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Best guess without seeing it is varroa problem. They bring viruses into the hive from infected hives. I would take all measures now to strengthen hive health, do a varroa count & take all measures to kill the varroa in the hive. Get a screened bottom board if you don't have one & do an Apivar treatment. The shotgun pattern are nurse bees pulling out either invested or infected larva. Also, it's Fall. The varroa are maxed out in population and the Queens are reducing egg output for winter.

Karl Hesse said:

I've got a hive that is losing a lot of bees. I notice some bees are acting like they are having a seizure, flying in circles on the ground. Workers are dragging out dead and disfunctional bees by the minute. I have two other hives nearby that seem fine, so I'm not sure if it is from pesticide spray. I did an inspection and noticed a shotgun brood pattern with larvae in the uncapped cells. Does anyone have an idea what is going on? Thanks!
Thank you Timothy. I will proceed to check for mites and treat accordingly!

Usually, if the bees are dying right near the entrance. They are shaking, walking funny and spinning on the ground. To me it is a pesticide poisoning. I have tried 2 things on the past. (1) is to close the hive off with screen and let it sit for 48 hours. But this is best done with a screened bottom board or in a shaded area. After it has set I opened the hive to remove the dead bees.

(2) is to let it take it course.

I find that when I close the hive down I have a better success rate of some of the hive surviving.

Bees will only go to one source and they keep on that source until it is depleted. That is why they other two hives at this time are OK. Hopefully they don't find the source in the future.

Please realize will be tough to determine how far the hive will crash. Depends on the pesticide strength. I have had some totally crash and I have had some go about 1/2 down.

If you have a partial hive that makes it then there will be a good chance you will lose your queen so check it again in 7-10 days. You will have to replenish the hive with a frame of brood with eggs so they can make queen cells. Then if possible a week later give then another frame with brood with eggs. That should help. 



Karl Hesse said:

I've got a hive that is losing a lot of bees. I notice some bees are acting like they are having a seizure, flying in circles on the ground. Workers are dragging out dead and disfunctional bees by the minute. I have two other hives nearby that seem fine, so I'm not sure if it is from pesticide spray. I did an inspection and noticed a shotgun brood pattern with larvae in the uncapped cells. Does anyone have an idea what is going on? Thanks!

The State law leaves you entirely at the whims of a HOA. Sorry.

Tim, your information is not accurate. 

Adam, If you are a registered Florida State beekeeper and the HOA has no explicit language prohibiting bees then you have legal recourse to disagree with the HOA.

Good luck, Lee

Mark just did a second small honey harvest and this time the honey was much cloudy and has a foam on top. What caused this? And should we filter it again to get it clear before putting it in jars?
Attachments:

If you would like to review #9 in the Florida State Law. Like I said, you don't want to put your bee hives in a deed restricted community where they can force you to remove them at a moments notice from your own property. You can argue it till you are blue in the face. If they conduct a meeting and add it to their constitution all you can do is comply or pay the ensuing fines.

BEST MANAGEMENT REQUIREMENTS FOR MAINTAINING EUROPEAN HONEY BEE COLONIES ON NON-AGRICULTURAL LANDS:

 The colony density limits in areas not classified as agricultural pursuant to

Section 193.461, Florida Statutes, below, minimize potential conflict

between people and honey bees and beekeepers following the BMRs

outlined in this document. The honey bee colony requirements /densities

may not be exceeded except under a special permit issued by

the Director of the Division of Plant Industry in accordance with the

requirements of Rule 5B

-

54.0105(3), F.A.C.

1.

The placement of honey bee colonies on non-agricultural private lands

must agree to and adhere to the following stipulations:

A.

When a colony is situated within 15 feet of a property line, the beekeeper

must establish and maintain a flyway barrier at least 6 feet in height

consisting of a solid wall, fe

nce, dense vegetation or combination thereof

that is parallel to the property line and extends beyond the colony in each

direction.

B.

All properties, or portions thereof, where the honey bee colonies are

located must be fenced, or have an equivalent barr

ier to prevent access,

and have a gated controlled entrance to help prevent unintended

disturbance of the colonies.

C.

No honey bee colonies may be placed on public lands including schools,

parks, and other similar venues except by special permit letter issued by

the Director of the Division of Plant Industry and written consent of the

property owner.

2.

Honey bee colony densities on non-agricultural private land

are limited to the following property size to colony ratios:

A.

One quarter acre or less tract size

3 colonies. Colony numbers may be

increased up to six colonies as a swarm control measure for not more than

a 60 day period of time.

B.

More than one-quarter acre, but less than one-half acre tract size

6

colonies. Colony numbers may be increased up to 12 colonies as a swarm

control measure for not more than a 60 day period of time.

C.

More than one-half acre, but less than one acre tract size

10 colonies.

Colony numbers may be increased up to 20 colonies as a

swarm control measure for not more than a 60 day period of time.

D.

One acre up to two and a half acres-15 colonies. Colony numbers may be

increased up to 30 colonies as a swarm control measure for not more than

a 60 day period of time.

E.

Two and a half to five acres -25 colonies. Colony numbers may be

increased up to 50 colonies as a swarm control measure for not more than

a 60 day period of time.

F.

Five up to 10 acres 50 colonies. Colony numbers may be increased up to 100 colonies as a

swarm control measure for not more than a 60 day period of time.

G.

Ten or more acres–100 colonies. The number of colonies shall be

unlimited provided all colonies are at least 150 feet from property lines.

3.

Beekeepers must provide a convenient source of water on the property that

is available to the bees at all times so that the bees do not congregate at

unintended water sources.

4.

Beekeepers must visually inspect all honey bee colonies a minimum of

once a month to assure reasonable colony health including adequate food

and colony strength. If upon inspection honey bees appear to be overly

aggressive the beekeeper shall contact their assigned apiary inspector for

an assessment.

5.

Re-queen collected sw

arms, new colonies and maintain colonies with

queens or queen cells from EHB queen producer(s).

6.

Practice reasonable swarm prevention techniques as referenced in

University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences extension

document “Swarm Control for Managed Beehives”, ENY 160, published

November 2012.

7.

Do not place apiaries within 150 feet of tethered or confined animals or

public places where people frequent. (Examples-day care centers,

schools, parks, parking lots, etc.)

8.

Do not place colonies in an area that will impede ingress or egress by

emergency personnel to entrances to properties and buildings.

9.

Deed restrictions and covenants that prohibit or restrict the allowance for

managed honey bee colonies within their established jurisdictions take

precedence and as a result supersede the authority and requirements set

forth in Chapter 586 Florida Statutes and Rule Chapter 5B

54, Florida

Administrative Code.

It shall be presumed for purposes of this article that the beekeeper is the person or persons who own or otherwise have the present right of possession and control of the tract upon which a colony or colonies are situated. The presumption may be rebutted by a written agreement authorizing another person to maintain the colony or colonies upon the tract setting forth the name, address, and telephone number of the other person who is acting as the beekeeper.

Mark, SHB problems are unique to each apiary and vary depending on many factors including shade and hive strength. With prevention methods I've generally found that too much is not enough. Workers almost always chase & jail SHBs up in a hive unless they learn otherwise as is with beetle baffles. Don't get me wrong. I don't mean they never come down but if left to their own behaviors workers will "jail" SHB in comb near the top of the hive and feed them when beetles stimulate their oral area. So if you are going to put a preventative measure at the top of the hive, beetle traps are suited to the task. One more thing. Use mineral oil instead of vegetable oil. Veg oil goes rancid and the bees will seal it to get rid of the smell. Also, bait the trap with apple cider vinegar. Check out the difference.

Mark Muir said:

Good suggestions. So ditch the SHB traps since the bees keep filling the entrances anyway? How large an area around the hives should be paved or have tar paper?

The University of Florida at Gainsville produced a Bee Calander divided into North, Central & South Florida. It shows Native plants in your area in bloom. It does not tell you where or if they are growing in your area. You'll need to survey your neighborhood to see what's blooming. You should rely more on your own hive inspection to tell you if they have enough honey and pollen. If they don't you need to provide it. General guidelines are blooms are weakest in November/December and again in June/July. Pollen and nectar are washed clean after a rain storm. Last Bees will starve without pollen to make bee bread. If you want to reference the calander you can go to the UF entomology website and look it up or goto http://volusiabeekeepers.org/ and click on Bee Calendar for Florida for all 12 months.

Chris and Steve Radentz said:

Yiu dint mentuon when it would be easier, when is there better nectar flow?

Re: foam may be air bubbles. Let it sit for a week and see if they dissipate.

Re: darker color. Fall blooms have more protein than earlier in the year making the honey darker.

Re: Turbidity. A am presuming you are filtering at about 400 microns. If so you are fine. If you are using a 600 micron filter I'd re-filter at 400. The increased cloudiness may be a result of the darker proteins coming from blooms this time of year.

If it tastes good and a refractometer shows the water content to be 18.5% or less then it will not ferment and you will never need to worry about your honey going bad after a sale. If it is capped that only means it is below 20% or more. Taste it, test it, let it sit for a week and if all is good...enjoy it. And as for colors, there are a lot of colors. Some of the darkest being in South Florida such as Papaya and Passion Fruit. Alaskan Honey is almost white.

Mark & Nancy Morris said:

Mark just did a second small honey harvest and this time the honey was much cloudy and has a foam on top. What caused this? And should we filter it again to get it clear before putting it in jars?

Good morning, Also at the top of the page we have Beek's Calendar/ Nursery Tab. It list what is blooming for each month. 

Timothy Blodgett said:

The University of Florida at Gainsville produced a Bee Calander divided into North, Central & South Florida. It shows Native plants in your area in bloom. It does not tell you where or if they are growing in your area. You'll need to survey your neighborhood to see what's blooming. You should rely more on your own hive inspection to tell you if they have enough honey and pollen. If they don't you need to provide it. General guidelines are blooms are weakest in November/December and again in June/July. Pollen and nectar are washed clean after a rain storm. Last Bees will starve without pollen to make bee bread. If you want to reference the calander you can go to the UF entomology website and look it up or goto http://volusiabeekeepers.org/ and click on Bee Calendar for Florida for all 12 months.

Chris and Steve Radentz said:

Yiu dint mentuon when it would be easier, when is there better nectar flow?
Hello. My name is Eric. I have some bees in Haiti now, too. I am in need of a used two-frame mechanical hand-operated extractor, if anyone has one that they don't use anymore.
561-577-2832 and/or 305-684-5011. Thanks or echeromcka@gmail.com

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