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Author Topic: Diagnosis please  (Read 10738 times)
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« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2007, 02:14:20 AM »

maybe they are sicking out their tongues because they're hungry and looking for a handout:). they've been in that cell awhile with nothing to eat. this hive will die without a lot TLC. since the bees haven't collect much nectar, you may want to consider something wrong with the foragers. something could be causing them to die prematurely, like a virus or nosema. send a sample to one of the bee labs to test for nosema. since you are now feeding them consider getting some fumidal to put in the syrup. i wouldn't take any stores from any other hives to prop them up with. if they have a virus they are doing you and your other bees a favor by dying out.
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« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2007, 10:02:36 PM »

Update:  We've had a full top-feeder with that sweet syrup on for two weeks now, and they're not interested!
Surprisingly there is no evidence they took any! We went out a week ago and topped it off, and checked again this weekend and there might have been some evaporative loss, but very little if any. Also there were no visible bees in the screen area near the feeding opening.

We've had plenty of warm days in the past two weeks and was mid-70s yesterday. We've seen them circulating about and even some congestion at the entrance late in the day.  But they must be starving.   Cry  I'm not sure there is anything else we can do for them? 

-David
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annette
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« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2007, 10:12:52 PM »

I  just have to ask this question, because I had a strange experience with the Mann Lake feeder. I bought a brand new Mann Lake feeder like the one you are using and I placed it directly on the hive with sugar syrup in it and the bees absolutely would not go up into the feeder for several days. I finally took the feeder off and washed it very thoroughly in soapy water to get any plastic smells off the feeder. I detected a plastic smell coming from the feeder when I opened the hive and I believe that is why the bees would not go up into the feeder. When I cleaned the feeder really well and placed it back on the hive with new syrup, then they drank like mad. If this is a new feeder from Mann Lake, you might want to make sure and give it a good cleaning before placing on the hive. The bees smell that new plastic odor and will not drink from it.

Let me know. I feel sad for the hive.

Good Luck
Annette
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Cindi
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« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2007, 10:17:09 PM »

Annette.  I remember you speaking about this in a post a while back.  Bees probably have very sensitive scent and this was very obvious that your bees were very adverse to the feeder scent.

David, I wouldn't discount what Annette is saying.  Why don't you try that?  Clean it out to get rid of any plastic scent, if there is one, it certainly cannot hurt, and maybe a lot of good will come through this experience.  Please let us know what avenue you travel down.  Beautiful day, greatest of life.  Cindi
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« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2007, 10:52:17 PM »

Place some sugar or a baggy with feed on top the frames and see what happens.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #25 on: November 05, 2007, 11:37:48 PM »

give them a frame of honey and score it several times with your hive tool from the other hive -but by no means in-till you are sure -let the others feed from that colony or mix any frames from it - they will eat the honey RDY-B
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« Reply #26 on: November 06, 2007, 01:23:12 PM »

Update:  We've had a full top-feeder with that sweet syrup on for two weeks now, and they're not interested!

That is inside normal limits

Look inside the hive what is going on there: how much bees, how much capped honey how much brood, are they OK?

.............How much extra space........

Quote
But they must be starving.   Cry  I'm not sure there is anything else we can do for them? 


- Limit the winter room as big as bees densely occupy frames
- If hive has empty combs, take extra box with empty combs.
- Pour syrup into combs in slanting position
- Put those frames in empty box and box and wintering box over that.

Give that load in the evening that robbers do not come to the party.


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« Reply #27 on: November 06, 2007, 03:37:15 PM »

I  just have to ask this question, because I had a strange experience with the Mann Lake feeder. I bought a brand new Mann Lake feeder like the one you are using and I placed it directly on the hive with sugar syrup in it and the bees absolutely would not go up into the feeder for several days. I finally took the feeder off and washed it very thoroughly in soapy water to get any plastic smells off the feeder. I detected a plastic smell coming from the feeder when I opened the hive and I believe that is why the bees would not go up into the feeder. When I cleaned the feeder really well and placed it back on the hive with new syrup, then they drank like mad. If this is a new feeder from Mann Lake, you might want to make sure and give it a good cleaning before placing on the hive. The bees smell that new plastic odor and will not drink from it.

Interesting theory, however this is the same feeder that has been used with this same hive for the past 2 years. They always took from it previously. I always wash it out after taking it off the hive.

Place some sugar or a baggy with feed on top the frames and see what happens.

Yes, I may try that next. 

Quote
- Limit the winter room as big as bees densely occupy frames
- If hive has empty combs, take extra box with empty combs.
- Pour syrup into combs in slanting position
- Put those frames in empty box and box and wintering box over that.
Finsky, thanks. Yes there are too many empty frames (see OP).  The hive currently has two deeps and and I'm a bit worried that if I push them down to own one deep, it may be more stressful during the coming winter season. 

I may try your suggestion of pouring the syrup into the empty combs. I've never done that, can you describe the process with more detail or point me to a link?  Do I remove them first and pour in a convenient area away from the hive and bring them back, or just do it right there by the open hive (in the evening as you suggest)?   How many frames should I do?

Thanks all.
David
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« Reply #28 on: November 06, 2007, 04:06:36 PM »

finsky made me push mine down last year  smiley.  it was the right thing.  if you only have enough bees for one box, go down to one box.  you have cold winters.  they'll have a better chance if they don't have so much room to keep warm.  you can watch stores and swap in honey frames during the winter as you need to.  you can also do the dry sugar thing.  i poor about 1 cup per hive on the inner cover.  when they have taken most of it, i replenish.  this will keep them from starving until you have a day warm enough to get in and check frames, or get some syrup to them.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
Finsky
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« Reply #29 on: November 06, 2007, 10:57:41 PM »

.

 The hive currently has two deeps and and I'm a bit worried that if I push them down to own one deep, it may be more stressful during the coming winter season. 

  How many frames should I do?

[/quote]

Fist you should look after cold night, how many frames bee ball occupy.
Then look frames, how much they have allready and put best capped frames, pollen and brood into smaller space.
Insulated box is good for small colony and especially during spring brooding.

Bees need not extra space until new bees will emerge in spring.

I just looked my hives when I gived oxalic acid. Couple of colonies were small. I take extra food frames off and store them for spring. Then I put smallest colonies in fire wood shelter for worst winter.

Sugar on frames helps nothing.

.
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« Reply #30 on: November 07, 2007, 10:57:25 AM »

finsky, the dry sugar on the inner cover is only there for emergency feeding if you can't/don't get into the hive and supplies run low.  i had such a bad honey year that almost all of my stores are from syrup feeding.  since i won't be able to feed syrup again for a few months, the granulated sugar is just a little insurance against starvation.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #31 on: November 07, 2007, 02:52:46 PM »

finsky, the dry sugar on the inner cover is only there for emergency feeding if you can't/don't get into the hive and supplies run low.  i had such a bad honey year that almost all of my stores are from syrup feeding.  since i won't be able to feed syrup again for a few months, the granulated sugar is just a little insurance against starvation.

I give to my hives every year emergency feeding. Nowadays I pour strong syrup direct into combs. 5 kg sugar is normal what I give at one time. It ensure food for one week .  Mating nucs are same thing. They need often extra feeding and I give it with pouring syrup.

I use granulated sugar as syrup. Some has "feeding frame", it is long and flat plastic box which are installed into hive and filled with granule sugar. Works well they say.
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« Reply #32 on: November 07, 2007, 02:58:36 PM »

the syrup would be my choice also.  it's the rain that keeps me from opening my hives for long periods of time.  if i open them and everything gets wet, then it's cold at night, i don't think that's to healthy for them.  sometimes we have better weather in the winter and the syrup would be a good choce on those dry days.  other times, we have rain and wind every day all winter.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #33 on: November 07, 2007, 03:14:11 PM »

the syrup would be my choice also.  it's the rain that keeps me from opening my hives for long periods of time.

I live in capital city and I visit on my summer cottage only at weekend. I take care that they have food all the time in summer for over a week.

In winter I do not touch hives. They have got their winter food in September and they live with it to next May.

If hives are short of food, I open hive even if it is -20C temperature - or I put that syrup box under the hive and I need not open it.
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« Reply #34 on: November 11, 2007, 06:18:06 PM »

Thanks everyone for the good advice. Here is an Update (11/11/07): 
We had some warm weather again today so we did another inspection of the troubled hive. There was some good news which was encouraging, but further mystery surrounds this hive. 

First, we were all prepared to take the upper deep and push them down to just one deep for the winter, but when we opened the hive, we found good news - HONEY and lots of it.  Mysteriously, there were now several very heavy frames completely capped with honey in this hive. I would estimate the upper deep at 50%-60% capped honey now!  The frames that weren't full, were being worked furiously to store necter and get it capped. Here's a photo of one of those frames not yet filled:


Full Size Image

The mystery goes to the source of this new found honey. The top feeder was still full and there were almost no bees feeding from the syrup in the top feeder.  Where did they get all these new stores?  Maybe they stole this honey from somewhere else? 

We did see a number of dead yellow jackets floating in the syrup. How they got in, is also a mystery.  Perhaps this is what made the syrup unappetizing for the bees?  We cleaned it up and removed the dead yellow jackets, but left the syrup.  Here is what that looked like:


Full Sized Image

Finally, we did see some brood and larvae  in the upper frames:

Full Size Link

We also saw the queen on one of the brood frames, but didn't get a photo this time. After all this, we decided to leave the upper deep and keep feeding.  I'm a bit more hopeful they will make it now.   I also saw one stray yellow jacket on the frames while we were inspecting and one later on the hive cover after we closed it up, but how they got into the hive-top-feeder has us puzzled. There were some small cracks between the frames, which seemed to be attracting some attention from the outside. Perhaps the yellow jackets were squeezing through?  To make sure that wasn't happening, I sealed the cracks with some duct tape.  More news later as this mystery continues.   

-David
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« Reply #35 on: November 11, 2007, 06:49:16 PM »

that's a good number of yellowjackets.  wonder how many didn't drown?  smiley  that may have been the main source of your problem!  if that's not your only hive, you should probably check the others closely for robbing problems.  even strong hives can have problems.  the signs are obvious and you know them when you see them.  robbed comb is ripped open and ragged.  make sure all have entrance reducers.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #36 on: November 12, 2007, 04:05:25 AM »


As far I understanbd your pictures, you have not totally bee covered frames in your hive.

* First, deminish tha number of frames that bee totally cover combs.
* gather capped combs for bees for winter
* Feed brood to birds. They surely contain mites.

Stop feeding.

That concept depends how mucxh you really has bees.

* Deminish combs.
* shake  bees from extra combe in front of hive
* if next day bees hang outside, add a comb.  If not, hive is at least too small.

I think that you hive is too cold and that is why bees do not take syrup from feeding box.
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« Reply #37 on: December 31, 2007, 10:24:49 PM »

did they make it? are they snow bound  cool hope they made it- RDY-B
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« Reply #38 on: January 21, 2008, 03:26:30 PM »

There was a warm day a few weeks ago and I went out and had a quick look from the outside. The troubled hive was alive with quite a few bees going in & out for some fresh air. However, it seems to have a dysentery problem.  That must have been what weakened them last year and we didn't catch it.   Now they will be lucky if they can hang on long enough for it to be warm enough for some medicated syrup. 

Here was a posting from almost one year ago, but the problem seems worse now.
Previous posting
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« Reply #39 on: January 21, 2008, 10:06:48 PM »

David, I looked at the pictures in the post made last February.  Those bee poops on the boxes to me did not look extraordinary.  My hives always look like that after the winter cluster has broken and they bees have a chance to fly to defecate.  They don't defecate in their hive unless they are sick.  I am hedging a bet that there is not any nosema or dysentry with your colony.  You say it is worse than last winter, but maybe you have more bees than the last time you took the pictures, maybe more bees were flyin' and a poopin'.  I am hoping this is the case, plain and simple.  Regardless, keep us posted and tell us how things made out.

As an aside, how many months/weeks have the bees in the bee cluster would you estimate?  Have a wonderful, great night and day.  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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