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Author Topic: Bees are dying at the hive entrance.... what can I do?  (Read 628 times)
jaycee
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Location: Southern Illinois


« on: October 22, 2012, 07:50:03 PM »

Hello I am a new beekeeper this year.  I live in southern Illinois near St. Louis and I have four hives which I started in late spring.  I had ordered 2 packages of bees which I started in late May but before they got here, I caught two swarms in my pasture and they both took, so I had to scramble to get more hives together.  So all 4 hives seemed to grow rapidly this summer despite a terrible drought throughout July and August.  But just over the past week or so I have noticed that one of the hives (one of the 2 packages I had installed) is not doing well.  I have noticed more and more dead bees at the hive entrance each day and today the most of all with dead bees in the hundreds.  I opened the hive yesterday to check it out and the cluster seemed sluggish and they havent filled much of the honey super on top as the other 3 hives have (the hive has 2 deep supers and one medium on top).  Now I suspect it could be some sort of mites based on what I have been reading.  The reason I think this is very likely is because all 3 of the other hives I placed a screened bottom board between the solid bottom board and the bottom deep box.  But as I said I had to scramble for hive parts in the spring and I only ended up ordering 3 screened boards.  So the only difference between this hive and the others that I know of is its sitting on a solid bottom board with no screen...

Anyway does this sound like it could be mites affecting this hive?  As I said it has scores or even a couple hundred dead bees at the entrance each day and seemingly more each day.  It also has a few bees crawling around seemingly drunk and perhaps with mangled looking wings at the entrance as well.  I have ordered a screened board from Brushy Mtn Bee farm today, but I expect it will take a week or so to arrive.  Is there anything I can do in the interim to help these bees until it gets here?  I have read perhaps sprinkling them with powdered sugar is a possible step does anyone advise that?

Thanks any help is very much appreciated!
Jaycee
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hardwood
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Location: Osteen, Fl (just south of Daytona)

Alysian Apiaries youtube.com/MrBeedude


« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2012, 08:02:57 PM »

Several questions:
Are the bees all drones?
Do the wings look deformed or ragged chewed edges?
Have you done a mite count?
Have you noticed fighting at the entrance and on the ground?

All drones...not to worry
Deformed wings...mites, you need to treat
chewed wings...either drones or fighting (an indication of robbing)
You should do a mite count to make sure either way
Fighting...robbing

Scott
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jaycee
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« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2012, 08:08:40 PM »

They arent all drones.  I did see some mangled or deformed looking wings, have to look closer.  How do I do a mite count and how would I treat for mites?

Thanks!
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Joe D
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Location: Ovett, Ms


« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2012, 08:15:10 PM »

I have had some robbing in the last couple of days.  Hive getting robbed is what I thought next to the strongest of the six I have.  Also hwas talking to to freind that is also having robbing last week.  Lots of died in front of hive.   Almost closed entrance and started putting out some sugar syrup, seemed to have stopped.  Good luck jaycee.



Joe
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AllenF
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Location: Hiram, Georgia


« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2012, 08:22:30 PM »

Robbing or the hive has real high might loads with a weak hive.   But robbing for this time of the year.
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