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Author Topic: absconding winter bees  (Read 1481 times)

Offline ericthebee

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absconding winter bees
« on: August 05, 2012, 08:24:57 PM »
 We are at wombyean caves about 800m so temperate climate We were getting suspicious about our hive, we have lots of bees out everyday on flowering rosemary etc but in the last little while not seeing them going in @ out of the hive but had been busy moving.   This morning after watching the hive yesterday opened it to find it 1/2 full of capped honey and no bee's at all. ?
There are 2 queen cells, no brood and the caped honey and empty hive some of it is black presume mould ?

They went into winter with the top box full of honey due to our climate.

There's also plenty of uncapped honey but no pollen to speak of at all. There are a couple of moths and no beetle's or ant's at all. (hive sitting in containers of oil, drums full of water nearby, helps keep the microclimate warmer lost hives to ants last year)

Would the lack of pollen be the issue, a number of weeks ago there were heaps of bee's flying in and out we were having a lot of rain, week in & out so we fed them with the boardman feeder, filled jar with white sugar, added hot water, stirred till dissolved. (50/50) They only ate 1/2 of this 500g jar. This is the only thing we did differently.
The hive is in a north facing cow shed, right at the front, protected from the winds and the worst of the weather getting lots of winter sun.  For an unknown reason we had only 7 frames in the bottom and they made a comb to fit that space.

any clues ?

Offline AllenF

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Re: absconding winter bees
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2012, 08:42:20 PM »
Any dead bees at all?

Offline ericthebee

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Re: absconding winter bees
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2012, 08:47:35 PM »
not even one

Offline OzBuzz

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Re: absconding winter bees
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2012, 11:17:42 PM »
That's weird! it's likely the queens in the cells are dead so you may just have to clean it up as best you can and store it to use on another hive - do you have another one? if not then I'd get in touch with the locals and let them know you're looking for some swarms

Offline David McLeod

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Re: absconding winter bees
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2012, 11:25:58 PM »
Fits what's been reported of CCD.
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Offline OzBuzz

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Re: absconding winter bees
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2012, 02:10:50 AM »
There's a lot of variables to consider before calling it CCD - albeit CCD is a 'broad' definition given to something that's unknown simply to give it a 'title' - does your hive show any signs of disease or would you say that it's clean? is there any likelihood of pesticde use nearby? has anything drastically changed in your area?

Offline AllenF

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Re: absconding winter bees
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2012, 08:34:09 PM »
I wonder if ants or some type of wasp cleaned up the dead hive?