Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is this evidence of? I had a working hive 3 weeks ago. Come back today to remove Apivar strips, and here's what a find. Not a bee in sight. A few earwigs and moths moving in. What is happening? There's some dead larvae in cells, but not a single live bee. I did see what looked to be two supercedure cell beginnings, but no swarm cells. No bees. I'm freaking out. There was 0 honey on this hive this year. Very weak hive. But now it's gone. It's a pretty expensive way to beekeep.

Brown Road surface Asphalt Mixture Soil
Brown Wood Rectangle Beige Flooring
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,508 Posts
I've never seen quite so much debris on a bottom board. The brown stuff looks like what a severe wax moth infestation leaves behind. I also see pupae in various stages of decomposition and bee parts. Wings are about the only part ants don't use. Maybe the ants just cleaned up after the fact.
I have never used Apivar, so I will leave that for others to ask the relevant questions.

Alex
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
With such a quick collapse, I would wonder if the colony had PMS. What you described in your post fits with a mite- induced collapse.. You said that this colony was weak all summer &I immediately wondered what your mite counts were earlier in the year. Over the last couple of years I've noticed high mite levels all season, starting in the spring. I usually hit them with Hopguard 3 in the spring, followed by formic/thymol around late July/early August if the temperatures allow. I put oxalic/glycerine shop towels on after the formic/thymol & hit them several times with OAV in October and November. I stopped using Apivar last year when I lost 60% of my colonies while using as directed. Talking with numerous local beeks leads me to believe that the mites have developed resistance to Amitraz & I'll never use it again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
The picture I see on the bottom is not that clear but I think I’m seeing a lot of oval shapes that look like mites. How strong was your hive before treating. How many frames of brood and bees?
What is this evidence of? I had a working hive 3 weeks ago. Come back today to remove Apivar strips, and here's what a find. Not a bee in sight. A few earwigs and moths moving in. What is happening? There's some dead larvae in cells, but not a single live bee. I did see what looked to be two supercedure cell beginnings, but no swarm cells. No bees. I'm freaking out. There was 0 honey on this hive this year. Very weak hive. But now it's gone. It's a pretty expensive way to beekeep.

View attachment 65645 View attachment 65646
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,257 Posts
Looks like chalk brood to me also.
 
  • Like
Reactions: drummerboy

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,873 Posts
I see Chalk brood. Mites are almost a given. I've had hives abscond from heavy chalk brood infestation here. This has been an ongoing problem in your hive for some time now, no wonder it did poorly all year. They finally gave up and flew off, even leaving brood behind. They've probably been slight robbing and then heavier after they left, hence no honey and wax bits all over with bee parts and chalk brood. And yeah, looks like wax moth also.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,449 Posts
IDK not enough information, mite counts?

What was the mite count prior to apivar?
 

·
Registered
2021 17 hives
Joined
·
357 Posts
There's a second year beekeeper in my little town of 300. First year she had 2/2 dead out on nucs. She bought two more from the same supplier. We did a mite WASH on two nucs that were growing well through the year. One had 40+ the other had 20+ mites. We put Apivar strips on 9/30/21. I suspect they will both go the way of your colony and crash during the fall or winter.

The way these colonies built up I would suspect that they are Italians. We live in mid Missouri and our winters have had pretty cold temps for the last 3 years (0 degrees) due to the Polar Vortex. I know it's nothing like my northern neighbors but it took out 1 small colony of mine this last winter. I have mostly Carniolans and they seem to do better here with the cold. Do you know the race of bees that crashed? You are in the western side of Oregon, is that in the Mountains? If so you may have the climate that is best suited to the Carniolans rather than the Italians. You've been on here for some time and I suspect this isn't your only colony right? How did the rest of your bees do?
 

·
Registered
35
Joined
·
2,153 Posts
Download the first photo, blow it up and look carefully. What I see

  • Lots of chalkbrood
  • Lots of bee parts, ie legs, heads, abdomens. Something has been killing and dismembering the bees.
  • of the few dead bees actually intact I can see some short stubby abdomens and a couple of K-wing
  • Wax fragments like you see when a colony has been robbed.
  • Halfway up, just to the right of center, signs of what may be wax moth cocoons.
  • In the center of the debris, a nicely cleared out small patch. Did you do that ? If not, probably a mouse or something along those lines, but it does look to me like something you did with fingers before taking the photo.

You say the colony had no honey. Looks to me like the population was weak to begin with due to all the chalk, weakened farther by some varroa. The main reason for no honey is twofold

a) Not enough healthy bees to gather a lot
b) What they did gather, they could not defend
c) Quite possible the robbing came about AFTER something else killed and dismembered the bees. After looking closely at the second photo, became obvious, the 'something else' that killed them was wasps.

My conclusion would be, this colony has been dead for a few months, they just didn't realize it yet.

Normally at this time of the year in a thread about 'where did my bees go', I would just post a link to the 'Anatomy of a mite crash' thread, but this is more than just a mite crash.

Do you mind if I borrow that first photo from this thread and use it for presentations. I would title it 'Everything that can go wrong with a beehive, in one photo'. You have chalk, varroa, deformed bodies, K-wing, dismembered bees, signs of robbing, it's all there.
 

·
Registered
35
Joined
·
2,153 Posts
Ok, looking farther, now I downloaded the second photo, looked carefully at that one. There are a couple dead wasps in that photo.

It was a weak / sick hive, and it was killed off by the wasps. That fully explains the dismembered bees.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,510 Posts
What is this evidence of? I had a working hive 3 weeks ago. Come back today to remove Apivar strips, and here's what a find. Not a bee in sight. A few earwigs and moths moving in. What is happening? There's some dead larvae in cells, but not a single live bee. I did see what looked to be two supercedure cell beginnings, but no swarm cells. No bees. I'm freaking out. There was 0 honey on this hive this year. Very weak hive. But now it's gone. It's a pretty expensive way to beekeep.

View attachment 65645 View attachment 65646
Mummies….
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top