Bees in the Grass?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by waski2, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. waski2

    waski2 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi,
    As the weather in the nortwest warms up the bees are finally getting active. My hive is in the backyard on the lawn. Lately I've noticed some bees, probably less than 50, hanging around in the grass (the grass is short) just in front of the hive. Other bees are coming and going to the hive. Later in the evening, before it gets dark, it appears that the "grass" bees have gone? Was just wondering if this behavioiur means something?

    thanks :confused:
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Did these bees have shrivelled up or deformed wings? If a hive has a high mite count, a lot of times you will find these bees crawling around in front of the hive as they are unable to fly. I believe they eventually just wander off and die.
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    1)crawling bee 'around' a hive may suggest trachael mites????

    2)bee on the ground directly in front of the hive (generally they appear uncordinated<sp???and clumped together) generally suggest a virus and/or nosema.

    #1) above generally disappear after a very short while #2) slowly accumlates into wind blown piles untill the hive dies.
     
  4. waski2

    waski2 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    thanks for the replies

    I gathered up a few of the ones in front of the hive, from what I could see there were about 50 or so. From the sample I took it appeared that 50 % had badly deformed wings.

    What would you suggest my next move should be? This is only a single hive, no problems so far that I can see. Up to now I have used no chemicals, and would prefer not to if there is a non chemical alternative.

    One further question. I recently added a queen excluder and a shallow super on top. The bees are busy closing in the openings in the queen excluder :confused:

    thanks for your time
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    They will do that if the super has foundation only. Remove the excluder for a week or so, then put it back after they start drawing comb in the super. Then they will go through it rather than closing it off.
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    deformed wing virus? associated pretty directly with varroa.

    do you monitor in anyway for varroa?
     
  7. waski2

    waski2 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    thanks, I'll remove the excluder....

    tecumseh......... to be honest, I haven't been checking for varroa ( I guess I was hoping varroa would'nt show up)
     
  8. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    IMHO, you seem to have a Varroa mite problem (not excluding any other problem such as Tracheal mite)
    As far as chemical free you have limited options.
    #1 - survival of the fittest. They will either deal with the Varroa or succumb.
    #2 - sugar dusting, I do not know how effective this really is.
    #3 - use a "soft" form of treatment, not quite "organic" but....... (this would include the use of Formic or Oxalic acid).
    Sadly, Varroa is a fact of life for almost all beekeepers. Unless you are very isolated you will have to learn to adapt to life with Varroa.
     
  9. waski2

    waski2 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    thanks all for your comments

    I have a screened bottom board, so I will install the sticky insert and get back to on what I find.

    cheers
     
  10. waski2

    waski2 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    well after 48 hrs I would say there are easily more than 100 varroa on my sticky board :(

    any suggestions?

    thanks
     
  11. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Decide on some form of action.
    Are you a member of a beekeeping club? The Surrey Beekeepers Association was a great club that I belonged to and you would meet some great people there.
    Are you looking to go treatment free, because if so that will dictate a different path altogether? If you are OK with "soft" treatment, I would suggest Formic, thereby "treating" for Tracheal at the same time.
    Your mite drop suggests some form of action is needed, and soon.
    Keep us informed.
     
  12. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    perry writes:
    survival of the fittest. They will either deal with the Varroa or succumb.

    tecumseh:
    or you the bee keeper may decides to use this hive for something besides genetic material for the next generation of bees so the hive in question does accomplish some positive function but just doesn't pass on it's genetic pedigree. thereby accomplishing pretty much the same thing as mother nature but you do get something out of the deal beside a dead hive <pretty much tecumseh way of applying the 'live and let die' strategy of beekeeping.

    with one hive (and the smaller the better here) you could also add sucromid to the list of 'green' varroa control options. almost all the options are somewhat seasonally temperature dependent.