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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday I was watching the activity in my full-size hive apiary, there were lots of foragers on almost every hive bringing in the bright orange Creosote Bush pollen, inspired by our recent rains. Then I noticed that the weakest hive (was about six medium frames of bees + 2 with brood, in their lowest box), had zero activity at its entrance. I went in to investigate, they had sealed brood on two combs, both sides of each with some open brood adjacent (the larvae had not begun crawling out of their cells in search of food - perhaps too chilled). There were absolutely no adult bees in the hive. No recently emerged bees, no robbers, just no bees at all. This is the first time I've ever seen this. I put the two frames of brood in an adjacent hive (hoping they could be rescued), just above their own brood nest. Most of the hives are on the verge of booming, with queens laying rapidly expanding brood nests. There were still lots of honey in the frames, I plan to watch and see if this gets robbed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I just got in from another quick check around the apiary. This time the weak hive where the bees had vanished is being robbed out. I examined the two frames of brood, placed into an adjacent hive to try to rescue them. The brood combs have been almost entirely cleaned out, even the sealed brood. No doubt it was dead when I tried to rescue it. Of course, I don't know for sure when the hive was abandoned.
 

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That’s one to make you scratch your head :scratch:. The fact the hive was being robbed out would indicate that CCD is not the problem. I understand that hives that crash from CCD will be ignored for a couple of weeks. The fact you have open brood would indicate that the absconding of the adult bees was within a few days at most.
Did you notice any small hive beetles damage? Were their dead adult bees in the hive? Or anything that would have driven the adult population to abscond and abandoned honey and brood?
 

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Welcome to the (CCD) die off. I am down 50% or more at all sites. My opinion - a virus, sometimes effects the queens first, she quits laying, then the population quickly dies off and crawls or is hauled away. I only found one hive with the queen still with a tiny cluster. I see DFW first, then no DWV just young dying bees, then followed by more DWV. I think there is not much robbing because of the season, around here robbing is a late summer problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That’s one to make you scratch your head :scratch:. The fact the hive was being robbed out would indicate that CCD is not the problem. I understand that hives that crash from CCD will be ignored for a couple of weeks. The fact you have open brood would indicate that the absconding of the adult bees was within a few days at most.
Did you notice any small hive beetles damage? Were their dead adult bees in the hive? Or anything that would have driven the adult population to abscond and abandoned honey and brood?
No SHB damage (haven't even had any SHB here, yet). There were about a dozen dead adult bees lying on the screen of the bottom board, beneath the slatted rack. This may be connected to something I noticed about a week before, when I saw a small cluster of bees with a queen, on the outside of the bottom board of a hive on the opposite side of the apiary from the hive where the bees have gone missing. I can't find anything that might have caused them to abandon their hive. At the time I thought this may have just been a mating gone bad (I have three full-size hives with virgins), now I think they may have been what was left of the missing bees from the abandoned hive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Today I discovered one of my 5-frame nucs to also be abandoned. When I checked them about ten days ago, they were broodless, with two frames of bees and a virgin queen. They may also have been the source for the small cluster of bees with queen I discovered earlier. They still had two combs almost solid with honey and some honey in all combs. They were not yet being robbed and their were only about a half-dozen dead bees inside the nuc. Most day temps have been in the mid to upper 60'sF and down to the 40'sF at night, with lots of sun and very little wind. Usually 2 to 3 mph or less.
 

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Joseph, the amazing thing is that, in a couple of your hives, they appear to have abandoned brood. In the old days, that was pretty unusual. That plus you didn't see a boatload of dead and dying bees on the ground....right? odfrank, those symptoms make Joseph's appear significantly different than yours. Are they both some variant of CCD? I sure don't know. But there appears to be some ugly stuff in the beeyards of late.
Best of luck to you both.
 

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Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV): This virus, first discovered by Israeli scientists in 2002, causes trembling, paralysis and death in bees. The virus has been found in many of the colonies abandoned by bees, but is also, on rare occasion, present in healthy colonies. As such, it's being considered a possible trigger or marker of CCD, but perhaps not its overriding cause


http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=bee-afraid-bee-very-afraid-09-08-14

last year I was called out to look at bees all over a driveway, about a thousand dead bees, a couple were alive with a tremor, I thought they were poisoned, but their hive was about 50 feet up in a tree, a couple months later I heard about this IAPV and thought this could of been the cause, they could not fly and return to the hive and died, I am sure there was not a lot of bees left in the hive
Bob
 

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I have been assuming for a few months now that IAPV is the CCD that my bees have, along with DWV.
 

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And DWV is not always caused by mites. I ran across a study done in the 70's(I think/can't find it now) that certain fungicides cause DWV. I believe it was Captan and others like it. Bees that discover that their food reserves are contaminated will cause them to abscond(read that some where too).
 

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Its a mystery, we had a few that just disappeared recently. Plenty of stores (pollen and honey), no mites, no SHB. No reason why these hives should have been gone.....
 
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