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Author Topic: White Bees!?!  (Read 2789 times)

Offline CapnChkn

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White Bees!?!
« on: July 27, 2011, 03:46:02 AM »
I was passing by my hives on Friday, and saw what looked like a marked queen.  Hmmm.  Wrong hive, and she would have been outside.  I figured it was reflection until I saw another.  Well, this is weird...

They came in on one hive at first, then finally all my hives were coming in with this stuff all over them.  Not a one came in with white pollen in the baskets, orange and brown, yes.  It's definitely a powder, some of the bees came in with just a stripe in between the wings.  I was worried it might be pesticide, but I have no piles of dead around.  I didn't see any white bees going out.

Anybody have any idea what I may be looking at?

"Thinking is like sin, them that doesn't is scairt of it, and them that does gets to liking it so much they can't quit!"  -Josh Billings.

Offline ncsteeler

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Re: White Bees!?!
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2011, 05:30:47 AM »
looks like real fine sawdust. I have heard of bees rolling in saw dust trying to get sap. IDK?

Offline mikecva

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Re: White Bees!?!
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2011, 12:27:37 PM »
Looks like someone got herself a new fur coat for winter.   :lau: :lau: :lau:

I had some white honey a few years age and another beek told me why but I have long since forgotten the flora that she said caused it.  :brian:  Maybe that is what that bee got into.  -Mike
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Offline VolunteerK9

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Re: White Bees!?!
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2011, 01:33:33 PM »
Corn pollen maybe?

Offline nella

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Re: White Bees!?!
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2011, 01:38:26 PM »
Corn pollen isn't white, it is more of a tan color.

Offline CapnChkn

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Re: White Bees!?!
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2011, 01:39:06 PM »
I would like to think it's a flower.  I didn't see this last year.  I would think the bees would brush some of it off and put it in the baskets.  I don't know if it's sawdust, it's not "off-white," it's actually lime white.  My neighbor's field of corn is blooming, but they would bring it in on their legs wouldn't they?  I'm not seeing a lot of it right now, but I can't get too close to them all the sudden.

I was 6 feet from the hive and got stung on the back of my head.  I haven't been inside in a week, and they let me get close enough to take those photos on Saturday.  Bees be grouchy.
"Thinking is like sin, them that doesn't is scairt of it, and them that does gets to liking it so much they can't quit!"  -Josh Billings.

Offline AllenF

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Re: White Bees!?!
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2011, 10:07:32 PM »
Maybe she was visiting friends when some beek came by to treat with powdered sugar?   

Maybe Colombian friends?   

Offline Shanevrr

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Re: White Bees!?!
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2011, 10:30:33 PM »
Maybe she was visiting friends when some beek came by to treat with powdered sugar?   

Maybe Colombian friends?   

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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: White Bees!?!
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2011, 12:05:59 AM »
Just because you didn't see it last year doesn't mean it's not pollen.  First, the bees pollinating will change what grows around you because they will help those plants that help them and those will become more successful.  Second some things are biennials and only bloom every other year.  Third, sometimes a particular bloom didn't interest them last year because they were already working something else, or something else was more productive under the conditions at that time and something else is more productive under the current conditions.
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Offline CapnChkn

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Re: White Bees!?!
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2011, 03:07:34 AM »
Ok, I follow your logic Michael, but I got close to the gentle hive and got one bee who posed instead of rushing in.  Why aren't they brushing the pollen off and collecting it in their baskets?  I should see at least some come in with baskets of this pollen if they're collecting nectar.  Also, I now see the white stuff on bees going out as well.  Click on the image for hi-rez. 



This is one of those things that just doesn't seem right until what should have been obvious pokes it's head out and whistles.  I have this image in my head of fastidious bees grooming themselves and carrying the harvest back to the hive to store.  I also have a cat that leaves a stain on the bedcover where she likes to sleep in the guest room.  Here's what they usually look like when they bring in the pollen, there's a bloom of little orange-yellow flowers in the pasture across the road.



They don't seem to be cleaning this stuff off, or can't.  It looks like a dust.  I've never seen bees coated with anything unless they were pulling their heads out of a flower. 
"Thinking is like sin, them that doesn't is scairt of it, and them that does gets to liking it so much they can't quit!"  -Josh Billings.

Offline Jim 134

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Re: White Bees!?!
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2011, 07:03:28 AM »
I was passing by my hives on Friday, and saw what looked like a marked queen.  Hmmm.  Wrong hive, and she would have been outside.  I figured it was reflection until I saw another.  Well, this is weird...

They came in on one hive at first, then finally all my hives were coming in with this stuff all over them.  Not a one came in with white pollen in the baskets, orange and brown, yes.  It's definitely a powder, some of the bees came in with just a stripe in between the wings.  I was worried it might be pesticide, but I have no piles of dead around.  I didn't see any white bees going out.

Anybody have any idea what I may be looking at?



 Someone lineing bees ??? To find a hive.AKA 'beelining' I have use flour for this
 http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,23436.0.html

Title of the book is "bee hunting" by A.R. Harding publishing, copyright 1908.


   This book will help you  
http://www.archive.org/download/beehuntingbookof00lock/beehuntingbookof00lock.pdf


    

      BEE HAPPY Jim 134 :)
« Last Edit: July 28, 2011, 07:18:56 AM by Jim 134 »
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: White Bees!?!
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2011, 07:20:05 AM »
There are also some flowers that either hit the bees with something or leave something sticky that gets stuck on the bees.  For example, bees often have pieces of milkweed flowers stuck on them when working them.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline BlueBee

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Re: White Bees!?!
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2011, 01:00:38 PM »
CapnChkn, I really have no idea why your bees are white, but I’m curious about the wire mesh in your later photos.  It appears to be double woven, whereas the wire mesh in your first photos look like standard 1/8” hardware cloth.  Are my eyes going bad, or is there something unusual with your wire mesh in the later photos? 

Like I said, no idea why your bees are white, but check out this bumble bee I snapped in a Rose of Sharon flower.  It looks a little like your white bees.  Some plants dump a lot of the good stuff on a bee.



Offline CapnChkn

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Re: White Bees!?!
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2011, 02:01:48 PM »
@Jim 134:
I was thinking that may be, but I couldn't figure out what that stuff could be.  It sure is sticky.  I was also thinking the Buddhists might be "blessing" the bees, but it sounds more like what Hindus would do.  Nobody is tramping over the land as far as I can tell.

@Michael:
I will scout around and see what they may be getting into.  We just came out of a pollen dearth, and I don't know what the nectar situation may be like.  But the "no-no" feeder in the photo below has stopped going from 1 to 1.5 quarts a day to around  a cup per.

@BlueBee:
Yeah USCBeeman, who is a local, heard I had the #8 and gave me that SBB.  It's made with some wide window screen.  Since everything I have is solid, they're sitting over concrete, and facing NE, they would probably get cooked with the heat reflecting up.  The other is a design I put together as an experiment.  No tray underneath, I figure I'll put a solid board under them in October.





One thing I've discovered, if you want to wax this stuff, you will have to assemble it first.  Even though I drilled pilot holes, the wood split.  Still works though...

"Thinking is like sin, them that doesn't is scairt of it, and them that does gets to liking it so much they can't quit!"  -Josh Billings.

Offline BlueBee

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Re: White Bees!?!
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2011, 03:50:05 PM »
You’ve got an awful small entrance on that first deep photo CapnChkn.  Is that a nuc building up?

Something I wonder about the SBB and SHBs.  If the beetles can fall down thru the screen, can’t they also go UP thru the screen and get into your hive that way?

Online buzzbee

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Re: White Bees!?!
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2011, 06:27:44 PM »
It could be wax particles from a hive your bees might be robbing somewhere.

Offline BeeV

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Re: White Bees!?!
« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2011, 10:15:56 PM »
I spotted some kind of wildflower along a road today that had a very small cluster of blooms on top of single stalks. The thing that struck me was that the sets of leaves directly under the bloom looked as if they had been dusted white. I have no idea what they were and I didn't have a chance to go back for a closer inspection, but I will try to stop and get a picture tomorrow. Could be your culprit.
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Offline Francus

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Re: White Bees!?!
« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2011, 10:57:27 PM »
Is that a slab of marble on top of that deep I see? Just checking. Is there a reason for that, or just what was handy?
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Offline CapnChkn

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Re: White Bees!?!
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2011, 12:01:06 AM »
Quote
Maybe she was visiting friends when some beek came by to treat with powdered sugar?   

Maybe Colombian friends?   

That may explain why they're so hyper...

BlueBee, I started that hive from a split in June.  They just now got to the point where they had the numbers, so I put them in this with 5 empty frames.  Feeder is out now.

Yes, the SHB can go through the #8 diagonally.  I don't know the mechanism, but they seem to not be a problem this year.  As for falling through, no they don't.  The bees chase them through.

buzzbee, I hope not.  I'll have a lot of explaining to do with my neighbor.  All three colonies are coming in with this stuff.

Yes Please!  BeeV!  All I'm seeing is ragweed.

Francus - Only the best for my bees... :mrgreen:

It's a polystyrene lid.  I don't like it.  It was Dad's.  The bottom boards and tops are warped badly.  I put the top on without an inner cover and crushed about a dozen bees on the top bars.  I have since put it on upside down and covered the hollow with some sheet aluminum.  It's only saving grace is I can cover two 5 frame nucs at once.
"Thinking is like sin, them that doesn't is scairt of it, and them that does gets to liking it so much they can't quit!"  -Josh Billings.

Offline BeeV

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Re: White Bees!?!
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2011, 06:45:23 PM »
OK here are a couple of crappy cell phone pics. I had to stop the truck in the road, jump out and take the pics and jump back in before another car came. I did see bees and butterflys working these, and the white coating was kind of sticky. I didn't notice if any of the bees had any white on them or not. Didn't get much of a chance to observe. Maybe someone could identify?



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