numerous dead/ Dying bees around hive?

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BDT123
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Re: numerous dead/ Dying bees around hive?

Unread post by BDT123 » December 8th, 2016, 11:57 pm

My dead and dying bees became apparent around mid November. Literally hundreds around my 2 big wrapped hives. We are now into mid-December and minus 20+ temps. That's C! I put my ear to the hives and there is still a buzz. I feel I did all I could before the winter. I can only hope.
They had lots of honey and pollen, were treated for mites, what else can an amateur do?
Did not insulate, wrapped with tarpaper. Top ventilation, fondant on top board, top hat insulation
What did I not do? Help me out! Would appreciate critique from knowledgable keepers.
I guess March will tell the tale!

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Countryboy
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Re: numerous dead/ Dying bees around hive?

Unread post by Countryboy » December 9th, 2016, 4:25 am

Hundreds of dead bees around hives is to be expected in mid-November. The summer bees are dying off, and the winter population is getting smaller. Often, the housecleaning bees drag the dead bees out the entrance and you see dead bees all around the entrance.

If you are really worried about it, you can pick up some dead bees and send them to the USDA Beltsville bee lab for free testing. This is free for any US or Canadian beekeeper. https://www.ars.usda.gov/northeast-area ... t-samples/
OK, I just glanced at the USDA lab webpages, and it no longer says they do testing for Canada. Now it says they just do testing for US and territories only, and do not do testing for any other countries. Anyone know what happened there? Do they still do testing for Canada? I emailed the lab - I will let folks know once I hear a reply.

Look at the dead bees. Are the wings in a K pattern? (tracheal mites) Are the wings all shriveled up? (Deformed wing virus)

You may also want to lift the lid and see what the cluster looks like. (Don't pull frames. Just look at the cluster.) How many frames does the cluster cover?

If you treated for mites with an effective mite treatment at the right time, and the bees have plenty of honey and pollen, and you have a big enough winter cluster...you should be fine. You may also want to put an insulation pillow on the hive like Allen uses. I'm a big fan of insulation pillows on the hive - I use a piece of insulation board inside an 18 by 24 ziplock bag under my cover. (The bees will chew the insulation if it is directly exposed to the bees, but they don't chew through the plastic bag, and the plastic lifts and reseals easily if you look into the hive.
B. Farmer Honey
Central Ohio

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Countryboy
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Re: numerous dead/ Dying bees around hive?

Unread post by Countryboy » December 9th, 2016, 4:35 am

I found old rules which say that a Canadian beekeeper has to have their provincial apiary inspector submit the samples for them.

https://www.ars.usda.gov/ARSUserFiles/8 ... amples.pdf

This instruction page says to email Bart Smith. Now the Beltsville webpage has you email a Samuel Abban.
B. Farmer Honey
Central Ohio

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Countryboy
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Re: numerous dead/ Dying bees around hive?

Unread post by Countryboy » December 9th, 2016, 11:25 am

I received a reply from Beltsville.

No, the information on our website about Canadian beekeepers sending samples to our lab for testing is not a mistaken. Starting this year (January 1), we have stopped all testing for Canadian beekeepers.

Canada has now step up and operating a diagnostic lab. They provide Canadian beekeepers similar service to that offered at this lab but the service is not fee.

Samuel. K. Abban
Biological Science Tech
BRL, Bldg. 306, BARC-E
Beltsville, MD 20705
PH: 301-504-8821
Email: Samuel.Abban@ars.usda.gov
http://www.ars.usda.gov/main/site_main. ... 2-75-05-00


I would say to contact Medhat Nasr. He would know more about whatever diagnostic service Canada now offers, and what the costs are.

Hmm. I wonder if this is how we are going to make America great again. Jettison our Canadian brothers, even on mutually beneficial programs. Face it Canucks - we just don't like you anymore. /sarcasm
B. Farmer Honey
Central Ohio

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Allen Dick
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Re: numerous dead/ Dying bees around hive?

Unread post by Allen Dick » December 9th, 2016, 12:15 pm

We have a Beekeepers Commission with a huge savings account that could cover the cost to encourage all beekeepers to monitor diseases, but they are too busy with other things, like looking inward and expelling members.
Allen Dick, RR#1 Swalwell, Alberta, Canada T0M 1Y0
51° 33'39.64"N 113°18'52.45"W
http://www.honeybeeworld.com/Allen%27s%20Beehives.kmz
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