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Colony of crawling bees?


Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed an inordinate amount of bees crawling over the sunny stone path leading to the hives. A few others spotted in other parts of the garden, but for some reason 80% of them choose this path— on any given day there could be as many as 100 (I don’t know what the turnover is, so perhaps it’s the same 100 for a while…)

Should I assume that something is seriously wrong with one or more of my 4 hives? If so, since I have seen some signs of dysentery on the supers, do those two signs add up to a recognizable disease? The proportion of these crawlers that have shredded or deformed wings is relatively low - I’d say 20-ish %.

Reading through the bee disease books, I’m finding ways to diagnose them with everything from Nosema to appendicitis…

Any guidance greatly appreciated!


That is a lot. I would treat, STAT. It is varroa and severe DWV. :wink:


By the way, I found the reason that I am not seeing as many bees with DWV on my brick path. This little guy (Western Fence Lizard) has decided that Oxalic Acid is good dressing on the crawlers! I have actually seen 2 of these lizards fighting over bees on the path:


I know I’d rather be a lizards fast food lunch than succumb to a horde of ants slowly… :disappointed_relieved:


I have always considered that by the time I see ANY bees crawling with DWV the colony is in serious trouble.
Olivia.How long have you had the colony? What sort of bees are they? What treatments have they had and when?


I believe that there is published evidence to back that up too, isn’t there @Dee?

Ah here is one. A bit technical, but they agree - DWV = bad for longevity of the colony:

Here is another one: