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Author Topic: Dead deformed drones  (Read 2729 times)
Sean Kelly
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« on: June 16, 2007, 06:40:16 PM »

I work graveyard and when I get home in the morning just after sunrise, I admire my hive for a few minutes before going inside.  Well the last couple days I've been seeing dead bees on the landing board (about 5 or 6 each day).  Today I decided to get a better look and picked one up.  They were all drones and all had no wings.  Just these little weird deformed nubs where the wings should be.  Besides that they all looked ok.  Is it varroa?  The beefarm I bough my package from in April said they treat every package for mites.  Makes me nervous.

Sean Kelly
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sean
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2007, 07:16:48 PM »

I would think that you should also see other dead bees not just drones. you could pop open a few of the sealed drone brood and check to see if there are any mites on them. but i have only been at it for a couple months so one of the more experienced beeks may have better handle on it
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Cindi
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2007, 11:16:39 PM »

Sean, I seriously believe that that is the result of varroa mite.  We all know that they prefer to enter the drone brood cell to worker cell to live and feast.  The drones take 3 days longer to mature and the varroa love this, the bigger body, more food, longer time to breed and do horrible things to the poor little defenseless larvae.  Disgust for the varroa and intense dislike.  Have a wonderful day, great life.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
sean
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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2007, 12:41:32 AM »

is that sean or seans? Wink
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Sean Kelly
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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2007, 05:12:55 AM »

I would think that you should also see other dead bees not just drones.

You know, there might have been workers in there too but I didn't get a very close look besides that one drone I picked up.
Either way, I think Cindy is right.  I was just afraid.  I'm gunna inspect the hive tomorrow.  I'll check the drone cells while I'm at it.  I just look for little black specks on the larve right?

Sean Kely
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"My son,  eat  thou honey,  because it is good;  and the honeycomb,  which is sweet  to thy taste"          - Proverbs 24:13
sean
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« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2007, 07:59:58 AM »

yep thats it. i suspected that it was varroa, but was being cautious because you said it was only drones. So just look for little black/brownish specks on the larva and start treatment as soon as possible
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Cindi
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« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2007, 08:48:01 AM »

Sean Kelly.  The place where you got your package bees from probably did treat for mites.  They wouldn't say that if it wasn't true (or would they).  Mites can be picked up from other bees from other bee yards, anywhere, so in the beginning your packages could have been mite free, but that does not mean they would be "clean" all the season.  That is why the mites are so horrible.  Sometimes people believe that they are free of them, then the mites are carried into their "free from mite" colonies and if the beekeeper believes that there are none, this where a problem can come up.  The mites multiply like crazy dudes in the hives.  Each female mite that enters the cell can lay up to about 5 eggs or so, of which of course 1 is male, who usually doesn't make it out of the cell and dies.  These females leave the cell on the bee and others climb out.  This is significant reproduction.

I did my second sugar shake on Wednesday last.  I put newspaper down under the colonies for about an hour to get the majority of the sugar that fell through.  Then put in the sticky boards and about 24 hours later I took them out and began mite counting.

I have white styrene boards that I have drawn grids across in permanent pen.  I sit at my kitchen table with a little device that straps onto my head that has a magnifying glass and I count each mite, using a clicker counter on my left hand.  Now I really look like something from out of space.

My mite counts were about the same as when I did the sugar shake 10 days ago.  Between 2 to 14 in the 10 colonies.  Most having about 5.  These numbers are reasonably low, considering I leave the boards in for 24 hours to get a really good count. But, I still need to keep on with the sugar shake.  We are just getting into the honey flows here, so there is not any sugar that would contaminate human consumption honey.  I don't even think that there will be honey for us this year, maybe at the end of August, but right now they are still building up the brood nest and they need the food for that.

Anyways these nasty little mites.  I found two that were still alive.  I wanted to torture them, but thought that would still be a nasty thing to do, considering they really are just simply trying to live themselves.  They just picked the wrong host to suck the blood out of and destroy larvaes  evil

I picked these two mites that were alive and put them on a plate, just to observe them.  Man, I never realized how fast these little critters can move.  No darned wonder if they fall off they can run around and get right back on another bee.  Eeeeks!!!!  Why are there so many hideous critters that take advantage of other nice critters?

I'll never forget the time when I was weeding and an earthworm came out of the ground. It even had some kind of louse attached to it.  I was absolutely disgusted and killed this worm, I knew for sure that this louse was gonna suck it dry.  Oh well, have a wonderful day, great life, Cindi.
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Kirk-o
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« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2007, 09:01:47 AM »

How is the overall health of the Hive? All hives have mites the bees are doing there job hauling out the deformed bees
kirko
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2007, 12:46:43 PM »

>I just look for little black specks on the larve right?

They look more like purplish brown to me.  Here's some on bees:
http://www.bushfarms.com/images/Varroa2.jpg

http://www.bushfarms.com/beespests.htm#varroa
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Michael Bush
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Sean Kelly
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2007, 01:10:30 AM »

Cindi,

If I am the only beekeeper in a 15 mile radius, then where did my bees pick the mites up at?  Unless the beefarm I bought them from lied (which wouldn't suprise me... they're kinda shady).  I guess there's always the possibility of a ferral hive somewhere.

Kirk-o,

My hive seems pretty darn healthy.  Good stores, tons of brood, very active, 2 deep supers completely full.  This is the only hive I have so I really don't have anything else to compare it to.

Michael Bush,

Thanks for the pic, that's really helpful!

So here's the update:  I checked my bees out today and couldn't find anything.  I also couldn't find any drone cells either to uncap.
I think I'm gunna order a frame of drone foundation and see how that comes out.
This all seems like bad timing since two days before I found that deformed drone, I placed an order at Brushy Mountain for some more hive bodies to split my hive.
If this hive has varroa, is it a bad idea to go on with the split and just treat the two hives or treat this one hive before splitting?  With all the treatment methods out there, which one should I start with?

Thanks again guys and sorry for all the questions.

Sean Kelly
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"My son,  eat  thou honey,  because it is good;  and the honeycomb,  which is sweet  to thy taste"          - Proverbs 24:13
sean
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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2007, 10:42:50 PM »

i think its better to treat before you split. There are a lot of posts reagarding treatment for varroa, depends on your preferences, state of your hive(brood, honey etc) and your availability My only experience has been with apistan. Just put in the strips and forget them for 6-8 weeks.(nice, easy and no real labour involved)   
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amymcg
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« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2007, 07:42:04 AM »

It also depends on what they treated with. They may have treated with something that the varroa there are resistant to and as a result, didn't make much of a dent.
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Cindi
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« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2007, 09:44:28 AM »

Sean Kelly.  I wondered the same thing too, where do the mites come from when there are no other beekeepers around for a  long ways.  I think that they come from feral bees, or maybe there was just one or two that the vendor that you got your packages from missed  rolleyes.  Anyways, they say that if you see 1 mite, there are 100 more lurking around, those are staggaring numbers.

DayValleyDahlia (and I think someone else too) gave a very interesting link to a site that has a method of mite control that seems very quick.  It is not a damaging mite control, like so many of the chemical treatments that the bees are becoming resistant to.  I looked into her profile to find her post on it and added it to my favourites and this is the link below.  Read it thoroughly when you have a minute.  This site sounds like it has wonderful, natural information for mite control.  I am looking into it.  I have done 2 sugar shakes and will do another, maybe.

About this site, I haven't quite figured out if the strips that one makes (from the site that I have cited) can be used during a honeyflow (if the honey is to be used for human consumption).  I am keeping a very close monitoring of my mite levels this year.  So far they are low, but the bee population has not yet exploded, I know as the hive size increases, so does the mites.

I think if you are going to treat, do it before the split.

http://www.beesfordevelopment.org/info/info/disease/varroa.shtml

Check it out, great site, I need to read more on it too.  Have a wonderful day, great life.  Cindi

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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
imabkpr
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« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2007, 07:05:27 PM »

How is the overall health of the Hive? All hives have mites the bees are doing there job hauling out the deformed bees
kirko
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 I haven't seen any varroa mites in my bee hives since the spring of 2005. This proves I must be doing something right.    Charlie
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2007, 07:54:14 PM »

>Just put in the strips and forget them for 6-8 weeks.(nice, easy and no real labour involved)   

Last time I did that they ALL died from resistant mites...
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Michael Bush
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sean
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« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2007, 07:44:21 PM »

wrong choice of words. You still need to monitor to ensure that it is working
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Cindi
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« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2007, 09:16:30 AM »

Michael, resistance to the chemicals in Apistan?  Have a wonderful day, great life.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Sean Kelly
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« Reply #17 on: June 22, 2007, 06:43:16 PM »

Well, I think I was jumping the gun.  Tore my hive apart looking for mites and saw no signs.  Haven't even seen any more dead bees on the enterance.  Drone cells are clean and pure.  Even used a magnifying glass and looked everywhere for signs.  Everything looks good, so I'm not gunna worry about it and go ahead with my split.  Still gunna do a sugar shake though and see if I get any that drop off.  Otherwise they seem very healthy.

I finally also saw my first drone from this hive.  The one I thought I saw on the enterance just had to be a weird deformed bee, because that definately wasn't big enough!  Man those drones are HUGE!  So yeah, I'm learning all the way here.  These bees have suprises at every corner.  Sure is fun though!

Sean Kelly
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"My son,  eat  thou honey,  because it is good;  and the honeycomb,  which is sweet  to thy taste"          - Proverbs 24:13
Michael Bush
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« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2007, 07:26:22 PM »

>Michael, resistance to the chemicals in Apistan?

Resistance to Apistan by the Varroa mites is widespread and has been for many years:

http://entomology.unl.edu/beekpg/tidings/btid1999/btdoct99.htm#Article3
http://entomology.unl.edu/beekpg/tidings/btid1997/btiddc97.htm#Item1
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Michael Bush
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Cindi
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« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2007, 02:26:25 AM »

Michael, good.

Sean Kelly.  Go and have some fun!!!!  Yep, aren't the drone the funny lookind dudes?  Think of all the experience you have gained by ripping apart your hives and examining them.  It is good for one to do that, first hand glimpse at the interior living.  Have a wonderful day, good and great life.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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