Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have 3 hives, and what I would wager amounts to approximately 18 deep completely covered frames of bees spread across all three. Maybe a bit more than that.

On a daily basis I am finding what I estimate to be about 30 to 40 dead bees in front of the hives. Some are crawling around, others are just dead. The seem to accumulate primarily during the day, but there will also be some that appear during the night.

On three occasions I have witnessed them pulling pupa out. When I inspected the larvae, I didnt notice anything amiss, but then again, I am pretty new and not sure what "amiss" would even look like.

I do know that one of my hives has some varroa. I did a mite count after a powdered sugar shake and counted less than 20 mites from one hive.

In reading it seems that some amount of dead bees outside the hive is normal, and that most dont see them due to weeds, etc. But my hives are on concrete. So, I see everything on the ground around them.

So, what is normal for bees dead and dying out front?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,055 Posts
Twenty mites on a sugar roll would make me panic! You need to treat with something immediately to crash that mite population. I don't know what is best for your area. I like apiguard myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,064 Posts
SCBee - what type of bees do you have (BREED) that is? Some breeds handle mites much better like the Russians, Minn. Hygenic, and the VSH Hygenic. If they are straight up plain ole Italians or Carniolans, yes you need to treat if you found 20 after a sugar roll. Should treat once threshold of 10 have been found is what i believe the normal is. Oxalic acid is a good start, once a month when not on a flow with no honey supers on. Apiguard, apistan, and several other chemical types are available as well. Using a grease patty with wintergreen oil also helps while not with honey supers in early spring and fall.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies.

I am not sure if it changes anything, but maybe I should clarify what I mean when I said I did a powdered sugar shake. I have a screened bottom board, and I dusted the whole hive, so all the bees (or at least the bulk of them) got dusted. I didn't think that 20 was a big number, so to be honest I didn't count them, just enough to see that there were less than 20. I am guessing more than 10, but not substantially.

With that in mind, is that still a large number?

Drlonzo, I am not sure what Breed I have. They were a captured swarm, and I have yet to try to identify them. Im not sure how to go about identification actually.

The main reason I was thinking oxalic acid is because I would like to keep my treatments minimal, and organic. After reading online, and watching youtube videos, that seemed like a good place to start.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,072 Posts
I have seen 20-30 bees out in front of my hives and it did not seem to be an issue. If there are some casualties during an inspection or if there is a robbing session that went unnoticed there will be some bodies too. In my area the hives have to fend off a usurpation swarm at least once a year. I recommend you take notice of the bodies and see if you have some with DWV (deformed wing virus) the wings will be twisted and underdeveloped. Sign of serious mite infestation. In the desert the ants carry off the weak and dead from in front of the hive pretty quickly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I did see some DWV when I first brought hived this swarm. But, I have not noticed any in a couple weeks. I have been watching for it since I had assumed it would spread. I couldn't be sure if I am just not seeing it, or if those sick ones were just culled out when I hived them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
I have one hive on the side of my house on concrete. So I see everything too. For me 3-5 bees a day are on the ground. Also seems like 2:1 drones:new workers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,653 Posts
With 18 or maybe more frames of bees spread between three hives, with 10 to 20 mites dropped from one small population hive, that seems like heavy mite load to me. Bees crawling around on the ground could be bad news also. If I were you, I'd be treating and yes, OAV seems to be a good place to start as you said. If you think you've seen DWV then the mite loads are high, even if you've only seen it on a few bees.

Varroa lays eggs in bee cells, and you'll get two mites from every cell they infest, so they will increase in numbers as time goes on. Treat now and get them under control so they do not slow your hive growth and affect your nectar/honey crop.

Varroa spreads diseases in the hive from being a stress on the bees. It's the diseases they carry and cause that are the bigger problem. That's why I said if you think you've seen any DWV then you need to treat soon. If it and other disease get out of hand, then treating for mites may not fully help the hive since it has diseases started in it already.

All of the above is just how I think of it. I know lots of folks like treatment free, I do too, but I've been forced to face facts of mites and the carried diseases and the effects on beehives. Research a little bit yourself on the varroa mite life cycle and see what you think about it.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top