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Author Topic: Lack of bees/no bees bringing in pollen  (Read 2199 times)

Offline Terry N

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Lack of bees/no bees bringing in pollen
« on: June 09, 2013, 01:39:13 PM »
Hello, Will try again to explain my situation. This is for experienced bee keepers! I had 2 brood boxes over winter, Italian bees, had 2 supers with honey in, not totally full, the bee guy I had said their would be enough honey for the bees over winter.....So bee guy comes in early may, looks in and says you got bees you will be OK. Noticed lack of bee activity by me, my club president said switch brood boxes which I did, bees come and go but have not seen 1 with pollen coming in.....I was wondering about the hive beetle OR robbing....I am sooo noviced as a keeper could not tell you if there is a queen or brood or enough food for them all I know something not Kosher. There were always bees a plenty when I started 4 years ago,this was first year of disappointment...I really don't keep bees for honey just like the ladies around. I guess I need to go with experienced people and see what brood is.. a queen etc... apologize for my ignorance but anybody got ideas what is happening or may happen...what to do for next year. Thanks

Offline JWChesnut

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Re: Lack of bees/no bees bringing in pollen
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2013, 03:20:30 PM »
I don't think your situation can be diagnosed over the internet. Go back to your local contacts for a definitive answer.

Asking them to teach you -- you need to become a keeper of bees.

 If your hive has been "feral" for 4 years since installation -- you may have a failing, geriatric queen. This may resolve through supersedure (replacement of queen), but this is  a fraught process often accompanied by the loss of the colony.  

Supersedure may have already occured-- and the virgin queen died in accident or mischance, or the disease in the hive overwhelmed the new queens novice efforts.  

If your hive has been untreated for 4 years, you *will* have a crushing load of Varroa parasite. The hive is likely dying off due to the varroa loading with endemic virus and all the other insults.  An optimistic situation may be the colony is husbanding resources while waiting for the first cohort of new workers to hatch, or weather may have interrupted flow and the bees are simply being judicious in their efforts.

Once a hive has entered decline, reversing this trajectory requires active management.  The woods and yards are filled tree cavities and old hives where colonies have died.  There is no reason to expect simply left alone a hive will survive.

Offline sc-bee

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Re: Lack of bees/no bees bringing in pollen
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2013, 04:34:31 PM »
I guess I need to go with experienced people and see what brood is.. a queen etc...

Ditto......you have to be able to recognize basic signs of a healthy hive. Start with........ do I have a queen...........
John 3:16

Offline millipede

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Re: Lack of bees/no bees bringing in pollen
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2013, 07:45:34 PM »
I agree. You need to be able to look at the brood and spot eggs and determine what is a normal laying pattern looks like. The difference between worker and drone brood and what honey and pollen looks like in the comb. If you can identify the above things you can at least have an idea of when your queen was in the hive within a 3 day period (takes 3 days for eggs to hatch) and if you know the life cycle of the larvae you can calculate from there if you have no eggs.
You really need to verify your queen and check for mites. We no longer live in a time where you can just let your bees do their own things. You really have to learn the bees and unfortunately you need to also know the mites and diseases.