These are two of about 15 bees I found on the ground & in water bowl at the base of one of our wild hives, I put them on a shaded table & they started cleaning & drying each other. Many of them seemed to be very young bees, bright gold in colour & very furry. One of them however has what looks like a deformed wing & I would like to know if this is a serious problem/disease as they come from the hive I would like to capture and ‘tame’ for hive I’ve recently bought.
There is a Deformed Wing Virus but this is probably only a birth defect as DWV is associated with Varroa mite and Australia doesn’t have Varroa Destructor
It is possible that wax moth damage may have caused this, there is a symptom of wax moth larvae affecting the the last moult of the bee pupae which causes deformed wings or legs. The other possibility is the Tropilaelaps mite or varroa both of which are not present in Australia but you should look for more deformed bees in your area and if you find more, contact the Biosecurity Hotline on 1800 084 881 to get someone to come out and make sure its not too serious.
It was lovely watching them, these two took about half an hour cleaning & ‘talking’ before they took off, I can watch them for hours, amazing! Really I want a hive so I can watch them as much as anything else.
I’ve noticed a couple with this wing damage, after the last colony swarmed, they landed in a tree & were there for a couple of days before they were collected, many of them spent some time on the ground immediately after they swarmed & there were 2 or 3 showing the same damage. I will have the chance to check them more thoroughly when I get them down. Is that a Biosecurity number for Australia?
Yes, noticed you were in Victoria…
Hopefully it will just be Wax Moth but you can never be too careful. Get some more photo’s if you can.
Will do & will keep posted, thanks
When my girls and I go swimming in the summer we always spend the first 10 minutes on “Bee Patrol” and look for drowning bees. Then we set them up in a sunny spot and check on them until they fly off. My girls are always so proud of every bee saved.
The bees had a bit of a spring clean yesterday, amongst the bee debris that had been disposed of was this very golden bee (even her wings seemed to glint gold!) I think she is a younger bee? and a few older less bright in colour. One of her sisters had a wing deformity too, which I also photographed. I have started keeping a bit of a tally on how many bees I am finding with this problem & photo record of the severity. I haven’t brought this box down yet but will make a fuller record when I do. I know it can only be approximate & would differ according to circumstances, but what sort of % discarded bees from the hive is average?
She is very pretty!.
I’d love a whole hive full please
Me too! I’ve tried to take pics. of all the differences in their colouration etc. in hopes of trying to pin down a type, but I’m pretty sure with no. of variations they’re ‘bitzer’ bee
Have just been reading an article in the BeeCraft magazine - there is another cause for DWV that is coming over from Argentina? Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus (CBPV)
Read this small excerp I took an Image from - the second article Ants and Honey Bee Viruses DWV without Varroa
CBPV, chronic bee paralysis virus, causes spread out or dislocated wings and as such the wings themselves are not deformed as with DWV.
There are other symptoms and the most obvious one and the one most obviously noticed by beekeepers here in the UK is black shiny (hairless) bees sitting trembling on the top bars when you look into the hive.
There are serious losses reported amongst commercial beekeepers here.
Bees do pass these viruses through trophyllaxis but it is thought that such infection in a hive is minimally invasive.
It would be interesting to find out exactly how ants might transmit a virus to a bee.
Also, interestingly there is a problem with Queen fertility here and some badly performing queens have been found to be infected with DWV. It’s actually thought that they are getting infected during mating so it is postulated that we should be keeping early mated queens…not after the end of June, say and discarding the rest; supersedure ones, for example.
I’ve been reading about this too
For anyone in Australia this is a useful document to read regarding Bee viruses.
This is part of introduction.
‘Diagnostic PCR markers were used to determine the presence of 10 common honey bee viruses in
Australian honey bees. Of these, five honey bee viruses were consistently detected across 155 apiaries
sampled across Australia. BQCV was the most common virus detected being found in 65% of adult
bee samples following by LSV1 (37%), SBV (35%), IAPV (21%) and LSV2 (21%) (Figure 3). An
additional 124 brood samples suspected of virus infection were also analysed for SBV, SPV and
DWV.’ pp. 6
Page 15 is a report on prevalence of Nosema in Australia.
‘Three brood diseases, AFB, EFB and Chalkbrood, and two hive pests, Small hive beetle and Wax
moth were identified during the 1,240 hive inspections (Figure 10). No exotic pathogens or pests, such
as Varroa and Tropilaelaps mites were detected and no endemic brood diseases or hive pests had
increased their distribution.’ pp.16
‘Small hive beetle was found only within its currently defined distribution and showed an
expected trend of higher frequency in QLD. Small hive beetle was also found at low levels in KUN,
where it has occurred since its accidental introduction in 2007.’ pp.16
Definitely read pg. 19, no more additions here for now
My husband and i are both breathless with admiration for this bee. In fact, I think he is in love again (He is still in love with me )
Anyhow, thank you for the photo, she is truly beautiful.
Hi…Your golden bee might be a Carpenter Bee…a male is golden and a female is black…they can be quite large…almost as big as a bumble bee. The female digs out the wood to make a tunnel. She deposits a ball of pollen and lays an egg on it. The eggs hatches and then the larva eats the ball of pollen…pupating into a Carpenter bee. They are very beautiful…but solitary.
Apologies @Dawn_SD for not replying much earlier, I was unable to get on to forum for some months due to family concerns.
She was stunning, and i kept an eye out for anymore over the summer & saw many more! Even better they are coming from the wild colony I have had my eye on for rehoming…yay! I had planned to do this last spring/summer but for same reasons was unable to, however everything is all ready for them to come to my hive earliest possible this spring. I hope to see many more.
p.s I’m glad he’s still in love with you to, a girl like that can certainly turn heads!
I would love to see a native carpenter bee, but I’m far too far south, Jeff ay have them as they are found in QLD & NSW. Also she most definitely came from one of the three ‘wild’ colonies on our property, and as mentioned to Dawn I’ve been lucky enough to spot quite a few more!
apologies @Horsehillhoney for not replying earlier, just hadn’t had time to get on to forum.
this is a photo of one of our native Carpenter bees…Xylocopa (Koptortosoma) lieftincki
another recent writing on DWV