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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Opened a top bar nuc today for the first time in a couple of weeks. I noticed a few bees struggling outside the hive about a week ago. Today before I opened the hive I noticed a lot more.

They were walking around, not really flying, and their abdomens were pointing "down". They hadn't stung anything. Their wings look good. The ones that are still alive seem relatively "lively", when I pick them up the struggle and stick their stingers out, but they do not move their abdomens. Inside the hive there were a number of dead, maybe half a cup total. The hive looks otherwise OK, strong amount of bees and brood. Was planning on transferring them to a Langstroth tomorrow, but that is on hold until this sorts itself out.

I scooped the dead bees out, noticed that some of the dead ones were still very slowly moving. Almost all the dead ones had their tongues out.
I have two other TBH's about 20 feet from this one and they are showing none of these symptoms.

Here's some pictures.







 

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Is there food in the hive? How hot has it been, any ventilation problems? Did you see any mites on the dead bees or the bottom of the nuc box?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Is there food in the hive? How hot has it been, any ventilation problems? Did you see any mites on the dead bees or the bottom of the nuc box?
Food - yes, they have capped honey at the top of their bars, quite a bit actually.

Hot - it's been in the mid-70s most of the last two weeks. Not hot at all.

Mites - No, I didn't see any mites on any of the bees, didn't look too closely. But I did do some glancing at the piles in my hands and saw none. This was a swarm I caught in early June. They were queenless, I added a mated queen a few days after hiving them.
 

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Do you have other hives at the same location? If so, are they showing any symptoms?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Two other hives about 15-20 feet away, only looked in one of them today. But they had no symptoms, and have not noticed any of this in or in front of either of them, though.
 

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Hope it is not pesticide.
That one hive may be robbing a sprayed hive that the others are not. That is not likely to last. When it gets weaker the others will rob it and you may find it spreads.
Look very closely at the uncapped nectar, I could see faint threads of old honey on the new nectar, which I believe was from robbing an old sprayed hive. It was obvious immediately that all had already been robbing the weak before I discovered it, so you are better off than I was. My bodies were inches deep inside the hives with the dead and soon to be.
I shook all the loose nectar out of all hives, it helped for a while, but was a back to zip in the end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Is that body posture synonymous with any particular "pathogen"? Would it help to move them to a new location where I don't have any other hives? I have a few options.

I will check the nectar tomorrow, this isn't a particularly strong hive... wouldn't it be odd if they were robbing?
 

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Is that body posture synonymous with any particular "pathogen"? Would it help to move them to a new location where I don't have any other hives? I have a few options.

I will check the nectar tomorrow, this isn't a particularly strong hive... wouldn't it be odd if they were robbing?
No pesticide or disease expert; The pesticide thought comes from lack of another cause.

Robbing; Larger hives did better than small, believe they diluted the source better. My queen castle was the 1st hit, I came to the conclusion they had found a pesticide deadout to rob. Robbing started hive to hive before I found the damage. I was not in a particularly strong rob time, in fact was feeding nucs, started feeding the hives to dilute..
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
There is a host of bugs outside the hive feasting on the ones that are crippled outside. Here's the view inside today:



I see zero evidence of mites on the dead bees and saw none when surveying the live ones. Queen still alive and laying.
I have a hive that is in the process of raising a new queen (currently queenless). It's too late to be trying to get a queen mated here so tomorrow I am planning on caging her and putting her into the queenless hive with a candy release.

Before I do that, is there any chance that this is a brood disease or somehow "genetic"? I do not want to transfer the queen over if that's possible.

How should I dispose of the remaining bees? What should I do with the comb and what honey they have? Doesn't feel like it'd be a good choice to eat it. There's still a good amount of capped brood.
 

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Would you get better help in the diseases forum?

I think the capped honey is probably ok for bees, the uncapped I would wash out. The larva and bees are not worth any risk. My queens did not make the winter, I lost many over the next month after the hit. She probably is a bad bet also. Really the capped honey is worth what it would cost to replace sugar.
If they are robbing somewhere letting the stragglers take the hit might be a good idea, just make sure your hives do not rob it.

I am letting ants clean out the comb, that I will try to reuse. Ants are doing fine. Not using any of it this year.
 

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I think your hive is being invaded

Go out after dark with a flashlight
See where the ants are coming from
KILL them or move your hive

I had very similar happen
It was bull ants
Killed a few production hives very quickly
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I think your hive is being invaded

Go out after dark with a flashlight
See where the ants are coming from
KILL them or move your hive

I had very similar happen
It was bull ants
Killed a few production hives very quickly
What makes you think this? There was a bunch of black ants with larva on top of the top bars awhile back. I brushed them off and put a different type of lid on and they have not been back. There are a few ants around, but it's been worse in other hives.
 

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Go out after dark and shine around the hive
If your getting attacked there will be a trail of thousands
Of ants going in and out of your box

When it happen to me
I would have bet good money it was pesticide
I was wrong
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
No ants noted at night. My brother checked.

We pulled the queen out yesterday afternoon and caged her. Candy intro'ing her to a hive we have that needs a queen (too late to raise one here).

I hate to lose all of this drawn comb, but I don't see how I'll feel OK putting it into another hive at any point. Is this an irrational fear? Can I let ants clean out the combs for use in another hive?
 

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The hive probably was not drawing out much comb while sick. You never know where or what the bees are bringing in every day unless you control a very big chunk of land.
Better ants than bees doing clean up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The hive probably was not drawing out much comb while sick. You never know where or what the bees are bringing in every day unless you control a very big chunk of land.
Better ants than bees doing clean up.
Comb drawing did pretty much stop, but they have six top bars filled out. Would make for a nice couple of splits if I'm in the position to do that next year.

Will the ants leave the comb relatively undamaged?
 
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