What Happened?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Fredo Batali, May 7, 2011.

  1. Fredo Batali

    Fredo Batali New Member

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    As the title says I'm wondering what happened. About three weeks ago I opened my hive to place a frame feeder. The bees were doing great and were swarming around and getting out in the only two warm days we have had lately. The last three weeks have been wet and rainy. I have noticed very little activity in the hive. I put a new package and hive in last Saturday and checked on the other hive. Bees were doing well and moving around. I opened the hive today to refill the feeder and the hive is dead... I found about ten bees in there not moving hardly at all and there were some dead in the bottom of the hive, not an amount to be expected from the activity and number of bees two weeks ago. There were noi deads bees in the cells and I didn't see any dead larvae. The frames have a yelow color on them as if something was poured on them. The honey super above the hive body looks normal but has no honey. The comb in the center of the hive is very dark brown and on two frames the comb has separated from the frame. No honey is present and just a few capped cells are there. I'm at a loss. I don't want to loose my new bees. Any ideas?

    De Oppresso Liber
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Could you describe the yellow substance better. Pics would be helpful. It sounds as if there may have been something about the feed you were feeding. Exactly what was it and in what amounts.
     

  3. Fredo Batali

    Fredo Batali New Member

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    The yellow substance was like a liquid had been poured on the top of the frames and soaked into the wood. I fed sugar syrup 1:1. The feeder was on the far side of the hive body from the feeder. I will take some pics and post them in a few minutes.

    De Oppresso Liber
     
  4. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    If it has been cool and wet in your area, and you added an inside feeder, there could have been condensation inside of the hive.

    Could the yellow you are seeing be bee poop, they may have nosema.
     
  5. Fredo Batali

    Fredo Batali New Member

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    Here are some pics of the hive conditions I found this morning.

    [attachment=4:51xjnm30]DSC_0775_edited-1.JPG[/attachment:51xjnm30]

    [attachment=3:51xjnm30]DSC_0776_edited-1.JPG[/attachment:51xjnm30]

    [attachment=2:51xjnm30]DSC_0780_edited-1.JPG[/attachment:51xjnm30]

    [attachment=1:51xjnm30]DSC_0777_edited-1.JPG[/attachment:51xjnm30]

    [attachment=0:51xjnm30]DSC_0782_edited-1.JPG[/attachment:51xjnm30]
     

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  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    OK. I think most of what you are looking at goes along with plastic foundation, but I don't think that is where the problem is. It looks like they just ran low on supplies and used one of the warm days to abscond, hoping to find better foraging grounds. When they could fly, but couldn't find food, they decided to fly farther as a group and look for blooms in another area.
     
  7. Fredo Batali

    Fredo Batali New Member

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    Iddee,

    Thanks for the quick reply. What do you suggest I do with the hive? Remove it from the field, clean it up and reuse it, or destroy it. I don't want to jepordize my new bees.

    De Oppresso Liber
     
  8. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Reuse it. I see nothing wrong with it. Of course, I never use plastic, but that is just personal opinion.
     
  9. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    In the first pic it looks like you did not have the frames pushed together tight allowing the bees to build a comb in between the frames (plastic foundation did not help matters, just my opinion also)

    second and third pic looks like everything was going just fine, is that nectar I see in some of the cells?

    fourth pic looks like a large piece of wild comb they were building between the frames.

    fifth pic shows some mold from dampness inside of the hive.

    The yellow you are seeing is pollen where the bees have tracked it on the white comb.

    I would just trim off all of the wild comb and hunt for some more bees. If SHB is a problem them I would freeze all of the frames at least over night to kill any of them.

    Sorry you lost your bees and hope you can find a swarm to fill that gear.
     
  10. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    All that burr comb is being built between the frames because you have them spaced too far apart. When there is more than bee-space, the bees will use that space to draw natural comb. The frames should be spaced the way you have them in the last picture to avoid that... but I agree with Iddee about that not being the issue on the bees absconding.
     
  11. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I agree with all the responses so far. Why the bees left may be uncertain but I have a hunch Iddee may be right. As for all the wonky comb, I use plastic foundation only and if you do not have your frames tight together you will sometimes find stuff like this. I wonder if photo 1 was a top deep and photo 5 was the bottom? Do you use an inner cover? I notice the burr comb built on top of your frames seems kinda high, suggesting the bee space between your boxes or the inner cover may be a little much, but again, nothing serious.