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Author Topic: Lost Bees?  (Read 1516 times)

Offline davchr

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Lost Bees?
« on: February 01, 2006, 09:02:33 PM »
I just lost the bees in my hive.  They are not dead, they are just gone.   I set up my first hive and bees in April 2005.  They seemed to be doing fine until the first week of January.  Then they left.

I live in Southern California, so it is not very cold here.  There are still plenty of flowers out, so food should not be a problem.

What could have happened?  How do I prevent it from happening again?

I ordered more bees.  Do I need to clean the comb from the frames before installing the new bees?

thanks
Dave Christensen

Online Michael Bush

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Lost Bees?
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2006, 10:04:05 PM »
If it was here in January I'd say it was Tracheal mites.  There?  Maybe trachael mites.  Maybe they absconded.
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Offline Apis629

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Lost Bees?
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2006, 11:23:58 PM »
There are AHBs in Southern Califonia.  Were the bees at all aggressive like AHB?  AHB does have a high tendency, so I've heard, to abscond if disturbed too often.

Offline davchr

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Lost bees
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2006, 11:43:00 PM »
The bees were not agressive at all.  I put in a new package of bees just nine months ago.

Why do they abscond?  They were not disturbed very often.

If it was mites, wouldn't there be dead bees around?

How can I tell at this point if it is mites?

Should I clean the comb off the frames before putting in a new package?

thanks
Dave Christensen

Online Michael Bush

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Lost Bees?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2006, 08:14:15 AM »
Sometimes they just abscond for no reason I can see, but that's rare.  Just not unheard of.  Usually they have something bothering them.  A skunk messing with them every night.  Small hive beetles taking over the hive.  Usually something, but not always.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Offline Diver

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Lost Bees?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2006, 08:36:27 AM »
Another possibility.  If the bee's were wintering with no brood and the queen died. They would have no way to requeen themselves, therefore no cohesion and would either die out or drift away. You say it's not to cold so are bee's flying? If so that would support the drift theory if it was too cold you would see dead bee's and you indicate there are none.
listen to others. You do not always know as much as you think you do.

Offline beemaster

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Lost Bees?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2006, 05:25:52 PM »
Davchr:

Welcome to the forum, if you could add your locaton to your profile, it would really help us to figure out such issues - thanks :)

It does surely sound like abscounding, I must say this happened to me a few years ago and I actually caught the buggers flying off to the great blue yonder.

Abscounding does differ from normal swarm activity, at least was the case I noted. It seemed the bees HAD a place to go already picked out and JUST LEFT. Where in swarming, about half the population evacuate the hive and take temporary roost until scout bees find a suitable new home.

I suspect sence abscounding typically happens during a short warm spell during Winter (at least very late Fall) the bees NEED to have a new home picked out prior to leaving or the very well could be committing mass suicide if caught on a branch with no protection against the wind and cold.

Good luck, I hope you find your answers and again welcome to the forums.
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Offline Kirk-o

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Bees disappearing
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2006, 08:12:51 PM »
I have bees in Los Angeles.I've had bees abscond three times .Having had bees in Utah years ago Southern California is totally differnt.Ive had bees abscond because of ants.Ants get really aggressive here between August and October .There is a real bad lack of pollen and nector at differnt times in my area.You have to stay on your toes I check mine every week or day or so depending on the weather if I'm feeding them I check every day watching for ants .Like right now my last remaing hive the wild ones I rescued a year ago are drawing comb and filling the comb with honey go figure .You are going to have to get in tune with your own space down there .You can email me and talk to me if you like kirko

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