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We are very worried about what has just happened to our bees. One day they were all full of activity and flying bees. We caught three swarms during that week.
Then one day later, almost no activity at all from any of the eight hives even though the weather has turned warmer and sunnier.
There was a large field of oil seed rape nearby which they working which is now virtually over. We're afraid that the farmer may have sprayed it for pollen beetle just before it finished flowering, and that many of our foragers were caught in the spray, illegal but they do it here in France quite frequently.
There's no sign of mortality around the hives or inside.
Is this most likely to be spray damage or am I jumping to conclusions? Could the inactivity be due to the end of the flow, though we are only in mid May and there are plenty of other flowering plants?
Is there any other evidence I should be looking for to confirm this is insecticide damage?:scratch:
 

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look in the hives......are the numbers down? If they had gotten sprayed and made it back, it could be potentially bad...
 

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I never heard of a "June gap" in this area although we do get a late July dearth. It sounds to me like they were poisoned. ... you mentioned only the foragers are missing. I assume this means the queen and house bees are still present. And if the foragers departure coincides with the spraying then that's probably the reason. Hope the queens are OK and good layers. I would report this illegal spraying to the authorities. Maybe nothing will come of it but unless we report these things and pursue them, then we are not helping ourselves.

Good luck.

Luc
 

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Hi Luc, I am also in the Ottawa area, we have a major June dearth in eastern Ontario which follows fruit and dandelion blooms, unless your bees are located near alot of Black Locust - I believe they are a dearth filler around here. Whereabouts do you keep your bees? Not that i'd move bees there or anything! I find around here that blueweed starts near the end of June, and end of July they'll take goldenrod if available, although not always for some reason. If there is a good goldenrod flow on I figure first week of August is when the honey season is over.
 
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