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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok about 3 month ago i took a colony of strong bee's to my uncles farm to pollinate his pumpkin fields. Checked on them about once a month and everything seemed fine. Low mite counts plenty of food and a good laying queen. Went to get them a couple of days ago and there are hardly any left. Enough to cover a quarter of a frame. Not a lot of dead bee's on the bottom board. Went in today and there was lots of capped dead brood and some dead bees half emerged from cells. No open swarm or supercedure cells Did seem to be some moldy frames. Any thoughts
 

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Betcha 2 things. 1 your mite counts were done by a less than reliable method, and 2 you didn't treat for mites.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Betcha 2 things. 1 your mite counts were done by a less than reliable method, and 2 you didn't treat for mites.
Alcohol wash. And I don’t use chemicals for mites. Done a lot of washes and there weren’t a lot. What would you do with the comb with pollen in it? Does it spoil?
 

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OK well saying the number of mites was not a lot, could be an issue. One mans not a lot, may not be the bees not a lot.

Wether to re use the combs depends what the hive died of. If it was just mites, then yes go ahead and re use the combs. Yes the pollen will spoil if left out of a hive for some time, the bees won't use it but can generally clean it up. However it can go into rock hard little bricks that the bees sometimes find easier to seal over rather than clean, so if there is a lot of pollen and you have plastic foundation, it can be helpful to the bees to scrape the pollen off with a hive tool. Not very possible with wax foundation though.
 

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a good friend of mine move a large number of hives out to a pumpkin farm a few years ago.

the farmer sprayed with insecticide while the pumpkin plants were in bloom.

quite a few of my friend's colonies ended up looking as described in the op.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
a good friend of mine move a large number of hives out to a pumpkin farm a few years ago.

the farmer sprayed with insecticide while the pumpkin plants were in bloom.

quite a few of my friend's colonies ended up looking as described in the op.
That’s what I thought. Very odd. I have other hives about 3 miles from them and there all fine.

I was looking at the dead out in the brood chamber and noticed a lot of eggs and dead larva.
 

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Alcohol wash. And I don’t use chemicals for mites. Done a lot of washes and there weren’t a lot. What would you do with the comb with pollen in it? Does it spoil?
keep the comb "very dry" it should not mold. the pollen is fermented should either be usable or they tear it out and toss it on the ground
the comb can be used in the spring for increases
even swarm trapping.
Or if you have space you can freeze them.
 

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That’s what I thought. Very odd. I have other hives about 3 miles from them and there all fine.

I was looking at the dead out in the brood chamber and noticed a lot of eggs and dead larva.
You can always ask if he sprayed any thing and at what time. Place a Strike on that Apairy, as in, 3 strikes and you are out. 2 for me any more. if your hives die there,, there is something going on, decline the opportunity to place your hives there. 1 is not a trend but 2 or 3 is.... could be bad water , could be neighbors spraying, could several things. but do keep score, I have logged the last 50 or so deadouts over 35 years, Most I still remember. Some relatives still want bees out to their place, but if they die out there what is the point.
GG
 

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That's pretty good advice Grey Goose.

I do something similar but a bit less formalised, I'll allow a bad season at a site, 2 bad seasons at a site and i pull the bees.
 

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I don’t have a freezer to store the comb in. Any suggestions
It would be a good investment to buy a small one, check for a local used one. Are your hives near any power lines? They were spraying here a few months ago a few local beeks mentioned. I would think you would find a “carpet” of dead bees in front of your hives with any type of poisoning? not sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Ok another thing that I find strange is that the cluster of dead bees is very small. This hive had a lot of bees in it and there weren’t any dead ones in the front of the hive on the outside. So where did they all go? If it was mites that killed the bees wouldn’t there bee a lot of dead ones on the bottom Board?
 

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Ok another thing that I find strange is that the cluster of dead bees is very small. This hive had a lot of bees in it and there weren’t any dead ones in the front of the hive on the outside. So where did they all go? If it was mites that killed the bees wouldn’t there bee a lot of dead ones on the bottom Board?
when a bee is feeling like dieing or very sick, it is common they take off 1 last time and perish out in the field. also if they are "carrying" something they take them selves out of the hive to avoid spreading sickness, somewhat internal drive.. an other thing it could be is preditation, is the hive sill scratched or ground in front of the hive? skunks can eat a few every night and drive the population down, possums too I think. Or ants, ants will grab a bee and bite it in the leg, the bee will take off and fly till it drops, the ant is distracting it too much to keep its bearings. 1 ant one bee 1 ant one bee till one or the other wins. In Some sense the bees are dieing faster than they can make more.
 
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