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Spraying and bees

Posted by vineyardbee MA (My Page) on
Tue, May 22, 07 at 14:11

My property was being sprayed with Conserve ( an organic Pesticide for a moth infestation) yesterday, which is toxic to bees. So I foolishly covered the entrance with duct tape from 11pm ( Sunday) until 4pm the next day ( Monday)so that the bees would not be outside ingesting the stuff. I was told the spraying needs 4 hrs to dry. The arborist sprayed @ noon.

I thought this would be OK because of the bottom screen letting in air. But this morning I saw no action at the entrance and when I went into the hive, it was the saddest site to see. 7/8 of a thriving colony was dead. I am devastated. I immediately went through the entire hive and brushed out the dead bees. There was 1 super and two brood chambers on. It turns out their were so many dead bees the entrance and bottom board was blocked. I did see uncapped broad but have no idea about the queen. I cleaned it all up, put it back together, gave sugar water in an entrance feeder and will hope for the queen to still be alive. What should I expect next?? The uncapped brood were all different sizes. If there is no queen but drones and working bees will they make another queen on there own. How will I know what to do?. When should I go back into the hive.

Any insight would be most appreciated.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Spraying and bees

Now you know that you should screen entrances and probably use a screened top as well. We all learn things the hard way. Depending on how big your hives are I would cut down the space. If you have 3 frames of bees, make a 3-4 frame nuc. If you have 5 frames of bees, make a 5-6 frame nuc. Give them the brood and any eggs you can find along with a frame or two of honey and pollen. If they have a queen, they'll recover. If they don't, you'll see queen cells in a day or so, IF they have 4 day old larva. If all else fails, order a new queen. You could also consider combining if you have more than one hive in this shape.

RE: Spraying and bees

Good advice from Bandit. A few other things I would add. If the super had honey in it, I would definitely not consume it. Mark each and every frame in the super, "brood only" or "do not extract" or some other form of marking so you will know. Was this spraying a one shot deal? If not, I would consider moving the hive. There is a possibility especially with the screened bottom board that the bees didn't suffocate ( the better of two sad posibilities), but died of poisoning. Keep in mind that there is continual air flow through the hive and if the spray was more like a "fogging" some of the mist would find it's way into the hive. those Damned chemicals!

RE: Spraying and bees

Lesson learned: organic pesticides are still poison. When sprayed, the only safe thing is to remove your bees from the property first.

results of Spraying and bees?

vineyardbee, What's the outcome so far of your hive? Did you put it in a nuc and boost it with bees and brood from another hive?

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