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  Thursday, 03 November 2022
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Hello! I am super new to bee keeping and I believe my happy little hive decided to leave. One day they were there buzzing and everything seemed fine and today they are all gone. A few little stragglers and I did notice some Yellowjackets which makes me think this is why they left. Such a mystery really! I am wondering if I can harvest the wax/honey and clean the hive out to prepare for next year. The had a ton of comb built and filled for winter and I would hate to see it go to waste after all their hard work. I have a top bar bee hive and I am thinking I need to switch to the standard style for next year just to have more resources for learning and answers.
If you know what my next step is... please reach out! I am all ears and would love to hear more and what my options are going forward!

Thank you so much,
Ali
3 weeks ago
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#2900
Bees don't abscond in October. Your problem is failure to control varroa mites in your colony. Typical symptoms. A scattering of dead sealed brood. Often heavy with honey. No bees left in the hive. Yellow Jackets invade the hive after the colony has collapsed, not before.

Did you treat for varroa? Did you ever sample to see what varroa load was in your hive? Search for Meghan Milbrath at Michigan State University. She has an excellent presentation and exactly what has happened to your bees.
3 weeks ago
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#2901
Thank you Mike for your response! I am so bummed they left! I treated them for mites but not sure if it worked. I use the apiguard patties but maybe I needed to treat them more often. If the colony collapsed would they have been buzzing around one day and gone the next? Where do they go?
3 weeks ago
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#2902
Actually they leave pretty much one bee at time. Bees' instinct is to leave the hive when they're sick, to protect the colony. You might not notice the losses as it's happening, but over time most of the bees will be gone.
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