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Author Topic: Question about flightless bees  (Read 2079 times)

Offline latebee

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Question about flightless bees
« on: August 01, 2005, 10:59:18 PM »
Opened a hive I have at a friends place yesterday for an inspection. I noticed something wrong right away-it was about 6 pm and there was not a bee in the air. When it was opened about half of the bees were gone since my last inspection 12 days ago. Now the wierd part,it had four frames of bees and only about 20 flew up during the entire inspection.Queen was there as well as were a few cells ofeggs,larva,capped etc. The bees were crawling around on the combs. All the while not one single bee coming or going in the air.What in the world is going on here?
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Offline TREBOR

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Question about flightless bees
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2005, 11:45:22 PM »
just a guess!
 has anyone done any spraying for pests in the area?
or was thier storms in the area?
 I noticed that my bees come home just before a t-storm
and don't fly much when one is close.
 
 on the spraying side of things, if that happened it seems to me that
it would only effect the bees in flight (i.e. the older bees)
 and leave only the young ones ( those not ready for flight )

 or I may be way off and its something else all togather
just a guess!

Offline Miss Chick-a-BEE

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Question about flightless bees
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2005, 11:57:10 PM »
First thing that came to my mind is that possibly the hive has swarmed.

- leaving young nurse bees that have not done orientation flights
- a new queen
- and new larvae from this queen

Possible?

Beth

Offline Michael Bush

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Question about flightless bees
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2005, 09:07:19 AM »
>First thing that came to my mind is that possibly the hive has swarmed.
>- leaving young nurse bees that have not done orientation flights

The young bees are the ones that leave with the swarm.   But a swarm (and espeicially a lot of afterswarms) can certainly depopulate a hive as can pesticides.  Look around for dead bees in front of the hive in piles.  Dead bees on the bottom board.  Old swarm cells on the bottoms of frames.  You need more clues.
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 latebee

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Question about flightless bees
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2005, 12:08:29 AM »
To add more of the pieces to my puzzle I can say of this hive that there were a few dead bees on the bottom board,not a lot.No swarm or supercedure cells. The queen was newly installed(SMR) 27 days ago. Also I noticed a few houseflys and about 10-15 yellowjackets inside.I had 2 full frames of capped honey three weeks ago,now that is all gone and it has about 1 and1/2 frames of uncured honey in it at the present.Very few eggs or larva and about one frame total(in a tight group) of capped brood that had no perforations. There are no piles of dead bees in or near the hive,and no major storms recently.It would seem that the answer would be that a swarm has emerged,since the queen was not marked this could be a possibility,but why are there no queen cells in the colony?Did a sugar roll and not one mite could be found.SHB is not a problem here.No ants either.Not sure of pesticides being applied recently within one mile. I did notice quite a population of dragonflies flying about as this is near a large pond.I thank you all for your help in trying to resolve this. I have restricted the bottom opening to a minimum and will feed summer syrup and another grease patty in hopes of rejuvinating the colony.
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Offline TAH

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Question about flightless bees
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2005, 12:22:27 AM »
Do you have a lot of swallows in the area? I was raking hay a couple of days ago and there were a couple hundred swallows skimming the field. If the bees had been collecting in that direction I think they would have picked off pretty much all of them.

Offline Michael Bush

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Question about flightless bees
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2005, 10:58:55 AM »
Sometimes they leave the swarm cells for years.  Sometimes they tear them down the next day.  I still think they probably swarmed, afterswarmed and afterswarmed.  :)
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

 

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