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Very sad to watch. Any idea since you posted what happened? Did they get into something? Again, sad to see but thanks for sharing.
Perry
 

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At first blush, I'd say a pesticide poisoning. I believe that was an egg you saw coming from the queen.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
No agriculture, just San Francisco Bay to the east and and a five mile radius of residential flowers to the south west and north. This occurs the last few years during our worst cold and wet weather.

I think it is mites, or CCD, which probably is also mites, and it shows up like this because the bees are packed on trailers surrounded by 4' tall sides that keep them from crawling away.

It could be Merit insecticide, but there are hives in the apiary strong and booming right next to the dying ones. Also, the use of Merit residentially would be concentrated just to a few gardens. Plus I have hives dying similarly miles away.
 
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