dead and dying bees by entrance - any ideas?

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encle 

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Hello, I'm new to this.

I counted seven dead or dying bees this morning by the nuc box entrance, one of them being eaten on the landing board by a wasp! I know bees die off quite regularly I just didn't expect quite such carnage. I think most of the dead and dying looked intact so perhaps they're a bit sick? Is this acarine?
They seemed ok this weekend!?!
I got my bees a couple of weeks ago from a trustworthy source in a nuc box and was told to leave them in it overwinter.

Cheers
Encle
 

Moggs 

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The first thing that springs to my mind is to ask if they are drones (male) bees - identified by big big eyes and a generally bigger-than-your-average-bee appearance? Drones are generally not needed in the hive and get a bad deal at this time of year! Secondly - bees are reducing in number now through natural wastage. They tend to expire away from the hive but if you have a lot of bees in a nuc this could perhaps explain the higher percentage, as they will 'kick out' any dead bees.

A few bees out of many thousands in a colony is small bee-r (ouch, that hurt). If you are woried about disease, your local Seasonal Bee Inspector should be more than happy to advise.

Any more symptoms/ info?

Oh, and welcome to the forum!
 
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BeeNice 

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Bees are dying by the thousands this time of year to reduce down numbers that are too over winter. My garage roof that I have 2 hives on are covered with the dead, but the hives are full of living bees and are producing young bees that will over winter. Don't worry it's nature at work. Be careful of wasps around the entrance if a problem reduce down the entrance hole so the bee can defend easily.
Steven
 

encle 

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thanks!

the dying bees are just, well, listless ... one of them was pulling himself up a blade of grass, not sure why, another was trying to crawl towards the box ... a third was actually on top of the box.

I guess I could block the entrance up a bit more to make it difficult for the wasps.
 

Heather 

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:iagree:


but as a new bee keeper, you will worry, panic, have sleepless nights, want to check and recheck- We have all been there...:redface: It does get better - a huge learning curve and you relax after the 2nd year....
Bees have survived despite us for thousands of years- keep telling yourself that ;) As long as they had a varroa treatment before you got them........

And welcome to this forum- you will learn loads- especially that we all make mistakes...:banghead:
 

Moggs 

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As an afterthought - you should get a good idea by the general appearance of your (living) bees. They should be busy but generally at ease. Your dead 'uns may look cream-crackered with tatty wings (due to many miles in flight) but misshapen wings ('K' wing) in your living bees could be a sign of a severe Varroa infestation / virus. There are some good reference works on disease identification that should help in the longer term too.

Don't panic as some dead bees are to be expected as the weather gets cooler. If you were talking of dozens of bees, I would start to worry. If you have any lingering doubts (maybe due to your relative inexperience) you might want to get them checked out as other nasties could be lurking in the box and it is perhaps better for the wider beekeeping community that you are good to go.

You are sure to get a good cross section of opinions here and may decide to go with the leanings of the collective!

Good luck.
 

Queens59 

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Encle welcome - hope you enjoy being a newbee! It must be horrid actually - you've got your bees - and if anything like me want to check they are OK and doing well, but at this time of year can't open them much...

Some of mine were being kicked out and walking around in the area of the garden I keep the hives last week - but it has slowed this week. I take it they were the unwanted drones and exhausted workers. Anyway - good luck!!
 

Teemore 

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What they said before me!

The listless bees crawling about sounds like a combination of drones that have been booted out of the hive and bees that are knackered after foraging for a few weeks - some of them just need a wee breather and a boost of nectar from their honey stomach to give them the energy to get back into the hive. Others, being totally worn out, pass away outside the hive - thousands never even make it back to the hive at all.
 

encle 

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am going to collect the dead ones tonight and inspect them. and then perhaps if the weather is nice I will open the box up this weekend and have a poke around.
I know they've had the varroa and nosene treatments recently so they haven't been neglected.
 

Heather 

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If I were you- I wouldn't poke too much. The bees know what they are doing...and if you inadvertently damaged the queen you will be in doo doo up to your neck...
Check if they have enough food- and that you tell by lifting the box- heavy?- ok. Easy to lift? - feed some more...

We don't really go 'into' the hive at this time of the year- cooling brood etc- we may give them problems they didnt need:redface:
 

encle 

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I think I am meant to remove a treatment strip for varroa quite soon.
 

MuswellMetro 

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Encle

welcome, i live close to you, in that although i have my bees elsewhere my house backs on to muswell hill golf course, are you a member of north london, enfield or barnet

send me a private message and we will talk

Geoff
 

gavin 

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One of mine gave me some cause for concern on Sunday. Half a dozen listless bees with wings and legs at odd angles, plus a number of dead ones outside the entrance. The other thing that was odd about this one was that they were flying when the other colonies were quiet, another danger sign.

There are a few problems which can surface at this time of year and especially after the damp summer and autumn we've had here. Nosema could be one, but you are treating. Acarine (tracheal mite) could be another. Or of course unwanted drones or workers dying of old age and not being cleared out properly.

I wonder about acarine for mine. I have a sample which I'll test soon. It is quite straightforward to test visually:

http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/acarine_diagnosis.html

all the best

Gavin
 

admin 

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Encle

welcome, i live close to you, in that although i have my bees elsewhere my house backs on to muswell hill golf course, are you a member of north london, enfield or barnet

send me a private message and we will talk

Geoff
Well done MM :cheers2:
 

gavin 

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I think that Mo may well be ... errr .... on sabbatical again.

The essence of looking for acarine is to rip off the head together with the first segment of the thorax, best accomplished by getting your favourite weapon under the first pair of legs. That exposes the main air tubes (trachea) which you'll need a little magnification to see properly. Discoloured patches mean mites in the tubes, white is clear.

best wishes

Gavin
 

encle 

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me again
I checked when I got home and only managed to find three dead bees all of different shapes so in conclusion ... I have nothing to conclude!
looks like I was panicking for nothing
Encle
 

Skyhook 

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I think that Mo may well be ... errr .... on sabbatical again.

The essence of looking for acarine is to rip off the head together with the first segment of the thorax, best accomplished by getting your favourite weapon under the first pair of legs. That exposes the main air tubes (trachea) which you'll need a little magnification to see properly. Discoloured patches mean mites in the tubes, white is clear.

best wishes

Gavin
Thanks Gavin, thats a lot clearer!
 

Monsieur Abeille 

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me again
looks like I was panicking for nothing
Encle
Promise you, you ain't the first. In fact I doubt if any new beeks fail to through that sensation sometime during their initiation season.
 

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