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tkwinston4 

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Can someone please shed some light on why i went down this morning and i had no bees!

Last sunday they all seemed to be out and really busy. I stood and watched them on monday during the crap weather and they were zipping in and out dodging the rain drops. Saw them again middle of the week but on saturday eve all was quiet but it was fairly late and raining so though perhaps they were tucked up early.

They are in a five frame nuc with a reduced entrance, they are being fed syrup, they have new queen from beebreeder and they seemed to be bringing in lots of pollen. The nuc was getting heavier and heavier so i took it that they were storing lots for winter.

Wasps didn't seem to be a problem to them. When i watched the wasps they were just hanging around and weren't brave enough to enter. Any that even went near were chased off. Plus i have plenty of wasp traps.

Admittedly i haven't been inspecting much due to the weather but they have a new queen and i was happy to just leave them too it. I was planning on doing the varroa treatment this week so i cant blame that for them absconding.

This morning i went down and saw a wasp walk in and thought that was very odd so lifted the lid and there was not a single bee. No bodies, nothing. Found a couple of wasps, there was cappings on the floor and that was it.

I am gutted :(

Obviously i will update Beebase but do i need to tell my inspector?
Is there anything else i should be doing?
Any ideas what happened? Is this CCD?

I am thinking about starting today again because not only have i lost my bees but our chimney collapsed in the crap weather last night and my car is running like a tractor because i was stupid enough to fill up with petrol at Tesco (they are renowned for having crap fuel).

So someone please tell me it wasnt my fault that my bees buggered off? :confused: :( :(
 

georgia b 

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maybe the bees have swamed because if it was full of stores there was no where for the queen to lay.
 

oliver90owner 

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maybe the bees have swamed

Poster said there were no bees in the hive. That is not swarming.

Either they have absconded or the very slim chance (very slim) it is a case of ccd.

A bit of their history would be good without needing to trawl back through previous posts.

Might be able to make a reasonable guess, then.

RAB
 

Leigh 

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I had a similar situation a few weeks ago - a small but perfectly viable colony was fine at one inspection, but nothing there a week later....apart from wasps robbing out what little was left. Some capped brood remained, but no grubs or stores.

It was the wasps wot dunnit.
 

dolbz 

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Oh no :( gutted. Really feel for you. This is the kind of situation I dread finding one day. Hope you're able to figure out why they went...
 

georgia b 

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that's true :confused: , i'm sorry about what happened :(
 

oliver90owner 

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Leigh,

perfectly viable colony

Obviously not that perfectly viable, under the prevailing conditions! I know what you meant, though.:)

Yes, it does happen and, often, may not take long from start to end-game.

This scenario needs more information as it would 'appear' the colony was not that small and had been there some time (just guessing at this really).

Regards, RAB
 

the beehive lodge 

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If it was CCD would the bees just be there dead on the floor to find no bees they must have flew / swarmed
or have i got that wrong

Alan

Sorry to here your sad news
 

tkwinston4 

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Surely if the wasps dunnit there would be bodies? There was nothing.

Not sure what other history you need RAB but here is what i can think of:
Large prime swarm received June 09.
Didnt take any honey in 09.
Inspected by local inspector in Sept 09 and given all clear.
Came through winter fine.
Built up quite quickly to start with then we discovered a drone laying worker.
Did several test frames, dumped them some distance away on a sheet - all the usual stuff for a drone layer.
Then bought a new queen off beebreeder a month or so ago and moved them into a nuc.
Left her in for the ten days then checked and she was till in her cage so left her a few more days, she was still in there because the candy in the end had gone hard so let her out myself.
Left her alone for another couple of weeks after that.
Due to weather that turned into three weeks and i was hoping to get in there and have a look this week, weather permitting.
I have been feeding all the time.
When she was finally released they were down to three frames of bees.
Before she went in they were moody little sods but after they got her they were lovely again.
I had been lifting the nuc to make sure they were storing and they were.
They had been suffering from wax moth but i was assured that once they got up to numbers they would deal with them.

What else can i tell you?
 

dolbz 

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I have been feeding all the time.
Could they have been 'honey' bound? I've read this can make them abscond if there's nowhere for the queen to lay? Probably hard to tell now if the wasps have been in and had a party
 

oliver90owner 

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Reading the bits that were relevant, I understand you have never seen that she was actually laying, that she was not rejected after release?

They may well have been effectively Q- for 'several' months?

I think there may well be a simple underlying reason here, for an empty hive, and the likely probability of it being CCD is very close to zero.

RAB
 

Chris B 

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If the colony was on the decline anyway it was only a matter of time before the wasps quickly cleaned it out. They will take all the dead too if desperate.
 

MuswellMetro 

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Could they have been 'honey' bound? I've read this can make them abscond if there's nowhere for the queen to lay? Probably hard to

No, as RAB said ,from the description it has been to long without a laying queen

so old queen stops laying then 40 days for a laying work to start laying, a queen a few say 3 in post, 10 days in cage , say 3 days before let out

then once she is laying 21 days to brood emerging 1+ cleaning cell

so 40 + 3 + 10 + 5 + 21+1 less 21 days for the last batch of brood by the old queen to hatch and you have worker bees at least 38 days old, and they live for an average of 6 weeks ( 42 days)

not a lot of hope was there
 

tkwinston4 

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Reading the bits that were relevant, I understand you have never seen that she was actually laying, that she was not rejected after release?

They may well have been effectively Q- for 'several' months?

I think there may well be a simple underlying reason here, for an empty hive, and the likely probability of it being CCD is very close to zero.

RAB
Fair enough RAB but they were feeding her whilst she was in the cage. There was no aggression towards her in the cage, hence my decision to just let her out when it was clear the candy had gone hard. Their attitude changed for the better shortly after i put her in and the hive was very busy (flying wise) last weekend in the pouring rain.

Could they really go to zero in less than a week? :confused:

I am not saying you are wrong; far from it. I just want to understand how something that drastic can happen because i am so gutted and so annoyed that it must be my fault :( because i chose to not take a risk and inspect in crappy weather and after being told enough times to just leave her alone to get on with things, i thought best to just let them get on with it.

Its clearly a fine line between knowing when to inspect and knowing when to just leave alone.
 

admin 

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Did you add anything to the feed,like Thymol or another essential oil ?
 

admin 

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Did you add anything to the feed,like Thymol or another essential oil ?
No, they were taking it down very quick.
If nothing was added to the feed then the only other reason I can think of is they felt threatened and new they were doomed so absconded once the flow came to an end and they new they could not get enough stores of nector/pollen for the winter.

I suppose they could also of panicked if they were overun with wasps.
 

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