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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a friend, that sorta keeps bees, well used to. He does/ did very little with them and when he takes honey is only a frame or two at a time. He went o take a quick peek saturday morning, nothing formal and noticed that there were no bees, no dead bees, no larvae tossed on the ground, but frames with brood in the cells how much I don't precisely know, will have to take a look just to satisify myself. He opened up a few capped cells, and there were pupae most of which were in the final stage of pupation. What would it take to have bees desert brood? I can't readily think of what it would be, copnsidering that no obvious sign of disease, or attack were present or readily apparent. :confused:
 

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Re: Why would a colony abscond this time a year leaving broo

I had the same thing happen to me last year.

One of my strongest hives were all ready for winter in early November - a full deep of honey, large cluster, young queen, etc.

A cursory check in early December showed them all gone. The honey and a little bit of brood was left behind. Made no sense to me at the time and still doesn't.

I also have a friend in Kansas who had a hive do the same thing this year.

I have no ideas - but would appreciate any answers as this seems to be a trend that is not confined to any particular region.
 

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Re: Why would a colony abscond this time a year leaving broo

I to had a strong colony last year do the same thing,they left some brood and honey with around 10 or 15 dead bees on the bottomboard. I just marked it down as my first case of CCD, very strange. :confused: Jack
 

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Re: Why would a colony abscond this time a year leaving broo

any signs of small hive beetle
 

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Re: Why would a colony abscond this time a year leaving broo

barry42001 said:
I have a friend, that sorta keeps bees, well used to. He does/ did very little with them ...
Yup, that'll do it.

Did you get to see things first hand yet barry? Diagnosing things described by someone who doesn't do much w/ their bees over the phone is problematic at best. There are a number of things which could have caused what you described, if what you described is actually what you will see when you see the hive.

Could just as easily have been that the colony went queenless after a heavy late swarm issued w/out leaving any queen cells behind and then the adult population died off, leaving a beeless hive w/ dead brood because it was unattended.

Tell us what you observed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Why would a colony abscond this time a year leaving broo

haven't seen yet will in a few more days, assuming the ants don't and wax moth and SHB don't finish whatever started this---not a stranger to beekeeping, but never seen this late in the season a colony swarm out leaving pupae and emerging brood. AHB they will desert brood????? knew they absconded alot--but thought they waited for everybody to hatch out?? hmmm
expect to seem to see them over the weekend
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: Why would a colony abscond this time a year leaving broo

on a few things--there was honey and pollen again how much I will find out in a day or two. besides here in florida there is ALWAYS a pollen source, and minor nectar sources to greator or lessor degrees. I will look for SHB signs--and wax moth and were they africanized bees I will tell him he was luck--from my reading AHB when establishing a colony aren't bad--once established ( and this one was many years old ), then they have something to get defensive about.
 

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Re: Why would a colony abscond this time a year leaving broo

take a machinist scale and a magnifying glass with you Barry when you go to look.

casually use the machinist scale to measure cell dimension of any newer wax (this can tell you something about africanization) and use the magnifying glass to inspect litter on the bottom board and the bottom of the cells around where the remaining brood patch was located <dead varroa can show up as litter on the bottom board and as varroa poop (can I say that here?) on the bottom of cells in the primary brood area.

around the primary brood patch also look for any started queen cells <at least here in the fall of the year getting a queen properly mated is somewhat difficult.... the heat and loss via large number of migrating birds I think are two of the primary problems associated with getting queens properly mated here in the fall of the year.
 

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Re: Why would a colony abscond this time a year leaving broo

I am inclined to think that (at least in my similar case) AHB was not the cause. The reason is that the hive was a spring start (less than a year old), had a marked queen (present at the last check) and was in North Dakota. No doubt, we get some AHB genetics in with the migratory beekeepers from CA- but my hive that left this way was made up of Carniolan stock. I can be comfortably certain of that.

My friend in Kansas is also north of AHB territory and his hive was a spring start from a local nuc as well.

It is certainly possible for hives in Northeastern Florida - but I don't think that AHB can adequately address the larger pattern that seems present.

Mike
 

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Re: Why would a colony abscond this time a year leaving broo

Granted that AHB is not likely the answer, even for FL, but it seems like there are more cases of absconding being reported. This could just be a matter of perception and not reality. Something amplified by the internet.

How many of these cases are misdiagnosed by beginner beekeepers? How many cases of absconding are actually something else, like queenlessness, supercedure, disease or pests?

There is really too much we don't know about each case to be able to make a credible diagnosis. Which doesn't mean we shouldn't try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Re: Why would a colony abscond this time a year leaving broo

Answers atlast, my buddy was mistaken--no honey reserves, small quanities of pollen, small hive beetles, and varroa in fine debris on bottom board few dead bees, wax mothes not yet. Didn't check cell size for AHB don't really think was needed considering the issues found. Found OLD queen cell cups along bottom edge of brood frames swarm cells most likely from previous season. no signs of superceedure cells in middle of frames.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Re: Why would a colony abscond this time a year leaving broo

looks like starvation, with all the other items mentioned--think I would leave as well. Is a bit confusing considering the colony is a long term hive been there for close to a decade, lots of forage year around, so why now, won't speculate on it too much as in fact will probably never know the true cause of the collaspe of the colony and later absconding.
 

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Re: Why would a colony abscond this time a year leaving broo

well it ain't like it hasn't ever happened before and in my experience you almost never know exactly why. it is good 'in your head' to differentiate eventual outcome from cause. as I suspect you recognize the hive in question eventual outcome was to abscond due to nothing in the box but the cause ??? is why was there nothing in the box.

some time bee keeping can be a bit like a mystery 'who done it' novel.
 
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