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Colony collapse disorder

 
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Michael Dreyer
House Bee


Joined: 21 Aug 2014
Posts: 13
Location: Bremen, Germany

PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 12:55 pm    Post subject: Colony collapse disorder Reply with quote

Dear friends, 2 years ago I stopped using acids in treating varroa mites in my tbhs. I noticed that the swarms were doing well in the first year but in the second year problems start to show up. Sadly to say that 3 days ago I found 2 of my strongest swarms from last year full of honey but no bees inside. I will leave that place because it may be too humid being surrounded by water channels and wet meadows.
The same happened to a smaller swarm, honey but no bees. Here the place is fine. In another hive at my third place I found several dad bees with DWV (deformed wing virus) and one worker bee with a varroa sitting on it.
How is your experience with non-treartment?

Best regards
Michael
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1564
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to hear you have lost hives but my bet would be queen failure rather than varroa being responsible. Check the top of the brood comb cells for white deposits. If you are seeing quite a lot of that, then varroa is the likely cause of demise, if not, it is something else.
I lost one colony to queen failure this summer....the first I've lost in a good few years.... but I'm not having problems with varroa and it has been over 6 years since I treated.
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madasafish
Silver Bee


Joined: 29 Apr 2009
Posts: 880
Location: Stoke On Trent

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It takes around 15 months for untreated varroa levels to build up to overwhelm a colony...
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andy pearce
Silver Bee


Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 663
Location: UK, East Sussex, Brighton

PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2016 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Failed queen mating ? The colony would become worker layer then dwindle away leaving empty cells or just a few capped random drone cells. It happened to mine a couple of times...didn't interfere to see what the bees would do and the result. I think varroa finishes this off quite quickly as the only bees arising are drones that get smaller and smaller. It may be that the workers that remain toward the end leave and go to another hive...but I have no evidence of this.
A
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1487
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And of course, if you have laying workers, the number of drones goes up and so does the varroa level because the eggs are mite eggs are laid preferentially in drones.

I am convinced that all my colony losses over the 5/6 years I have been treatment free have been down to queen failure.
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madasafish
Silver Bee


Joined: 29 Apr 2009
Posts: 880
Location: Stoke On Trent

PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

catchercradle wrote:
And of course, if you have laying workers, the number of drones goes up and so does the varroa level because the eggs are mite eggs are laid preferentially in drones.

I am convinced that all my colony losses over the 5/6 years I have been treatment free have been down to queen failure.


Most of my losses have been due to starvation(my fault) - and AFB.
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andy pearce
Silver Bee


Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 663
Location: UK, East Sussex, Brighton

PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AFB!... bad luck-did the NBU identify the source or was it one of those probably random foraging through the unwashed imported honey jar in the re-cycling box down the road jobs?
A
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madasafish
Silver Bee


Joined: 29 Apr 2009
Posts: 880
Location: Stoke On Trent

PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

andy pearce wrote:
AFB!... bad luck-did the NBU identify the source or was it one of those probably random foraging through the unwashed imported honey jar in the re-cycling box down the road jobs?
A


They did a DNA test. It was the same as the two (abandonned) hives 0.5miles away in a National Trust Property, as the hives at the home of the departed keeper of the National trust hives.
Probably from abandonned honey tubs at a local cake making factory 2 miles away.

Not the same as the AFB outbreak the year before at our BBKA teaching apiary - which is six miles away and two 300 meter high hills..

Both apiaries now free after two years..

(AFB is the classic answer to "the let them be" school of non interference.. by the time it is detected, almost all hives in one location are infected)
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1487
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have been inspected by local inspectors a couple of times when there has been AFB within range. So far I have been lucky. Given the number of people keeping bees locally, I guess it is only a matter of time till I do suffer.
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Laurieston
House Bee


Joined: 12 Apr 2013
Posts: 16
Location: Northern Germany

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara wrote:
Check the top of the brood comb cells for white deposits. If you are seeing quite a lot of that, then varroa is the likely cause of demise, if not, it is something else.


Hallo Barbara.

Can you say more about the white deposits to help me identify why my bees died. Any chance of a picture? Thanks.

Laurieston
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AndyC
Scout Bee


Joined: 04 Jul 2014
Posts: 285
Location: Uk/Horsham/RH13

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara wrote:
Sorry to hear you have lost hives but my bet would be queen failure rather than varroa being responsible. Check the top of the brood comb cells for white deposits. If you are seeing quite a lot of that, then varroa is the likely cause of demise, if not, it is something else.
I lost one colony to queen failure this summer....the first I've lost in a good few years.... but I'm not having problems with varroa and it has been over 6 years since I treated.


Did you stop doing any swarm prevention as well?
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