Dying Bees right now! New Beekeeper--please help

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Harold InDelicato, Jul 28, 2017.

  1. Harold InDelicato

    Harold InDelicato New Member

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    Hello,

    I'm sorry for cross-posting but I figured this was an emergency.


    Addendum:
    I observed the hive for about 15 minutes and here is what I saw:
    Bees were shaking uncontrollably and then dropping to the ground from the landing board. I know this sounds crazy but I could here a crackling noise coming from just inside the hive. I have the hive screened and all of the bees are at the entrance just behind the screen. They are dying right now. It is horrible! There is the presence of bee poop on the ground and on the screen that guards the entrance. I hope this isn't Nosema. If it is, is there anything I can do right now?

    I was hoping someone could advise.

    It rained here in RI for the past two days and became chilly. I went to inspect my hive (Italians) after the rain and saw hundreds of bees dead and dying outside the hive. I opened the hive and inspected the super and into the deep hive body. Everything seemed fine. (I am a non-intrusive beekeeper and try to disturb them as little as possible.) There were thousands of bees present in the hive. I did not locate the queen and I did not inspect the brood because of the burr comb and the fact that I was ripping up the honeycomb (dripping honey into the body). But I am worried about all of the dead bees. The wings on the bees were fine, no K shape, no crumpled wings. There were no mites. There was one (1) indication of yellow/brown on the screen outside the hive (I put the screens to prevent robbing) but I don't think it is Nosema. My other hive (Carniolans) are fine. The bees on the ground were decapitated but this could have been done after by ants and Yellow Jackets (wasps). The presence of Yellow Jackets was minimal. They were still falling from the landing board while I was inspecting and then dying in the grass. I am afraid that this is pesticide related but why just the Italians and not the Carniolans? The hive seems healthy. Is there anything I can do? What do I do next? I know I have to locate the queen and tear the frames apart to inspect the brood but I'd rather just leave them alone. Could I do anything to save them even if I tear apart the hive? I have photos that I have attached. ANY advice or help would be greatly appreciated.
     

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  2. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Member

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    what do you mean by having the hive screened? the entrance is screened to keep the bees inside the hive?
     

  3. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Member

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    im gona say it doesnt sound like nosema, here is a description of nosema, they may have gotten into some pesticide..if thats the case all you can do is wait till the affected bees die off..I wish I could give you more info, but I dont know..but do save all the bees in the alcohol..to send off for testing..
    Symptoms
    The symptoms of Nosema are relatively nonspecific, which makes it difficult to distinguish from other diseases of the honeybee. It arises mostly in the spring after periods of bad weather, although it may also be a winter disease that is only noticed in the spring when beekeepers first inspect their hives. The female worker bees are most strongly afflicted, less so the drones. The queen bee is rarely infected since afflicted bees rarely participate in feeding the queen. The most notable symptom is [dysentery]. This appears as yellow stripes on the outside of the hive and in severe cases, inside the hive. Bees may be unable to fly ("crawling") due to disjointed wings.

    Further symptoms include increased girth of the abdomen, missing sting reflex, and early replacement of the queen. If the queen is infected, her ovaries degenerate and egg production drops due to atrophy of the oocytes, after which she is likely to be superseded. The disease pattern described by Higes et al.. in Spain for N. ceranae is slightly different from that of N. apis. The changes in the digestive system were substantially more serious than with N. apis, related to particularly heavy and spacious cell lesions. Conversely, classical symptoms were missing from N. ceranae, such as diarrhea, crawling, large numbers of dead bees in the apiary, etc. Bees tend to die away from the apiary, which causes a reduction in food gathered and can eventually lead to colony collapse. Ritter (CVUA Freiburg) reported symptoms can arise throughout the year from N. ceranae, in contrast to N. apis.[5] In the winter, some colonies died within a short time and the bees lay dead in the box (in Spain, hives usually remained empty). Whether these features are related to the new form of Nosema cannot be conclusively proven
     
  4. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Member

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  5. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Member

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    How to Submit Samples

    [​IMG]

    Submission of Samples for Diagnosis:

    General Instructions

    ••Beekeepers, bee businesses, and regulatory officials may submit samples.

    ••Samples are accepted from the United States and its territories; samples are NOT accepted from other countries.

    ••Include a short description of the problem along with your name, address, phone number or e-mail address.

    ••There is no charge for this service.

    ••For additional information, contact Sam Abban by phone at (301) 504-8821 or e-mail: samuel.abban@ars.usda.gov

    How to Send Adult Honey Bees

    •• Send at least 100 bees and if possible, select bees that are dying or that died recently. Decayed bees are not satisfactory for examination.

    •• Bees should be placed in and soaked with 70% ethyl, methyl, or isopropyl alcohol as soon as possible after collection and packed in leak-proof containers.

    •• USPS, UPS, and FedEx do no accept shipments containing alcohol. Just prior to mailing samples, pour off all excess alcohol to meet shipping requirements.

    •• Do NOT send bees dry (without alcohol).

    How to send brood samples

    ••A comb sample should be at least 2 x 2 inches and contain as much of the dead or discolored brood as possible. NO HONEY SHOULD BE PRESENT IN THE SAMPLE.

    ••The comb can be sent in a paper bag or loosely wrapped in a paper towel, newspaper, etc. and sent in a heavy cardboard box. AVOID wrappings such as plastic, aluminum foil, waxed paper, tin, glass, etc. because they promote decomposition and the growth of mold.

    ••If a comb cannot be sent, the probe used to examine a diseased larva in the cell may contain enough material for tests. The probe can be wrapped in paper and sent to the laboratory in an envelope.

    Send samples to:

    Bee Disease Diagnosis
    Bee Research Laboratory

    10300 Baltimore Ave. BARC-East
    Bldg. 306 Room 316

    Beltsville Agricultural Research Center - East

    Beltsville, MD 20705
     
  6. Harold InDelicato

    Harold InDelicato New Member

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    Thank you. I have the entrance screened because I noticed substantial robbing when I was feeding in the spring (I suppose I should take the screens off now.)

    I watched them again for 15 minutes and noticed that they are housekeeping (taking the dead bees out of the hive) and looking up from the bottom of the hive they are alive. But as many of them try to fly, they are crash landing in the grass and then spinning in circles. I also noticed bee poop on the screen. There is a strong smell coming from the hive but I know it is not foul brood (we don't have any cases here in RI.) Here are some more pics of the hive: 12.jpg 13.jpg 15.jpg 16.jpg 17.jpg 18.jpg
     
  7. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Member

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    im gona take an educated guess its pesticide..
     
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  8. Harold InDelicato

    Harold InDelicato New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I'm going to tear the hive open, scrape out the burr comb, find the queen and take some pictures of the frames and I'll post them. I just didn't want to mess with them. Guess non-intrusive beekeeping still requires inspections.
     
  9. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Member

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    Im not big on ripping their home apart too often, but you really need to take a look several times each season.. its a good way to see how the hive is going and any early signs of trouble..
     
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  10. ccjersey

    ccjersey Member

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    Why would you take this opportunity to inspect the hive? I would leave well enough alone at this point. What info will you gain.....that you will act upon?

    I didn't see the dead bees dying, but apparently had a similar episode to yours in one hive a while back. Hives of similar genetics on either side were unaffected. They didn't all die, but it weakened the colony badly. Sorry I don't know what it was.
     
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  11. Harold InDelicato

    Harold InDelicato New Member

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    I don't know what to do. Everyone says that if I can identify Nosema, I can do something before they ALL die. I think disturbing them will do more damage. I don't want to open the hive, but I feel like I should at least make sure the queen is alive. If it is Nosema, can't I treat with fungicide? This is truly devastating. People don't understand that there is a connection with the bees, they are almost like pets. Losing a colony is traumatizing.
     
  12. Harold InDelicato

    Harold InDelicato New Member

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    I don't know what to do.
     
  13. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Member

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    I feel for you, I lost my first hive and it was as you said..you care and nurture them just to have them die off..and experienced bee keepers have lost hives for unknown reasons, thats just part of the experience,,,its not always good...many times there is nothing that can be done...let them settle down for a few days and see if the dead bees slows down..again what looks like alot of dead bees are not that many when your hive can contain thousands of bees...I would definitely send out the dead bees to be examined on what caused there death, this will be your most helpful thing todo... sometimes the best thing todo is nothing but wait and see..I know it sucks to seem helpless against something happening now, but to treat for something that it isnt wont help or could hurt more..
     
  14. Harold InDelicato

    Harold InDelicato New Member

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    Good advice, thanks. I just checked on them. I see foragers flying from the hive. I saw 1-2 with pollen returning in the 5 minutes I watched. Some seem fine but there are many still dying. Ugh! To put it frankly, this sucks.
     
  15. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Member

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    well thats a good sign they are still bringing back pollen to make stores, I think they may have gotten into some flowers that were treated with pesticide. if you wait at least 5 days till whatever brood was in the hive hatches and then go in and you see new brood , then the queen is still laying eggs, thats one issue to put to rest....I hate to crush any bees when I work on the hive, but its almost impossible not to, even being very careful. hopefully in a few days all goes back to normal..some things are out of our control..and yes it sucks big time....
     
  16. Harold InDelicato

    Harold InDelicato New Member

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    I hate crushing them also. I use a paint brush to sweep them away.
     
  17. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Member

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    same here and I try to smoke them back when I have to stack the boxes and put the cover on, but there are too many to keep out of the way..
     
  18. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It does sound like that hive worked some recently sprayed flowers. Hopefully it will recover
     
  19. Harold InDelicato

    Harold InDelicato New Member

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    Thank you for the kind sentiment. I hope they recover too. It was traumatizing to see them dying. I know this sounds crazy but I feel a connection with the bees. When they die, it is unpleasant.
    Today it looked better. Not as many dying outside and it looked like foragers. Although not many coming back with pollen. If I use my sixth sense, I would say they are being robbed out now that they are weak. I hate to say it but I think the colony is in big trouble. I screened the entrance but I swear those bees are robbing.
     
  20. Harold InDelicato

    Harold InDelicato New Member

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    Thank you for the kind sentiment. I hope they recover too. It was traumatizing to see them dying. I know this sounds crazy but I feel a connection with the bees. When they die, it is unpleasant.
    Today it looked better. Not as many dying outside and it looked like foragers. Although not many coming back with pollen. If I use my sixth sense, I would say they are being robbed out now that they are weak. I hate to say it but I think the colony is in big trouble. I screened the entrance but I swear those bees are robbing.