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Author Topic: Diagnosis please  (Read 10878 times)
2-Wheeler
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« on: October 21, 2007, 09:36:16 PM »

We found one of our hives in bad shape during our recent inspection, but don't know what the problem is/was. (Possibly AFB?) Any help diagnosing would be appreciated.  Here are the conditions we observed:
The population of bees seems good.
Bees are easily agitated during inspection.
A few yellow-jackets were observed (under attack) while inspecting.
The upper and lower deeps were nearly void of all honey stores!  See photo of sample frame.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dbroberg/1680955945/in/set-72157594553062456/

Brood area is spotty with some dead bees just emerging in brood area (See photo). But, we didn't see any sunken or punctured cappings. Nor did we see any melted down larvae or black scale.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dbroberg/1659784289/in/set-72157594553062456/

Is there anything we can do to save this hive? 

(The other hive, nearby seems quite normal and has excellent stores of capped honey.)
Thanks for any help.
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Understudy
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« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2007, 09:44:32 PM »

Your hive looks fine. It looks like the queen has cut back on laying for winter. The few brood cells that remained looked okay.

The hive if it has enough stores should be fine.

Recommendation:
Leave it alone.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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2-Wheeler
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« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2007, 10:39:03 PM »

Maybe I wasn't clear. There are effectively NO stores.  The small band of capped honey on the frame shown is as good as it was anywhere in the hive.
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-David Broberg   CWOP#: CW5670 / CoCoRaHS #CO-BO-218
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2007, 10:51:16 PM »

Did you have honey supers on at any time and remove them?
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« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2007, 10:58:47 PM »

I would say that your queen reduced laying for 2 reasons; 1. it's late in the season and time for it and, 2. There has been a dearth in your area for the last month or more.  Bees wil consume their own stores when in a dearth leaving them nothing to over winter on.  It is time to push the sugar syrup to them if you want to keep them alive through the winter.  I would fed with as many feders as I can put in/on the hive.  A super wil hold 3 gallon cans of syrup at 1 time.
If you decide to use a Boardman feeder too, reduce the entrance to about a 1 inch opening by putting a piece of wood the same width as the feeder at the entrance of the hive.  Place the wood so that the entrance is as far from the feeder as possible, that will give the guard bees a better opportunity to guard the hive.

Is there any sign of robbing?  It didn't look like it from the pictures but the evidence is not always on the frames but in the crumbs of wax all over the bottom board.
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Moonshae
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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2007, 07:01:00 AM »

It looks like the tongues on those dead emerging bees are sticking out. Isn't that a sign of pesticide poisoning?
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« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2007, 07:14:55 AM »

It looks like the tongues on those dead emerging bees are sticking out. Isn't that a sign of pesticide poisoning?

Could be a sign of a dearth.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2007, 07:28:37 AM »

I'd feed them until they have some stores or winter sets in.
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Moonshae
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« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2007, 01:49:52 PM »

It looks like the tongues on those dead emerging bees are sticking out. Isn't that a sign of pesticide poisoning?

Could be a sign of a dearth.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

That can be added to something I learned this year. Smiley
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JP
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« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2007, 02:39:51 PM »

I agree, it looks like the hive is fine but for a lack of honey stores. Yes you need to feed them as much as possible. Get that feed on, now!
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2-Wheeler
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« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2007, 03:01:56 PM »

Thanks for all the replies. It is frustrating to see one of the hives in a declining state. We'd like to save them.
Quote
Did you have honey supers on at any time and remove them?

Not recently, the supers were removed about six weeks ago, but production was down considerably for this hive.

Quote
Is there any sign of robbing? 

Nothing that we observed.

Quote
It looks like the tongues on those dead emerging bees are sticking out. Isn't that a sign of pesticide poisoning?

Yes they are sticking out and pointing up. That was curious for me too. But hive 10 feet away seems fine.

Quote
Could be a sign of a dearth.

Quote
2. There has been a dearth in your area for the last month or more.

Not likely, since it has been wetter and warmer than usual this fall with many flowers still blooming up until this morning (first freeze). Also as I noted above, the hive located with 10 feet has excellent stores and there is no sign they have tapped into them in any way. 

Quote
It is time to push the sugar syrup to them if you want to keep them alive through the winter.

Quote
I'd feed them until they have some stores or winter sets in.

Quote
Yes you need to feed them as much as possible. Get that feed on, now!


That looks like the consistent advice and yes we put 2 gallons on this hive Saturday. The problem now is freezing temps are coming frequently and will soon be nearly every night. How late can we keep the liquid syrup on the hive?
We are using a hive-top-feeder like this one: http://www.mannlakeltd.com/images/catalog/feeding_bees.gif

Thanks,
David

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-David Broberg   CWOP#: CW5670 / CoCoRaHS #CO-BO-218
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Moonshae
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« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2007, 03:40:46 PM »

Fondant? A nice 25-lb block on the inner cover would allow them to cluster there and feed for a couple months, which could be added to as they consume the bulk of it. Not ideal, but it seems like you're short of options.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2007, 10:11:13 PM »

check for mites the dead bees with there tongues sticking out are a sign of PMS parasitic mite syndrome.it is starting the downward spiral of crashing.even if mite counts are low remember it is the viruses that they vector. what did you treat with and what time of the year did you treat. RDY-B
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2-Wheeler
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« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2007, 11:26:59 PM »

check for mites the dead bees with there tongues sticking out are a sign of PMS parasitic mite syndrome.it is starting the downward spiral of crashing.even if mite counts are low remember it is the viruses that they vector. what did you treat with and what time of the year did you treat. RDY-B

We treated with Apiguard for 4 weeks, finishing about a week before this inspection.
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Blog: http://beesandblooms.blogspot.com/
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My Flickr Album: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dbroberg/
rdy-b
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« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2007, 11:45:16 PM »

did you see any deformed wings? RDY-B
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« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2007, 12:09:04 AM »

Moonshae, I think your question about pesticide poisoning was overlooked and needs an answer.

Yes, it is common when bees have experienced pesticide poisoning for the tongue to protrude. But that is referring to when the bees have died more commonly when they are seen outside the hive (or inside on the bottomboard).  This is kind of hard to explain.  The bees that were poisoned would be seen outside sooner than they would be seen as emerging brood with protruding tongues.  Hope this may add a LITTLE bit of help with tongues protruding and pesticide poisoning.  Have a wonderful and beautiful day, Cindi
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« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2007, 12:23:27 AM »

Most of the viruses transmit vertically through the queen to the brood i would not be surprised at this point if there is no queen in the colony -if there is a queen -I believe this colony will have expired by Xmas RDY-B
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« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2007, 02:33:04 PM »

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did you see any deformed wings? RDY-B

None that we observed.

Most of the viruses transmit vertically through the queen to the brood i would not be surprised at this point if there is no queen in the colony -if there is a queen -I believe this colony will have expired by Xmas RDY-B


Queen is present and accounted for, see center of picture (taken same day as pictures above):

Details: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dbroberg/1660650390/in/set-72157594553062456/

Also we observed no drones during this inspection, while during the summer they were several. But I think they have probably been given the boot by the ladies at this point in the season.

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« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2007, 01:12:34 AM »

Looks like stravation to me. the queen will not lay if theres no way to feed extra mouths. This late in the year I would start feeding yesterday. Does the other colony have enough honey to share?
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kathyp
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« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2007, 01:26:59 AM »

i agree about the feed.  it doesn't not necessarily follow that because there have been rains and bloom, there is adequate nectar.  in fact, we had a very poor year here with much rain and bloom. 

as long as the day temps are getting warm enough for them to be active, they will take the syrup.  you can also put dry sugar on the inner board.  you may moisten it with a bit of water from a spray bottle.  this is more of an emergency measure, but better than starving.  this i do during the winter so that i know they are ok until i can thaw out and check again.

some hives will store more and earlier.  i had one that was almost full, while others had barely started stores when the weather began to change. 
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