My bees all died - why?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by jesse.rizzo, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. jesse.rizzo

    jesse.rizzo New Member

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    Just went out on a warm day to check out my only hive, I hadn't checked on it since about November, and found an empty hive. The weird thing is that there wasn't very many dead bees. Maybe a hundred or so on the bottom board. There was plenty of stored honey left. There were a lot of small hive beetles dead in the hive as well. I didn't see any obvious signs of disease or anything. What happened? Thanks.

    IMG_20140218_153211.jpg
     
  2. jesse.rizzo

    jesse.rizzo New Member

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    IMG_20140221_152432.jpg Just noticed some weird looking comb. Looks like it has been chewed on and spat out. Is this normal, or evidence of the SHB's damage to the hive. Is it possible that the beetles caused the hive to abscond during winter?
     

  3. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Sorry about your loss. It could be several different things but yes, if shb are too numerous, it can cause the bees to abscond.
     
  4. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    chewed comb like that is usually from other honeybee hives raiding the comb for food, can you take a pic or 2 of the rest of the frames? like old brood area and frames with food still on? would help alot.
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    most of what you describe sounds like robbing. with no bees there is really not much evidence to say what happened one way or the other. in this sort of situation a hand held magnifying glass to investigate the debris on the bottom board is likely the only clue you have to consider.
     
  6. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Look for small white flecks in the cells the brood was laid in If it is present it is most likely Varoa mite poop. Mite load effect is *1 reason for what looks like the bees absconded.
     
  7. jesse.rizzo

    jesse.rizzo New Member

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    My cell phone takes terrible close up pictures, I'll try and find a real camera.

    What exactly would I be looking for on the bottom board?

    There are white flecks in the brood comb cells, but only on two frames. Would that be a heavy enough mite load to cause problems?

    Thanks for the help to everyone that has responded.
     
  8. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    The bees could have cleaned and polished the other combs in the hive and removed them when there were more bees in the hive and before the weather got cold. the t frames were probanly the last frames that had brood in them as the weathe got colder and the queen decreased laying. What percentage of the cells had the white specks? how many cells in a 2" x 2" patch. a 2 x 2 patch is = to 100 cells.
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    if you had a serious varroa problem when the hive finally perished there is almost always evidence on the bottom board in the form of dead adult varroa mites.... I require a magnifying glass to see these. Basically the same issue is reveal in ApisBee's comment on white flecks.

    ps... in similar cases here I normally look for both clues.