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Something went wrong fast with active hive

1841 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  louborges
This morning I went to look over the 4 hives I have and found dead bees around my most active hive. I counted about 50 dead bees and found the queen amongst them. Last evening everything looked good. Here is a little history for this hive.

I have two hives that wintered well and this spring decided to split them. I bought mated queens and installed them back in late April. This hive has exploded with bees and all seems well. One of my queens that I bought turned out to be a dud (Not the one with the dead bees this morning) so the vendor offered me a new replacement so I decided to make a split again. I took two frames from my two most active hives (including this one with the dead bees this morning) and put the frames into a nuc. (Don't know the state of this nuc yet). I filled the two hives that I pulled the frames from with new frames that I just purchased. So again this hive with a cordovan queen I installed last April was doing really well and this morning found dead bees outside the hive along with the queen. I will inspect the hive this weekend to see if I could learn what happened. Does anyone have any ideas what could have gone wrong?
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Sorry about your loss. Please keep invesitgating and post more information. Hope all turns out well for you.
It almost sounds like a pesticide kill, but I'd expect more dead bees if that were the case. Still, it's possible a few foragers brought back some contaminated pollen that caused the kill.

Let us know what you find during your inspection. Was there open brood still? If there's evidence that the queen was laying very recently, I'd be more convinced of some kind of poisoning.
"It almost sounds like a pesticide kill,.."
"If there's evidence that the queen was laying very recently, I'd be more convinced of some kind of poisoning."

It must be pretty hot and dry in New Mexico at this time of year. Could it be that this colony got into some bad/poisoned water? Water sources must be limited, farther apart, or might be more likely to be contaminated in agricultural and residential areas. Just thoughts.

"Also, remember that soon after colonies are moved to a new location, foraging bees search for water. They may collect water that has been contaminated with pesticides. To reduce the chance of bee losses, provide clean water near the hives."
>> Honey bees and pesticides:
Well, Today I inspected this hive that had lots of dead bees including the queen earlier this week. I'm not sure if 50 plus bees is a lot but when this happens over night and the queen is among them than that’s one bee too many. Anyway I went in and found lots of capped brood both bottom deep and to super full of capped brood. I did see queen cells on both the bottom deep and the upper medium super. On just one frame each hive body and only about 2-3 cells. I did not see any dead bees on the bottom. The only thing I saw odd was a few bees (2-3) that were small and had fuzz around their head. Their eyes were not fully out like the other bees. Now this is only my second year keeping bees so I don't know what odd is. Strange!
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