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Author Topic: Something Seems A Little Off  (Read 748 times)

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2021, 01:43:15 am »
Just going back right to the beginning post and description.  My thoughts/comments.
The amount of brood you describe indicates a two queen hive mother/daughter in middle if supercedure cycle which is surprisingly common to come across in mid-spring hives. I sincerely doubt a swarm event at this time.
The stagnated population between inspections and shiny hairless bees is a usual and strong indicator of a viral load.  The most common being KBV, ABPV, IAPV, CBPV... or any combination of the prominent 7.  Viral load is usually symptomatic and symbiotic with a varroa infestation, but not always. 
You are taking the right step 15th, with attacking possible mite load first. Expect to lose/kill a bunch of the sick bees too.
Unfortunately there are no vaccines for honeybee virus. The beekeepers choices with a virus are arrest the spread by attacking varroa and then to let it run its course hoping for a recovery, or terminate the hive to avoid spreading to other. The hive may recover or you may experience a CCD event driven by virus.  Meaning come back a week later and all the bees are gone.
You may or may not want to consider caging and saving the queen(s) in a queenless support nuc while the mite treatment runs its course on the hive.  After the treatment, significantly reduce the hive size while destroying all QC?s and then reintroduce one of the queens.  Release the second queen into the nuc.  The issue or risk of saving the queen(s) is that some types of the virus are actually transmitted by the queen to the eggs. Making the decision of what best to do even tougher.
The only way to confirm a viral diagnosis is by lab analysis. Your regional inspector and associated lab may have this as part of their standard service offerings. It is worth calling and asking.
It takes a good in tune beekeeper to notice these by - something is off-  .  Good eye!   Problem is that doesnt always make the decision of what to do about it any easier.

For your considerations. I hope that helps, with some sense of direction, in some way.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2021, 02:14:24 am by TheHoneyPump »
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Offline iddee

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2021, 05:41:08 am »
Van, I don't think I am understanding you. First, you say it can't happen, then you say you see it every year. Please explain.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2021, 10:22:54 am »
The saying is, as many as 17% of hives have 2 queens at any given time. We just don't notice them since we quit looking when we find the first one. With 3 brood boxes, that was likely the case.

I think the bees in the top box raised their own queen, since they were so far away from the bottom box. Then with the extra brood, the hive swarmed. Which queen left, I don't know. In fact, you may still have 2 queens. Watch for fresh eggs in 2 separate boxes.

Hi Phil, agreed, a double screen is standard for queen rearing.  I don?t use, but it works.  However, Member is using 3 each 8 frame without double screen.

Could be ID is talking swarm cells made in upper and lower box, then the queen swarms, leaving qc in top and bottom.  ID will verify.

What I am gathering from iddees information is hives can create multiple queens naturally in the same hive as he described. Bob Binnie is teaching a method of using the original hive as both a cell starter and a cell finisher, with the original queen still allowed in the hive, separated artificially with a double screen board in between the bottom and top box. If I am understanding iddee correctly he is showing bees can and do, do it naturally, more often than we may realize.

Mr Binnies method works. I just tried the Bob Binnie method myself with satisfactory results for a rookie. In fact I am sitting on G waiting on O for the next go round!


                                                                                                                                                    .
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2021, 10:45:50 am »
Just going back right to the beginning post and description.  My thoughts/comments.
The amount of brood you describe indicates a two queen hive mother/daughter in middle if supercedure cycle which is surprisingly common to come across in mid-spring hives. I sincerely doubt a swarm event at this time.
The stagnated population between inspections and shiny hairless bees is a usual and strong indicator of a viral load.  The most common being KBV, ABPV, IAPV, CBPV... or any combination of the prominent 7.  Viral load is usually symptomatic and symbiotic with a varroa infestation, but not always. 
You are taking the right step 15th, with attacking possible mite load first. Expect to lose/kill a bunch of the sick bees too.
Unfortunately there are no vaccines for honeybee virus. The beekeepers choices with a virus are arrest the spread by attacking varroa and then to let it run its course hoping for a recovery, or terminate the hive to avoid spreading to other. The hive may recover or you may experience a CCD event driven by virus.  Meaning come back a week later and all the bees are gone.
You may or may not want to consider caging and saving the queen(s) in a queenless support nuc while the mite treatment runs its course on the hive.  After the treatment, significantly reduce the hive size while destroying all QC?s and then reintroduce one of the queens.  Release the second queen into the nuc.  The issue or risk of saving the queen(s) is that some types of the virus are actually transmitted by the queen to the eggs. Making the decision of what best to do even tougher.
The only way to confirm a viral diagnosis is by lab analysis. Your regional inspector and associated lab may have this as part of their standard service offerings. It is worth calling and asking.
It takes a good in tune beekeeper to notice these by - something is off-  .  Good eye!   Problem is that doesnt always make the decision of what to do about it any easier.

For your considerations. I hope that helps, with some sense of direction, in some way.
Thanks so much for answering, HP, your advice is always very appreciated.  We are having a little cold snap for the next couple of days, so I'll try and check on them again at the end of this week or early next and go from there.  I'll look into what my state association offers for testing too; it might be worth it to see what a lab has to say about this.   
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2021, 10:52:48 am »
This is a good topic. Different points of view from multiple respected experts, realizing each view is dependent of circumstances seen and not seen. Good topic Member. Learning as we go!
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Dan D

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2021, 09:58:11 pm »
Just reading the original post, it mostly sounds like they are just not using the bottom box anymore and will fill it with pollen. Happens.  Do you have a top entrance?  Another thing, you mention all the second box is all capped brood and didn't sound like there was much larva and eggs.  Might be getting into a swarm time with a packed brood nest.

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #26 on: April 22, 2021, 10:53:48 pm »
Van, I don't think I am understanding you. First, you say it can't happen, then you say you see it every year. Please explain.

Hi ID:  first paragraph is referring to pheromones and queen rearing.  Second paragraph, different subject: is swarming possibilities.  My intent by introducing a new paragraph was to redirect to a slightly different subject, not related to pheromones.  Sorry if I confused.

I believe David at Barnyard Bees showed a YouTube video with 8 queens in a single swarm.  I forgot the exact number but there was a bunch of queens.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2021, 11:06:27 pm by van from Arkansas »
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #27 on: April 23, 2021, 12:06:39 am »
Just reading the original post, it mostly sounds like they are just not using the bottom box anymore and will fill it with pollen. Happens.  Do you have a top entrance?  Another thing, you mention all the second box is all capped brood and didn't sound like there was much larva and eggs.  Might be getting into a swarm time with a packed brood nest.
This hive does not have a top entrance.  I know that they can rearrange sometimes, but it seemed odd that that box was so empty, instead of being slowly filled in as the brood hatched.   
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Online sawdstmakr

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #28 on: April 23, 2021, 08:47:43 am »
Member,
During my spring inspections, quite often I find that in large hives the bees will leave the bottom box empty. Usually it turns out that the comb is very old and needs to bee replaced. It could bee that the bees detect something in the wax and move up when they have the space.
Jim Altmiller

Offline rast

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #29 on: April 23, 2021, 09:04:04 am »
Jim, may I assume you don't do box reversals?
Fools argue; wise men discuss.
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #30 on: April 23, 2021, 09:17:08 am »
Member,
During my spring inspections, quite often I find that in large hives the bees will leave the bottom box empty. Usually it turns out that the comb is very old and needs to bee replaced. It could bee that the bees detect something in the wax and move up when they have the space.
Jim Altmiller

I also notice this Jim. I switch boxes. Reversals as rast mentioned.
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline LawyerRick

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #31 on: April 23, 2021, 09:49:03 am »
I agree with THP about the viruses but I have successfully used a 1% solution of Reishi mushroom extract & 1 to 1 sugar water to greatly reduce virus levels in my hives.  I have used this solution for the last 3 years after reading the 2018 Washington State/Paul Staments peer reviewed article on the subject & it really works. There is no effect on the brood & the colony seems to boom after treatment.  Just a thought.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #32 on: April 23, 2021, 09:53:32 am »
I agree with THP about the viruses but I have successfully used a 1% solution of Reishi mushroom extract & 1 to 1 sugar water to greatly reduce virus levels in my hives.  I have used this solution for the last 3 years after reading the 2018 Washington State/Paul Staments peer reviewed article on the subject & it really works. There is no effect on the brood & the colony seems to boom after treatment.  Just a thought.

Thanks Rick. I do not know much about this, though I did read an article from one of the bee magazines about this. I noticed you have been here a while and do not comment often. Your experienced comment is appreciated! 
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #33 on: April 23, 2021, 11:46:56 am »
Member,
During my spring inspections, quite often I find that in large hives the bees will leave the bottom box empty. Usually it turns out that the comb is very old and needs to bee replaced. It could bee that the bees detect something in the wax and move up when they have the space.
Jim Altmiller
Now that is interesting to me.  That could explain the sort of strange smell in this hive.  I have some comb that is a couple years old now, and I was planning on starting to cycle some of it out next year. 

Jim, may I assume you don't do box reversals?
I also notice this Jim. I switch boxes. Reversals as rast mentioned.
I only reverse my brood boxes when needed.  Sometimes I find my bees have moved all the way back down by themselves at the first inspection, and no reversing is required.  I did reverse this hive's brood boxes this year.

I agree with THP about the viruses but I have successfully used a 1% solution of Reishi mushroom extract & 1 to 1 sugar water to greatly reduce virus levels in my hives.  I have used this solution for the last 3 years after reading the 2018 Washington State/Paul Staments peer reviewed article on the subject & it really works. There is no effect on the brood & the colony seems to boom after treatment.  Just a thought.
Wow, that's very unique! 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #34 on: April 23, 2021, 02:50:34 pm »
>I only reverse my brood boxes when needed.  Sometimes I find my bees have moved all the way back down by themselves at the first inspection, and no reversing is required.  I did reverse this hive's brood boxes this year.

Member that you are using 3 medium 8 frame boxes as opposed to my 10 frame double deep boxes, would more than likely turn a twist to things. Most likely in a good way for you. I have not used mediuns so I can't comment on that but I have full confidence you have the answers or will.  😬 I like the way you think.

Off subject so an extra: When I first started posting here Beepro was experimenting with 5 frame deep nuc boxes for his hives. I wonder how that turned out for him. For curiosity, Would a 5 frame deep be about the same as an eight frame medium? I haven't done the math. Even if they are close, I would think the 8 frame medium would be wider, mort stable, not as top heavy, and easier to stack. Like comparing a corvettes handling to a two seater pickup truck, they both would carry two passengers but the low vet would be more stable. lol. 
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Online sawdstmakr

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #35 on: April 23, 2021, 07:15:35 pm »
Rast and Ben,
I don?t do reversals. If the bees move out of the hive and abandon it, especially here in Florida?s warm weather, there is probably something wrong. Usually there is a visible reason they did, wax moths, or beetles.
Jim Altmiller 

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #36 on: April 26, 2021, 08:27:37 pm »
I inspected this hive today, and I think it was just some sort of swarm/supersedure weirdness.  The population bounced back significantly this week, and there was some brood in the bottom box again.  I only saw one queen still, and I was keeping an eye out even after I saw her.  My more careful eye this week also found two very small hatched queen cells.  I probably thought they were cups before, honestly I probably didn't see the one at all since it was below some drone brood, but upon closer inspection today I noticed that their edges were ragged like they'd been chewed, not smooth like an unused cup.  There were far less hairless bees today, and the weird smell wasn't there either (perhaps that was just a fluke).  Thanks so much for all the help guys, I was worried about them last week, but it seems like it was nothing, just an odd-looking queen changeover.     
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.