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Apologizes if this is a double post, I don't see the post I thought I made earlier and searching netted no results so perhaps it never posted.

Just had a dead out, one of three hives. Had inspected three weeks ago when I added a slatted rack, removed supers, and left a hive top feeder with 2:1 in an empty medium on top of the two deeps. There were a decent amount of bees at that time. In between we had a cold and wet snap for about a week.

Yesterday it was in the 50s and noticed no activity. Looked in the medium and saw an amount of dead bees. Also the syrup had froze in the feeder try, but not the body of the feed (using one of these "Ultimate In-Hive Feeder"s). Today it was up to 70 and will be around the same for the next week so I open things up and removed the feeder and cleaned out the medium. The only activity seemed to be bees from the other hives looking to rob. The deeps were empty of bees except it seemed for these robbers and a couple of stray yellow jackets. The slatted rack had an amount of dead bees on it and finally the screen bottom board also had a decent amount of dead bees. However, I'm not sure the amount of dead bees overall equalled the amount that were in the hive 3 weeks ago.

There were some nice frames of pollen and bee bread and some honey which I was considering moving to another hive to help it over winter. Was hoping the forum could take a look at these pics and offer advice if it's safe to do so.

You'll see if you look closely in the 2nd picture of the inner cover a couple of mites on the cover. I looked at the bees themselves and didn't notice any others.

Cheers,
NBW

 

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When did you last treat for mites and what was your before and after mite count? A heavily infested fall colony can die out incredible fast.

Also, take a moment to update your location. That gives us a lot of information on what your bees may be up to.
 

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4ish langstrom hives
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When was the last time you checked your mite load and what was it? In the fall a high mite load can quickly kill a hive.
 

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I had a close look at your photos. It was definitely mites. You can see mites on the slatted rack and around the piles of dead bees. Since the mites die when the bees die, they never get very far.

Get a treatment on your other hives asap, if it isn't too late already...
 

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Read, then re-read the first post in this thread.


Your photos show numerous mites. If the colony has enough mites that you can spot them without doing a roll or shake, then it's dead. It may appear to be alive still, but it's just 'dead and doesn't know it yet'.

The photos are that of a classic mite crash, forager generation die off of age, house bee generation dying from mite related virus compromise, emerging bees so compromised they cant even make it out of the cell before they die off, and chilled brood rotting in the cells. 3 successive generations dying off at once takes a colony from looking like a booming well populated set of boxes, to an empty set of boxes in a couple weeks.

After all of those classic mite crash symptoms, it's easy to say the colony just has a mite issue, but looking at those photos, some of them have a few brood cells that look quite bothersome too. It's most likely just rotting in the cell, but I'd still be poking with a toothpick to check. The perforated caps are most likely just bees that died trying to emerge, but again, I would check.

As for the other hives, assuming they were managed the same as this one thru the season, I wouldn't waste any time / effort / money on treatments. It's to late in the year and they likely have mite loads so high they are already dead, just dont know it yet.
 

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If he has access to an OA Vaporizer there could still be hope. However I agree, I wouldn't waste money on chemical treatments this late as they take time to work.

The OAV may still not work, if the virus load is too high. But since it's pennies for a treatment, I'd do it - but also own a nice vaporizer and would never let my mite load get this high ;)
 
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