So - does this 'residual pesticide' theory make sense?
Yes indeed. Check it out ~> en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pesticide_toxicity_to_bees
By far the most potentially damaging pesticides for honey bees are those packaged in tiny capsules (microencapsulated). Microencapsulated methyl parathion (PennCap MÂ®), for example, is a liquid formulation containing capsules approximately the size of pollen grains which contain the active ingredient. When bees are out in the field, these capsules can become attached electrostatically to the pollen-collecting hairs of the insects, and at times are collected by design. When stored in pollen, the slow-release feature of the capsules allows the methyl parathion to be a potential killer for several months. At the present time, there is no way to detect whether bees are indeed poisoned by micro-encapsulated methyl parathion, so a beekeeper potentially could lose replacement bees for those already poisoned by the pesticide.
I have looked at Dane's link - it contains some pretty grim information - and the pesticide effects it describes match what I am seeing in my hive.
Is there a legitimate need for slow-release pesticides like micro-encapsulated methyl parathion?? Is there any way to determine with certainty the type of pesticide that is killing my bees?? (our county agriculture dept doesn't have the equipment for this type of analysis)
My bees are continuing to die and I think my hive is a goner. I opened the hive today, and saw the queen stumbling about like she is on her last legs.
It looks as if the pesticide was spread by a neighbor - it could be anyone within a mile radius of my house. I live in an urban area - there may be a thousand or more houses within the bees range. I don't see how I can trace the poisoning to the source.
So I am preparing for the end of my hive and thinking about getting things ready for next season.
Right now I've got two supers full of honey. And two hive bodies full of brood, pollen and honey. What do I do with these?
Will the combs still be toxic next spring when I introduce a new package??