Need Bees Removed?
International
Beekeeping Forums
July 25, 2014, 12:59:33 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: ATTENTION ALL NEW MEMBERS
PLEASE READ THIS OR YOUR ACCOUNT MAY BE DELETED - CLICK HERE
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar bee removal Login Register Chat  

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Should I be Concerned?  (Read 2348 times)
Kris^
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 560


Location: Williamstown, NJ


« on: October 14, 2004, 11:03:01 PM »

Dunno if I have a problem.

After my last cry for help, the bees went back into the hive.  Last Saturday night they spent the night out again, and have soent more nights outside since.  They've been taking a quart of syrup a day (equivalent to two pounds of sugar), even as the daytime temperatures have temporarily dipped to the low 60s and the nightime temperatures into the 30s, with frost twice now.  During this time I'v seen plenty of dead bees being brought out, along with larvae/pupae.  The dead bees seemed to be the plenty of the ones I earlier saw working inside the hive deformed by varroa, with withered wings and small abdomens.  I've seen lots of dead varroa being dragged out, too, although the numbers of both dead bees and varroa being brought out has diminished lately.  

When I went into the hive Monday to inspect, I found the upper deep virtually abandoned.  Well, there were some bees there, but definitely not well populated.  There was no honey in the comb in the upper box, but the comb wasn't completely dry, either.  However, the lower box was practically all full of honey, with just a little bit of capped brood left.  The queen was there, but no longer laying.  About half the menthol was evaporated, so I moved it toward the back of the box.  The population is noticeably decreased, maybe half of what it was just a few weeks ago.

Should I be concerned about the seemingly dramatic drop in population, and the lack of honey in the upper deep?  Can I expect the upper deep to fill as the weather moderates in the next few weeks and they are able to keep taking syrup -- hopefully into November?  And if winter sets it early, can their food supply be supplemented with fondant and if so, when should it be put into the hive?  If there is no honey in the upper deep, should the deep be removed?

As a first year keeper, I don't know what is normal and what isn't.  The bees still fly like crazy when the sun shines, but that's getting less and less, it seems.  Any insight would be appreciated.

-- Kris
Logged
golfpsycho
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 244

Location: salt lake city


« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2004, 02:04:08 PM »

It's late in the season to be making box manipulations, but it looks like trouble ahead to me.  They will move up during the winter into an mty box.  Fondant or candy are more a short term fix or stop gap measure, but I would put some on so it's there if they need it.  Are you, or have you done any treatments for the mites?  Other than the tracheal mites?  

If I were you, on the next warm day, I would probably reverse the boxes,  and build a sugar board like the one ROBO describes on his site.  And I would feed syrup as fast as they will take it through a top feeder instead of a boardman or entrance feeder.  They can really pack it away if they are strong enough and have the comb available.  Hard winters are a new side of beekeeping for me as well, and an mty box on top would have me plenty worried,  as would the viral situation that the mites may have brought you, since you are seeing the deformed wing and abdomen problem.  I'm not sure declining population is just the normal winding down of your colony, or if they have began to collapse from the mites.  We have had a little frost here, but I'm not seeing anywhere near the decline in population I thought I would.   Lots of pollen still coming in, and more glue than I have ever seen before.
Logged
Robo
Technical
Administrator
Galactic Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6391


Location: Scenic Catskill Mountains - NY

Beekeep On!


WWW
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2004, 06:35:59 PM »

Kris,

The shriveled wings and deformities are not caused directly by the varroa.  It is called deformed wing virus (DWV), and as a hive becomes stress by varroa, it becomes more susceptible. The virus only effects larvae, and it is believed that the only way to stop it is to remove all the brood from the hive.  It sounds like your queen has stopped laying, so what remaining brood is left will soon be hatching. Hopefully you still have enough healthy bees to make it through the winter.  If you are going to keep feeding syrup, make sure you treat with fumagillan. Chances are they will not have sufficient time to reduce the moisture content completely.  If the hive has to much moisture they will become stressed and susceptible to nosema and/or dysentery.

I am still a strong believer that most hives that don't make it thru the winter are not killed by the weather, but have been stressed by either mites or disease.  If you were not so diligent in your observations, you would believe your hive is strong and healthy heading into winter. A lot of folks believe just because they got a good honey crop that the bees are healthy. A hives health can deminish rather quickly, and unfortunately a lot of hives enter the winter with the odds against them.

Good luck, and I hope things work out for you
Logged

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


Anonymous
Guest
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2004, 08:40:29 PM »

kris

   you just recently switched hive bodies so the top box is as it should be.  the bees are clustered more around the brood so are mostly in the bottom box.  you have necessary medications in place already (including fumidil). only thing you should do now is just keep feeding 2-1. they'll be putting it in the top box now if the bottom is full and when they move up over the course of the winter they will have food within the cluster.
Logged
Kris^
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 560


Location: Williamstown, NJ


« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2004, 11:01:54 PM »

Yes, I did medicate extensively, including for varroa, and fumadil, too.  The bees are still collecting lots of pollen, besides taking the syrup.  Pollen goes upstairs.  Besides the entrance feeder, I places a quart-jar feeder above the inner hive, but they've only been nibbling that.  

I tried baiting the empty comb by spraying some syrup onto it and into the cells.

The lower deep weighed 65 lbs. today, and it's full of honey.  Lots of bees there, too.  The upper deep is 25 lbs.  

The weather is supposed to be back into the mid 70s this coming week, so I hope they'll start taking the the syrup at a greater rate again and start filling the upper box.  Nevertheless, I have the materials and have downloaded Robo's plans for the sugar board.  Hopefully, I can increase their odds of getting through winter.  Kinda depressing, though.  

-- Kris
Logged
golfpsycho
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 244

Location: salt lake city


« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2004, 11:57:31 PM »

Sounds like your colony may not be in as bad shape as your original post seemed to indicate.  You can still get some syrup in there, and you have treated for the mites.  I would still be concerned about the virii present that caused the deformities.  And also about keeping the syrup going to fill them up before they go to cluster for winter.
Logged
Kris^
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 560


Location: Williamstown, NJ


« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2004, 12:15:57 AM »

Quote from: golfpsycho
I would still be concerned about the virii present that caused the deformities.  And also about keeping the syrup going to fill them up before they go to cluster for winter.


Availability of syrup is no problem, I can make plenty!  Is there treatment for the virus, or is it the sort of thing that the bees end up fending off themselves when the other stressors go away?

-- Kris
Logged
Anonymous
Guest
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2004, 09:22:31 PM »

The only treatment I have read about for the DWV was to remove the infected comb and replace it.  We don't have that much disease information posted, but you may be able to find alot more on beesource if you do a search.

http://www.beesource.com
 
The thing about the mites and the virii they carry, is that you are fooled.  Everything looks fine.  Then in spring, you find a dead colony with lots of stores.  Some people then assume the winter killed them.  But I agree with Robo.  Cold doesn't kill a healthy colony.  Starvation or disease does.
Logged
Kris^
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 560


Location: Williamstown, NJ


« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2004, 10:54:11 PM »

AN UPDATE:

Well, I don't feel so concerned about my colony's condition now.  It's been about two weeks and a half weeks since I since I became alarmed at what I was seeing in and around the hive.  With all your input and some other research, I may have averted a disappoiting outcome for my girls this winter.

The colony continues to take syrup, more slowly now than before, but I've managed to get 37 pounds of sugar (nearly 5 gallons of 2:1 syrup) consumed since October 1st.  I haven't gone into the hive since two weeks ago, so I don't exactly know where they are putting it, but there really isn't any place it could be going but in the upper brood box.  Unless, of course, they surprise me.

Just as important, I haven't seen any more bees or larvae being dragged out or laying dead around the entrance.  Except for a few forlorn drones.  And no dead varroa being dragged out, either.  All the bees I've seen look young and healthy.

Yesterday was a gorgeous day, with temperatures in the 70s and sunny.  The bees were flying like crazy; they were bringing back oodles of pollen, and I presume, nectar.  (Is it right to assume that others are also gathering nectar when pollen is being collected?)  I took a few counts (as it says in the dummies book) and averaged it out to about 45,000 bees in the colony.  The vast majority looked young, furry -- and all were completely normal, active and healthy-looking.  And those were the foragers.

I certainly feel that I've made some good progress toward getting the colony healthier, with enough younger bees (still doing hive duty) sufficient to get through the winter, all other things being equal.  The thing about "being equal" I'm NOT certain of is the winter stores.  If the weather holds for me, I can maybe get maybe another six to ten pounds of sugar in there before Thanksgiving.  I do not want to disturb them in their hive activities, so I don't plan to go in their until mid-month, when the Apistan and menthol is due to come out.  Then I'll get to see whether they have placed enough stores in the upper box to hopefully not starve before spring.  I built a sugar board according to ROBO's instructions, and plan to fill it and place it atop the hive before placing styrofoam on top (and on the north side) and black roofing paper around the boxes.

So, I have a question.  If I get into the hive on an appropriate day within the next two or three weeks and find only a few frames with substantial honey in the upper hive body, would it be too risky to remove a few full frames from the outer edges of the lower box and relocate them in the upper box above where the highest concentration of bees is located?  (Is this where the winter ball is most likely to form?)  It seems to me that by placing full comb above them, this would ensure that their natural movement upward through the winter will lead them to more concentrated supplies of honey rather than some incomplete frames, and maybe even act as a bridge of sorts between the lower box and the sugar board.  Or would moving their furniture around be too chancy?

-- Kris
Logged
Anonymous
Guest
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2004, 12:46:43 PM »

The 37 pounds of sugar that you fed them should yield approximately 46 pounds of stored honey (assuming they stored all that you fed them) for the winter. If your bees have been able to gather outside nectar during this time they should have been able to store most of what you gave to them.
The winter cluster typically forms in the center of the lower hive body at the beginning of cold weather. As the bees consume the stores that they have enveloped they will move to other stores near them on a warm day. It has been my experience that they will consume most if not all of the stores in the lower hive body before they will move up into the upper box. Very little, if any, honey will be left in the lower hive body when they move up into the top.
It has also been my experience that once the bees have the bottom hive body pretty well full they will start to store any incoming material in the frames in the center of the upper box. Therefore they should have been storing all the sugar that you fed them directly above where the cluster will be forming.
Personally, I tend not to try to manipulate the colony layout this late in the year. I'm of the belief that since the bees have been preparing for winter for the last couple of million years without my help, I figure they probably know better than me how to do it right.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Beemaster's Beekeeping Ring
Previous | Home | Join | Random | Next
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines | Sitemap Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.484 seconds with 22 queries.

Google visited last this page July 05, 2014, 10:36:21 AM