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Author Topic: Moribund  (Read 964 times)
David McLeod
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« on: June 10, 2012, 10:24:28 AM »

mor·i·bund/ˈmôrəˌbənd/
Adjective:
1 (of a person) At the point of death.
2 (of a thing) In terminal decline; lacking vitality or vigor.
 
Synonyms: dying

Yesterday's cut out was moribund. As always when doing a cutout I am the investigator and this one had no definitive clues and I have no answers. I'll list my observations and throw it out for conjecture.

Private residence that has just sold, new owner is my client. Client does not know the history of the colony and first observed activity the first week of May when he decided to purchase the home. He described the activity to me as "swarming" around the entry. Entry is a walnut sized hole at the junction of a bay window and the overhanging balcony above.
What I observe upon arrival is no real activity to speak of maybe a single bee or two every few minutes. Definitely not an active colony, I suspect a deadout and tell the client as much. Temperature check of all interior walls and ceiling does not detect any heat from a broodnest banging and tapping elicits no reaction so I again opine that we have a deadout and cutting may not be required as robbing or SHB sliming may have already occurred.
A look into the entrance though reveals intact comb so the cavity is opened. What is revealed is new comb of a light color plugged out with nectar and some capped honey, more nectar than honey. A small amount of bees are scattered over the comb but most appear to be clustered along the edges of the cavity, maybe a pound's worth of bees total. I look for chewed caps and wax litter on the bottom of the cavity to see if robbing has occurred and no evidence is found.
Demeanor of the bees is excessively calm as no smoke has been used to this point and I have not suited up. I begin the removal of the comb a piece at a time inspecting each as it is removed. Almost all of it is thick honey storage that is plugged out. A very small amount of drone cells are found but no brood or eggs, the cells appear absolutely clean and do not look to have ever been used. What brood comb is found is small, an area somewhere between a tennis ball and baseball in size. No eggs or larvae found. The cell bottoms are polished and stained a light brown so maybe one brood cycle but no more.
At this point zero pollen aka bee bread has been found anywhere in the comb. The bees are still mostly found outside the comb clustered on the edges of the cavity. No queen is found and fewer than a dozen drones have been observed. No evidence of queen cells, cups or bases have been found anywhere on the comb. Overall the comb is as pure and pristine as one would expect to find in a month old colony the total volume of comb and honey fills a five gallon bucket to the top. Amazingly not a single SHB is observed during the entire process.

Here's my opinion based on observation. Sometime early in the establishment of the colony the queen stroked/died/went MIA, probably about the time required to lay a small cluster of eggs. The swarm continued on as if nothing happened building comb and plugging it out and never attempted to requeen itself. As mortality slowly overtook the field force all that was left was a small amount of moribund bees left in the cavity that I found.

Opinions?

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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2012, 11:50:23 AM »

when i find all the bees out to the edges, i suspect that someone stuck a can of raid at the opening and tried to kill the hive. 
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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
David McLeod
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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2012, 12:27:32 PM »

That is a possibility but was assured that was not the case, like I really believe my clients when it comes to stuff like that.
The thing that was most glaring to me was the complete lack of evidence of any attempt at requeening.
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Georgia Wildlife Services,Inc
Georgia's Full Service Wildlife Solution
Atlanta (678) 572-8269 Macon (478) 227-4497
www.atlantawildliferemoval.net
georgiawildlifeservices@gmail.com
iddee
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2012, 01:18:34 PM »

If the prior owner had sprayed and got the queen and contaminated the larva, you would have those results, and the timing is right, too.
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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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kathyp
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« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2012, 01:44:02 PM »

that would be my guess. wants to sell house.  doesn't want to have a removal done.  sprays.....
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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
kathyp
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« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2012, 01:45:13 PM »

with that in mind, i probably would toss the hive products....but that's just me...
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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
G3farms
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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2012, 01:57:02 PM »

That was exactly my thoughts also, sprayed the hive and got the queen. Workers cleaned out the dead and dying bees but the wax is contaminated ad they do not want to stand on it. Other bees have not robbed it out because of the insecticide. Remaining bees are what have hatched out and not sure what to do.

Sounds like all is lost, scrape it all out and dispose of. Guess you could make some insecticide candles out of them  grin
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see my swarms and cut outs at https://www.youtube.com/user/soapy22bullet?feature=mhee

those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!
divemaster1963
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« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2012, 05:07:32 PM »

I had the exact same thing Thursday night. went to do a cutout. found the same thing. after I got done. the tenant arrived. as we talked she stated that she was told about the bees by the neighbor. and that they sprayed the hole because the bees were crossing over to there property and that they could not get in the door without being chased by the bees. I just vaced the bees and added to a small hive that needed a boost to there numbers. I did not use any of the comb.

john
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David McLeod
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« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2012, 06:01:43 PM »

Okay, I'll go with the consensus. Pesticide toxicity as the official cause of death, well actually it was a big ugly dummy ripping it open and cutting it out but let's call it a mercy killing. I have come to expect it really but never like to assume.
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Georgia Wildlife Services,Inc
Georgia's Full Service Wildlife Solution
Atlanta (678) 572-8269 Macon (478) 227-4497
www.atlantawildliferemoval.net
georgiawildlifeservices@gmail.com
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