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Discussion Starter #1
I am finding dead larvae. Still in the cells. Not capped. They are white, but not chalky, not mummified, not glistening. They appear to be dry (not wet and shiny) but not dried out either. The dead white larvae easily fall out of the cell. They look to be stunted - no longer worm-like larvae, but more like a sphere, as if the head only of what would have been the pupae is still present. I saw a worker removing one today, but there is not a collection of removed corpses anywhere. Most of the corpses are still in the cells.

I did find one that appears brown/black, swollen and slimy. But all the others fit the description above.

I have a month old top bar hive, and a three week old queen. No mentor. I would describe the capped cell pattern as somewhat spotty/shotgun.

The bees accepted my new queen three weeks ago. I see her and she appears fine. But I do see two eggs in some cells.

Thank you for any help!
 

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sounds like a lousy queen, who did you buy her from? If you could post a photo of the brood, someone might see something...
 

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Hi Lilena,
Without seeing a picture I would only be guessing and It could be a number of things but I was wondering why you think the pupae are dead?
and also when you look at them in the uncapped cells do they fill the cell to the top and look like a bees head or are they only filling half the cell and look like they are being eaten out?
Is it drone pupae or worker pupae?

frazz
 

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Milena, Is your top bar hive well populated with nurse bees to care for the larvae, and how are the stores in the hive? It could be possible you have more larvea than your bees can care for.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for the replies. I do think my population is down because the bees spent 5 days in transit and then another ten or so queenless.

I think the larvae are dead because they don't look like any picture of developing larvae/pupae I have seen. They are little white balls which fall easily out of a cell. Pictures I have studied seem to show the larvae gradually lengthening and fattening, always maintaining a ovoid shape. Is it normal for them to look like spheres the size of a bee's head at any point?

Also, the spherical remains are not pearly and shiny. They are dry - but not dessicated.

I haven't been successful with posting pictures here, but if anyone is willing to share say, a temporary email address I would happily send pictures. Thank you!
 

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Your area has had some pretty warm weather, even before this recent heat wave. Temperatures around 90-95 F.

"Overheating: The overheating of brood develops when there is a sudden loss of worker bees to cool the colony during hot weather. Larvae that died from overheating become brownish or black and are watery; pupae have a black, greasy appearance. Newly emerged adult bees may be wingless. Cappings of brood cells can appear melted, darkened, sunken, and punctured. Worker bees can overheat if they are confined in their hives during hot weather without proper ventilation or access to water. Adult bees dying from overheating crawl about rapidly while fanning their wings. They are often wet, and their wings appear hazy. In some cases, an abnormally large accumulation of dead bees may be seen at the hive entrance." >
http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/diseasediag.html
"If the temperature goes above 92 F. in the hive, then it has become too high for rearing of the brood." > Hive and Honey Bee.

Bees can regulate hive temperature if they have a water source and ventilation. We have not had extended periods of 90 degree weather around here lately/recently.

Does your top bar hive have adequate ventilation and is there a water source within 1/2 to a mile away?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for that info - it is very interesting and the first I have heard of overheating. And it's been terribly, record-setting hot here.

I do believe my TBH has adequate ventilation, according to the plans I followed to build it. I can't be sure. But I don't see a lot of fanning going on in the hive (has an observation window), the bees are not hanging out outside to cool off, and I o have multiple water sources around here.

But the idea of my having an inadequate number of workers is an interesting one. I do have some capped brood so hopefully, soon I will have more workers.....
 
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