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Discussion Starter #1
Here is my report. I realized they all left about the third week in September. <<crying>> 2nd year hive, gave me 17 pounds of honey this year, excellent queen, Italians. Everything looked just fine at my mid-September inspection. Going very strong.

Today finally I had time, I opened the hive (which had a robbing screen on for the past weeks), there were no bees inside. And no wasps either, no ants. 2 earwigs.

(now, looking at the TBH, from the back combs, moving front-wards): 2 empty bars at the very back, then I had 4 combs full of honey, capped. The 5th bar had the comb fully drawn: it was only nectar on one side, not capped. The opposite side had honey about 1/2 of it, capped. About another 1/4 of it had been capped honey, but robbed (with wax shavings underneath it) and the last 1/4 was empty comb. This comb was not at the end, it was in the middle-ish. So, little honey was actually robbed from this hive (or maybe because I caught it early on, and the robbing screen worked ...).

All the other combs were mostly all dark-brown, with quite a bit of pollen. One comb is almost all filled with pollen on both sides. All the combs (brown, ex-brood combs) have capped honey about the top 20% or so, on both sides. One brood comb has (dead) larvae.

No recent queen cells. One old (dark brown) supercedure queen cell, who knows from when.

I took all the bars (as per above) out.

With a hive scraper tool I scraped clean about 1/2 of the inside walls and about 1/3 of the floor (no signs of mites).

Tomorrow or the next day, when the weather allows, I will go in again and finish scraping clean the walls.

Everything is closed up now, nothing can go in. Inside it looks like an empty casket <<crying>>.

Air can circulate inside, I still have the robber screen on.

Any ideas, feedback, comments?

To me, the main mystery is why they would abscond in late September. Where I live that's a suicide mission.

Sylvia
 

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To me, the main mystery is why they would abscond in late September. Where I live that's a suicide mission.
https://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?347723-Anatomy-of-a-mite-crash

there of course are other things that kill hives(please post the dead larva picture), but without a wash history a betting man plays the odds and bets on mites, and many people get blindsided as what worked for control on a package turns out to be inadequate for on overwintered hive

With a hive scraper tool I scraped clean about 1/2 of the inside walls and about 1/3 of the floor (no signs of mites).
your onlikly to find mites that way, looking on the brood comb walls for frass might tell you more. https://static1.squarespace.com/sta...86e734fcb7/1542141999131/ColonyDeath_2018.pdf
your bees worked hard to proplize the hive, I am curious why you wish to remove it?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for the replies. Here are some photos.

1.jpg

2.jpg

3.jpg

4.jpg

5.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #5
(cont.)

6.jpg

7.jpg

I did not see the queen the last inspection, I was not looking for her. The last time I looked at the hive, I simply opened up quickly the last about 8 to 10 bars of the hive, to see if they needed more space (the hive was rather full). I took out the last 3 combs of honey (the last 3 bars) and I replaced them with empty top bars. They were already attaching the last drawn comb to the false back, which was all the way in the back. So, I just wanted to give them some space at the end of the hive.

Thanks!

Sylvia
 

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I am curious and wish to learn, what do you see?
Pictured capped brood mortality with associated punctured caps and dead young bees still in the cells - mite indication.
Also one can observe mite poop.
 

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from my 2nd link underlining is mine
"4. Patch of spotty brood / Bees dying on emergence – When a colony succumbs to varroa-associated
viruses or parasitic mite syndrome (PMS), we see a lot of effects in the brood. Unlike American
Foulbrood (AFB), which attacks the larvae at one particular stage, PMS will affect developing bees
at many stages of development. It is one of the only diseases where you see bees dying right as
they emerge
.
5 White crystals in the brood – Around the cells where the brood died (the last place of the brood
nest), you will often see white crystals stuck to the walls of the cells. These are dry (not suspended in liquid like crystalized honey), and are the crystalized pee of varroa. Varroa mites defecate in the cells, and the resulting guanine crystals are left behind, and visible to the naked eye. "
 

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from my 2nd link underlining is mine
"4. Patch of spotty brood / Bees dying on emergence – When a colony succumbs to varroa-associated
viruses or parasitic mite syndrome (PMS), we see a lot of effects in the brood. Unlike American
Foulbrood (AFB), which attacks the larvae at one particular stage, PMS will affect developing bees
at many stages of development. It is one of the only diseases where you see bees dying right as
they emerge
.
5 White crystals in the brood – Around the cells where the brood died (the last place of the brood
nest), you will often see white crystals stuck to the walls of the cells. These are dry (not suspended in liquid like crystalized honey), and are the crystalized pee of varroa. Varroa mites defecate in the cells, and the resulting guanine crystals are left behind, and visible to the naked eye. "
Sorry, I apologize that I didn't click on your second link before asking my question. I had read the Anatomy of a Mite Crash thread and with the pictures posted here by Sylvia, and the second link you provided, I think I now have some sense of what to look for. I hope I don't have this problem, but I am sure, since I am a new beekeeper, at some point I will.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
thank you for all the comments. They have been really helpful for me.

Sylvia
 
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