That is awful! Sorry about your loss, that really sucks!
Sorry for the loss, Bobby… I can only imagine how frustrating that must be…
Terrible, Bobby, really sorry. It is such a privilege to see what empathy you have with your bees, thank you for sharing this. I would love to see an update on the grafts you made, if you have time in a couple of weeks or so.
Sorry to see that.
Gratefully, none of my other 11 colonies seem to have found that source of pesticide in the 28.27 square miles around my apiary (3-mile radius).There’s definitely mosquito treatments going on in some yards within that radius and given the lack of brood, I’d say the timeline extends back at least 3 weeks to when the privet was at it’s peak.
On a brighter note, one of my nucs has successfully raised a nice fat queen and the Flow colony has a ton of torn down queen cells. Should be eggs next week!
I’m going to politely and respectfully dis-agree with a pesticide kill.
My opinion is two fold:
This hive, which you said was your strongest, issued a massive swarm (it’s swarm season) that unfortunately, you missed, hence the capped queen-cells and no brood.
Second, these bees aren’t very hygienic:They drop their dead right in front of the hive instead of carting them off.
I have a couple of these hives, every year. They make lots of honey so I let them be pigs lol. Other hives cart their dead away several yards so I don’t see their cemetery.
I would like to know if I’m right or wrong so maybe send some corpses off to Beltsville, MD to find out?
It is lucky, and interesting to see how different colonies will go to such different sources of nectar.
You Honor, objection. Over broad and defamatory.
Look at the pile of bees. Consider how many undertaker bees a colony may have. I would guess that pile of bees has 3-5,000 bees tucked into the grass. If the colony is very strong, and has 50,000 bees, maybe half are foragers. The other half are nurses, guards, undertakers etc. Probably not many undertakers, as usually not many are needed. So those poor little girls have to carry their own weight in dead bees to remove them from the hive. Can you imagine carrying 150 pounds of dead weight 200 feet many times per day? I couldn’t do it. The best I could do would be drop it outside the front door.
I rest my case.
I can see where you’re coming from. I will point out though that those queen cells are typical of emergency cells and not located where one would find typical swarm cells.
They also are the sorriest, puny swarm cells ever if they are indeed swarm cells.
The mass of dead bees as well as the erratic behavior of the surviving bees is unmistakable IMO.
Here’s video from today. This better shows the odd, wobbly, twitchiness of the affected bees.
Please the court:
Tomorrow I’ll go out and show you a real pile of bees lol.
The twitchy bees in the pile are undertaker bees trying to unstick themselves from corpses in my opinion. The majority of the corpses look like they’ve been there for awhile and have decomposed. They will be odiferous as they rot.
It would be cool to send a sample to Beltsville your Honor:
The defense rests lol
I don’t know what it would cost, but I do like Ed’s idea of the test…they could then be called as an expert witness…
The plaintiff calls the twitching bees on the landing board to the stand…
Argumentative your honor!
Those bees could have just watched a Miley Cyrus video and are merely twerking!
Plaintiff’s counsel objects - inaccurate hypothetical. Any bee which had just watched Miley Cyrus twerking would be vomiting, not jerking around trying to imitate twerking.
That hive may not be done swarming yet. As those queens hatch out after-swarms with virgin queens could be issued.
I tend to agree that based upon my own experience this doesn’t really look like pesticide poisoning to me. I would have thought that once pesticide was brought into the hive it would have killed ALL the bees and in a very short time. In my own experience and that of a neighboring beekeeper, when our bees were exposed to pesticide (we live in the same neighborhood) they ALL died and very quickly…like in a day! They did not have time to make “emergency queen cells”. There were no survivors!
That’s sad. I’m also 100 percent certain that one colony can get exposed while one 8 inches away will not and exposure to a particularly strong hive does not mean all the bees necessarily die.
I had this happen to one of the colonys here and I immediately thought pesticide but the fact that the colony beside it wasn’t affected made me investigate further. When I watch the front of the hives I see the bees returning in what look like waves as in groups of bees returning at the same time and as they get to the entrances they split and some go in one hive and others in the other. This to me suggests that both colonys are visiting the same area and foraging on the same source.
In my case it wasn’t pesticides that nearly wiped out the colony, the lack of stores pointed to starvation and the colony has now recovered and doing well.
I know this was not the case for Bobbys bees but I do find it curious that if it was pesticides only one colony was affected. Perhaps my observations are misguided, it wouldn’t be the first time and certainly not the last!