Author Topic: Dead Bees and Strange Landing Board Behavior  (Read 602 times)

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Online The15thMember

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Re: Dead Bees and Strange Landing Board Behavior
« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2022, 01:08:45 pm »
Just wanted to update everyone on this situation.  I inspected this weird hive a few days ago.  I didn't see the new queen, but I found a few eggs, so I'm hoping all is well on that front.  They had a huge amount of nectar and sugar water stored, so I freed them up some space for the new queen to lay.  There were also an absolute TON of drones in there.  Other than a seeing some of those shiny hairless bees, everything seemed normal.  They are still acting strange on the landing board, and none of the other hives are showing any consistently similar behavior.  Some days are worse and some days are better. 
Here's a picture of the strange hive:



And here's another hive for comparison:



I'm anxious for the queen to really begin laying to see how the brood seems.  I'll keep you all posted. 
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Offline Jen

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Re: Dead Bees and Strange Landing Board Behavior
« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2022, 10:47:01 pm »
Lazy ... "whew.....   scary.. memories of Riverbee spanking me came to mind.... "

 :D :laugh: :D omg I'm on the floor :laugh: :D :laugh:
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Dead Bees and Strange Landing Board Behavior
« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2022, 10:18:34 am »
15th, do the dark, hairless bees appear to be greasy or oily in appearance?
Did you do a mite check on this colony?  Now days, determining mite load seems to be the first place to look for answers.

Online The15thMember

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Re: Dead Bees and Strange Landing Board Behavior
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2022, 10:29:09 am »
15th, do the dark, hairless bees appear to be greasy or oily in appearance?
I'd describe them as shiny, I don't know about oily. 


Did you do a mite check on this colony?  Now days, determining mite load seems to be the first place to look for answers.
I will when I find the queen.  I don't like to do sugar rolls without finding a queen, because I wouldn't want to accidentally sugar roll her, and especially not knowing what this queen looks like, it would make me nervous.  I'll try to find her again this weekend.
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Dead Bees and Strange Landing Board Behavior
« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2022, 11:13:35 am »
Dark and hairless bees can simply be a sign of an older bee like you would see coming out of winter.

Online The15thMember

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Re: Dead Bees and Strange Landing Board Behavior
« Reply #25 on: May 28, 2022, 06:31:23 pm »
Dark and hairless bees can simply be a sign of an older bee like you would see coming out of winter.
This isn't a bad thought, since this hive hasn't had new worker brood in 4 weeks now. 

I inspected this hive again today.  I still found no queen, and I'm pretty sure they have gone laying worker.  I saw drones in worker cells, cells with multiple eggs, cells with eggs on the walls, and I even saw a worker with her butt in a cell being harassed by another worker.  The landing board behavior seemed like it was lessening recently, although due to life I wasn't up in the apiary the second half of this week until today, so I'm not sure if that trend is continuing consistently.  They do have a very developed queen cell, but I'm not sure where they could have gotten a female egg, as there was no other brood in the whole hive, so unless it's one of those REALLY rare parthenogenesis times, I'm thinking it's probably a drone larva. 

So here's the question: What's the risk to the other hives if I shake them out?  Based on their weird behavior, what's the likelihood that they are sick, and would just spread it to all my other hives?  On the other hand, there are still a lot of bees in this hive, it seems a shame to just waste them by euthanizing the whole hive.  This hive also has a TON of drones, as I mentioned, and I imagine they are already spreading around to the other hives, and all the other hives are still acting totally normal.  Opinions?
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Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: Dead Bees and Strange Landing Board Behavior
« Reply #26 on: May 29, 2022, 07:41:04 am »

   If the hive LOOKS otherwise healthy and doesnt smell abnormal...  Thats exactly what I would do.... shake them out about 20 yards front of the other hives and remove their box completely.
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Offline tedh

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Re: Dead Bees and Strange Landing Board Behavior
« Reply #27 on: May 29, 2022, 09:48:58 pm »
I agree with lazy about looks and smells. Having said that, I've brought a couple similar colonies back from the grave by adding a frame of open brood with eggs each week for awhile. Im not sure of the cost effectivness of that route in terms of stealing frames of brood from other colonies, but I get a get good feeling by bringing a colony back to health.  Ted
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Re: Dead Bees and Strange Landing Board Behavior
« Reply #28 on: June 02, 2022, 06:37:20 pm »
Just wanted to close the book on this one for everyone.  I shook out the hive today.  It really wasn't too bad, the hardest part was just lugging the boxes down the driveway.  This hive was 3 mediums, and I just took each box down along with an empty box with an inner cover.  I shook and brushed all the bees off the frames, and put the frames in the empty box, then took that to the garage, brought back the inner cover, and repeated using the box I had just emptied.  Unsurprisingly, the drones dispersed VERY rapidly, and the workers eventually flew back up to the apiary and started asking to come into the other hives, and it seemed that most were being admitted with little struggle.  When I go out to empty my pollen trap after supper, I'll check again and see what the state of affairs seems to be.  Next week I'm planning on making two little nucs from the original parent hive to try again to get a daughter queen or two from this mother, since I really like her.  Thanks for all the help everyone!   
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.