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Author Topic: Swarm Trap deadout/abscond  (Read 362 times)

Offline Occam

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Swarm Trap deadout/abscond
« on: April 18, 2024, 12:40:05 am »
A few weeks ago I posted in another thread about bees moving in to a swarm trap I had placed at my parents house. All frames were foundationless, the bees were very active for about 3 weeks inspecting before moving in and have been active since. My parents went out of town last Wednesday and the bees had been busy going in and out, all seemed normal.

Today when they looked at it there was no activity at the hive which they alerted me to. I stopped on my way home and sure enough, no bees. I opened the top and could see bees in the bottom of the box. I also found a fair amount of wax moth larvae crawling around. I had brushed melted wax inside on the walls, I assume that was the attractant there.

I found one very small bit of comb being started, only a couple inches. There did appear possibly to have been a bit more started on some starter strips but if so there was only faint crumbles, and the weren't on an adjacent frame to the new wax. There were dead bees in the box but not a full swarm and no queen that I could identify. I suspect a poison situation followed by an abscond when the wax moths got too strong. Any other theories out there? Here are the pictures I took.

Entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Swarm Trap deadout/abscond
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2024, 11:34:13 am »
Occam
Im sorry you lost your hive. Usually wax moth larva are not a problem in my area until the hot Sumner and Fall. Even then with plenty of bees they are not a problem then. (SHB is another issue.)
Even though the picture was not clear there seemed to be a good bit of dead bees in your box. Neither SHB or Wax moth larva should kill the bees.
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Occam

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Re: Swarm Trap deadout/abscond
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2024, 01:59:34 pm »
Yeah, the moths wouldn't have been the cause of the dead bees. I think the neighbor behind my parents got nervous and used a pesticide or they found a pesticide somewhere. It's nowhere close to the whole swarm that moved in so either some died outside the box, the remaining bees absconded when the wax moths started to multiply and they couldn't keep on top of them anymore, or both. My theory at least
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Offline beesnweeds

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Re: Swarm Trap deadout/abscond
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2024, 06:26:51 pm »
Any other theories out there?
When you catch a swarm its best to hive the bees as soon as possible and start feeding.  The photo of the little piece of comb tells me they didnt have full honey stomachs and probably a smaller secondary swarm with a virgin queen.  If the queen doesnt make it back from a mating flight the population will crash, some of the bees may have made their way back to the original colony or just starved. 
Everyone loves a worker.... until its laying.

Offline Occam

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Re: Swarm Trap deadout/abscond
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2024, 10:35:44 pm »
Thanks for that! Sounds like a reasonable theory, I appreciate it
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Offline BeeMaster2

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Re: Swarm Trap deadout/abscond
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2024, 11:13:27 pm »
Occam,
I just inspected a swarm trap that I had filled with old comb to see how it would work out. The wax moths moved in before the swarm and they had filled in most of the space between the top boards with moth cocoons. I left the bees in there for over a month. They started dropping Greater Max moth larvae  out the front door. By the time I got in the hive only the cocoons in really tight spots were still in the hive. I did find a lot of old wax the bees would not use that I replaced.
Jim Altmiller
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Offline Occam

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Re: Swarm Trap deadout/abscond
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2024, 01:32:34 am »
OK, interesting, good to know.  I pulled all the frames out of the trap and ran my torch over all the moth cocoons and into any tight spots and corners then added a little fresh propolis rubbings. I'll put it back out soon.

Thanks for the input
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Online Ben Framed

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Re: Swarm Trap deadout/abscond
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2024, 10:01:17 am »
Wow wax moths start early in Florida!  Just another example of why location matters. Either that or I have been very lucky!
With all the damage and infestation Jim; Did you find the floor of this hive covered with dead bees?

Phillip







« Last Edit: April 20, 2024, 10:37:33 am by Ben Framed »
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Swarm Trap deadout/abscond
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2024, 11:39:23 am »
I found some interesting information on wax moths right here at Beemaster that may be helpful to someone.

https://beemaster.com/forum/index.php?topic=6855.msg40499#msg40499
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline BeeMaster2

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Re: Swarm Trap deadout/abscond
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2024, 03:17:08 pm »
Ben,
No I didn?t find any. There was a lot of trash especially lots of dry old pollen that was in the combs.
Jim Altmiller
Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.
Ben Franklin

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Swarm Trap deadout/abscond
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2024, 04:18:56 pm »
Thanks Jim, Beesnweeds laid out a very good theory of what might have happened to Occams' bees and I tend to agree, without more information...

Occam did you happen to take more pictures of what you found?

Phillip
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Occam

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Re: Swarm Trap deadout/abscond
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2024, 09:12:25 pm »
There really wasn't anything else to take pictures of. A couple of shb hiding in there as well, but nothing significant. Otherwise just the dead bees and webs/trash
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Offline Bob Wilson

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Re: Swarm Trap deadout/abscond
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2024, 11:08:57 pm »
They built no comb. Just that tiny bit?
Usually, if there is any real, decent sized swarm, they build comb immediately. They completely fill up my swarm traps with comb in less than two weeks.

Offline Occam

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Re: Swarm Trap deadout/abscond
« Reply #13 on: Today at 12:08:19 am »
They built no comb. Just that tiny bit?
Usually, if there is any real, decent sized swarm, they build comb immediately. They completely fill up my swarm traps with comb in less than two weeks.


That was something that shocked me as well, they're comb building machines at that stage. That part doesn't make sense since they're been around for over a week. The only thing I can think is that flow wasn't super strong yet though there's definitely nectar coming in now. Maybe they built up too early and the nectar wasn't there for building yet. Idk
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Offline beesnweeds

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Re: Swarm Trap deadout/abscond
« Reply #14 on: Today at 11:14:24 am »
That was something that shocked me as well, they're comb building machines at that stage. That part doesn't make sense since they're been around for over a week.
The ideal age for comb production workers is 12 to 18 days.  Most of those perfect age bees probably left with the primary swarm.  Smaller secondary swarms don't always have enough right age bees and resources.  Less than 10% of swarms survive, not all swarms are comb building machines.
Everyone loves a worker.... until its laying.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Swarm Trap deadout/abscond
« Reply #15 on: Today at 11:35:15 am »
They built no comb. Just that tiny bit?
Usually, if there is any real, decent sized swarm, they build comb immediately. They completely fill up my swarm traps with comb in less than two weeks.

And why I ask for more information and pictures. Wondering if The Wax Moths might have eaten up the new comb as well, and this pictured is all of the new comb that was left?

I can only speak from my own personal experience. I have never collected a swarm which was not 'fast to build comb, no matter the size of the swarm, even a late season swarm. Even an occasional odd swarm, collected in a time of summer with little natural resources available, that did not build comb and fast. I always suposed they filled up on enough honey for a quick and needed comb building supply before leaving inorder to begin 'setting up housekeeping' ASAP

Those described which I have personally collected during such a time built comb fast. But: to aid them I also fed ASAP, since the Spring Flow had passed. Each swarm survived just fine. But in fairness, without my aid of feed, they might have very well starved (maybe 100 percent of them?), without the needed natural resources coming in... A late season swarm also needs pollen or a pollen substitute in the development of bees...
« Last Edit: Today at 12:29:39 pm by Ben Framed »
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

 

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