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Author Topic: Bees in front of the hive, can't fly.  (Read 1969 times)
LEAD PIPE
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« on: June 29, 2005, 12:48:09 AM »

I went to watch the hive today. There were about 100 bees were doing orientation flights plus the normal worker bee traffic. I saw some activity in front of the hive and saw about 15 bees walking around. I have seen this before, bees would miss the entrance and rest for a minute before hopping up into the hive. This was different, I watched them for about 10 minutes and these bees were unable to fly. They walked around and tried to climb up on something tall and take off but they would get a couple of inches and fall. What’s going on?

You can see a few of them on the board in front of the hive.
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Finsky
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« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2005, 01:01:47 AM »

I have had this kind of hives. When young bees come out to make cleansing flight at afternoon, some cannot fly. If other hives are totally normal, the reason of disabled bees may be in genes. So it is better change the queen.

Once I had a hive, where about 20% of bees cannot fly. So hive cannot collect honey because it's waste is too great. During that time I have in my stock many this kind of cases. Now I have got rid of it, almost.
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LEAD PIPE
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« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2005, 08:26:08 AM »

I only have the 1 hive so I can't really compare. I don't think it’s the queen because most of the bees in the hive are now her offspring and this is the first time this happened. I guess it could be a gene problem if she started laying with sperm from a different drone. I was thinking pesticides but I don't know what to look for.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2005, 10:24:47 AM »

Your picture doesn't show up for me.

With pesticides you usually find piles of thousands of dead bees in front of the hive and on the bottom board.

If you're only talking about a few bees I don't get too excited about a few bees.  If you're talking about a lot of bees that can't fly, you have a problem.  Look closely.  Are they "K" winged?  This is where there wings make the letter "K" instead of being together when they are not trying to fly.  This would be an indication of tracheal mites.  Are they deformed wings?  This would be an indication of serious Varroa problems.  Are they frayed wings?  This would indicate that they are just older bees that have worn out.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
LEAD PIPE
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« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2005, 04:03:47 PM »

Michael, here is a link to the photo




http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v684/LEADPIPE/DSCN0066.jpg


Ita about 15 bees. I havent looked closely at them, I will if it happens again.

Thanks
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FordGuy
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« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2005, 10:36:13 PM »

I am probably the worst person to try to answer since I am just learning, but could it be tracheal mites?  would be worth treating them with menthol to save the hive.  what do the more experienced folks think about this?
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Robo
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« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2005, 08:47:30 AM »

Personally,  I don't see anything abnormal in the picture.  Perhaps they are just older bees on their way out.  Bees tend to exit the hive to die if they can.  I personally don't see 15 bees as an epidemic that I would risk treating the rest of the hive with chemicals out of speculation.  I would continue to observe and see if it gets worse and  can determine the root cause.
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Finsky
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« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2005, 10:37:25 AM »

Quote from: LEAD PIPE

Ita about 15 bees. I havent looked closely at them, I will if it happens again.


Quite usual if you have 15 young bees in front of hive at afternoon and they cannot fly. In my case I had had hundreds.

Reason is difficult to find out.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2005, 11:15:47 AM »

I still can't view the picture because it's too large.  My employer blocks pictures if they are too large.  Sorry.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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