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Bees dying on the ground with a little life left, but eventually dying. Please, any answers

At work, we have a table under an Iron Bark tree, been noticing bee’s( no stingers) falling to the ground- no energy( ive read about drones dieing after a shag) and eventually dieing. Sometimes there’s one or two, can be over a dozen or more.
Can send photos. Can anyone clear this up.??

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Hi Bruce, how thoughtful of you to try to find answers as a non-beekeeper, or so I gather. Yes please post pics, if you can, they’ll help a lot to ID type of bee and tell whether the ones you’re seeing falling/dying are female or male. As you rightly noted, drones do die after shagging :laughing:


Thanks for getting back to me. Ive got some images and video, just work out how

Done. Hope these help you, anything else from the scene of the mystery

One at a timeProcessing: 20210811_122747.mp4…

Let me know if you need anything else

Processing: 20210811_123122.mp4…

For the video, you will need to upload it to youtube.com, make it public and then post the share link here.

I can’t tell much from your photos so far, but I wonder if there is a wild hive up in that tree, and those are either robbers, or just old bees that can’t make it home. Certainly possible, and if the colony was 5 or 10 meters up, you probably wouldn’t even notice it from the ground. :wink:

Ok, thanks- certainly a good start. So for more information from thw photos, what would your eyes need to see. For evidence of the native bee’s, what would we look out for?. Thanks for your kind help.
Regards Bruce De Mellow

I am not suggesting native bees. From your photos, those look like European honey bees (Apis mellifera), but those still make wild colonies. To find a wild colony in an ironbark, I think you would need either to climb the tree, or set up a wildlife video cam aimed at least 5 meters above ground. However, @JeffH has done more rescues of wild colonies than I have, and perhaps he might have an opinion on this now that I have tagged him? :wink:

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Hi Bruce & thanks Dawn. There could be a wild-feral beehive up in that tree & as Dawn suggests, it could be old bees not making it home or old bees getting turfed out of the hive. Sadly, that’s what happens in the world of bees. If you get too old to work, you literally finish up in the scrap heap. If you get injured (by a beekeeper, for example), your broken body gets looted of whatever honey you are carrying, before getting turfed out. Bees only live for around 7 weeks, therefore it’s always possible to find dead & dying bees outside of a beehive.


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Cheers mate, are the photos clear enough to identify what type of bee?.. Thanks for the heads up on the old age side of it, and it is a popular gum tree.
Much appreciated

Thanks for the help,
Its been great to at least have a better understanding of bee’s and that its not a sign of environmental damage.
Its also been a distraction from lockdown in Sydney.
Much appreciated
Bruce De Mellow

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Hi Bruce, the photos are clear enough. I can see European Honey Bees in the photo.


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Great, the videos were much better. But being a newbee ( newbie) there’s a limit to what I can post. Anyway there seems to be an idea of a honey bee nest in the tree. Brookvale NSW Australia was a major market garden area- rigjt thru to Mona vale. So i/we , the smoko and lunch guys reckon that’s what we have.
Much appreciated your help

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