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deemann1 

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I had one colony just disappear on me last winter 3 frames of dead brood plenty of stores and not one bee left in hive dead or alive
 

beeno 

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To check for varroosis you hold the frame up so that sunlight hits the bottom of the cells. If you see white deposits inside the brood cells, this is varroa poop. If there is a lot of excrement then varroa is most probably the culprit.
 

Erichalfbee 

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To check for varroosis you hold the frame up so that sunlight hits the bottom of the cells. If you see white deposits inside the brood cells, this is varroa poop. If there is a lot of excrement then varroa is most probably the culprit.
Absolute diagnostic. I was going to ask if @deemann1 did that.
 

Michael Palmer 

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Another diagnostic approach. You say there are three frames with dead brood. Dig out some of the mature pupae that died while trying to emerge. Do they have fully formed wings? A plump fully formed abdomen? If Varroosis killed the colony, many of the emerging will have shriveled wings and flat stunted abdomens
 

Erichalfbee 

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Yes I think it’s crucial to do a post mortem of any dead out.
 

Amari 

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To check for varroosis you hold the frame up so that sunlight hits the bottom of the cells. If you see white deposits inside the brood cells, this is varroa poop. If there is a lot of excrement then varroa is most probably the culprit.
Never knew that! Thanks ++
 

Amari 

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A lot of people consider little white specks at the tops of cells are crystallised honey. If you consider where they are it’s not likely.
If in doubt you can always taste it. 😬
Well, I often do. SWMBO often serves sardines, pilchards, shrimps etc....
 
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A pal been to his apiary. One decent sized colony, topped up with fondant, and a super of stores has decamped..not one bee remained!.. In November!...they had room, so any thoughts why? I know of starvation swarm but these had no excuse!
Probably too large a space to keep warm, why leave a super ?
 

Hebeegeebee 

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I've seen a queenless mini-nuc decamp to a queenright one; so maybe the bees moved - in the same way as a made-up nuc can lose pretty well all it's bees back to the parent colony even if young bees have been shaken in that you would expect to stay put. A Q- colony gets wind of a better place to be - after a little robbing perhaps?? Just a thought.
 

Nige.Coll 

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I've had them abscond and join the hive next door during winter when a queen failed.
I was taking pictures of the cluster through the omf for giggles and the colony next to the empty hive had a much larger cluster than before they absconded.
 

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