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Author Topic: Death  (Read 4347 times)
Sean Kelly
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« on: June 12, 2008, 06:48:54 PM »

My bees died.  3 of my 5 hives are completely gone.  I'm not sure whether to blame it on my neighbors sneaking over with a can of raid or this long, cold and wet weather we've been having.  They were fine two days ago and today they're gone.  In the pile there's still a few bees crawling around slowly but nothing I'm going to be able to save.  I took pictures and a video.  As soon as I get them uploaded to my computer I'll post em here.

My question now moving forward is how do I get all those half emerged bees, larve, and everything else out of those combs to get ready for next year?
And what about the moldy combs?  Just toss them?

These hives were extremely lethargic several days ago, moving very slowly.  Could it be Nosema?  CCD?  Evil Neighbor?  I did the rope test for AFB and it looks negative.  I'm lost.  Help?

Sean Kelly

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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2008, 07:07:43 PM »

Sean:  I'm sorry about your loss. You put a lot of time into your girls and I can't imagine the disappointment you must of felt finding them like that.  I hope everything works out fine for the other hives.  I'm sure some of the expereinced beekeepers can give you some help. Sorry.   embarassed

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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2008, 07:39:54 PM »

My bees died.  3 of my 5 hives are completely gone.  I'm not sure whether to blame it on my neighbors sneaking over with a can of raid or this long, cold and wet weather we've been having.  They were fine two days ago and today they're gone.  In the pile there's still a few bees crawling around slowly but nothing I'm going to be able to save.  I took pictures and a video.  As soon as I get them uploaded to my computer I'll post em here.

My question now moving forward is how do I get all those half emerged bees, larve, and everything else out of those combs to get ready for next year?
And what about the moldy combs?  Just toss them?

These hives were extremely lethargic several days ago, moving very slowly.  Could it be Nosema?  CCD?  Evil Neighbor?  I did the rope test for AFB and it looks negative.  I'm lost.  Help?

Sean Kelly



Sean,

So sorry for the loss, these things happen to the best of us. Please contact your extension agent, collect samples of dead bees from the hives and freeze them till you know where to send them for analysis, I think it's best to know what had happened.

BeeHopper
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bassman1977
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2008, 07:43:42 PM »

That sucks.  Sorry to hear that.

Quote
I think it's best to know what had happened.

I second that.

Quote
My question now moving forward is how do I get all those half emerged bees, larve, and everything else out of those combs to get ready for next year?

You can freeze them and next year's bees will clean them all out.

Quote
And what about the moldy combs?  Just toss them?

No.  The bees can clean those up too.  You still have hives.  Give them everything to clean up now.
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2008, 09:05:54 PM »

Did they have enough stores or did they starve?  Is the inside of the hive wet, need more ventilation?  Have you looked for mites? 
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« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2008, 12:40:48 AM »

Sean, I'm so sorry. Cry  The same thing happened to mine, I ALMOST lost the hives. It was so wet & cold for so long some starved, then the dead ones piled up on the bottom & the live ones couldn't get out to forage so they starved..more dead piles. Brian had devestating losses, Cindi almost did. Kathy maybe?? I thought that mine had been poisioned too @ first so go in & see if they have any stores.  It's the weather & delayed blooming of things.  I quit feeding before Memorial day & didn't check em till last week.  They had so much brood & were using food as it came in so didn't have extra. Now I'm feeding & they're eating, coming & going & tomorrow will check to see if there are any eggs, brood etc..if not I may have to order queens.  They are still bringing out the dead though, that's interesting to watch cause of equal size, how can they fly with them?Huh   Let me know if I can help you in any way.  Know you are busy w the new one coming in a couple of weeks!  We WILL require pictures!!! grin
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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2008, 12:55:58 AM »

G'day Sean,
                 When you say moldy do you mean blue -green type of mould ?
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« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2008, 02:03:26 AM »

My bees died.  3 of my 5 hives are completely gone.  I'm not sure whether to blame it on my neighbors sneaking over with a can of raid or this long, cold and wet weather we've been having.  They were fine two days ago and today they're gone.  In the pile there's still a few bees crawling around slowly but nothing I'm going to be able to save.  I took pictures and a video.  As soon as I get them uploaded to my computer I'll post em here.

If you'd read some of my recent postings you'd know what happened.  The weather around here as been so bad that I, too, lost 3 of 5 hives due to starvation.  The bees just couldn't get out to forage sufficiently to maintain the hive.  A lot of resources had been put into developing brood when the bad weather hit so the stores were depleated anyway.  Usually it is not a problem because the bees usually have warm enough weather to forage--not this year.  My bees turned to eating the eggs, then the larvae, and had turned to opening up capped pupae to cannabalize in order to survive.  I was able to save the 2 strongest hives by starting to feed.  I had a few bees left in the 3rd strongest hive but no queen, so I combined 2 & 3.  I'm still feeding because the weather hasn't changed that much yet, although we had temps in the low 60s and partly sunny today.  But 1 day isn't enough, we need a couple of weeks to recover.

Quote
My question now moving forward is how do I get all those half emerged bees, larve, and everything else out of those combs to get ready for next year?
And what about the moldy combs?  Just toss them?

Don't worry about the fully developed bees in the comb, the bees the combs are given to will clean them out.  As for the larvae and pupae, cut that out or you'll have lots of problems.  Melt it down and strain out the larvae and pupae, that's what I'm doing.


Quote
These hives were extremely lethargic several days ago, moving very slowly.  Could it be Nosema?  CCD?  Evil Neighbor?  I did the rope test for AFB and it looks negative.  I'm lost.  Help?

Sean Kelly

Lethargic bees this time of year means starvation, They are acting like they would mid-February as the hive starts to come alive after the winter.  If the weather warms the bees will become more active, but the best way to make them active is to feed them.  I put feeders on the 2 hives I salvaged and they woke up rapidly, just the smell of the syrup seemed to make a big difference.  The woke up and started chugging the syrup down big time.

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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2008, 06:20:33 AM »

Sorry about your bees, Sean.

Although Brian is probably right about the weather, you might consider sending some dead bees to the Beltsville lab. Doesn't cost anything (your tax dollars at work).

Here how to do it:
http://www.masterbeekeeper.org/B_files/diagnosis.htm
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bassman1977
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2008, 08:59:27 AM »

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As for the larvae and pupae, cut that out or you'll have lots of problems.

Why is that Brian?  I've had larvae and pupae in unused comb and after I froze it and put it back in the hive, the bees cleaned it right out.  After all, isn't this an option for mite control using drone cell?  I could understand that if you just left it unattended and let the larvae rot in the cells that there could be problems (or is that what you meant?).

Just looking for some clarification.  Thanks.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2008, 09:19:51 PM »

Quote
As for the larvae and pupae, cut that out or you'll have lots of problems.

Why is that Brian?  I've had larvae and pupae in unused comb and after I froze it and put it back in the hive, the bees cleaned it right out.  After all, isn't this an option for mite control using drone cell?  I could understand that if you just left it unattended and let the larvae rot in the cells that there could be problems (or is that what you meant?).

Just looking for some clarification.  Thanks.

If the amount of remaining worker bees is insufficient to clean out the underdeveloped brood it can rot in the cell.  From the rotting you can get EFB, AFB, and several other maladies that will further tax the bees into oblivion.  Freezing and putting larvae or pupae back into the hive is different in that the freezing arrests or kills the sources of disease.  Leaving in the hive lets those sources go wild. So yes, remove before rotting sets in is what I meant.  Fully mature bees, that die of starvation as they try to emerge can be left in the combs as they don't rot the same way as larvae and pupae do.
Another thing to remember is that in a starvation situation, where a lot of adult bees have died, there is no longer enough bees to cover the capped and developing brood so they die and begin to rot.  The bees will eat the eggs 1st, larvae, 2nd, and pupae last while in starvation mode because the hatching bees can strengthen the hive, maybe long enough to survive the starvation situation.
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« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2008, 09:36:07 PM »

Bees are dead eh Sean?  "Wrote a song 'bout it.. like to hear it, hear it go" ~>
o' death




Condolences. 

Things are nuts (in a good way) here.  Let me know if you're interested in rebuilding/buying some new hives for this season.  I might be able to work something out for ya.

Cheers,
Dane
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« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2008, 11:15:48 PM »

Sorry to hear bout your bees, hope it wasn't your neighbors. Awesome song though.
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« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2008, 09:41:18 AM »

Sean, so sorry to hear of this terrible thing.  I know, I have had starved bees before, felt bad, learned lessons.  Jody was right, I almost lost a colony to starvation, they are still bringing out the dead.  I fed all my colonies and they sucked down the baggie of sugar syrup like there was no tomorrow.  I will be feeding for at least a couple of more days.  I think that our weather may finally be breaking, we look like sunshine coming today.  The blackberry flow should be coming soon, but not here just yet.

Keep your chin up Sean, I know that is hard to do when things have gone amuck.  But keep on trying, working with the bees, slowly, but surely, you will get the numbers back up that you want.  Have a wonderful, great day, chins up.  Cindi
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« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2008, 09:51:43 AM »

Sean, sorry to hear it.  I always wonder why I never looked, even though the weight was right.  I agree with sending them in for testing and I also hope it's not from what someone else may have done.  Good luck on rebuilding.
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« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2008, 09:52:14 AM »

Sorry to hear of your losses Sean, all you can do is get back on the horse and ride again, keep your chin up.


Best of luck,


...JP
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« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2008, 10:08:15 AM »

Oh Sean,  So saddened to hear to the bees perishing. Hope you rally back to full tilt boogie soon...
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« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2008, 11:24:54 PM »

Really Sean, That IS a drag with your bees Sad
If it was me I would really be bumming. You and me started about the same time didnt we?
 At first i thought it sounded like poison.....Then after some of our friends chimed in it did sound like starvation......I just started feeding my bees ( 5 hives now) again this year...I didnt plan on it but I noticed they had eaten about all their honey stores from the winter and its the middle of June now...Theyre not getting much nectar I guess because we've been so dry here....This whole season has been pretty weird.
Anyways, maybe something good will happen for you soon!

Your friend,
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« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2008, 11:30:33 AM »

Sean, keep your chin up, saying it again, sending my thoughts to you, be happy.  Have a wonderful day, that Father's Day, you are one of the greats.  Cindi
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« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2008, 03:30:26 PM »

Sorry about your bees.  I would definately try to figure out what happened there send them off to be tested.  If in fact it leads you to suspect your neighbor then there is an easy way to fix the problem.  Get a trail cam and lock it down to a tree or post you'll eigther catch your neighbor red handed or it will stop.  Eigther way mission accompished!
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Sean Kelly
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« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2008, 11:40:18 AM »

Hey guys, thanks for all the kind comments.
I think Brian is right on with the starvation thing.  Makes total sense now.  I only found a couple frames with eggs still in them and almost no larve at all.  Still quite a bit of capped brood.  But almost every frame has dead bees with their heads stuck in cells, like they died looking for one more drop of food.  Quite sad actually.

Moving forward:

I don't have a freezer big enough to put 60 deep frames.  Should I just stack one hive body on top of the two remaining hives to let them clean it out?  I got most of the bees out of the frames but there are still a lot stuck in the cells.  Lots of capped brood still left too.  Should I just start popping all the dead out with my uncapping fork?

Dane:  Yes, I might be interested in starting over here soon.  Let me know what we can work out.

I've got those pics and video ready.  I'll submit them in my next post.

Still really bummed out,
Sean Kelly
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« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2008, 11:45:34 AM »

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I don't have a freezer big enough to put 60 deep frames.  Should I just stack one hive body on top of the two remaining hives to let them clean it out?

This is my problem too and yes, I just do a couple at a time.  24 hours is long enough.
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Sean Kelly
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« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2008, 12:09:38 PM »

This is my problem too and yes, I just do a couple at a time.  24 hours is long enough.

A couple frames or a couple hive bodies?

Sean Kelly

p.s. uploading video to youtube now.  I'll skip on posting pic's since the video says it all.  I'll post the link here soon...
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« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2008, 12:54:44 PM »

Here's the video I made on YouTube of my dead bees


Sean Kelly
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« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2008, 02:10:58 PM »

Sean - i watched the video and feel your pain.  i see you are a ham, my call is WM3O - if you have HF we can setup a sked.

-Steve
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« Reply #25 on: June 16, 2008, 02:35:26 PM »

Bummer!  I watched your video.  It does seem strange that two of your hives are doing well while the other three are dead as a hammer.  They obviously died quickly.  I tend to think they have been sprayed.  The two together could have been sprayed and the split could have caught some of the drift.  Are there any dead bees at all at your two remaining hives?  Also if you think the dead hives have been sprayed it would be a good idea to remove them and not let the two remaining hives rob them.
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« Reply #26 on: June 16, 2008, 03:04:17 PM »

Sean I watched your video.  I almost lost mine too.  Tons & tons of dead ones.  I'm putting a top entrance in mine, for now just propping w granite chunk.  In mine, the dead piles of bees totally covered the bottom so none of the foragers could go out or in.  I think that might have happened to you too. Made the problem worse. When it was warm/dry enough to forage they were stuck eating in.   Aren't the 2 that you have left the ones that had tons of honey in the supers?  If you look at their little bodies, most have their little tongues out...I was lucky to have found it in time, 1 more day & mine would be like yours.  Could you have put the capped larva that looked healthy in the good hives to see if they would hatch? I don't know if you can do that or if they would have gotten too chilled.  Let me know if I can help. 4 MORE DAYS???!!! grin  Jody
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« Reply #27 on: June 16, 2008, 04:25:53 PM »

Sorry, obviously I did not read the posts thoroughly enough.  It amazes me to see the different weather patterns in your area.  It's the middle of June , for heaven's sake!  I hope you get better foraging weather soon.
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« Reply #28 on: June 16, 2008, 10:33:38 PM »

I am so so sorry for your loss. I watched the video... I say test your bees to make sure they were not sprayed.

So sad, keep your chin up and try again! I WOULD.

-Rodni
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« Reply #29 on: June 17, 2008, 01:02:13 AM »

Sean I watched your video.  I almost lost mine too.  Tons & tons of dead ones.  I'm putting a top entrance in mine, for now just propping w granite chunk.  In mine, the dead piles of bees totally covered the bottom so none of the foragers could go out or in.  I think that might have happened to you too. Made the problem worse. When it was warm/dry enough to forage they were stuck eating in.   Aren't the 2 that you have left the ones that had tons of honey in the supers?  If you look at their little bodies, most have their little tongues out...I was lucky to have found it in time, 1 more day & mine would be like yours.  Could you have put the capped larva that looked healthy in the good hives to see if they would hatch? I don't know if you can do that or if they would have gotten too chilled.  Let me know if I can help. 4 MORE DAYS???!!! grin  Jody

Poka-bee is correct, the two hives that survived did so because they had sufficient stores, enough for winter.  One must realize that raising brood depletes honey stores very rapidly.  In my case, and Sean's case too, the fact that the bees were laying and increasing the hive population when the bad weather set in meant that the honey given to the brood was wasted as the bees would end up eating that eggs and larvae after their own stores ran short or out. 

It only takes a few days for the bees to go through all their honey when that honey is being used to feed brood and only the top portion of the brood frames and the 2 end frames have stores this time of year.  They hadn't built up enough to begin working on winter stores so what stores they had were limited.  What you saw is the same thing I had and once the bees can no longer cover the capped brood it quickly dies and begins rotting in the cells.  So either freeze the combs or cut out the brood areas.
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« Reply #30 on: June 17, 2008, 01:13:36 AM »

Thanks again everyone.

Went out there today to do some clean up and feel even more like they died of starvation.
Jody, yes the ones that survived did have honey supers loaded from that early suprise flow.

I picked through all the frames and took out the empty ones and put them all in 2 hive bodies.  The rest of the frames were still jammed with brood and bees stuck in cells head first.  It's really sad to see them dead with their little butts sticking out, like it was their last ditch effort to get something to eat and died in the process.

I put those two hive bodies on top of my existing hives to let them do some clean-up.  The other three are pretty nasty with mold and rotten larve.  I tried to pluck the larve out with my capping scratcher, but they just turned into liquid.  Did the ropiness test again just to make sure and it looked okay.  It's pretty stinky now too and I'm really afraid of putting these frames on the good hives.  How will the bees clean out rotten liquified brood without getting sick?  I tried to cut out the areas with rotten brood and just gave up because it was just making a huge mess.  I have to have to waste all that drawn foundation, but I'm afraid I might have to just throw them out.

It's really depressing, I've really grown attached to these little bugs.  Maybe I'm loosing my marbles, but I can swear I can see each colonie's personality and they've become more than just a crop... they're my pets and part of the family!  I mean, show me a dog or cat that can make me something to eat!!!  lol

Hopefully I can get some more swarm calls soon.  Maybe I'll head down to the fire department and give them my number.

Down in the dumps,

Sean Kelly
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« Reply #31 on: June 17, 2008, 08:17:04 AM »

Sean,

you said it - i too have become attached to my bees and their health is always floating around in the back of my mind.  i was out of town for 2 weekends in a row in mid May and the hive swarmed.  i tried to prevent it by adding a second deep hive body, but they could not draw out the comb fast enough - the nectar was really flowing and the queen was filling frames with brood almost as fast as they could build it.  i was very nervous while waiting to see if a new queen would emerge and then start laying eggs.  i tossed and turned a few nights over that - should i let nature do it's thing or order a replacement queen.  a new queen emerged and she is doing a great job - excellent pattern and high output.

-Steve
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Cindi
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Location: Grindrod, B.C. Canada


« Reply #32 on: June 17, 2008, 10:05:23 AM »

Sean, nice video.  Keep that chin up, dude!!!  Yep, I agree, ya get pretty attached to all these girls, now don't ya, I feel the same way.  I almost lost a colony a couple of days, ago, very close, a lot of dead bees, but I super fed them and hopefully they will be just set back, all the rest seem OK, they are all well fed now.  Eeeks!!!  What a crappy summer so far coming on.  We had a few days of that sun, and now the rain was back last night, oh brother.....have that wonderful and most awesome day, keepin' on keepin' on.  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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