Pesticide?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by CeeGee, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. CeeGee

    CeeGee New Member

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    A friend of mine had a good 1st year hive going as of early Oct. Doing really well.
    She checks them last week and there are very few (5,000 + -) left
    She tells me all this and I look at them 3 days ago. Maybe 200 bees left, lots of dead right off the porch, no mites but no larvae, pollen and stores aplenty. Pesticide? Says a neighbor was spraying something a couple weeks ago. If so, is homey unsafe for human or future feedings to future hives? (never had this problem myself).

    She calls me an hour ago and found the queen and two or three bees attending her (no other bees anywhere). Just out of curiosity, how long can you keep a queen by spraying SW on her cage every 8 hours? (I once kept one almost a week)
     
  2. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    Have there been ongoing mite counts? The dead bees outside hive could be due to some robbing. Question about honey safety would hinge on why the hive dwindled. Was any honey harvested from supers and the honey in question is from brood area? Are there other hives in the same location or close, that are unaffected? More info would be helpful.
     

  3. CeeGee

    CeeGee New Member

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    No other hives in the immediate area, but of course that doesnt say much. We're pretty rural...
    The dead bee pile is definitely not a robbing consequence. Far more, and they're piled up (think Middle Ages "bring out your dead")
    There were no supers, just brood frames of stores. Looked good too - upper deck pretty full and the bottom fairly stocked on the outside frames.
    Just....gone or dead.
     
  4. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    I haven't had it get that far but I understand that a hive can collapse from a heavy mite load and it can be very rapid. If there were no successful brood rearing for a short while before temperature shut the queen down, the bulk of summer foragers dieing en masse as programmed with few winter bees coming on line, could be shocking. Pictures might help; I am thinking mite frasse in cells etc., but may be all wet.

    I am sure someone with more autopsy experience will jump in here.
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip....
    how long can you keep a queen by spraying SW on her cage every 8 hours?

    tecumseh...
    I never try to keep one that way for very long but in a properly constructed queen bank and given you have no sever down turn in weather I can keep a queen in a queen bank for about a month.... although reasonable you want to keep the time as much to a minimum as possible.

    my first tendency would be to do as Crofter suggest above and look closely for any signs of varroa in the form of mite poop in the cells (should look like a small white sting inside the cells). going out on a limb here I am guessing that what you are seeing is a case of nosema c. which should start showing it's ugly head as the weather cools and has the capacity of depopulated the hive fairly quickly < both the nosema twins do seem to really show their ugly heads right after a slight dip in the weather right after some significant rain fall... that is typically just after a period of cool and wet weather.
     
  6. CeeGee

    CeeGee New Member

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    Thanks for all replies
    there was no mite feces, a very few on the count board (before this happened), and I didnt see the usual signs of nosema, but I have never dealt w/ Ceranae, which after more reading up on it, could be. The county inspector believes pesticides, but he hasnt made a visual yet - just heard the symptoms on the phone. Is there a definitive way to check for ceranae, short of sending off to a lab? ($$)
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    you might wish to look thru Randy Oliver's Scientific Beekeeping web site and read what he says about testing for the nosema twins. really all it should require is a basic low powered microscope and some 'protocol' on taking samples and processing these to get a 'good' sample on the slide. <on a more practical note here most often by the time you really know anything there is little left in the hive to do anything with anyway.

    nosema c unlike nosema apis does not typically leave any defecation marking on the front of the hive... it is also much quicker in how it acts than the apis version. some folks (like myself) believe (I think I read the same idea suggested by one of Randy Oliver's friends in one of his articles) that at certain times of the year a lot of dead bees in frame feeder is a good sign that you have nosema c. <the net effect of nosema c. is the bees afflicted not only feel weak but they also feel extremely hungry so they plunge in the syrup in a frame feeder but do not have the strength to pull themselves back out. it is also reported that nosema infected bees will also fly when the temperature is quite low and consequently do not return do to their exposure to low temperature <this may also somewhat explain why nosema infected hives may also loose substantial population in a very short period of time when the weather suddenly turns wet and cool.

    ps... although CCD is now though to have been a multi faceted problem I suspect nosema C. was at least a part of the mix.
     
  8. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Is the bee inspector going to come by for bee samples?