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Author Topic: Bees missing antennas-- is this a DWV symptom  (Read 1119 times)
JWChesnut
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Location: Coastal Central California


« on: November 01, 2007, 02:49:39 PM »

I have a colony that has recently entered a steep decline. The hive was healthy until mid-September.  Colony location is coastal California.

The most likely cause of the decline is a big increase in Varroa. The Varroa are treated with  screened board, powdered sugar, and wintergreen treatments,  the mites are reduced somewhat recently.

I have a significant number of "crawlers" that are missing antennas.  Brown nubs (not mites) are observable  where the root of the antenna would normally be located. I believe based on the the condition of the body hair, that these are recent hatches.

DWV bees are also seen, but fewer in number than the antenna-less crawlers.

A search of this forums doesn't pick up any hits for antenna-less condition being associated with parasitic mite syndrome.

Have others seen this antenna-less symptom, or does this imply some other colony insult/disease.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2007, 10:53:06 PM »

>>DWV bees are also seen, but fewer in number than the antenna-less crawlers.

>>A search of this forums doesn't pick up any hits for antenna-less condition being associated with parasitic mite syndrome.

>>Have others seen this antenna-less symptom, or does this imply some other colony insult/disease.

All would appear to be the result of a high mite investation.  I haven't heard of the antenna-less symptom before but coupled with the DWV I tend to think it another maladay that has manifested itself in conjunction with a varroa mite invasion.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2007, 07:48:38 AM »

I have never seen that, but Varroa would be my first suspicion.  The Varroa feed on the larvae and maybe enough of them might do that much damage.
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Michael Bush
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Cindi
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« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2007, 01:22:40 PM »

JWChestnut.  That missing antenna thing sounds very strange.  If I were you, I would do some searches on the internet and maybe send this question to one of the universities that are doing lots of research on bee issues.

It sounds like no one here has seen this kind of stuff.  It sounds really weird to me and you need to find out what it is.  It is probably a varroa issue, but you need to get some clarification and answers.  I am sure that everyone here would be interested to hear what may be going on.  Don't be alarmed, I don't think it is that serious, no more than other missing parts of bees with varroa mite problems.  Do check it out and let us know what you find.  Have a wonderful and great day, Cindi
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