NZBF: Hive has failed

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vinflobie

Platinum
18
11
Narrow Neck AUCKLAND
Experience
Beginner
My hive has died......I went in on 21 Dec and attach photos. Noted that the strength was weakish, about 40% I thought. There wasn't a lot of brood but there was some and some larvae and some eggs, but not flourishing as it should have been. We are surrounded by flowering pohutukawa trees at that
time and so optimistically I had put on the second 3/4 super the week before, and opened all entries. At the inspection on 21 Dec I
decided to remove the second 3/4 and close down the entrance to one only, as the activity was weak. I was hoping it would recover and I wanted to
give the Queen another chance. The 3/4 honey super on the hive was half full of honey, and all winter there was plenty of stored honey - they did not
need feeding. In the photos you can see some bees half emerged and dead. Treated for verroa prior to Spring and no evidence of mites....bees looked
healthy. I think I should have left it to supercedure, but was worried they might swarm. Anyho.....there has been no bee activity for the last week and
I assumed it had died. Today however, there was lots of bee activity and I instantly thought 'robbing'. So today's inspection showed no Queen, nothing
in brood box apart from a big of nectar. But there showed no empty cells from robbing.........so maybe the robbing just started today. Or are they
my bees that are left behind in a Queenless hive? I have removed all honey but kept brood box intact with one entrance open. I will wait and see
what happens tomorrow.......if the bees disappear then they were robbers. But if they continue to buzz about then ???? No photos today.IMG_5793.jpegIMG_5795.jpegIMG_5794.jpegIMG_5799.jpeg
 
3,499
6,527
Hawkes Bay
Experience
Commercial
There is a queen in one of the photos. She looks alright and maybe a supersedure Queen but chances are she is a drone layer as what little brood there is is all drone brood. I would check to see if there is some new eggs with a better laying pattern and if there isn't I would kill the Queen. The hive is not being robbed but it is very weak and definitely vulnerable to robbing. It would be unlikely to survive without intervention even if there is a good new Queen and as a minimum I would add a few frames of brood and bees to build it up.
Drone layers are something that just happens and are not the fault of the beekeeper. I can do 50 hives in a day and not see one and then get two in a row.
 

Josh

Gold
958
696
Christchurch
Experience
Hobbyist
Reminds me of an early hive I had.

What was your varroa treatment? Substance & duration.

How old was the queen? Any idea?

Any signs or robbing/poison, like lots of dead bees around in or out of the hive?

For me it was varroa. I was trying to be organic & vaporisation wasn’t cutting it. Then numbers got to small for me to try a mite test. Then I posted her to @Alastair who nurses her back to healthy. And I started again with a new nuc. I think I’m contributing to the global bee crises 😅
 

Alastair

Founder Member
Platinum
8,370
9,635
Auckland
Experience
Semi Commercial
Oh yes I remember that Josh. The new owner had great success with that queen, her decendents still live in his hives 👍.
 
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Mummzie

Staff member
1,225
1,108
Tasman
Experience
Hobbyist
Or are they
my bees that are left behind in a Queenless hive? I have removed all honey but kept brood box intact with one entrance open. I will wait and see
what happens tomorrow.......if the bees disappear then they were robbers. But if they continue to buzz about then ????
what other resources do you have? Is there another hive for the Queenless to be amalgamated with?
It appears you are still leaving empty frames to be explored by the local marauders....?
 
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vinflobie

Platinum
18
11
Narrow Neck AUCKLAND
Experience
Beginner
There is a queen in one of the photos. She looks alright and maybe a supersedure Queen but chances are she is a drone layer as what little brood there is is all drone brood. I would check to see if there is some new eggs with a better laying pattern and if there isn't I would kill the Queen. The hive is not being robbed but it is very weak and definitely vulnerable to robbing. It would be unlikely to survive without intervention even if there is a good new Queen and as a minimum I would add a few frames of brood and bees to build it up.
Drone layers are something that just happens and are not the fault of the beekeeper. I can do 50 hives in a day and not see one and then get two in a row.
Thank you for responding....no the Queen has disappeared and all her minders......and she looked so healthy as well. No evidence of eggs or anything resembling a normal hive.....I believe the Queen stopped laying and the workers eventually died out. She was probably killed or died
of old age but I have no idea. I live in the city and now have 4 active preschool grandchildren who need plenty of space to run around so will be donating the hive to someone in Mangawhai.
 

vinflobie

Platinum
18
11
Narrow Neck AUCKLAND
Experience
Beginner
what other resources do you have? Is there another hive for the Queenless to be amalgamated with?
It appears you are still leaving empty frames to be explored by the local marauders....?
Thank you for responding.........should I close off entry to the brood box to stop marauding.....until I can remove the hive to Mangawhai? The new owner will have to get in touch with the local beekeeping group up there and hopefully be on hand to receive a swarm....or can you purchase bees?
 

vinflobie

Platinum
18
11
Narrow Neck AUCKLAND
Experience
Beginner
Reminds me of an early hive I had.

What was your varroa treatment? Substance & duration.

How old was the queen? Any idea?

Any signs or robbing/poison, like lots of dead bees around in or out of the hive?

For me it was varroa. I was trying to be organic & vaporisation wasn’t cutting it. Then numbers got to small for me to try a mite test. Then I posted her to @Alastair who nurses her back to healthy. And I started again with a new nuc. I think I’m contributing to the global bee crises 😅
Hi Josh..........the hive was treated with Bayvarol for the specified period. No dead bees around the hive. I think the Queen was a few years old and she was a supercedure one.....my first Queen had a brown distinct marking on her abdomen and as you can see this one doesn't. She appeared along the way and so I must have missed squishing that Q cap. I'm sure if I have acted sooner and replaced her the hive would be well.
 


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