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Author Topic: WTH?  (Read 409 times)

Offline FatherMichael

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WTH?
« on: April 19, 2021, 10:03:55 pm »
Was out of it for a while and getting back into beekeeping now is quite a revelation to me.

Are we in the last days?

More to the point of this site

I want to thank those of you that have endured the mites and beetles, and given us wisdom born of experience.
41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?

42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.

43 And he took it, and did eat before them.

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: WTH?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2021, 10:40:27 pm »
Honey is mentioned many times in the Bible: land of milk and honey, Sampson?s first riddle, dip of the sword and taste during unknown fasting..  Not teaching you, Father, I realize you know, just adding to.  Honey is a good thing, indeed.
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 Beelab

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Re: WTH?
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2021, 10:00:31 am »
Our bees know nothing of last days. They will gather for the colony and genetics to their last breath and beat of the wing.
As us humans will.

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: WTH?
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2021, 04:04:27 pm »
Does this mean something unexpected has happened to your hive(s) FM ?
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Offline FatherMichael

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Re: WTH?
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2021, 08:18:48 pm »
Does this mean something unexpected has happened to your hive(s) FM ?

The strong hive at the farm is suddenly without a queen.

Will boost them with a frame of brood from here at the house and wait for another high $$$ California queen.  Ordered a Saskatraz.
41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?

42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.

43 And he took it, and did eat before them.

Online .30WCF

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WTH?
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2021, 03:07:25 am »
Does this mean something unexpected has happened to your hive(s) FM ?

The strong hive at the farm is suddenly without a queen.

Will boost them with a frame of brood from here at the house and wait for another high $$$ California queen.  Ordered a Saskatraz.
I don?t know how many hives you have or what you are after. You may have a specific goal requiring a high dollar queen from California.
I may be young (in beekeeping) and foolish, but I bought my first two hives?s last spring and now have 7 hives with 3 and 4 supers on them. This is just off of splits and emergency queens. I even crushed a queen last year and just waited for a new one to be made. I took a frame of leftover honey in the spring as they all (4 over-wintered) came out of winter with a full box of honey/sugar water, but it looks like I?ll be harvesting honey this year in early summer.


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Offline FatherMichael

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Re: WTH?
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2021, 08:57:25 am »
This is a much harsher environment than NC.  Not making excuses because I need to step up my management skills.

But one guy in the Lubbock bee club lost all 12 of his hives to the freeze we got.  I lost one of three.  Now one that went into winter strong and still has food lost their queen.  ???

My goal is to grow slowly because we have several other irons in the fire.

But losing a hive is not growing slowly!  Yikes!
41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?

42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.

43 And he took it, and did eat before them.

Offline Dan D

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Re: WTH?
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2021, 09:33:22 am »
Of course we are in the last days. Even the Apostles were in the last days.  Heb.  1:2.  And, in Acts 2,  Peter said the prophet Joel, prophesying of the last days, and was speaking of that current event on Pentecost.

Concerning the bees, maybe they swarmed.  It happens fast. Strong hives like to swarm this time of year. What do you see?

Offline FatherMichael

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Re: WTH?
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2021, 12:23:23 pm »
I should have said End Times. ;-)

Last I looked there were about a dozen capped brood, several frames of bees, and plenty of food left over from winter and frsh from spring feeding.  But there were no eggs or larvae of any kind anywhere.  There were no queen cells, just the beginnings of one in the middle of a comb; so, a supersedure cell.

My suspicion is that last year I got old stock in nucs with old queens.
41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?

42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.

43 And he took it, and did eat before them.

Offline Dan D

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Re: WTH?
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2021, 02:56:35 pm »
Basically the same thing.

It could have swarmed 2-3 weeks ago.  Plenty of stores, most of brood gone and no eggs/larva, springtime, all are signs of swarming.  The beginning of the queen cell could actually be the last one being torn down.  If a queen goes missing other ways, they can build emergency queen cells left from the queen.  There's always the possibility that the queen just quit laying, queen failure, but if it's still in there the bees would have some areas of cleaned out cells waiting for it to lay.  Also, if it swarmed, has a queen in there going through the mating process and you put a new queen in, the bees will kill it.  They will kill it if there's a non laying queen in there too.

Were the remaining brood drone brood? They are the last to emerge after a swarm, a few days later than the worker brood. That varies according to what eggs were laid last too.  Is there nectar in cells where brood was?  If the bees are acting ok, bringing in pollen and have those areas of cells open and waiting, a queen could be in there.

Offline TheHoneyPump

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WTH?
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2021, 06:22:35 pm »
Comments as per your suspicion:   Sure, it could have been an old queen that suddenly died/disappeared.  That certainly happens.  Good old queens though are usually `slow`, she looks good and she has a good pattern just not as much of it as the next hive over. Failing old queens will produce a spotty pattern as she runs out of sperm or runs out of capability of controlling it when she lays.  Either of those scenarios the beekeeper usually picks up on by observation. So do the bees, they will usually start supercedure process. Sometimes the old queen ticker stops before the SS proceeds to its end, where she just suddenly disappeared.  Perhaps that is what happened, and there is a SC queen in there somewhere, yet to be mated.

About queen ages - An OLD queen nowadays is one that is between her 2nd and 3rd year.  We should try to know the queen ages and anticipate a need to requeen each hive in the queens 3rd spring before she is failing and before the bees replace her themselves. We do this by marking the queens or a tag or tack on the front of the hive following the international colour code for the year.  By seeing a marked queen and the colour of the mark, we know her age and can plan her replacement.  Requeening by the beekeeper is a controlled event. Requeening by the bees is an uncontrolled event. Pick whether you like to be in control or out of control of the hive.

Queens also can and do get sick from pests, parasites, diseases, and other chemically charged stuff that the foraging bees are bringing back. Just like every other bee in the hive. This is the explanation given as to why queens are much shorter lived nowadays than the golden years of decades ago, and also why some queens just suddenly disappear.  So put that on your list as a possibility as well.

Swarmed?  There should have been alot more going in the hive that would have given you clear signals to make you be thinking about a swarm event well ahead of time. You had that experience last season. Did this hive look anything like the one that swarmed away last year?  Meaning brood, bees, combs, resources, cells, etc.  Did you miss it, or is there something else that occurred such as an old queen or sick queen disappearance.

For your considerations.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2021, 09:29:38 pm by TheHoneyPump »
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Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: WTH?
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2021, 09:20:14 pm »
Father:  Dan and HoneyPump provided some excellent text.  I would like to address one comment made about a SUPERCEDURE CELL.  I see this type of cell in Spring and summer, very common.  If fact I have one hive that has made over a dozen queen cups in the middle and bottom of the frame.  I define a queen cup as a queen cell with no egg.

Sometimes the cups are torn down, sometimes the cup is left in place, as if insurance or something.  I pay close attention to newly made queen cups and watch closely for swarming noting

1.  laying space
2.  number of bees
3.  presence of drone brood always precedes swarming as virgin queens must have a mate although not the brother drones.

Limited laying space and a crowed hive in Spring is a dead giveaway for swarming.  Once a virgin queen hatched commonly the queen cell is torn down rather quickly leaving little trace.

Regarding HP?s comments regarding queen failure due to pesticide is of concern, but no so much in your area compared to heavily cropped areas such as the delta in which millions of acres are sprayed.

My 2 cents.  I am cheering for ya.  Season is early, your advantage.  Keep us posted.

Van
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 Dan D

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Re: WTH?
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2021, 09:41:53 pm »
In the spring when the reproductive urge is on, I don't always see the signs of swarming, like back filled brood comb, limited laying room, etc.  Sometimes there's a swarm going on with no real visual reason.  Strong hives just want to go sometimes, in my opinion, especially early in the season, more so if there's plenty of food above from the fall.

Concerning superseding, I normally don't see much of a brood break.  I find a couple supercedure cells and let them go, but don't really normally see a broodless time, or it's pretty limited.   I would suppose the original queen normally get's to stay till the new queen is emerged or maybe even mated.

Swarms can happen very fast.   You could do an inspection and there's only a couple eggs laid in cups and a couple larva barely hatched with no large queen cells built.   Once a larva is hatched and visible, it could be capped in about 5 days.  Swarm time.  8 days later the first queen emerges and could kill off the other queens in cells. Then they are torn down.  If inspections don't go too deep, a swarm can be missed pretty easy.  I remember early days when I was scratching my head wondering what happened to the queen, only to see fresh eggs and brood in a week or less.  I have said it other places, a swarmed hive's new queen often starts to lay eggs just a few days after the new beekeeper starts to panic.  Could be wrong since I can see into the hive, but there's a good chance a swarm has taken place based on what I read.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: WTH?
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2021, 09:49:22 pm »
The pesticide subject (could) possibly be of concern but Im with Van I rather doubt it but I will ask anyway. I do not know your areas cotton season. Cotton won't be in season here for while. So, is the cotton being planted or being prepared with any thing that will give a hint as far as pesticide? I am asking because I remember you talking of your cotton honey and the cotton fields next to your bees.

I had a pesticide problem last year from a neighbor spraying his pear trees. It was obvious in my situation. The bees were as Iddee and Van had described when poisoned. quivering and shaking and disoriented, many dead in front of the hive. I did not lose a queen though. I'm with Van on this one. Though pesticides are a possibility, I'm in doubt. Honeypump and Dans' along with Vans thoughts may lead you in the right direction. Either way, you need a queen! 🙂
« Last Edit: April 22, 2021, 10:46:11 pm by Ben Framed »
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 TheHoneyPump

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Re: WTH?
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2021, 02:40:19 pm »
I was not meaning nor implying to bring pesticide into this.
The mention of foraging is just raising awareness that there are all types stuff that comes in across the landing boards. The typical lifespan of a queen is 100x longer than that of a bee. Over time there are cumulative effects on her from exposures and disease periods that may or may not be seen in the short life window of the bees. After all, she is herself just a bee and is susceptible to everything a bee is. Though she is a tough one.
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: WTH?
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2021, 05:19:57 pm »
I was not meaning nor implying to bring pesticide into this.
The mention of foraging is just raising awareness that there are all types stuff that comes in across the landing boards. The typical lifespan of a queen is 100x longer than that of a bee. Over time there are cumulative effects on her from exposures and disease periods that may or may not be seen in the short life window of the bees. After all, she is herself just a bee and is susceptible to everything a bee is. Though she is a tough one.

Thanks HP
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 FatherMichael

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Re: WTH?
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2021, 09:29:59 pm »
This particular hive finished the season strong last year.  It was my strongest hive of three.  That is why I am surprised by its present state.

The only cotton patch within range is owned by the city, across Deep Creek from my apiary, and farmed by my nephew.  He does not use pesticides but plants Monsanto seed that resists boll weevils.

I treated for mites in November and checked that they had plenty of food before calling it a day around Christmas.  Both hives out there seemed strong at Christmas.

It is the only hive so far in two years that give us some honey, about a pound that we scraped off of three medium frames at the top.

I wonder about these things: Old queens in nucs I bought, that unusual freeze we had here in Texas, and the critter that continually harassed both hives at the farm that seem to have failed.
41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?

42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.

43 And he took it, and did eat before them.