A few weeks ago I determined that one colony was not thriving due to the unusual bees flying between the screened inner cover and the upturned feeder. I figured they were robber bees that couldn’t figure out how to get out. I haven’t seen any pollen going in and very little traffic compared to the other colonies.
Seems I was right.
As I opened the colony:
Not many live bees and dead bees filling the ends of the frames in the front and back. When I got to the bottom board:
Clearly I had a pretty good population going at one point.
I’m pretty sure the culprit was parasitic mite syndrome. You can see in this next picture that two of the bees have mites attached and many of the cells have the telltale white crystalline remains of varroa poop.
This is about half of what remained of the cluster. No brood, no eggs. No queen to be seen.
Unless you look over here!
After several futile attempts to put her in a nuc, I kind of gave up. I think I was able to get 7 bees into the nuc with her. I seriously doubt they’re going to make it. But I seriously doubt they were making it when I disturbed them either!