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Author Topic: A puzzle??? What's going on with this hive?  (Read 1122 times)
David Stokely
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« on: August 03, 2010, 01:47:12 AM »

I caught a swarm a few weeks ago, and have them housed in a deep with drawn comb and a shallow with several frames of capped honey.

These bees do nothing.  There are a good number of bees in the box.  There is some small amount of brood.  I've seen the queen.  She's a large, very yellow girl.  I have a quart jar of 1:1 syrup with holes punched in the lid, right in the box.

They do not take the syrup.  The jar goes days with no drop in the level of syrup.  You watch the front of the hive and you would swear it was an empty box.  You literally might see 1 bee per minute entering or exiting.

I don't know if they are sick.  I don't see any signs of spotting the outside of the hive as with nosema.  I do see a few bees with DWV, not a large percentage, but you can see an occasional bee with chewed up looking wings.

This hive is at my Dad's house in his garden.  He's never had a bee hive before and I was excited to put one at his house.  He is concerned about them and asking me why they are so quiet and I don't know what to tell him.

We are in a dearth here.  The fall flowers haven't kicked in, but why aren't they taking syrup?Huh

I'd surely appreciate suggestions.

Dave
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irerob
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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2010, 07:26:48 AM »

   If your in a dearth unless they have a lot of honey they should be taking syrup. If there not I would think they are stressed 4 some reason. I would start looking very close 4 mites SHB, wax moth etc.
  there are other people here with much more experience than I. I'm sure they will chime in shortly.
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2010, 08:13:14 AM »

Are there eggs and larvae?  Swarms are rich in younger bees including many nurse bees.  If they are not flying and they are not taking syrup then they must be eating honey.  I'm guessing that the dearth has the hive focusing on raising brood.

Do your other hives in the area show similar behavior or it this unique?
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"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh
David Stokely
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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2010, 08:27:14 AM »

I don't have any other hives within 5 miles of this location.  They are in a residential neighborhood, not far from city center of a small town of about 50,000 population.  There are 2 large cemeteries within a 1/2 mile, with lots of grass/clover/ornamental trees/shurbs and plantings, etc.  So I would think there would be forage.  There no wax moths or SHB in evidence.  I'm thinking of taking away their capped honey.  Maybe if they don't have stores, it will motivate them to do something.  There are a couple of frames with small patterns of brood.  Last inspection, I didn't notice any eggs, but a smattering of uncapped and capped brood.  I'm very puzzled and worried about losing them.
 
Sad
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2010, 05:50:39 PM »

There are 2 large cemeteries within a 1/2 mile, with lots of grass/clover/ornamental trees/shurbs and plantings, etc.  So I would think there would be forage.
Ah, there's your problem.  It's those plastic flowers at the cemetery.  Pretty low on nectar.   grin   Yeah, I must say this is a strange situation.  How many bees were in the swarm?  They should be flying in and out and taking syrup.  Very strange.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2010, 10:22:57 PM by FRAMEshift » Logged

"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh
David Stokely
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« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2010, 08:40:54 PM »

LOL. . .I like that.

The swarm was a strange pickup.  They were on a tree branch in a friends yard, where 2 of my hives are.  We cut the branch and put it in the box.  Came back 2 hours later no bees in the box, but lots of bees in the air.  Came back 2 hours after that, no bees in the box, no bees in the air.  Was taking the box down, going to take it back home and noticed lots of bees below the screened bottom board.  I had seen maybe 50 bees on the blacktop of the driveway by the base.  I thought maybe some honey had spilled on the driveway and they were getting that, but no. . .the base was completely full of bees.  There was no more room for any more bees in the base.  I only have one base like it.  The front is angled for a landing board.  There is probably 3 inches between the ground and the screen.  This entire area was chock full of bees.

Here's a link to FaceBook pictures of the swarm:
My FB album

There are 3 pictures.  You can click 'next' twice and see me in my bee veil, etc.

So I don't know what's going on.  I'm going on vacation next week.  I guess I'll just let them alone and see what happens, but I don't have a good feel about it. . .

Thanks for responding.
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David Stokely
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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2010, 11:32:20 PM »

I guess it was a bunch of worry about nothin. . .

I checked this swarm hive tonight and now they seem to be doing very very well.  I found loads of brood, at least 5 frames were very full of brood.  There was a nice little ball in front of the landing board, of a couple of dozen newbees taking orientation flights.  There was a good bit of stored nectar in the frames.  They had finally drained the syrup jar.  This was a first in a couple of weeks of giving them syrup . . and far from being so quiet and disturbingly docile as they had been, I actually got stung on the hand as I was putting the hive back together, which I took to be a good sign. . .lol. . .only a beekeeper would understand happiness at getting stung. . .

Thanks for the comments. . .

 Smiley  Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley



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AllenF
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« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2010, 05:58:22 PM »

Did you make the syrup with any Fumidil B in it?
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kathyp
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« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2010, 06:07:14 PM »

nice size swarm.  just got to look at the pics.

figure that if you gave them honey, they probably preferred that to the syrup.  it also takes a few days for them to figure out what has happened to them, although you usually see orientation flight very soon after hiving them.  what you see may depend on the time of day that you look.  orientation flights usually are in the afternoon.  they had food, so maybe they were not in a hot hurry to get out and find more.

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David Stokely
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« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2010, 07:42:59 PM »

No I did not put any Fumigillin (sp??) in the syrup.  I didn't see any signs of loose bowels on the side of the hive, etc.

I caught this swarm almost a month ago.  Actually it was July 4th weekend and for the first 3 1/2 weeks, I can't explain to you how quiet they were.  You would have had trouble thinking there were any bees at all in the box to look at the landing board activity, but they are coming on like gang busters now. . .

Thanks for your comments.

Dave
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