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Author Topic: Dead Bees and Larvae  (Read 2998 times)
dp
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« on: June 08, 2010, 11:19:59 AM »

I built a screened bottom board and changed it out on a weak hive.  7 days later, I inspected the hive and found lots of dead bees and dead larvae.  See pictures.  Any ideas? 

On one of my frames, there is a lot of sealed brood, but no bees are attending to them.  Is this a sign that they are dead, or is this normal?

Still having trouble with imageShack!!!!

http://img268.imageshack.us/img268/6208/p6050057.jpg
http://img576.imageshack.us/img576/3135/p6050055.jpg
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2010, 11:32:57 AM »

what's your mite count like?
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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.....

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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2010, 11:41:00 AM »

Looks like the vast majority of the dead are pupae, some within a few days of hatching.  If you look at the capped brood photo, you can see holes in caps and one place where the cap has been removed to reveal a dead pupae.  I would guess that many of them on that frame are dead.  Not so sure about why.

Are the other frames well tended?  If so, where was this frame located?  Was it close to the outside?  Did you remove it and set it outside the hive while you were working?  Looks like the temps in your area would have been in the 50s to low 60s.  Perhaps these brood were killed by a sudden change in temperature.  Just a theory.

On the other hand, have you seen many dead adult bees?  Are there enough bees to care for the brood?
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The bees would be no help; they would tumble over each other like golden babies and thrum wordlessly on the subjects of queens and sex and pollen-gluey feet. -Palimpsest
riverrat
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« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2010, 12:47:47 PM »

Im going out on a limb here but it may be pestiside poisoning killing the larva and bees
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dp
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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2010, 01:24:15 PM »

Don't know mite count.  I'm wondering if they are starving as per KathyP recommended, I've started feeding since the population has dropped dramatically in this hive.

This frame was pulled from a bottom deep near the outside and there were no bees on it.  I scraped the top off of one cell to look inside, and I think they may be all dead too.  Other frames had some new larvae and some capped brood, but nowhere near this full.

Yesterday was in the 70's, and hive #1 was very active, while this hive had maybe ~20 bees per minute coming and going.  I'm worried I'm going to lose them all. 
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lotsobees
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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2010, 01:29:06 PM »

How many solid frames of bees do you have now?
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kathyp
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« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2010, 01:32:43 PM »

i don't think that's from starvation.  you'd see adult bees head into the cells.  

i was thinking something like Parasitic Mite Syndrome.  it doesn't look like chalkbrood, which can be common in our area.  it doesn't look like EFB or AFB.  

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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
lotsobees
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« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2010, 01:37:02 PM »

i don't think that's from starvation.  you'd see adult bees head into the cells.  

i was thinking something like Parasitic Mite Syndrome.  it doesn't look like chalkbrood, which can be common in our area.  it doesn't look like EFB or AFB.  

Without more info, I'd agree with Kathy. Looks to me like the hive had some kind of issue (trach mites, etc) which lowered population count quickly and to the point they couldn't cover all the brood.
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dp
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« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2010, 01:58:52 PM »

Out of two 10 frame deeps, I've probably got about 7 frames of bees.  Any suggestions on what I can do to stop this?  I'd hate to have them die off if there is something I can do to stop it.  I guess I need to know what it is that is killing them before I can stop it.

Pesticides is not the problem.
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iddee
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« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2010, 03:15:05 PM »

My vote goes with Riverrat. Pesticides...

Too much too fast to be anything else.

No science here, just my opinion.

You may not use pesticides, but the bees go 2 mile or more. That may be why only one hive is affected. The other hive didn't forage in that direction.
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dp
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« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2010, 04:46:30 PM »

I understand the pesticides thing better now.  I thought you meant something I exposed them to near the hive.

What would you do....see if they recover, treat for trach mites, or if it is a pesticide, is it going to wipe them out over time?

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iddee
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« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2010, 04:51:46 PM »

All you can do is wait and see. You could give them a grease patty for trach mites, but most bees are resistant the them now, so If I had a hive that wasn't, I would requeen or let them go.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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riverrat
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« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2010, 05:31:38 PM »

if it is a pesticide kill there is not a whole lot you can do at this point. usually pesticides will kill bees if they work the flowers the day they spray. if you have 7 frames of bees i would say you have a good chance of them recovering. you might not get a crop off them this year. I would check them again to see if the number of dead bees is going up or has leveled out also check the hive to see if you have new eggs and larva.  If it was tracheal mites i believe you would see bees out in front of the hive wondering around like they are lost and not all there. or so I have been told
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kathyp
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« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2010, 05:32:28 PM »

??:   would a pesticide cause capped, almost mature, bees to die?  i can see it a the larval stage and adult stage, but how would it get to the capped brood?
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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
caticind
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« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2010, 05:43:19 PM »

??:   would a pesticide cause capped, almost mature, bees to die?  i can see it a the larval stage and adult stage, but how would it get to the capped brood?

I am questioning this as well.  I also don't think that it is chilling, having heard more info.  I'm pretty sure capped brood will survive to emergence without bee cover, provided the temperature doesn't drop below 50 or so.  And according to DP, sounds like that hasn't happened.

Pesticides make sense to explain why DP has 7 frames worth of house bees and very little forager activity - the whole foraging force may have been killed by pesticides.  But why the dead capped brood??
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The bees would be no help; they would tumble over each other like golden babies and thrum wordlessly on the subjects of queens and sex and pollen-gluey feet. -Palimpsest
riverrat
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« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2010, 06:10:15 PM »

looking at the picture of the capped brood we are not for sure how much is actually dead we know some is by the pierced cappings some of the brood may have been poisoned weakening them at the capping stage
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never take the top off a hive on a day that you wouldn't want the roof taken off your house
caticind
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« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2010, 06:15:15 PM »

True, but most of the dead shown on the SBB are just a couple of days from emergence - they've already developed full pigmentation - while a few are younger.  If the larvae were being poisoned pre-capping, wouldn't they die sooner?

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The bees would be no help; they would tumble over each other like golden babies and thrum wordlessly on the subjects of queens and sex and pollen-gluey feet. -Palimpsest
riverrat
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« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2010, 06:56:02 PM »

True, but most of the dead shown on the SBB are just a couple of days from emergence - they've already developed full pigmentation - while a few are younger.  If the larvae were being poisoned pre-capping, wouldn't they die sooner?



good question im wondering if the amount of pesticide is not lethal in a lower dosage where it takes a little longer for it to kill off the larva
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hardwood
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« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2010, 07:40:55 PM »

dp,
I agree that this sounds like a poisoning problem. Whatever the cause is may or may not soon become apparent, however, you have to now focus on restoring the colony. Is it queen right? Brood, even capped brood still need to be tended to. A reduction in nurse bees from whatever loss translates to a reduction in brood rearing capabilities. I would consolidate the bees into a smaller hive...they'll do best if they are crowded. 7 frames (maybe) of bees? Do you think you can squeeze them into a 5 frame nuc? Do you have any 8 frame wooden ware? At the least I would bring them down to one deep 10 frame and reduce the entrance.

It's a bummer, but also a chance for a great learning experience!   2cents (as always)

Scott
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riverrat
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« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2010, 07:45:00 PM »

hardwood  that 2 cents worth of advise you can take to the bank and cash in i meant to mention that reducing the hive down until they build up would help you da man
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never take the top off a hive on a day that you wouldn't want the roof taken off your house
dp
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« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2010, 07:46:38 PM »

I'm glad you said that.  When I inspected them on Saturday, I noticed that there was about 3/4 of a deep worth of bees.  I think I'll crunch them into one deep and see how they do.  I did reduce the entrance to keep robbing down.  I'll keep you posted and thanks for all of the insight.  

I know it's a learning experience, but I'd rather just read about some other person's problems Smiley
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riverrat
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« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2010, 11:56:11 PM »



I know it's a learning experience, but I'd rather just read about some other person's problems Smiley

Yea thats why we all hang out here so we can look at the post and think man at least someone has it worse than me. grin
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never take the top off a hive on a day that you wouldn't want the roof taken off your house
dp
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« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2010, 10:36:23 AM »

I worked this hive again this weekend, and reduced it to one deep.  Things seem to have stabilized.  Not sure if it is my feeding that helped, a flow that is occurring, or just they worked things out on their own.  No dead bees in the bottom this time, and seems to have quite a bit of larvae, so I'm holding out hope that they will really kick it in gear now. 

I guess when they get the bottom deep about 70-80% full, I should add the 2nd deep on again?

I'll keep you all posted on this in the future.  Thanks for all of the good info.
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dp
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« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2010, 11:49:57 AM »

Inspected the hive again this weekend.  No dead bees again.  Some pollen and quite a bit of honey stores.  Have quite a bit of brood in various stages.  Bee population is pretty low though.  There is probably only 3-4 frames of bees.  I have reduced this hive down to a single deep and put an entrance reducer on.  I found a capped queen cell too?Huh?

Is this hive going to swarm?  Should I do a split with my other hive which is very strong?  I'm wondering about pulling the queen out of this hive, a frame of brood out of my strong hive and a couple of frames of bees from the strong hive as well?

I'm worried that this hive is so small, and it's going to swarm.    Help!
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