Quantcast

Large numbers of dead bees outside our hive

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

Loolabelle1 

New Bee
Joined
Jun 21, 2010
Messages
41
Reaction score
0
Location
Berkshire, UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
1
We have had our nucleus for four weeks. They seemed very healthy with lots of brood when we transferred them into our National. We fed for the first two weeks and they had completely filled the box so we added a super two weeks ago, which they have drawn out and are now filling with honey. However, we have noticed over the last couple of weeks that there are quite a large number of dead bees outside the hive and the numbers appear to be escalating. One of our tutors came to see them last night and she was concerned. As we watched, in the space of an hour, the bees were bringing out and dropping a significant number of bodies, although they flew away with some. We don't seem to have a problem with varroa as we know the bees were treated before we received them. Their tongues are all hanging out but it is definitely not starvation. We live in the middle of housing and don't have any farms near us. We thought it might be poisoning but wouldn't that happen over a short space of time. Our local bee inspector is coming to check them over tomorrow but does anyone have any idea what might cause it. This is our first and only hive so don't have any experience of this sort of thing although we have been attending the apiary visits of our local society and did attend a theory and practical course at our local agricultural college. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 

kazmcc 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 9, 2010
Messages
3,149
Reaction score
1
Location
Longsight, Manchester, UK
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
None, although I have my eye on one ( Just don't tell Dusty ;) )
could they be thirsty? obvious I know, but it is something I didn't know - that you had to give them water.
 

Loolabelle1 

New Bee
Joined
Jun 21, 2010
Messages
41
Reaction score
0
Location
Berkshire, UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
1
We have three separate water stations for them in the garden but have never seen them take our water. We have also made sure the earth is damp so they can drink from that if they prefer. We have seen a few bees take water from the ground but not many. We assume they are getting their water from somewhere else. We asked our tutor if we had done anything incorrectly but from what she can tell, it does not appear to be down to us, hopefully.
 

kazmcc 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 9, 2010
Messages
3,149
Reaction score
1
Location
Longsight, Manchester, UK
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
None, although I have my eye on one ( Just don't tell Dusty ;) )
I am a beginner, and I totally know how you feel. I hope it is something easily remedied. Good luck, please let me know how you go. My fingers will be crossed. :grouphug:
 

Hivemaker. 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
14,310
Reaction score
8
Location
Exmoor.
Hive Type
national
Usually with poisoning they either don't make it back to the hive at all,in which case you only notice a large fall in the amount of foragers,or if the poison is brought back you would have large piles of dead bee's in front of the hive....becoming less over the following couple of weeks.
Do the dead bee's have deformed or stunted wings,are they drones or workers,have there been any signs of robbing.
 

Hivemaker. 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
14,310
Reaction score
8
Location
Exmoor.
Hive Type
national
Could be Acarine or paralysis ,but generally these bee's are alive...crawlers.
 

roche 

Field Bee
Joined
Jan 12, 2009
Messages
869
Reaction score
3
Location
Newburyish
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6
Robbing maybe? Is there any fighting going on on the landing board?
 

susbees 

Queen Bee
Joined
May 7, 2010
Messages
3,233
Reaction score
0
Location
Welsh Marches, by Montgomery
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
35ish
Permethrin poisoning will kill bees for a day or so after spraying and is widely available for use in gardens against greenfly, blackfly, red spider mites etc...so if sprayed in the morning and then repeated a couple of days later where your bees happen to be visiting quite close could lose you a lot of bees. Poisoning signs - tongues out, wings unhooked, back legs pointed back although you won't see all of these each time. In daylight I think permethrin is deactivated after a couple of days on the plant....but I'm not sure what the situation would be if some had been spilt contaminating a water source that your bees use as drinking water (they prefer dirty water).

Starvation does seem a bit unlikely but if these are young bees (fluffy thoraxes) then there could be a varroa link. Any deformed wings? Have you checked for varroa (sticky board/drone brood count)? Any dead adult bees with their heads in cells?

Another possibility is that someone has illegally dealt with a honey bee colony in a chimney/air bricks somewhere close and that your bees have been robbing the abandonned, poisoned honey. There was a successful prosecution for this recently...all entrances must be blocked AND comb removed.

Sympathies. Not a nice thing to happen at all.
 

Loolabelle1 

New Bee
Joined
Jun 21, 2010
Messages
41
Reaction score
0
Location
Berkshire, UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
1
Thank you all. No, no signs of varroa. Wings are all ok. No fighting and no crawlers. Definitely not starvation as they are filling a super and we fed them for the first two weeks and at the weekend they had plenty of stores. Comb looked ok and new cappings on brood all looked ok. From what we can tell inside the hive everything is ok but obviously not. We could see eggs and young larvae and all looked healthy. The only thing out tutor mentioned was that they seemed very placid, almost too placid. She would have expected them to be more feisty. She picked one of the bees up as it landed and cupped it in her hands and it didn't try to escape or do anything, just sat there.
 

admin 

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
6,392
Reaction score
3
Location
Hampshire uk
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6
I had a nuc poisoned this year.
It was a single nuc in an Apiary,they had swarmed onto a brick wall about 200 yards away and the householder sprayed them with Permethrin without telling me.

He tried to destroy them but noticed they were still there the next morning so called me to collect them.

I put them back into the nuc box but next day found around 20 bees crawling around inside the hive and around 10,000 dead bees outside the entrance.

I burnt all the frames+nuc box just incase.

I was going to go back and educate the gent but thought better of it as I was upset.
 

Loolabelle1 

New Bee
Joined
Jun 21, 2010
Messages
41
Reaction score
0
Location
Berkshire, UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
1
Thanks all. I will update the post after the Bee Inspector has been tomorrow afternoon.
 

Loolabelle1 

New Bee
Joined
Jun 21, 2010
Messages
41
Reaction score
0
Location
Berkshire, UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
1
Our Inspector thinks it might be paralysis and has sent a sample away for testing. Apparently takes about two weeks to get the results. It is a virus so you cannot treat with medication. You can try requeening but unlikely to find queens at this time of year. Just keeping our fingers crossed they can work through it as they are a very strong colony with brood on nine frames and filling a super with honey in four weeks. They also have a lovely temperament.
 

BlidworthBees 

New Bee
Joined
Jul 9, 2010
Messages
89
Reaction score
0
Location
Nottinghamshire uk
Hive Type
other
Another possibility is that someone has illegally dealt with a honey bee colony in a chimney/air bricks somewhere close and that your bees have been robbing the abandonned, poisoned honey. There was a successful prosecution for this recently...all entrances must be blocked AND comb removed.

.
Do you have a link to any information on this case which is in the public domain ? Thank you.
 

Latest posts

Top