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Author Topic: Dead bees around hive  (Read 1708 times)

Offline TheFuzz

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Dead bees around hive
« on: July 03, 2019, 10:09:38 pm »
There's a few hundred dead bees, mostly in a pile, near one of my hives, here's some photos:

https://imgur.com/a/sNhyVmz

The dead bees have been there for a few weeks. I moved these hives a few months ago. Here in Australia, the weather has been pleasant, it's been around 10 degrees Celsius and currently in winter. These bees are in the suburbs, there's no nearby farming pesticide usage. There's a long row of beehives here, but the pile of bees are just near one of the hives. All the hives seem to be active and doing well.

The last photo is of the hive that's directly adjacent to the pile of dead bees. There's some honey in there. The plastic and dried sugar is on there because they were starving at the location they were at, before I moved them, the plan has been to remove all that when spring time approaches. This hive I did notice when I moved it, had a high honey bee population considering it was a single deep super, and it was also particularly low on honey, more than the other hives were. If you notice that some of the frames look different than others, it's because at one point when the hive was very low on honey and before I moved them to this better location, I took honey frames from other hives and gave it to this hive, replacing their empty frames.

Any idea why there might be all these dead bees? Is it something I should be concerned about, or is it normal and fine?

 As a side question, can you notice in the photo how the bees have attached frames together with wax? When I open a hive to inspect it, I often feel conflicted about properly inspecting it; I often conclude that, it's not worth harming and disturbing the bees, by lifting those frames, and breaking the wax seal by doing so. Is it good to try and not have such an impact on the bees, or is it important that I lift the frames to frequently inspect them, regardless of how much wax and propolis must have stuck them down?

Offline Bee North

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Re: Dead bees around hive
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2019, 12:30:46 am »
Sorry to see that.
The dead bees....are their proboscis (tongues) extended? Im a newbee but from what i have read it may be poisoning, and that is a good indicator.
Are there live bees still in the hive?

Offline Bamboo

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Re: Dead bees around hive
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2019, 08:32:28 am »
The Fuzz
Mate you can't tell what the problem is without getting into the hive and inspecting the frames. Wax on the top of frames like you have is perfectly normal. Basic rule with bees is a gap over 10mm they will build wax less than 6mm and they will propolise.
 Where are you exactly VIC or Sth NSW?
My suggestion is you need to do a proper inspection otherwise you are only guessing at the problem. Just because you are in the burbs doesn't mean that gardeners around you are not using pesticides, I can guarantee that most of them wouldn't know what is harmful to bees and what is not. If they have fruit trees they will be putting copper oxychloride or bordeaux on at this time of year both of which are toxic to bees.
By the look of the second pic there doesn't seem to be a decent population so you are not going to lose much by doing a full inspection, it is the only way to determine what state the hive is in and what the problem is or might have been.
Good luck.

Offline ed/La.

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Re: Dead bees around hive
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2019, 11:39:29 am »
Looks like a dead hive to me. May as well inspect and see is there is a queen and brood. If yes perhaps transfer to a nuc with a small entrance. Maybe add a frame of brood if  one of your hives can spare it. If no queen you need to protect your comb. Freeze it then store it somewhere. I have had hives starve out and the bulk of the dead bees were in the hive. Never seen that many dead bees on the ground.

Offline TheFuzz

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Re: Dead bees around hive
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2019, 04:05:21 am »
I looked at the dead bees and they didn't have their tongues extended.

I'm in South Australia.

I inspected the hive. Unfortunately I dropped a frame and didn't get to examine the rest of the hive as much as I'd liked to have. However, I did find there's a lot of honey and pollen in there, many thousands of bees, and I found a good amount of brood as well. Didn't find the queen or any eggs but I only got to inspect two frames.


Offline Bee North

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Re: Dead bees around hive
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2019, 05:18:05 am »
Ok.

Well with brood and bees it sounds promising!

Sorry mate i dont know why they died. The extended tongue was something i read. It sounds like they should bounce back ok if they have a healthy queen and good numbers.

Im sure those with more experience will have more to offer.

 I look forward to hearing the possibilities as it sounds like they didnt starve if they have plenty of stores.





Offline TheFuzz

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Re: Dead bees around hive
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2019, 12:14:23 am »
They were very hungry before I moved them. At this new site, they seem to be thriving. It's possible that the stress of moving them with their low levels of honey caused them to die?

Offline damienpryan

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Re: Dead bees around hive
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2019, 02:00:19 am »
It is robbing season.
Was there at entrance reducer ?  (I've made that mistake recently)

It may have fought off an attempt at robbing.

Offline TheFuzz

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Re: Dead bees around hive
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2019, 07:51:44 pm »
There's no entrance reducer in this hive. Interestingly enough, with this hive, it has the biggest entrance opening because it's a different design than my other hives which are much smaller.

Offline eltalia

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Re: Dead bees around hive
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2019, 08:26:11 pm »
It is just not the best time of year for takeovers/robbing/absconds, moreso
in SA. You may never know why that amount of bees died suddenly however
in an urban situation it is more likely than anything else a poison (to bees)
is involved.
If it repeats I'd be looking at moving. That's generic advice, not necessarily
only for your bees.

Bill

Offline ed/La.

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Re: Dead bees around hive
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2019, 12:02:57 am »
Starving bees die in the hive. You need to inspect and clean up those dead bees. Reduce the entrance and use robbing screens to prevent a major problem. What is with all the rubbish on the ground?

Offline TheFuzz

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Re: Dead bees around hive
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2019, 11:45:33 pm »
huh I thought I replied to this.

Is leaving dead bees around a disease risk? I've always left dead bees alone, but I see it's different now since they're not decomposing on soil, and there aren't ants around to take the dead bees back to their homes.

It's not rubbish, it's building supplies.

Offline jtcmedic

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Re: Dead bees around hive
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2019, 01:32:57 pm »
http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/downloadDocument.cfm?id=1158
Just read a good article sounds like Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus. From what I have read it is harder on big population hives that are cooped up. Hope it is not that.

Offline eltalia

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Re: Dead bees around hive
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2019, 08:11:08 pm »
huh I thought I replied to this.

Is leaving dead bees around a disease risk? I've always left dead bees alone, but I see it's different now since they're not decomposing on soil, and there aren't ants around to take the dead bees back to their homes.

It's not rubbish, it's building supplies.

Never had the problem, always been one critter or another to clean them up.
That said, despite being primarily exoskeleton they sure do pong in a closed space
(dead enmasse)and is one very good reason not to poison bees in walls of a home.
Cannot imagine either being good for the occupants, dead poisoned bees *and* the
 pong.

Cheers...

Bill

Offline TheFuzz

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Re: Dead bees around hive
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2020, 04:52:44 am »
Shortly after I made this post, I sweeped up all the dead bees and disposed of them. Now about seven weeks later, there's yet again a huge pile up of dead bees, and here's some photos showing such:

https://postimg.cc/gallery/dKgDhJ1

I know bees die in high numbers quite naturally. Where these hives are, there's no dirt for the dead bees to decompose in, nor are there any ants coming to eat their dead bee bodies. The hives are also surrounded by a rather tall building, and then fence, so it'd be difficult for the bees to take their dead elsewhere, they'd have to fly over quite a tall fence in order to do so.

Is it possible that these bees are dying from natural causes? Perhaps with the tall fence, that's why they're building up their dead in large quantities here? Or is this not natural, and a sign that the bees are dying from something unnatural? These hives are in the suburbs, surrounded by people's homes, it wouldn't surprise me that at least a few people use poisonous spray on their gardens.

The hives themselves are all doing well, they're producing a good amount of honey and they have a healthy, large amount of bees in them. Are these bee deaths something I should be concerned about?

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Dead bees around hive
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2020, 11:29:30 pm »
Fuzz that was a lot of dead bees, especially in one of those new pictures. I am curious, and interested in knowing what the problem is also.
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: Dead bees around hive
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2020, 09:50:32 am »
Fuzz,
That looks like poisoning to me. That is not a normal die off. Check around your area. Years ago I had my bees trailered and placed on a friend?s property. They placed poison (sugar water and boric acid) out  in a quart jar, to kill fire ants. Apparently some of my bees found it and through robbing it killed 12 hives.
Someone may have sprayed their fruit trees or some other flowering plant.
Good luck.
Jim Altmiller

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Dead bees around hive
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2020, 10:12:39 am »
Fuzz,
That looks like poisoning to me. That is not a normal die off. Check around your area. Years ago I had my bees trailered and placed on a friend?s property. They placed poison (sugar water and boric acid) out  in a quart jar, to kill fire ants. Apparently some of my bees found it and through robbing it killed 12 hives.
Someone may have sprayed their fruit trees or some other flowering plant.
Good luck.
Jim Altmiller

Jim when fruit trees are being sprayed, what is a safe time limit for revisitation of the bees to the fruit trees after spraying?
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 Ben Framed

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Re: Dead bees around hive
« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2020, 10:23:27 am »
I think Jim is right. I noticed the original post was a year ago (July 2019). Your new post August, a year later, and new pictures dated Aug 2020 says.

Your recent post
>Shortly after I made this post, I sweeped up all the dead bees and disposed of them. Now about seven weeks later, there's yet again a huge pile up of dead bees, and here's some photos showing such:


That puts the kill off time pretty close to where last years kill off time wise. Yes, I believe Jim nailed it...  Some sort of poison problem...  ??
« Last Edit: August 27, 2020, 06:28:34 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 Garigal

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Re: Dead bees around hive
« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2020, 07:18:16 pm »
Does that air-conditioning unit mounted next to your hives get much use?

If it hasn?t been freezing your hives in winter then it will cook them come summer time.