Darkened Bees and Dieing?

Discussion in 'Pests and Diseases' started by Dbure, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

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    Ok, I have no idea what I am seeing and hope one of the more experienced beeks here might give me a clue. I wish I had a picture to show as I am sure that would help, but a camera phone in a gloved hand is something I have not mastered yet. :roll: This morning we opened the hives to inspect them and in one of the 4 I saw some bees (approx. 4) on a drawn out honey frame that appeared to be dieing and turning dark at the abdomen. I know that some bees die everyday and are carried out to be disposed of, but I saw none of this in the other 3 hives. They all seemed to be very healthy.

    I did manage to identify cream colored brood larvae growing in numerous cells on another frame which tells me the queen is laying. The hive itself has grown since we last added an additional brood box, but it is not as robust as the other hives. Could this be some kind of disease, or maybe just the normal lifespan coming to an end? A couple of the bees were still alive but seemed to on their last leg, and a few looked like they had already died and were darkening. As hot as it has been it would not surprise me if they dried out before the workers could remove them. What does it sound like?
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Not sure of what you are describing, but the "cream colored brood larvae" made me raise my eyebrows. Healthy larvae should be snow white, not cream colored. This is a case where a picture would be worth a thousand words.
    I hope others will chip in and be able to offer some help.
     

  3. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

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    Thanks PerryBee for responding. I am not sure what I am looking at either. The brood may have been whiter than I described, but in the shade I had trouble finding them without a magnifying glass. Having my husband turn the frames toward the sunlight helped, but the ones I saw seemed small and were down in the bottoms of each cell. They had not filled their cells up completely and appeared to be in early development. The used cells seemed to have been laid fairly uniform.

    I am guessing they are developing into normal bees as the box is fuller than before and they have drawn out some very pretty honey. However, the sight of a few full grown bees dead or dieing on a honey filled frame and then turning dark was not what I would think is normal. A couple of them looked kind of shiny as if the others may have chewed their hair off. I could only find a description of this as a possible virus??? I have looked for information on this without a conclusion, so I may have to just watch the hive for a bit and check in on it to see what changes if any there are. If I go back into it I will try and get some pics to help with identifying the problem. Hopefully I am just being overly cautious. Afterall, they are like caring for a nursery full of kids. :dontknow:
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Dbure writes:
    This morning we opened the hives to inspect them and in one of the 4 I saw some bees (approx. 4) on a drawn out honey frame that appeared to be dieing and turning dark at the abdomen.

    and then..
    A couple of them looked kind of shiny as if the others may have chewed their hair off.

    tecumseh:
    if you watch young bees emerge from their cells as new hatched bees they are all fuzzy but as they grow older their hair (just like mine) falls out and they do get this slick hairless addomen look which is sure enough a sign that the bees are old.
     
  5. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    another sign that bees are old, look at the back edges of their wings, they will be ragged looking instead of smooth edge.
     
  6. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

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    Thank you Tecumseh and G3farms for describing this to me. I am so new at beekeeping I think the bees know more about me than I do about them. ;) In trying to describe what I see going on I base it off of what I see going on in the other hives. It took me a long time to even be able to see new brood growing, let alone see any emerge. I finally took a magnifying glass out with me this time so I could find out. I know the bees looked normal with wings in good shape and the growth of the hive. I have not seen dead bees accumulating anywhere around the hive so I am sure they are being carried off. My husband says I am a worry wart. :roll:
     
  7. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    NAAAA..........just a new mama watching out for her kids! :lol: