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Have I killed my bees by suffocation, or overdosing on Apiguard?

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margob99 

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I went down to feed the bees and found a whole lot dead inside the hive. By "a whole lot" I mean at least a hundred on top of the crownboard, near the Apiguard. I'll admit this is a third treatment, as they had a particularly heavy varroa fall in September. The Apiguard has been on a week.

Hive configuration is

- super at the bottom (filled with stores for winter)

- crownboard (which I placed on at the advice of another beekeeper - long story.) But perhaps it's blocking free passage down through to the entrance and contributing to possible suffocation? I read this interesting thread http://www.beekeepingforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=1400&highlight=apiguard+poison However I still see bees flying in and out of the entrance - not as many as my other hive, but certainly still lots of activity. I will go check that anyway tomorrow in the daylight.

- brood box

- another crownboard

- eke - for apiguard treatment

Varroa sticky board has been in place.

I removed the apiguard and varroa sticky board (only one mite noted) once I'd seen all the dead bees. And scooped out most of the dead bees on the uppermost crownboard. And took a video*, which shows the action of one of the bees dying. Thought it might offer some clues.

Have saved the dead bees for possible further investigation.

Based on what I've mentioned here, and the video, has anyone got any advice or input? Can anyone offer an idea of what the reason might be?

*This video is a bit distressing - sorry.

[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1dSxsgO8DI[/ame]
 

Bcrazy 

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If that is the crown board in the picture then that is rotten and damp it looks like spots of mould. there is something terribly wrong with the configureation of your hive if this is the case. Bees can not tollerate dampness.
 

margob99 

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Sorry, I realise I've not been clear about what you're seeing in the video. I've scooped some of the bees off the crownboard inside the hive, onto a small sheet of plywood, and what you're seeing is outside the hive now; the dead bees lying on the sheet of old ply and the live bee writhing around off the wood and onto the paving stone where I put them down. So it's not actually inside the hive, but it's what things looked like when I opened the hive up ...
 

Polyanwood 

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When you opened up last time did you leave bees above the crown board and cover the holes so they could not rejoin the other bees so that they starved trapped there?
 

bobandbec 

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I don't like the sound of a CB under the BB. Surely this must be restricting the air flow and resulting in possible dampness in the top part of the hive never mind the obstruction caused to access to stores. entrance etc.
Peter
 

Polyanwood 

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People put a CB below BB with super below it when they are trying to get bees to move honey up from the super and into the BB for Winter. Some people prefer their bees to have honey. It is supposed to work for 2 reasons;
the bees don't like honey below the brood nest and also the crownboard acts as a barrier so the view the super as outside the colony and therefore move stores inot the BB.

I would have thought it was getting a bit late in the year for this trick though.
 

Onge 

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A bit late!, it's going down to 1 c here tonight.

Far too late for all that kind of stuff.

I suppose you could bung some fondant on and hope for the best.
 

Mike a 

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I guess the apigard may not of helped if they felt trapped but it could be the normal death rate from old age but with the configuration of your hive they either couldn't find their way out to die or the undertakers couldn't remove them.

Was your queen laying a good pattern during early August?
 

birchdale 

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A bit late!, it's going down to 1 c here tonight.

Far too late for all that kind of stuff.

I suppose you could bung some fondant on and hope for the best.
I agree. Winter is here.

I was putting the woodpecker protection in place today at the apiary and noticed far fewer bees flying than last week.
The few bees at the entrance looked very dozy, hopefully with cold nights in store the night shift will be tucked up in their ball.
 

kazmcc 

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That is upsetting, I really feel for you. I have only seen bees die by wasp so I have no experience in what a bee dying of old age looks like, but that bee seemed almost doubled over. My instinct would say that isn't right.........is it normal?

I am going to have a pretend shot at giving some advice( lets see if I'm right, I'm sure I will be corrected if I'm not but I'm going to give it a shot )

Take the extra cb off, sling the apiguard out, bung a feeder on and maybe have some of the dead bees sent off to test. If they are not recovering, combine if you can.

How did I do?

I'm going even braver, although this really is a guess. If you don't have a colony to combine with, stick them in a nuc so they don't have so much room to keep warm or close in with dummy boards and feed like the devil. Assuming they are well and it wasn't the cb config that did it. Probably wrong with that last bit....would it work? Would I still have bees next year?
 

kazmcc 

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what did i do? lol, admin! get out of my corner, I need it back hee hee ;P
 

admin 

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Its all yours Kaz,I have left the pointed hat with the big letter D on in the corner for you.
 

stilllearning 

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I'd go with what kaz says , sound advice to me.
i would say simular but rearrange the hive to floor, BB, feeder (if a miller directly on BB) flat board CB then roof. apistan strips in and a dose of oxalic.
give them quarter of a feed and if in 4 or 5 days they've taken it down give them another good feed and leave to overwinter (preferably use ambrosia). if they haven't taken it down i doubt they're any good, so either destroy or unite with another hive(maybe not advisable in case there is anything wrong with them) or just leave them and sort it out next year.
good luck mate
 
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Margo - So sorry, you must be devastated. I treated three times for varroa, so I don't think that is the problem. At a guess I think the hive configuration is likely to have contributed to an extent, and agree with Kazmcc that I'd move the survivors to a nuc, and feed like crazy to try and get them through the winter.

Take heart Margo, and good luck!
 

MuswellMetro 

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why is the apiguard and api EkE ABOVE the crown board,:banghead:

the apigaurd should be on the frames tops in the Eke with crown board above, the apiguard should have circulation space through the eke and brood box and be in direct contact with the frames so the bees remove it and it gets into the hive

in your configuration it would not have worked very well if the post is correct as you appear to have created a small intense area of apiguard vapour above the crown board that has killed any bees that venutred up there to clear the apiguard paste possible on the hot day last week

what is your drop now, i have a alternative treatment if it is high

if the configeration was on your BKA advice I am worried at the support your BKA has given you as a beginer
 
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Heather 

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I think it too late for any syrup now. They cannot store and reduce to cap. They also prob lack the energy to work that hard too.

Super out - just OM floor, reduced entrance, (if colder -mouseguard on- but if sunny still allow them easy flight-had enough deterrents so far) brood, cover board on top- with opening to allow a large dollop of fondant that they can easily access. On top of this -insulation to keep heat in the hive. Roof.
Pray!
 

kazmcc 

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Errrr, I came back from my corner to expect everyone laughing and pointing at me with a few angry beeks grumbling about how newcomers should be seen and not heard......well, seems I might just make it to becoming a bee keeper after all and being trusted with a bee on my own lol :p

:leaving: before the grumbly ones come, it's quite comfy that corner now, don't you agree admin? We could put a coffee table over there and maybe a rug ;)
 

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