What is this on my bees?

Discussion in 'Pests and Diseases' started by ablanton, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. ablanton

    ablanton New Member

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    Anybody have any idea what this is on my bees? It is a yellowish-whitish fluffy material. I don't think it is pollen. I have been seeing it on the girls for two or three days, now. It is on the tips of their wings and on their feet. It is not on all of the bees, but it is on quite a few. Whatever it is, they do not like it. They get quite agitated and desperately squirm around and push their feet against it in attempts to remove it.

    It is only affecting one of my two hives.

    IMAG0214.jpg IMAG0215.jpg IMAG0216.jpg IMAG0217.jpg

    Apologies for the quality of the photos. I was using my phone and the girls don't exactly "pose" for me...
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I have never seen anything like it, but my guess would be resin for making propolis. Maybe somebody will have a for sure answer.
     

  3. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    They got into something the scout bees thought was pollen or was sweet smelling. because it is effecting only one hive and it's on multibale bees from that hive so they were sent to it by a scout bee. But for what it is ? Whats in your area farmland, Industrial, Manufacturing? Have you ever seen bees trying to gather sawdust in the spring of the year thinking it is pollen?
     
  4. ablanton

    ablanton New Member

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    All of the above is within 2 miles. Farmland, not so much. But there is a dairy farm close by and some horse pastures and large gardens.

    I dump the sawdust from my shop in the yard at the edge of the woods, but I've never seen my bees show any interest in it.

    Whatever it is, it must be sticky because they seem to have a little trouble getting it off. If you've ever seen a cat spank its kittens, the bees seem to be doing that with their feet trying to get it off.
     
  5. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Hopefully they have figured out it is of no use to them and they don't go back after it tomorrow.
    Sawdust when it is fresh cut especially pine.
     
  6. ablanton

    ablanton New Member

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    Makes sense. Thanks.
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    the time of year and the location of the stuff would suggest that Iddee is correct as to what it is. it is my understanding that once bees begin collect propolis that they need to get other bees to remove it.... which I guess somewhat conforms to your own observation.
     
  8. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    andy wrote:
    "Anybody have any idea what this is on my bees? It is a yellowish-whitish fluffy material. I don't think it is pollen. I have been seeing it on the girls for two or three days, now. It is on the tips of their wings and on their feet. It is not on all of the bees, but it is on quite a few. Whatever it is, they do not like it. They get quite agitated and desperately squirm around and push their feet against it in attempts to remove it."

    andy,
    do you have milk weed and pods right now? it has sticky white fluff stuff that gets on the bees? also, your description of "agitated" and "squirm around".....might be a 'grooming dance' they are performiing to get their sisters to help clean this off from the places on them they can't reach.....

    see here, crofter's description (1st post) and my reply to his post (last post):

    nit picking
     
  9. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I have milk weed with pods in bloom right now. Guess I should expect that?
     
  10. ablanton

    ablanton New Member

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    I am not an expert on milkweed, so I'm not sure. There may be some around here, somewhere.

    I didn't see any of the strange stuff on any bees today. I went in to the hive this afternoon and everything looked great. The two deeps were busting at the seams with bees. There were absolutely no stores a couple of weeks ago. I've been feeding them and they are starting to fill everything up. Top deep was almost full of capped syrup. A few more SHB than I'd like to see, but no signs of SHB larvae so I guess the girls are keeping them in check.
     
  11. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    andy-
    "I am not an expert on milkweed, so I'm not sure. There may be some around here, somewhere."

    me either.....:lol:, i do know that it is a very important for monarch butterflies and attracts other pollinators for it's sweet smell. i just googled it for north carolina, and you beeks in the carolina's do have milkweed.

    congrats on the beezy hive! and you can keep the shb......:grin: