numerous dead/ Dying bees around hive?

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garthpro
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numerous dead/ Dying bees around hive?

Unread post by garthpro » September 6th, 2016, 11:21 am

I just walked out to the hives to see over 100 dead and dying bees around the hive we harvested 10 days ago. They still have THEIR honey super full. The other hive 20 feet away is fine. Any ideas? It is late summer here, and dry, but the ragweed is in full bloom and I see them working it. Ample 20-30 acres just behind their hive
I have a video that I can attach after I transfer from my phone.

garth
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Allen Dick
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Re: numerous dead/ Dying bees around hive?

Unread post by Allen Dick » September 6th, 2016, 11:24 am

Could be some fallout from brood damage when removing honey. Could be other things. If it does not get worse, it will probably stop.
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Re: numerous dead/ Dying bees around hive?

Unread post by garthpro » September 6th, 2016, 11:41 am

thanks. I will blow or sweep the dead and injured to see what happens. I did move the extracted super to the other hive as they were ready for a honey super. I gave this hive a fresh super that I added a month ago to the top, but they had only started to draw on. This is weird. Could be some robbing, but this hive was the stronger, from a package I bought, and the other is a collected swarm.
garth prosser
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Re: numerous dead/ Dying bees around hive?

Unread post by Allen Dick » September 6th, 2016, 11:46 am

Where are you located? It helps a lot if you put your location and other info like altitude, hive numbers and even experience level in your profile, signature or both. All beekeeping is local and advice for one area may not apply even one hundred miles away.

The number and quality of replies will depend on the quality and amount of information given when asking for advice/opinions...
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Re: numerous dead/ Dying bees around hive?

Unread post by garthpro » September 6th, 2016, 11:51 am

Sorry. I put all those items in when I fillled out my profile. Not sure why they weren't included!?
zone 5b, central OHIO USA> 2 hives, new this year but I've read everything I can get my hands on.
garth prosser
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Re: numerous dead/ Dying bees around hive?

Unread post by Allen Dick » September 6th, 2016, 11:57 am

Is there a way to make all that info appear when I post.
You can put it in your signature and it should show if you put it in your profile. Maybe you did not save the entries?
Forgive me
:) Hehe. Of course. All that is optional, but providing it improves responses.
I see you mastered the signature as it is now on all your posts.
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Re: numerous dead/ Dying bees around hive?

Unread post by garthpro » September 6th, 2016, 12:26 pm

I placed a roll of grass in the entrance as a quick reducer, and blew away all the dead bees. Someone said perhaps mites? but the board was clean of any. They seem to be injured, trying to fly, but can't take off, just flicking around on the ground upside down, all over. It's crazy.

yes, I went in a found the settings. that one was on me. not experienced on the forums at all! thanks
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Re: numerous dead/ Dying bees around hive?

Unread post by Allen Dick » September 6th, 2016, 12:33 pm

Did you notice anything about the wings? Have you done anything to control varroa?

Bees are small, and if we could see them as clearly as we can see cattle, we would notice things we normally miss. Do you have a jeweler's loupe, a magnifying glass, or a dissenting scope?
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Re: numerous dead/ Dying bees around hive?

Unread post by garthpro » September 6th, 2016, 12:40 pm

I'll check some of the dead ones later with a magnifier. Thanks
From what I have read, the upsizing of commercial bees is what is leading to the mite issues. So this could explain why the wild swarm is fine, while the others are ???? doing whatever it is they are doing.
Still hoping it is robbing.
I also have a bag of rhubarb to smoke mites out. I have read it works great in place of harsh chemicals.
I have seen mites in pictures, but none so far here.
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Re: numerous dead/ Dying bees around hive?

Unread post by Allen Dick » September 6th, 2016, 2:15 pm

Sounds like you have been reading the wrong places.

FWIW, I know Dee Lusby quite well, like her and have visited there twice -- also attended a Tucson area beekeepers meeting back in the day. I also wrote articles for Bee Culture on the Lusby operation and the short version is the small cell story is a coverup for the Africanization of the Tuscon area years back. AHB naturally use smaller cells and the smaller cells were actually used by USDA as an indicator when swarms were found early on in the invasion. That does not mean I don't like Dee or respect her knowledge on bee topics,. I just don't go along with that story. Neither does any reputable bee scientist or scholar, although most will avoid the topic.

As for rhubarb, I would not rely on it. It contains oxalic, but in unpredictable amounts and I am sure that burning leaves is bound to release a lot of undocumented harsh chemicals besides the active ingredient. Personally, I can attest to the efficacy of drizzling or smoking with pure oxalic acid dihydrate, and the dose can be measured, but would avoid rhubarb.
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Re: numerous dead/ Dying bees around hive?

Unread post by garthpro » September 6th, 2016, 2:32 pm

Thanks
I can't recall where I read the size issue, but I think it was in a Natural BeeKeeper book, seems like a big green one the size of FOR DUMMIES. Don't have a clue who Dee is. Good to know about the rhubarb, but wouldn't any leaf in the smoker release the some toxins? So what if it was used each time I smoked, as a preventative? I'm just thinking and typing at the same time.
At least I know the source of the rhubarb is organic, from my garden.
I'll report back any findings once I examine some corpses

thanks again for all your help
garth prosser
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Re: numerous dead/ Dying bees around hive?

Unread post by Allen Dick » September 6th, 2016, 2:39 pm

Odds are you will find deformed wings on the crawlers. It is getting too late for treatment to save the hive if you do. A lot of people are led astray by 'natural' beekeeping books. These things can work, but there is a lot of luck involved and careful observation.

The big commercial guys did not get big by being stupid, so even if we don't agree with all their methods, they do know how to keep bees alive.

One commercial beekeeper/researcher I know and respect is Randy and if you want to go natural, I'd read his http://www.scientificbeekeeping.com and follow his advice. He has tried everything. I'm pretty sure he said he has even tried rhubarb leaves and I don't think they are on his current list of valid treatments,

I'm guessing. Let me know if they are.
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Re: numerous dead/ Dying bees around hive?

Unread post by garthpro » September 6th, 2016, 3:35 pm

Yes, the wings look like they come out of the body more to the side and less over the back.

Is it possible that some mite/ virus came in on the extraction equipment? since that was 10 days ago now, Aug 27
bees get on their back and just buzz.
a new pile has already accumulated since I went out and blew the dead ones away, 2.5-3 hours elapsed.
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Re: numerous dead/ Dying bees around hive?

Unread post by Allen Dick » September 6th, 2016, 4:35 pm

Deformed wing virus typically causes small, deformed and missing wings, not necessarily symmetrically. From what you say, my guess is that the hive is in the final stages of dying from varroa, but I could be wrong.

As for where the virus came from, the viruses are everywhere and generally only cause minor damage, but varroa weakens bees and punctures the bees outer 'skin' allowing the viruses to get out of control.

You will probably find varroa on the floors and in any drone brood you open at this point. You can try to save the hive and the other which is probably approaching this state, but odds are both hives are doomed.

I hope I am wrong.
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Re: numerous dead/ Dying bees around hive?

Unread post by Countryboy » September 6th, 2016, 4:45 pm

I also have a bag of rhubarb to smoke mites out. I have read it works great in place of harsh chemicals.
Maybe you are supposed to roll the rhubarb and smoke it yourself?

In 2013 I attended Apimondia in Ukraine and went on a tour of some beekeeping operations there. The first 3 or 4 operations, the owners had newer, freshly painted beekeeping equipment, a decent house and automobile. Their standard of living was fairly comparable to US standards, which means they lived far better than the average Ukrainian. You could tell these guys were making money. They also treated for mites.

Then we visited an organic beekeeper. He used horseradish to treat his hives. Boxes were old and beat up, and needed painted. He had hives sitting on a couple broken down wagons that you could tell had not been moved in a couple years. The fence around the property and the house needed some fresh paint and you could tell that routine maintenance was lacking.

Just reading between the lines, the organic beekeeper did not give me the impression that his beekeeping operation was profitable. It was just a hobby for him, and I suspect that he would have been lucky to be breaking even.

So, what kind of success do you want to have? You have some good beekeepers near you - folks like Isaac Barnes, Joe Latshaw, Barry Conrad, etc. I would recommend you try to bend their ear and learn from them, rather than following internet gurus whose smoke and mirror show will have you smoking rhubarb and leave you wondering why your bees either die or don't make you hardly any honey. (And while guys like me have more honey than we know what to do with, and are always trying to find more stores to carry our honey.)

Disclaimer - I have some old bee boxes. While a good many have been painted in the past couple years, I do have some that are in desperate need of a paint job...or even a match. And I am in the middle of remodeling an old farmhouse that I got as a foreclosure, so my place ain't the prettiest either. But I sold about $20K in honey from 50 production hives last year.
I just walked out to the hives to see over 100 dead and dying bees around the hive we harvested 10 days ago. They still have THEIR honey super full. The other hive 20 feet away is fine. Any ideas?
My idea is that you should open the hive and find out what is going on inside it.
Are the bees dying from robbing? Are the bees in the process of dying, or are they already dead? Did you kill a bunch of bees when you messed with the hive before, and the bees are just now getting them cleaned out?
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Re: numerous dead/ Dying bees around hive?

Unread post by Allen Dick » September 6th, 2016, 5:00 pm

One other thought. They are not spraying for mosquitoes around your area are they?
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Re: numerous dead/ Dying bees around hive?

Unread post by garthpro » September 6th, 2016, 7:20 pm

They sprayed last week. Mosquitos
This was not the first spraying this summer though, and only one hive is showing this issue. That alone made me write off the spraying.
As far as the hive health up to this point, I installed them may 9, and they filled a brood box plus 2 medium supers. When I harvested 10 days ago, the top super was filled and capped, only about 6 square inches on both outer frames were not complete, so the hive was thriving up to that point. 35# of honey
More reading and a trip to the Ohio State labs is in order.
Thanks
garth prosser
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Re: numerous dead/ Dying bees around hive?

Unread post by BadBeeKeeper » September 7th, 2016, 3:57 am

garthpro wrote:Is it possible that some mite/ virus came in on the extraction equipment?
Not likely, they prefer to ride on live hosts. If you are showing signs of disease, the mites (and disease) have been there for a long time, a lot more than 10 days.

If you want to stay 'organic', hit them with Formic Acid (MAQS). Pay attention to the instructions- do not apply if the weather is going to have daytime temps past 85*.

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Re: numerous dead/ Dying bees around hive?

Unread post by Countryboy » September 7th, 2016, 5:18 am

More reading and a trip to the Ohio State labs is in order.
What Ohio State bee labs? The Rothenbuhler bee lab closed 10 years ago. Wooster doesn't do disease diagnosis. They are more outreach and their research is often focused to all pollinators in general. The link from the Bee Lab webpage for bee diseases and pests under honeybee resources is a link to a pdf from the University of Minnesota. http://u.osu.edu/beelab/

If you want to get your bees tested at a bee lab, you have to send them to the USDA bee lab in Beltsville, Maryland. Follow their directions on how they want bees and comb packaged and shipped. https://www.ars.usda.gov/northeast-area ... t-samples/

Testing is free at Beltsville for beekeepers.
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Re: numerous dead/ Dying bees around hive?

Unread post by garthpro » September 7th, 2016, 6:13 am

I spoke with an extension agent last night who gave me some names at Osu. Sounds like his term "Osu lab" was used incorrectly then
It just in reference to several individuals

The number of dead bees around the hive was about half what I blew away at 3pm yesterday

I added a reducer as I saw a large number of yellow jackets and other non-honeybee types at the entrance
garth prosser
DUBLIN, OHIO, USA
zone 5b, 30 acre organic prairie surrounding the hives
2 hives
new to bees May 2016. but well read on the subject.

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