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Author Topic: I lost all 5 hives... What gives????  (Read 1524 times)

Offline ItalianBeeWrangler

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I lost all 5 hives... What gives????
« on: March 12, 2007, 06:45:48 AM »
In the wake of the unusually warm winter around the world.. my  bees have been quite active throughout the winter.  I had 5 hives... (keyword HAD) early winter all of a sudden 3 of them just *bloop* up and disappeared...  I thought it was strange.. but chocked it up to something I didn't understand (I'm entering into my 3rd year of beekeeping so everythings new new new for me).   

I was left with 2 hives.

2 weeks ago the remaining hives were active and doing  fine...  Now.. today.. I go out to browse through the hives to keep things in check and voila... no bees.  I'm devastated..  How is it possible that my hives all just disappeared?  They had an abundance of honey stores and pollen..  It has not been cold all winter... They were extremely strong before hand...   I really have no idea..  I did find some bees dead.. but very few.. maybe 10..  some stuck in the comb.. others just standing there dead like they had starved.. but how would that be possible with so much reserve?? I don't want to cry CCD just yet because I don't understand yet what happened.. Maybe there is a logical explanation that my newbie brain has passed over...

Of course now the sycamore trees are blooming so I'm miss out on the super dark bitter honey that is so prized here in my area of Italy.. what a tragedy! :(  Does anyone have any ideas?  I found no evidence of beetles or moths either...    at least on these last two that disappeared. The other 3 from early winter acquired the moths after 2 months.

Ok.. looking forward to any input and help to come to some conclusions..

Thanks a million everyone..

Steve

aka ItalianBeeWrangler

Offline imabkpr

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Re: I lost all 5 hives... What gives????
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2007, 07:15:42 AM »
 sounds like Trachael mite.  Charlie

Offline BeeHopper

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Re: I lost all 5 hives... What gives????
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2007, 10:01:02 AM »
In the wake of the unusually warm winter around the world.. my  bees have been quite active throughout the winter.  I had 5 hives... (keyword HAD) early winter all of a sudden 3 of them just *bloop* up and disappeared...  I thought it was strange.. but chocked it up to something I didn't understand (I'm entering into my 3rd year of beekeeping so everythings new new new for me).   

I was left with 2 hives.

2 weeks ago the remaining hives were active and doing  fine...  Now.. today.. I go out to browse through the hives to keep things in check and voila... no bees.  I'm devastated..  How is it possible that my hives all just disappeared?  They had an abundance of honey stores and pollen..  It has not been cold all winter... They were extremely strong before hand...   I really have no idea..  I did find some bees dead.. but very few.. maybe 10..  some stuck in the comb.. others just standing there dead like they had starved.. but how would that be possible with so much reserve?? I don't want to cry CCD just yet because I don't understand yet what happened.. Maybe there is a logical explanation that my newbie brain has passed over...

Of course now the sycamore trees are blooming so I'm miss out on the super dark bitter honey that is so prized here in my area of Italy.. what a tragedy! :(  Does anyone have any ideas?  I found no evidence of beetles or moths either...    at least on these last two that disappeared. The other 3 from early winter acquired the moths after 2 months.

Ok.. looking forward to any input and help to come to some conclusions..

Thanks a million everyone..

Steve

aka ItalianBeeWrangler

Steve,
 Sorry for your loss. What you have described is just right on with what happened to my one colony ( swarm caught from last season ). Lots of pollen , about a dozen dead workers. The honey was robbed by the Buckfast colonies next door. The whole colony looks like they just packed up and left. I did have 3 empty queen cups half way on the frames. I came to the conclusion with some help from others on this board that the colony just absconded for whatever reason. Maybe the new queen felt like a new home. Good luck for 2007.  :)

Offline Billy The Beekeeper

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Re: I lost all 5 hives... What gives????
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2007, 10:19:49 AM »
Sorry for ur loss m8 my swarm hive out lived my strong hive over summer. How i dont know lmao but they did now they doin good with a good layin queen and that kinda thing so im projecting a good honey year for me but goodluck i hope the best for u and any other thats have had a loss. Dont get my wrong i had a 50% loss but i only have to hives so i lost 1 of the 2 i had but my package is comin so who knows goodluck again and i hope u guys have a good year :)                       :mrgreen:
Experienced BeeKeeper :D

Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: I lost all 5 hives... What gives????
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2007, 11:06:27 PM »

The discription sounds like CCD.  With the world wide commerce going on I wonder how much of different things are more than just local.  I see to much of one problem cropping up in other places of the world for it to be mere happenstance.  The European honey producers may want to investigate CCD just to be forewarned and forearmed.
Life is a school.  What have you learned?   :brian:      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!

Offline Understudy

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Re: I lost all 5 hives... What gives????
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2007, 11:23:27 PM »
I would recommend you have the bees and comb examined at a lab. It sounds like a parasite or something similar but I am only guessing I would say have a proffesional take a look.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Offline tig

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Re: I lost all 5 hives... What gives????
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2007, 12:01:41 AM »
about 2 years ago i had experienced absconding swarms and for the life of me i couldn't figure out why they would abscond.  they had no mites, no brood diseases, plenty of food, no predators.  they left behind plenty honey and pollen, closed and open brood....its like they just decided to leave.

to further add to my problems, those absconding swarms tried to take over other nearby boxes. i meantioned before that one box was invaded by 6 absconding swarms and we had a heck of a time catching all 7 queens in the midst of the ensuing riot. i dealt with about 12 such incidents in a 2 month period then it suddenly stopped.  last year the same thing happened to me...also around the same months as the year before...that was around august and september. i hope this year it doesn't happen again because i still haven't figured out whats causing it.

Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: I lost all 5 hives... What gives????
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2007, 12:23:24 AM »
Tig,
sounds as if you have a lack of nest places for swarms to settle.  build some swarm traps, which can be old hives or nucs, and place them around your bee yard.  By around I mean up to 1/2 mile away.  Do this prior to the time of year you've experienced the swarming problems.  Providing nesting spots for your swarms should eleviate the multiple swarm to the same box problem you discribe.  If you like you can print or paint "Halika" on each possible nest box.
Life is a school.  What have you learned?   :brian:      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!

Offline tig

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Re: I lost all 5 hives... What gives????
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2007, 12:35:49 AM »
LOL brian....maybe i should paint ALIS {means go away}  on my occupied boxes!  i did have swarm traps around but the bees ignored them....by traps i mean i bought some queen pheromones from dadant and sons and hung them from some low trees. what i did notice was that the traps attracted the drones lol!

Offline CHRISW

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Re: I lost all 5 hives... What gives????
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2007, 10:02:03 AM »
Steve,

I had a similar problem to you four winters ago here in the UK, losing 13 colonies out of 24. It was a bad shock to the system and the worst loss for me in 30 years of keeping bees!

After much thought and a bit of research I think I may have some idea of what may have caused it.

First, though, I would be interested in two things:- what were your varroa levels like last year? and how did you manage your colonies in the autumn/fall after you had taken off your honey crop?

Regards, Chris

Offline Ivan

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Re: I lost all 5 hives... What gives????
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2007, 01:34:49 PM »
The bees are getting tired of our hives and us controling them :?, so they just leave us :-x

 

anything