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This is worth reading!


Old Bees/ Cold bees/ No bees?

http://www.scientificbeekeeping.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=59

by Randy Oliver

There’s something happening here/ What it is ain’t exactly clear.” This observation by Stephen Stills in 1966 could well describe the state of beekeeping today. Something appears to be amiss in the bee population. There have been an inordinate number of colonies collapsing, sometimes with the workers disappearing “suddenly.” The catch name “CCD” has certainly made the press. Although losses may be due to a variety of problems, the “sudden disappearance” of adult bees may have common denominators.

Ernie
 

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This should get your attention!

The Disappearing Act
Unlike colonies dwindling from bee brood diseases (such as AFB, EFB, and chalkbrood), which are generally easy to spot, unexpected “sudden” colony collapses are due to the loss of adult bees. Note that I use the term “loss,” rather than “disappearance,” of adult bees. There have been hypotheses that cell phones or insecticides are causing the bees to “lose their way” home. So let’s look at the plausibility of “disoriented bees.”

The Adees lost some 25,000 colonies (nearly 40% of their operation) in California prior to almond bloom. Assuming a conservative average of 6-frame strength, and 1800 bees per frame, that is 270,000,000 bees, or nearly 40 tons of bees! The Adee bees were in large holding yards—groups of white boxes that stood out starkly in the gently rolling grass-covered hills. To think that 40 tons of bees couldn’t find or smell their ways home to the only landmarks around is rather implausible!

What more likely happened was that the adult bees flew out, and were unable to return for some reason. Clearly we need to focus our attention upon what factors might prevent bees from returning.-----
Ernie
 

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WOW! Fascinating article, thanks for pointing it out to us... I wonder if there is any correlation to the "Isle of Wight Disease" or disappearing disease that hit England around 1900?
Regards,
Steven
 

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The Adees lost some 25,000 colonies (nearly 40% of their operation) in California prior to almond bloom. Assuming a conservative average of 6-frame strength, and 1800 bees per frame, that is 270,000,000 bees, or nearly 40 tons of bees! The Adee bees were in large holding yards—groups of white boxes that stood out starkly in the gently rolling grass-covered hills. To think that 40 tons of bees couldn’t find or smell their ways home to the only landmarks around is rather implausible!

Ernie


I learned alot about bees that I didn't know, but the majority of the information has been available for a long time, he does put it all together to make sense and points. the adees loses were a few years ago, if i remember the article they move most of there hives from the dakotas to calf. for almonds. there are multiple threads going on this year about many hives crashing coming out of the dakotas this year after getting to calif. people speculating say the lousey weather this year with late treatemnts for mites?? others say neonic's from corn and soy beans, but other beeks from the midwest say they don't have any problems?
randys answers so far is what most allready try to do.

Be diligent with varroa! Don’t let levels ever get high. Any number of methods will work to control the mite. But definitely get mite levels way down mid August at the latest. This will help keep viruses in check.

Monitor nosema infestation, and treat in a timely manner if appropriate. Especially check colonies that fail to build normally.

Don’t baby colonies that aren’t thriving, or have spotty brood. Kill or requeen them! (Some successful beekeepers requeen more than once a year!) Get sick colonies off to a hospital yard.

Maintain good colony nutrition with regard to pollen, especially in late summer and fall. Move to better pasture, or feed your bees if necessary.

It may be wise to maintain genetic diversity in your operation, since colonies vary in their resistance to different pathogens. Naturally resistant stocks go a long way toward success.

now on another thread on another forum jerry Bromenshenk said in his testing of hives for ccd etc, the cleanest hives he has found came from Minn. no viruses, very little pesticides, great looking bees, he suggested people might want to buy bees from the beek. But the beek does as a commercial beek on this list does(The Honey Householder) , blows his bees at the end of each season and restocks with packages in the spring. So I would want to buy my bees from the person he restocks from and not the Minn. beek. then again this beek probably doesn't treat as the bees are going to be disposed of anyway.

just as many question after reading as before can't wait for the next article in the series. note: all of the above from memory so dates, name, places etc may be off.

mike syracuse
 

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Hi, first time beek here,
Two new nucs last Spring were used to start hives, all new equipment. Kept an eye on them, but no sign of mites, so didn't treat for anything. I left all of the supers of honey on them to go through our (normally) short winter....looked in the hives first opportunity, only a few bees clustered around queen (I would think). Most of the capped honey still there. Odd thing on a few frames was brown drawn comb,uncapped, but looked like multiple eggs laid inside. Not sure if dead larva, or opportunist insect laid eggs??? CCD?
Not seen any sign of moths, mites, warped wings, discolored landing board, etc.
What do you think?
 

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multiple eggs are nearly always from a "laying worker " trying to replace a dead queen. NEW queens will sometimes(rarely) do this till they get settled. one must take care removing frames to inspect as the queen is very easy to harm. good luck,mike
 

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Sorry, I left out of my post that the bees left clustered around the queen are dead. Just sort of frozen in place. No mites visible , or other signs of the usual pests. Have been looking online. Suspecting CCD...
 

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Sorry, I left out of my post that the bees left clustered around the queen are dead. Just sort of frozen in place. No mites visible , or other signs of the usual pests. Have been looking online. Suspecting CCD...
But if i understand correctly, you didn't actually see the queen inside that dead cluster, right? You're assuming she was in there?
That cluster might have just been the last remaining cluster of workers left from a hive with no queen and a laying worker. Perhaps your queen died in late autumn....mine did, and my colony dwindled and died over the winter.
 

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Oooo, now I see! You're right, I was too sad to really search to see if she was in there. I may go see if I can find her, the bodies don't seem to deteriorate quickly. That is reassuring. I think I'll just get busy and buy some bees! Time is a wasting! Thank you very much!
 

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Wonderful article. I read it twice and leaned a bunch. Thanks for the link!
 
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