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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So it is 40's right now going up to 50º today.
I wanted to use the endoscope (the one I'm returning) to see in the hive. All 3 have a bottom layer of dead bees.
I knew Hive #2 was alive as one bee didn't like the scope lol
I have a thin strip of Bamboo (1/16 thin) to scoop into the hive to get bees out of the way.
Well I scooped some out of all 3 and left them on the landing while I opened the top to listen.
I think all 3 are alive, very quiet but then again it is pretty warm out and the inside felt warm when I moved the shavings out of the way and heard the faint buzz.

Anyway I grabbed 3 Ziplock baggies, marked them by Hive # and scooped those landing bees in the bags.

FYI, stay near them for at least 10 min when you bring it inside. I had one come alive and had to go rush her back to her hive. I pushed her in but I doubt she will stay there. MAN she wanted to fly out of my hands even though she was not ready. She LOOKED completely dead in the bag and was on the landing for about 10 min too.

Anyway, thought this would be a good way to get my magnifying glass out and check out the bees. Wanted to share for other Newbees.

FYI, I don't want to scoop all the dead bees out. I am thinking that if the hive wants them out they will take them out themselves. Maybe it is to help keep heat in? The bottom opening is the small one on an entrance reducer. There is no mouse guard or screening on that opening.
They had taken a few out but then we had a cold snap.
Here is the pic of them.
Packaging and labeling Packing materials
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
3 hours later , I just got back from grocery and there was another wiggling in the bag :(
I put her back in the hive and dumped the other 3 bags.

I was able to look at them in the bags with the magnifying glass so was nice to see them close up.
No mites I saw but cool to see the different striping on them.

I am now wondering if the 'dead' bees on the bottom of the hive are not all dead but hibernating?
I know that is not something that has been known to happen but I am wondering why 2 bees, scraped from inside hive, left on landing board for a while and then 3 hours later in a Zipped bag came to life... 2 different hives too.
 

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6a 4th yr 9 colonies inc. 2 resource hives
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Yes you may be looking at torpor. Too cold to fly and look lifeless. Love the time you’re taking on this. It means you’ll have the resolve to keep going. Do you have a way of building a screen to look down and in on them? My feeding shim within the vivaldi board is the best way to stay sane in winter. The Flir thermo camera can also tell you the hive position. There will be lots of natural winter die off. They can handle cold pretty well if the cluster is decent size and they are not wet. The next winter hurdle will be getting past starvation. Those losses are more common in February and March. Also very preventable. I’ll be feeding dry pollen in February. A door stop any other time of year.
 

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Thank you for reminding me I bought an endoscope in 2017 or 2018. New toy. No family christmas this year due to covid so I can play with my toys and my bees
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes you may be looking at torpor. Too cold to fly and look lifeless. Love the time you’re taking on this. It means you’ll have the resolve to keep going. Do you have a way of building a screen to look down and in on them? My feeding shim within the vivaldi board is the best way to stay sane in winter. The Flir thermo camera can also tell you the hive position. There will be lots of natural winter die off. They can handle cold pretty well if the cluster is decent size and they are not wet. The next winter hurdle will be getting past starvation. Those losses are more common in February and March. Also very preventable. I’ll be feeding dry pollen in February. A door stop any other time of year.
I have a screened top like a Vivaldi board, they are way in the middle too far to see without taking all the shaving out- that's not going to happen.
THese were all bees that were piled on the bottom of the hive (inside at first) and it's 50º out today. I would have thought that they would still be in the cluster. Oh well. I won't do THAT again hahahahhahaha

When I get the new scope I will get a video of the inside. The returning scope is not good and this is what I bought it for.
I don't want to put all sorts of stuff inside the hive, thermometer or such.
They 'should' be good for food, and there is sugar on the top under the quilt board.
Just a bit shocked that after 3 hours in a zipped ziplock bag she started to 'wake up' lol
Miraculous these little bees are I tell you !

@Gypsi, Which Scope did you get ?
 

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If you are looking for mites you won't find them without dissection. They will be inside the bees. You would not think so but true.
A dissecting microscope, tweezers, and a scalpel.
 

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If you are looking for mites you won't find them without dissection. They will be inside the bees. You would not think so but true.
A dissecting microscope, tweezers, and a scalpel.
You must be thinking tracheal mites, not the varroa mite; haven't heard about many problems with tracheal.
 

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Nope Varroa mites. Not in the trachea, but will be inside the abdomen. Flip the bee over. In between the segments the mites will crawl up in the bees. Get a few bees this winter, do some dissection.
 

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Nope Varroa mites. Not in the trachea, but will be inside the abdomen. Flip the bee over. In between the segments the mites will crawl up in the bees. Get a few bees this winter, do some dissection.
They do feed on juices from the bees fat body, rather equivalent to a mammals liver but they do so by crawling under the plates of the bees chitin, then proceed to pierce a hole and inject saliva which dissolves bees body fat and they suck this back.. A repeated squish in and suck back. They do make a wound but do not crawl inside.
They are hard to see on a bee once they get in the actual feeding mode because only a bit of their carapace is visible sticking out from under the bees outer plates. Click on the colored link below to see the picture.
An Inside Look at How the Varroa Mite's True Diet Was Discovered

The mite presses itself so tightly to the soft membrane between the bee’s abdominal plates that it leaves a distinct impression of its legs and palps and a mouth-shaped wound in the membrane. Additionally, at this feeding site the ambulacra (foot pads) from the front legs remained stuck to the bees’ membrane, allowing us to quickly orient ourselves to the positioning of the mite’s body relative to the bee’s. We repeated this procedure 10 times to prove this was where the mites were feeding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, after the 2nd one turned Zombie I put them all back outside.

Actually, now that I think about it, will Mites 'feed' on a dead bee? I didn't find one on the group I had
Also if the dead bee gets pushed out of the hive will the mite fall off and die in the cold attached to the dead bee or will it fall off and try to bury itself in the ground?
 

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I dont believe mites have any thermoregulation capability so I think they will be SOL very quickly if the host dies. Also not equipped to dig in the ground.
You can do mite washes on dead bees. Inside and ouside temperatures make a big difference in what you will find. If possible, compromised bees will fly out to die. When really cold they pile up on the bottom board. Bees dieing from the paralytic viruses will also show up on the bottom board or on the ground just off the entrance
 

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@Gypsi, Which Scope did you get ?
I got a Depstech off of Amazon at least 3 years ago. I still haven't hooked it up to the laptop. I think it didn't like my phone at the time I bought it. So I set it on the desk and the next time I needed to see something I bought an infrared camera.
 
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