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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A hive of mine was healthy a month ago. I did not check for brood because it was mid-January but it had plenty of honey and pollen.
But when I checked it today there are less that 100 young looking bees and a different queen. My old queen was marked, this queen is smaller and not marked. No brood and still plenty of honey. It sounds like CCD to me except for the new queen.

Any ideas what happened?
 

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You did a full inspection a month ago...in January.... and had a big population, the marked queen and brood?
 

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You would have found the same queen because their not making one in November. You dont say where your at so in Florida and Hawaii maybe they did.
When did you treat and what were your mite levels in November? All the honey in the world will not stop the collapse if your mite counts were high. If your in a cold area up north what were your mite levels in October?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You would have found the same queen because their not making one in November. You dont say where your at so in Florida and Hawaii maybe they did.
When did you treat and what were your mite levels in November? All the honey in the world will not stop the collapse if your mite counts were high. If your in a cold area up north what were your mite levels in October?
I'm in GA and we're seeing some days in the low 60's here. Mite load was fairly low when I tested mid November before treating but I don't remember the exact number using the powered sugar method. I then treated the hive anyway before they went down for winter. The few bees I've got all look small but healthy and I saw no capped brood in the box but good honey reserves considering that some flowers are starting to bloom this week.

The queen is defiantly not the same queen as I had last November. She looks like she just hatched because she's small.
 

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Sadly….I’m guessing mites. Treating in November is way too late in the season.
Your bees begin producing winter bees probably beginning in Sept/Oct. Those bees must be especially durable. They have to survive the entire winter as opposed to six or so weeks in spring. If untreated before they start making winter bees, then those bees will be the most heavily parasitized at a time when you need them healthiest.
Also, I am curious about what treatment you used.
 

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John Galt 1, I know from your concern that this is not something you saw coming nor were properly prepared for. Powdered sugar is totally ineffective as a mite contol, but can be used to get a rough idea as to your infestation level. As Dan says, Nov. is way too late. Next year start a real treatment in August, or as soon as honey supers are pulled depending on the treatment chosen. Then perhaps your bees won't die from PPB. (Piss poor beekeeping). Don't shoot me, I'm just the messanger!

Fyi, I lost three hives my first year to PPB also.
 

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John Galt 1, I know from your concern that this is not something you saw coming nor were properly prepared for. Powdered sugar is totally ineffective as a mite contol, but can be used to get a rough idea as to your infestation level. As Dan says, Nov. is way too late. Next year start a real treatment in August, or as soon as honey supers are pulled depending on the treatment chosen. Then perhaps your bees won't die from PPB. (Piss poor beekeeping). Don't shoot me, I'm just the messanger!

Fyi, I lost three hives my first year to PPB also.
I think he's saying he used a powdered sugar shake to get a mite count. But he doesn't say what type of treatment was used. In any event, I agree with you and beemandan that November is far too late to start treating, no matter what the treatment method.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
John Galt 1, I know from your concern that this is not something you saw coming nor were properly prepared for. Powdered sugar is totally ineffective as a mite contol, but can be used to get a rough idea as to your infestation level. As Dan says, Nov. is way too late. Next year start a real treatment in August, or as soon as honey supers are pulled depending on the treatment chosen. Then perhaps your bees won't die from PPB. (Piss poor beekeeping). Don't shoot me, I'm just the messanger!

Fyi, I lost three hives my first year to PPB also.
Around here daytime temps are in the 70's during October so the local beekeepers treat early November. Perhaps I waited until too late but I counted mites late summer (probably end of August) and the counts were low so I did not treat. We were still in the 80's mid September. I put Apivar strips in the third week of October and left them in for 3 weeks There was still fresh capped brood in November when I pulled the strips. I only use the powered sugar for counting mites.

I'm more than willing to accept that I may have lost the bees to PPB but I don't see where mites were the killer in this case.

Wings on the few remaining bees look good, the bees are smaller than workers and I have a new queen. The old queen was larger and I had marked her with paint.
 

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Is it possible that they swarmed late fall and your new queen failed to mate? All the bees are gone because they were old and died off? Just speculating here...J
 

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Colony collapse disorder was a popular term used in the past as a catch all for "my bees all died and I dont know why". I dont believe any particular identifying organism or chemical was ever found to be generally responsible. Some die offs resulted from certain area's mites becoming resist to the dominant mite treatments. The biggest common factor appeared to be connected with either direct varro damage or varroa vectored virus disease; Not conclusively neonics or gmo modified crops or other sensational villains.

The term has rather faded from popular usage as it became more associated with the negative relationship I mentioned. Varroa and varroa vectored disease is considered #1 killer of bees. Really it seems only the last few years that the message is getting out that several months of really low mite counts are required to set the scene for the health rearing of the last few rounds of long living young winter bees that can span the winter months and bee the ones to nurse the new seasons bees. Middle of August is the time to start getting a handle on your mite program.

There is no guarantee that varro was your sole problem but it has high odds. It is possible that your marked queen was superceded late in the fall and her replacement is a dud. I would be giving the comb in the brood area a close examination for mite frasse in cells to rule out varroa.

Edit; I see Fivej has mentioned the supercedure possibility. Even if successful it makes for a long time being broodless till a new queen starts to result in new bees. The colony can fall below critical mass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yep, it's possible I got a new queen last fall who is a dud. I suspect the hive is below critical mass and won't make it. I don't thing that hive swarmed, it was healthy but a late bloomer and only was using about 2/3's of the racks last October. It had been almost filling all of the racks last August. I figured the reduced number of bees was from the hive downsizing for winter.

Perhaps when I used the ApiGard I killed the queen.
 

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welcome to beesource john.

given the history you provided we can include on the list of possibilities that your marked queen failed late last season and the small queen (probably failed to get properly mated) may be the colony's attempt at replacing her. if so the population would have gradually would have aged out, and one by one fly out on the warmer days to die in the field.

i would lean toward this reason more so than varoasis, given that there isn't any brood at all in the hive. what did the brood pattern look like last november when you did the mite count?
 

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The climate here in Richmond VA is not that much different. It is not so much the temps, but when the bees are making your winter bees, which is during Sept and October. You need a brood cycle jump start so mid August for us here in the South..Apivar is a six to eight week treatment so if you removed the strips after three weeks, you did not get an effective treatment. I did misunderstand the powdered sugar thing, went back and re read your post. Sorry. My opinion is that we all have mites and treating by the calendar is more efficient than testing and then treating once some arbitrary threshold is reached. Mites increase exponentially so if you miss a month, you could be at the point of no return.

I can not speak to the queen issue. It may be possible you had a supercedure in late October and the new queen got off a round of brood or two. I raised two October queens myself this past year but it is chancy. Both did get mated and are doing well in their respective hives although one is not brooding up as well as I had hoped.

Edit. I see alot of my comments have been covered already. The Apivar will not kill the queen, but inserting the strips into the brood nest could roll and kill her. Know where your queen is when working in the hive. Use a clip to contain her if you will be doing a lot of rearranging of frames.
 

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Around here daytime temps are in the 70's during October so the local beekeepers treat early November. .
It isn’t about temperature. You may want to study Randy Oliver’s website scientificbeekeeping.com and spend a little time with his varroa mite articles.

I put Apivar strips in the third week of October and left them in for 3 weeks
Apivar strips are a six to eight week treatment. Regardless….November is too late.

Good luck.
 

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I see you mention both Apivar and Apiguard.
You mentioned mite counts low enough in August to not consider treating; as the summer population declines the mites are producing exponentially so the effective ratio can change very quickly.
 

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A hive of mine was healthy a month ago. I did not check for brood because it was mid-January but it had plenty of honey and pollen.
But when I checked it today there are less that 100 young looking bees and a different queen. My old queen was marked, this queen is smaller and not marked. No brood and still plenty of honey. It sounds like CCD to me except for the new queen.

Any ideas what happened?
Sprichst Sie Englisch???? What is CCD and PPB??????
 
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