bees acting strange: poisoning?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by pistolpete, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    Just today I noticed something a little worrisome at all three of my hives (they are in two locations about a mile apart). In each hive there are a few bees on the landing board that don't seem quite right. Their movements are a little slow and unsteady. They seem to be continuously grooming themselves, as if they were a little drunk and very itchy. At first I thought maybe it was bee paralysis, but they don't have the dark/hairless/greasy look that comes with that disease and also no distended abdomen. It's just a few bees, maybe 15 total for all three hives. I know that's a miniscule percentage of the hive, but I worry it's the start of a problem. I am in an urban area, so there are no agricultural pesticide applications in the area, but you never know what individual people put on their lawns.

    Any insights on this would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    Could they have a mite to scratch?

    When my wife sees me pensively scratching my head she asks me "what have you lost now"!
     

  3. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    Do they act like these bees? They are washboarding.

    [video=youtube;tjF-yIastp0]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjF-yIastp0[/video]
     
  4. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    that video won't play for me, but I'm pretty sure it's not washboarding.
     
  5. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    pistolpete,
    not sure what you have going on, bees have lots of behavior that sometimes we don't understand. poisoning? i think you would see more than a few bees, and more than 15 total for 3 hives, and many sick looking bees. from your description though, my first best guess is some type of grooming behavior, the genetics of good hygiene. what breed of bees do you have?
     
  6. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    The bees I have came out of a government breeding program (sounds sinister I know) that went on about 15 years ago in an attempt to create bees that winter well in British Columbia. The gentelman who ran the program still has that stock and sells Nucs and queens in the local region. They are muts from about 20 genetic lines of proven survivors and producers. I am very happy with them, they are very calm and productive, but they are a hopeless mix of carnie and italian ancestry. Unfortunately the strain was created before Varroa was a real concern, and hygienic traits were not selected for.
     
  7. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    pistolpete,
    thanks, bees still have biological/inherent 'hygienic traits' and 'grooming behavior's irregardless of the strains being specifically bred for this for mites and disease......honey bees are very 'tidy' insects. mutt bees? local? from your description of your bees, they are, and probably will be your best bees.

    and btw i have 'government bred bees' and mutts there of......:lol:
     
  8. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    Would that have been at Beaverlodge? The person I buy from was connected with a project there developing a resistant, surviving, Alberta Bee.