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bees just left

 
Marianne Cicala
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I spoke with 2 friends in the last few days - and both have hives that are simply empty. No dead bees, no sign of an attach, just gone. Neither of these people live close to one another. 1 told me that there was no honey in the hive either. Anyone have any idea what the reason for this?
 
John Polk
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Sounds like a classic case of CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder).

Do your friends live within 2-3 miles of a conventional farm?
The typical spraying of pesticides has been shown to be the primary cause of CCD.

Paul has made a video regarding CCD:
 
Patrick Mann
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Just the bees or bees + combs? Apparently hive theft is on the rise.
 
Marianne Cicala
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1 of them told me that was no honey - combs were still there though which is completely weird sounding to me (although I do not keep bees). 1 of them maybe somewhat close to a conventional farm, the other is on our road & I am the only farmer although a neighbor does raise hops conventionally but hasn't sprayed for a couple of months. I will pass this on to them as the video - maybe my neighbor's bees have moved down to our forest Thanks Patrick & John!
 
Burra Maluca
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paul stamets' latest lecture has some very interesting new information which may be relevant, showing the relationships between bees, viruses, fungi, trees and bears.

 
Ludger Merkens
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Well hate to say it, but it sounds a lot like a massive varroa infestation followed by a swarming act for purification reasons. Can you get pictures of the remaining comb? You can tell a lot from the remains of the comb, what has happened. A variation of the szenario could be, that the colony got weak, maybe because of a massive varroa infestation (if pesticides can be excluded) and got robbed by another bee hive afterwards. You would find almost no bees, no honey storage, but the comb would probably be slightly damaged by the feeding frency of the robbing bees. (Or maybe wasps)
If wasps are the culprit, the damage to the comb usually is more dramatic and you find dead bees on the bottom board, or in front of the hive entrance. If you can get a picture, I can try to do a better diagnosis. Still very difficult to do with only a picture at hand.

--- Ludger
 
Marianne Cicala
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Thank you Ludger - I'll ask if 1 of them can send a pic.
 
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