Piles of dead bees under hives

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
299
Reaction score
187
Location
Bosham, W. Sussex
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
4+
2 weeks ago before I went on holiday one of my 3 hives was bursting with bees. When I returned it was far less busy, but had not swarmed, as the queen is still there with no QCs and plenty of BIAS. But there are big piles of dead bees under and in front of the hive, as there are also in front of the other 2 otherwise healthy hives.

I have another hive 1/2 mile away that has also piles of dead bees but is otherwise healthy.
Could they be old winter bees (not noticed though in previous years) or maybe insecticide being used somewhere?
IMG_1972.JPG
 

Attachments

  • IMG_1973.JPG
    IMG_1973.JPG
    2.2 MB · Views: 1
  • IMG_1975.JPG
    IMG_1975.JPG
    2 MB · Views: 1
Piles of dead bees isn't reassuring of a colony in good health, CBPV is a spring virus so one should be looking at CBPV as being the possible culprit.
Brood should noticeably be far less and likely some 40 or 50% less as many thousands of house/nurse bees will have died off, look for shivering/shaking bees on the top bars as that don't move when smoked.
To stand a chance of colony survival one must adopt the open /no floor option so that dead/dieing bee simply fall out of the hive, virus is transmitted by the mortuary bees carrying out the dead so one must act to stop this occuring.
Raise colony up on a spare BB to increase distance from BB to ground.
Hoover /sweep up all dead bees from around the hive, leave colony on an open floor for some 6 - 8 weeks and think about requeening .
 
Thanks. Certainly looks like that. Tens of thousands of bees have died. So a disastrous year to come as all 4 colonies are affected.

Now need to think about how to recover and what is the risk of it recurring. After EFB 4 years ago makes you think about giving up.
 
Now need to think about how to recover and what is the risk of it recurring. After EFB 4 years ago makes you think about giving up.
You're fast tracking experience that a lot of beekeepers don't have, depressing as it seems from the inside there's a good chance that you're going to end up a very thoughtful bee handler if you keep going.
 
I 'm informed that there is anecdotal evidence to suggest the soil/grass around an infected hive can become a reservoir of re-infection from CBPV. I suppose possibly due to the thousands of dead bees littering the ground.
Ive had a completely new colony and clean hive infected with CBPV this year on the same site as a colony the was euthanised for CBPV last year. I had sprayed the area with Jayes fluid after hoovering up all the dead bees I could find but the virus has struck again. I'm considering abandoned the site for a while.
Does anyone know anything about the survival of CBPV in the enviroment?
 
I 'm informed that there is anecdotal evidence to suggest the soil/grass around an infected hive can become a reservoir of re-infection from CBPV. I suppose possibly due to the thousands of dead bees littering the ground.
Ive had a completely new colony and clean hive infected with CBPV this year on the same site as a colony the was euthanised for CBPV last year. I had sprayed the area with Jayes fluid after hoovering up all the dead bees I could find but the virus has struck again. I'm considering abandoned the site for a while.
Does anyone know anything about the survival of CBPV in the enviroment?
Someone on here mentioned ants can carry it. Is that a possibility in your location?
 
Someone on here mentioned ants can carry it. Is that a possibility in your location?
Yes, I had considered that as we seem to have lots more ants than usual this year. Seem resistant to the ant powder I sprinkled around the hive legs as well !
Even found ants with eggs on upper surface of the crown board in one hive.
 
Yes, I had considered that as we seem to have lots more ants than usual this year. Seem resistant to the ant powder I sprinkled around the hive legs as well !
Even found ants with eggs on upper surface of the crown board in one hive.
Ive had EFB in the past and frankly I find CBPV harder to deal with, both emotionally and time spent.
 
I 'm informed that there is anecdotal evidence to suggest the soil/grass around an infected hive can become a reservoir of re-infection from CBPV
never heard that - would be nice to see some references, I've had a few occurrences of CBPV in various apiaries, I've never hoovered the fields or disinfected them afterwards and thus far have had no reoccurrences at those sites.
 
Yes, I had considered that as we seem to have lots more ants than usual this year. Seem resistant to the ant powder I sprinkled around the hive legs as well !
Even found ants with eggs on upper surface of the crown board in one hive.

Ant powder will be lethal to bees too - if you’re using it around the hives and the bees are coming into contact with it, or water that has been in contact with the powder, that may be why you have piles of dead bees.
 
Yes, I had considered that as we seem to have lots more ants than usual this year. Seem resistant to the ant powder I sprinkled around the hive legs as well !
Even found ants with eggs on upper surface of the crown board in one hive.
ants are no problem to the bees, they live together with no issues
 
If bees are landing short where the ant powder is they will be affected by it, worse if they manage to get into the hive they will affect others!
All the "ant killers", "wasp killers" etc are just general insecticides, usually based on pyrethroids or related compounds which kill bees too.
 
Thanks. Certainly looks like that. Tens of thousands of bees have died. So a disastrous year to come as all 4 colonies are affected.

Now need to think about how to recover and what is the risk of it recurring. After EFB 4 years ago makes you think about giving up.
Don't give up. Hopefully your bad luck is out of the way. Follow the steps others have suggested and hopefully you will have better luck and enjoyable beekeeping experiences in future.
 
If you really feel the need to discourage the ants from using the hive as a nursery, try a light sprinkling of cinnamon powder on the crown board and on the trails they use to climb up the hive stands.
 
If you really feel the need to discourage the ants from using the hive as a nursery, try a light sprinkling of cinnamon powder on the crown board and on the trails they use to climb up the hive stands.
Perhaps a bit of stewed apple and custard to help it along ?
 

Latest posts

Back
Top