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dead workers with full pollen baskets

1733 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  nurseric
I have seen several of my colonies with dead, or very slow moving workers with full pollen baskets. Some of the dead/very slow bees are on the ground some are on the landing board, and some are on the top board. There are about 5 or 10 bees like this on about half of the hives. The pollen is bright orange. Weather here has been cooler than usual. Bees were flying today at 48 degrees. Any ideas what might cause this?
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With dandelion being the most prodominate flower blooming now that matches that pollen color. I wonder if they got into a batch that has been sprayed with an herbicide. Right now is when people start sparying the dandelion's and the henbit as they are growing quickly and avg homeowners don't like the "weeds" in their yard.
I have seen this in previous years. The bees have to fly so far to get the pollen in cold weather that they cannot make it back into the hive and perisch on the landing board because of exhaustion. Nobody is spraying now. Watch when the bees come in loaded with pollen. They take such a long time to rest before they enter the hive that when it gets too cold they cannot make it in. There is a good article this month in ABJ about the condition of the bees this time of the year.
It did not look like pesticide since there weren't many dead bees. The cold weather make since though. I can see how they would be too cold and weak to make it inside the hive. Thanks for your help.
I saw the same thing here today. I have been feeding too. Just seems like they may have gotten caught out in the weather when the temp dropped. My larger colonies had more bees dead or dying outside than my weaker hives. Feeding does not help. They are searching for pollen.
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