Tag Archives: absconded

?? “mite bomb” ??

I treated only 1 hive with oxalic acid. They absconded 2 weeks later. The others had very high mite levels and lots of DWV. 2 queens from — heading splits died with their colonies during cold snap in Dec. with lots of food on the next bar (both TBH). Langstroth hive from a nuc from —– died between Jan and Feb. The only hive that survived well was headed by a swarm queen from another beekeeper. The other surviving hive is alive but puny.

RESPONSE: I am unsure that the Oxalic acid or the high mite numbers caused the bees to abscond in your hive. Oxalic acid ONLY kills mites on the adult bee bodies – if there was a lot of brood when you used the oxalic, all those mites would have survived since it does not penetrate cell cappings. Splits (see report from last year) have heavy losses – depends on the time of year the splits were taken and what was done to try to get them up to speed to survive winter.  It is a good idea to try different stocks. You may have had a colony that was a “mite bomb,” a colony with lots of mites and they spread to your other colonies and thus you did not have good survival, despite the different stocks.   I hope you small survivor colony is progressing well.


They died because I was gone for 5 months (Oct – Mar) Tried to feed them pollen/fondant while I was gone but it turned semi liquid ran into hive and one colony absconded and the other moved to one side and starved with honey in the hive (but not above them).

RESPONSE: Thanks for your comment on the PNW survey. Sounds like an instance of Bee PMS – so nothing would have helped. Running of feed does occur on occasion – but it was due largely to bees in poor health. The bees moving off brood area is very typical of Bee PMS.  I hope you have better luck this next time around.