Dead nuc

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Ade'sBee's 

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Hi started 2 hives this year, one from swarm and one from nuc.Started feeding mid sept and treated with Apisan at same time (mentors advice ) i personally thought this was too late .Fed twice a week till mid oct then have been checking and feeding once a week . Checked last weekend ,swarm had a little syrup left and nuc had enough in feeder so topped up under advice and both looked well. Checked today ,swarm no feed but looks good ,nuc no feed but bees all bees dead on mesh floor ...my first thought was that i starved them but only checked them last week and they had syrup left so cant see how they could take the syrup and starve in 1 week....have read that feeding syrup this late is bad ...so am i to blame or bad advice ...please advise as i'm gutted about the nuc ..
 

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If it was the syrup I would expect to see lines of poo inside/outside the nuc.

Have you collected a sample of dead bees ?
 

oliver90owner 

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More info?

Varroa loading, DWV apparent? Imported queen or local strain? Any brood disease? Strength of colony? When started? Amount of stores in the box? Ventilation? Frames capped? Queen present recently?

All these, and possibly others, may be good for a decent diagnosis. Otherwise flying blind!

Regards, RAB
 

MuswellMetro 

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Do they still have sealed store frames, when did you last see brood, is there any any brood still there
 

Chris B 

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Starvation is easily diagnosed by dead bees with heads in cells where the cluster used to be. That and the absence of any honey stores in the frames.

Feeding syrup late may have disadvantages but it doesn't kill bees like that. Main problem with late feeding is they can't take it, or if they do it's slow and not stored properly.
 

oliver90owner 

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The only advice on the information supplied is to securely close up that hive (to prevent any other bees entering to rob) until you know the cause.
 

Hivemaker. 

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Sounds like they could of died trying to protect the hive while being robbed,but just not strong enough,but as RAB ....need more info.
 

Midland Beek 

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Case of a strong colony robbing out a weak one. Stimulate a strong colony with sugar syrup and they will go looking for it in great numbers.
 

Ade'sBee's 

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Just been and checked.Nuc started june,open mesh floor,no sign of poo in hive,vmd was low,queen cell from mentors bees, last weekend mentor and i checked them and numbers pretty good,not loads but enough to get through winter,frames had little capped pollen, no stores from nectar or syrup,no brood,a few half emerged dead bees.My other hive (swarm) from this year next to nuc,mentors 2 hives 100 yards away,she stopped feeding hers syrup 3 weeks ago,dead bees a bit stinky , have kept both fed on syrup...maybe feeding too late and just syrup was'nt giving them enough and they got robbed and starved ...dont know but any help would help..have collected some of dead bees ..Ade
 

richardbees 

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Can I ask where you got the Nuc from, Ade?

.....reason for asking is that I think there are some dodgy nucs on the market being sold to fill the massive increase in demand from new beekeeps

Hope this doesn't infringe a forum rule!

Richard
 

Ade'sBee's 

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queen cell with frames of brood/bees from my mentor so no prob there. last weekend they were fine ,good numbers ....i think the problem was treated and started feeding on same day mid sept which i think was too late and been feeding syrup till now ..all under my mentor .too late i feel and from what ive read this causes a frenzy with other hives and results to robbing ,apart from the fact that syrup shouldnt be fed too late as they cant draw the water off...will take syrup off my other hive and give them fondant ...my hives are next to each other ,mentors 2 close by,,warm weather here all week so girls been out...really gutted to be honest ..next year will do more of my own thing i think inc moving my nationals to 14x12
 

richardbees 

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Thanks Ade =just wanted to check if they were from a commercial source.

Maybe I've read it incorrectly but a nuc started with a queen cell in September just isn't viable whatever you do. Yes, definitely take syrup off your swarm hive

Richard

(My sympathies...but it's not your fault!)
 

Ade'sBee's 

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thank you , started end june not sept ,no prob with the numbers but as there were no stores think it was down to robbing.do u think i should feed fondant to other hive , need to check stores i think
 

oliver90owner 

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The more I read of this thread the more I am thinking it was not a strong colony, probably with a high varroa count from a nuc which was not a nuc and really didn't start at the date given.

Varroa treatment has been apistan - so likely a lot of resistant mites in that area? If so, the varroa treatment may have been of little use. The colony 'started in june' with a queen cell which may have not emerged until July, may not have mated and started laying until August and the colonymay have been a considerably depleted in bees by that time. Altogether not the best way to establish a colony.

It may not have suffered as I have suggested in the last paragraph, but any check on a small developing colony is not good. With a relatively small colony and possibly too many varroa (if the mentor is relying on 'well written off practices' for varroa treatment), I would think it was weak, in a too big box, possibly with a too large entrance and was lucky not to have succumbed to wasps earlier in the season.

Sorry, but my take on the information gleaned, and some dismal scenario guessing.

I may be wrong but.......without anything there to repudiate my guesses.....

RAB
 

richardbees 

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Ade, looks like we're in for a cold spell so your swarm colony are best left alone to cluster....
Richard
 

MuswellMetro 

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The more I read of this thread the more I am thinking it was not a strong colony,
Sorry, but my take on the information gleaned, and some dismal scenario guessing.

I may be wrong but.......without anything there to repudiate my guesses.....

RAB
just seen a similar problem hive today, small late june nuc , going fair but little stores but in mid august the beginner miss heard and fed syrup at 2litre of water to 1kg of sugar, in mid september

bees got demoralished, wasps just walked in and it was robbed of all stores in a week , they stopped storing even when given proper 2:1 syrup, coxed them on and having just got them to fill five store frames by this week , winter brood hatched i thought 50/50

it was robbed out in three days as he put a mousegaurd on and removed the blocked down entrance block (to 2 bee space), half the bees dead

AAAAAAh, "but it says in the book remove the block and put on a mouse guard at first frost" said the beignner-------bees dont read books, it was a 50/50 to survive but now no chance
 
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Ade'sBee's 

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need advice why the bees died , maybe treatment didnt work too well,had low drop which mentor says is ok , no drop is a prob.lots of wasps about....Rab , friendley advice much welcome , im in this not for honey but a childhood ambition..
 
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MuswellMetro 

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did you have a reduced entrance ( ie block reduced further with foam), how much did it take in feed and when

did you inspect for store before you fed or heft the hive to estimate stores

i would expect a reasonable june nuc to have four standard brood frames of stores by mid august, and perhaps use half a frame under varroa treatmnet
 
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