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Author Topic: Plausible cause????  (Read 585 times)
sticbow
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« on: April 23, 2013, 01:19:50 PM »

-11 hives
-This yard is located at the end of an East, West valley between two ridge tops and has plenty of Southeast sun exposure.  The valley opens up into a creek bottom.
-The hives are against the North slope and protected from wind
-Each went into winter with 2 deeps and 1 6 5/8 super
-Fall treatments applied
-Mite counts low
-No other pests
-No evidence of disease
-In late October all hives had good wintering numbers and brood was present
-All colonies wrapped
-All hives ventilated via upper entrance
-All hives leaning forward to keep moisture on front wall

  I try to do everything by the book!!  I thought I did it right.  I thought?

-By the first week of December I could hear no buzzing in 9 of the 11 hives
-I went into one hive and it had no bees in it.  It did have honey, pollen and capped brood
-Preparing for packages I tore the remaining 8 hives down this past weekend and its the same story for them, no bees.
-All the honey is left
-Frames of pollen left
-Capped brood
-Few dead bees on the bottom boards
-Two hives had less than a fist full of bees dead in a cluster
-The two hives that were buzzing in December are alive and thriving

  This year the farmer that rents from us stored his round bales in the same valley that my bees are in.  The bales are wrapped in plastic.  When bales are removed,  the plastic is placed in a barrel and burned.  The plastic smolders. When there is no wind the smoke just hangs in the valley like a thick fog and the hives are engulfed in it for hours.
  When I first noticed this, without trying to be a jerk about it, I joked and told him that the smoke was going to run my bees out.  I figured maybe he would get the hint and just take the plastic with him.  Well,  that didn't happen and most of the bees are gone.  The hives are 2 hours away from me so I don't know exactly when they left in November.
  I would be the first to admit fault in managing my hives,  but because they left so early,  it makes me wonder if the lingering smoke every other day had something to do with it.
   Is this a plausible cause for absconding?





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iddee
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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2013, 04:32:35 PM »

I would guess, without really knowing, that they died from toxic respiratory poison from the chemicals being burned.
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AllenF
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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2013, 04:34:18 PM »

Tell us about your fall treatments.   When how what.
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sticbow
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« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2013, 09:36:42 PM »

Spring
- Megabee patties with Honey B Healthy
-Brood Builder patties with Nozevit

Early and Late August
-2 treatments with powdered sugar
  My mite counts were low I didn't really think it was necessary to treat.  I decided to do it anyway.  After the first drop there were more mites than I thought,  so I did the second treatment.  The second drop showed less mites than the first.

Early September
-Open feed of 2:1 sugar water and essential oils
   oil of oregano
   red thyme
   lemon grass
   
   I spent the day researching various disorders that would cause these hives to abscond the way they did.  All signs point to a classic case of Varroa destructor infestation. 
   
   I'm just having a hard time believing, by the number of mites that I saw,  that Varroa had anything to do with it.


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tefer2
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« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2013, 10:01:28 PM »

I feel that the only way to get a true count for varroa mites is with an alcohol wash or either roll.
I have heard that for sugar dusting to be effective, you have to dust them every week.
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c10250
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« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2013, 10:35:41 PM »

As far as I'm concerned, you really never treated for mites.  Everything you have done doesnt work.  I have never seen a study that shows any of that works. In fact ive seen several studies that show sugar dusting is useless.   In the future I would definitely skip the bogus treatments and treat with stuff proven to work.

Oregano? Thyme?   Really?
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Bush_84
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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2013, 10:41:01 PM »

Ya the first thing I thought about was mites.  Then againi don't have gobs of experience. 
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Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.
sticbow
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« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2013, 12:16:24 AM »

"Oregano? Thyme?   Really?" 

  I don't know,  but Apiguard®   consists of 25% thymol and ApiLife Var® consists of 74% thymol.  I have never felt that I had to treat for mites.  I had the essential oil kit laying around so I thought I'd use it.  As for the powdered sugar treatment,  Scientific Beekeeping thinks its effective and that's good enough for me.
  I would have had no problem using stronger or other proven treatments if it was necessary.  My hives in another yard, a quarter mile away all got the same treatments and they're all still full of bees.   That's why I'm wondering about this excessive smoke.
 

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buzzbee
Ken
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« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2013, 06:59:07 AM »

Not worrying about mites going into fall is a bad time not to worry.Mite poulations peak late summer early fall just as bees are preparing for winter. You need to knock down any mite poulations mid to late August so any brood raised to be bees that overwinter are healthy. Treating mites late September or October is too late if you  have a mite problem.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2013, 10:15:21 AM »

I always look for signs of Varroa causing hive failure.  If you have solid bottoms or a tray in a screened bottom, it's not hard to spot thousands of dead Varroa on the bottom board or tray.  If they are just gone, perhaps they absconded.  If they are dead, it could be Varroa, starvation or poison gas from the plastic.  Many plastics give off very poisonous fumes when burned.  Some give off cyanide and most give off formaldehyde.
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c10250
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« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2013, 10:27:26 AM »


  Scientific Beekeeping thinks its effective and that's good enough for me.
 



Randy has shown that weekly powdered sugard dustings throughout the season does indeed help.  The key here is weekly!
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derekm
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« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2013, 05:35:14 PM »

Too much heat loss.  Your setup is losing 10 times or more the heat they would lose in a tree nest
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If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?
sticbow
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« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2013, 12:41:59 AM »

Maybe mites will rot to nothing over the winter,  but I checked this weekend and found

No mites on the bottom boards

No mites on the bees laying on the bottom boards.

No mites on small cluster.

I checked umpteen unhatched brood with a magnifying glass and found no mites.

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hjon71
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« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2013, 11:17:05 AM »

Yes.  I believe the Smoke could be a plausible cause. Especially if it lingers for an extended period. Either move the hives higher(above the smoke) or find another site.
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kathyp
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« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2013, 11:49:13 AM »

Quote
Scientific Beekeeping thinks its effective and that's good enough for me.

check other studies.  there have been some.  PS is probably not the way to go if you need to treat.  thymol is about as natural as you'll be able to find, but is temp dependent so you have to plan to use it.

i think  Michael Bush has something on his site about essential oils.  maybe he can point you toward that.



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