, and it was already too late when we rescued them OR someone tried to eradicate them and they swarmed in response... No symptoms of any virus I'm aware of--I thought I saw some K wings but I really checked today and there wasn't a single bee with separated wings. No mites, no hairless bees, no swollen abdomens, no feces all over (plus, living here, we never have to winterize)...I'm pretty confident it's pesticides... Poor bees.
 
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