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any homeless bees?

Posted by vundril 8 a Dallas TX (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 17, 07 at 10:43

I built an owl house four years ago and very soon thereafter got a thriving bee colony. They had a sweeet location in my backyard with pond and large and varied garden. I really enjoyed them and observed several swarms over the years, the last one being late last summer. Then I noticed fewer bees, until none at all. This winter I climbed tree and opened house to discover nearly all comb decimated, no bees and dozens of nasty white cocoons embedded in the walls. I gather these were wax moths and apparently they can destroy a weak hive. I scraped the owl house clean of all debri and cocoons.
I know bees are in a lot of trouble. What are the chances of getting another colony here? Anything I can do to attract them?
I'll guess I'll hold an open house for screech owls if the bees don't come.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: any homeless bees?

Sounds like your bees may have been the victim of the new disease that's ravaging bee populations all over the country, Colony Collapse Disorder. Unfortunately, the politicians are too busy killing people in foreign countries to devote money to finding a cure. My advice would be to clean out the old nest as thoroughly as possible. We don't yet know if Colony Collapse is due to bacteria, mycoplasma, virus or whatever. Conceivably it may be due to some other cause, such as pesticide poisoning, but that seems unlikely due to the widespread nature of the malaise. Until we do know, it's best to be as sanitary as humanly possible, washing all equipment thoroughly in case there's a virus lingering on the hive or equipment that can re-infect a new swarm. Best of luck.

RE: any homeless bees?

The wax moths moved in after the hive was dead or close to it. The hive most likely died of varroa mites or simple starvation. Last year's drought took out alot of bees. Most of us beekeepers were feeding heavily in July and August to keep them alive. You may get some new bees during the spring swarm season, but unless you get them into a real hive that you can manage, this will be a never ending cycle of dieing off.

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