What is happening to our queens

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

Nannysbees 

House Bee
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
271
Reaction score
168
Location
Barry
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
2
Treated in August, they managed to overwinter but were very weak and died after second spring inspection. Same happened to someone else’s colony at the same teaching apiary and they all colonies there were treated the same way at the same time
Treated ours a bit late last year end of Sept. Used oxalic acid in Dec. Thankfully the two hives overwinter well
 

hemo 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
1,345
Reaction score
777
Location
West Sussex /RH.
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6-10
Thanks; I now need to decide whether I try the sugar shake or alcohol wash method first.

What about sprinkling icing sugar on brood weekly? Read about the method on a BBKA book last year when I first started beekeeping but was told not to do it as is can dry the brood and it isn’t efficient anyway; any thoughts?
Firstly sugar shake, it doesn't kill bees as the alcohol wash does.

Regards to dusting it's ok if you want a useless placebo effect on the bees that will kill unsealed brood.
 

hemo 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
1,345
Reaction score
777
Location
West Sussex /RH.
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6-10
Treated in August, they managed to overwinter but were very weak and died after second spring inspection. Same happened to someone else’s colony at the same teaching apiary and they all colonies there were treated the same way at the same time
The key is to back up the Autumn treatment with a late year one to mop up any varroa when most will be brood less, robber bees and late foraging bees on ivy are still a vector for passing varroa after a summer or autumn treatment.
It appears unnecessary but as in your example varroa could be the cause of spring failure or even Apis Ceranae, signs of spring varroa failure are white deposits around the cell tops and perforated cell capping's. Both of these were evident on pics supplied by forum users and from LBKA members on the LBKA whatsup chat, though one of the LBKA users was adamant that the issue was otherwise despite the overwhelming evidence.

For Nosema only a 400x view of mashed bees under a scope can confirm, but again this should be done early Autumn and then acted on if necessary.
 

pargyle 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
13,157
Reaction score
3,231
Location
Fareham, Hampshire UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
Thanks; I now need to decide whether I try the sugar shake or alcohol wash method first.

What about sprinkling icing sugar on brood weekly? Read about the method on a BBKA book last year when I first started beekeeping but was told not to do it as is can dry the brood and it isn’t efficient anyway; any thoughts?
It's a no brainer - a sugar roll produces exactly the same result as an alcohol wash but it does not harm the bees . you just tip them back into the hive afterwards and they get cleaned up.

As for dusting with icing sugar - as JBM said ... you might as well wave your magic wand over the colony it will have pretty much the same effect without damaging the brood.

Invest in a method for sublimating OA - a cheap pan type will cost you less then £20 plus an old car battery .. or a Gasvap - around £30 ... you don't have to spend £100's . You will need a face mask - another £20 or so from Toolstation ... and you are set up for years to come.
 

hemo 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
1,345
Reaction score
777
Location
West Sussex /RH.
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6-10
Treated ours a bit late last year end of Sept. Used oxalic acid in Dec. Thankfully the two hives overwinter well
Although late in Autumn, you did give thought to and applied the late year treatment to mop up more varroa. The slightly later Autumn treatment likely not too late as brood rearing when mild may continue in to early December.
 

hemo 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
1,345
Reaction score
777
Location
West Sussex /RH.
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6-10
As for dusting with icing sugar - as JBM said ... you might as well wave your magic wand over the colony it will have pretty much the same effect without damaging the brood.
Is the magic wand a bit like the magical Rhubarb leaf :rolleyes:.
Or one could try Tommy's expression with the hand's "Just like that", a comic genius was our Tommy.
 

pargyle 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
13,157
Reaction score
3,231
Location
Fareham, Hampshire UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
Is the magic wand a bit like the magical Rhubarb leaf :rolleyes:.
Or one could try Tommy's expression with the hand's "Just like that", a comic genius was our Tommy.
I have hand turned, solid yew, magic wands available for those who wish to try ... I have ones available (for a small additional charge) that have a knob on the end (matches the one on the other !).

A snip at a fiver plus postage ... the magic words come free with every wand ...
 

madasafish 

Queen Bee
Joined
Apr 10, 2010
Messages
9,971
Reaction score
1,265
Location
Stoke on Trent
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
6 to 8 Langstroth jumbos, a few Langstroth and National nucs.
I suppose that makes me senile and/or stupid and/or have nothing better to do
No Paul: none of those :love:
You breed Qs as a professional so mite count is important - to you.
 

plain_hunt 

New Bee
Joined
Apr 12, 2011
Messages
68
Reaction score
36
Location
Somerset
Hive Type
14x12
What about sprinkling icing sugar on brood weekly? Read about the method on a BBKA book last year when I first started beekeeping but was told not to do it as is can dry the brood and it isn’t efficient anyway; any thoughts?
I know Icing sugar is a very hot potato, but I’ve been doing it for a lot of years, and I don’t often have to treat in the Autum/Winter. I do do a count occasionally during the summer/early autumn to check the drop, but have never had a high enough count to have to treat with anything else.
But, if you’re doing this because you already have a high count, then as JBM says, you will need to do it every day. DO NOT shake icing sugar over the whole frame, it will get into the brood cells and kill the larva. If you are going to use it, do it after inspection, put the brood box back together, and shake across the top of the frames.
I find it does work. There’s no point doing it if you have solid floors, the varroa just pick themselves up and get back on the bees.
Drone culling, I’m against it and agree with all the comments above. I never could see the point of it even when taught about it.
 

B+. 

Queen Bee
Beekeeping Sponsor
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jan 13, 2015
Messages
7,643
Reaction score
650
Location
Bedfordshire, England
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
Quite a few
No Paul: none of those :love:
You breed Qs as a professional so mite count is important - to you.
Well, if they're important to me, don't you think they might be important to others too?
 

tchu 

New Bee
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
61
Reaction score
7
Number of Hives
4
Was there emerging brood and what did it look like?
I think so, as far as I can remember. At the first spring inspection there were lots of dead bees on the floor - more than there were at the other bigger colonies at the same teaching apiary. Some brood died with their proboscis rolled out, even though there were stores but not enough nurse bees to keep the brood warm I believe. They just looked weak, stayed on two seams for a couple of weeks, but queen was still laying but there seems to be no growth, and then when I checked the following week the colony was gone, disappeared, couldn’t even find the queen body on the floor, absolutely nothing. Some stores still there, but robbers started robbing. There was varroa defecation, small amount of sac brood, a couple cells with chalk brood AND perforated capped brood cells
 
Last edited:

madasafish 

Queen Bee
Joined
Apr 10, 2010
Messages
9,971
Reaction score
1,265
Location
Stoke on Trent
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
6 to 8 Langstroth jumbos, a few Langstroth and National nucs.
I think so, as far as I can remember. At the first spring inspection there were lots of dead bees on the floor - more than there were at the other bigger colonies at the same teaching apiary. Some brood died with their proboscis rolled out, even though there were stores but not enough nurse bees to keep the brood warm I believe. They just looked weak, stayed on two seams for a couple of weeks, but queen was still laying but there seems to be no growth, and then when I checked the following week the colony was gone, disappeared, couldn’t even find the queen body on the floor, absolutely nothing. Some stores still there, but robbers started robbing. There was varroa defecation, small amount of sac brood, a couple cells with chalk brood AND perforated capped brood cells
They probably swarmed in desperation.

The brood you describe is a classic for large scale varroa infestation..(defecation and perforated cells).
 

madasafish 

Queen Bee
Joined
Apr 10, 2010
Messages
9,971
Reaction score
1,265
Location
Stoke on Trent
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
6 to 8 Langstroth jumbos, a few Langstroth and National nucs.
Well, if they're important to me, don't you think they might be important to others too?

They may be - but as I can do nothing with them., I don't count
 

tchu 

New Bee
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
61
Reaction score
7
Number of Hives
4
Another classic sign of heavy varroa infestation.

It's at this stage of stress - varroa, chalk, sac - that EFB can emerge...
Wasn’t aware of that. Hopefully they died/absconded before EFB. I did get rid of the combs & sterilise frames and hive. No EFB in my area according to the NBU website though.
 

holmbee 

New Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 26, 2015
Messages
92
Reaction score
55
Location
Dorset
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
5
Viral disease is likely to be present in thousands of hives at a sub-clinical level, waiting for the right cocktail of stress to appear.

Absence of evidence does not = evidence of absence.
Where is the evidence to support your assertion that " viral disease is likely to be present in thousands of hives" and specifically EFB? Just interested rather than critical.
 

ericbeaumont 

Drone Bee
Joined
Sep 23, 2010
Messages
1,585
Reaction score
1,074
Location
North London, West Essex and Surrey
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
70
Disease is a natural background element in a hive, just as it is in many animals including you and I.

I have no evidential links to hand but maybe others will confirm or shoot me down. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: mbc

pargyle 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
13,157
Reaction score
3,231
Location
Fareham, Hampshire UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
Disease is a natural background element in a hive, just as it is in many animals including you and I.

I have no evidential links to hand but maybe others will confirm or shoot me down. :)
 

Latest posts

Top