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Hi again Beeks,

 

I received my first ever nucs two days ago, on the day I received them I transferred them to there new brood boxes.

 

Yesterday I left them alone to give them some time to recover.

 

Today a friend of my helped me mark the queens.

 

While in the hives we saw a few things that concerned us, could all you experts out there have a look at the following photos and let me know how serious you think they are?

 

I didn't get a good photo of it, but we also noticed a fair number of the bees have deformed or clipped wings.

 

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This nuc is in extremely poor condition with a huge varroa mite population, and one photo looks a bit like AFB but I cannot tell. It might die soon.

 

My initial reaction is to say that you should demand a refund or replacement with healthy bees. But can you please link the trade me advertisement, let's see if what you got matches the description in the advertisement.

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yes purchased from a pro Beek off trademe,

I'd be contacting the professional beekeeper and providing him with the photos. A reputable beekeeper will replace or refund that. It's in very very poor condition and not suitable, especially to a beginner. What did the advert say?

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"Now taking orders for

Spring delivery!

These Nucs are all new frames drawn out within the last year

Not culled cast off frames.

New season queen.

2 frames brood, new queen, 1 solid frame honey and pollen and one drawn frame with empty holes for the new queen to lay in.

I can also make 3/4 depth nucs.

Price is for a single nuc.

Price reduction for larger orders.

I hold a deca and am AFB free. "

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The roping in picture #5 doesn't look like AFB - not homogenous enough. Heaps of scale but I didn't notice any with pupal tongue. They appear to have died at the pre-pupal stage. I would be interested to know whether they can be removed from the cells easily.

 

Clipped wings could just be very old bees. Perhaps there weren't enough nurse bees when the NUC was created resulting in mass brood die off.

 

If you can rule out AFB symptoms then i would feed them light syrup and give them a couple of weeks to clean house.

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OK I had a look at the advertisement, it shows healthy bees. You have been ripped off. I sell bees but would never sell anything like that.

 

Rob my AFB comment was not the ropey picture, but the one with some brown cack on a stick. As I said I cannot say if it is AFB. It probably isn't, but does look like it. Other than that the brood shows severe pms, if I found one of my own hives like this I would consider it near terminal even if treated.

 

Mr Takahashi you have paid a good price and deserve something better. I think you should give the vendor a link to this thread so he knows he might get exposed, and ask for new bees in good health.

 

And do update us with progress. Selling a new beekeeper bees like this is wrong because it is taking his money but almost certainly dooming him to failure.

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I'd be contacting the professional beekeeper and providing him with the photos. A reputable beekeeper will replace or refund that. It's in very very poor condition and not suitable, especially to a beginner. What did the advert say?

@Mr Takahashi if the seller does a runner then perhaps visit Hawkes Bay next time. Half as far and much better bees :D:D:D

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While in the hives we saw a few things that concerned us

There was a strange smell that came from the hives. Not quite a fishy smell, more a sour smell.

 

Some of the frames had up to 8 bees with deformed wings on it. I could not see any mites.

 

Quite a number of dead pupae in the cells, and cells where the cappings had holes chewed into them. I could not see any of the dead pupae with their tongues stretched across the cells. One of the cells we did a ropiness test on made a thread of about 30-40mm - but it was more white than coffee coloured. A number of the other cells we did the ropiness test on, the contents had more of milky look to it and made almost no thread.

 

Definitely not two frames of brood as it was advertised, and the honey frames are crystallized, broken with lots of dead bees embedded in it.

 

He is definitely being ripped off.

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There was a strange smell that came from the hives. Not quite a fishy smell, more a sour smell.

 

Some of the frames had up to 8 bees with deformed wings on it. I could not see any mites.

 

Quite a number of dead pupae in the cells, and cells where the cappings had holes chewed into them. I could not see any of the dead pupae with their tongues stretched across the cells. One of the cells we did a ropiness test on made a thread of about 30-40mm - but it was more white than coffee coloured. A number of the other cells we did the ropiness test on, the contents had more of milky look to it and made almost no thread.

 

Definitely not two frames of brood as it was advertised, and the honey frames are crystallized, broken with lots of dead bees embedded in it.

 

He is definitely being ripped off.

Sounds like chalk brood and varroa.... VERY VERY bad form... Were they sold with varroa treatment in place? Sure as heck if i was selling to a new beek I would have a Nucs worth of strips in the Nuc and enough strips in a zip lock bag taped to to the box to top it up to a full box. Worth making a little bit less coin to cover bases!

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add in the wax moth on the honey frame.

almost looks like a dieing hive was sold off for a quick buck.

 

all you can do is treat, feed and cross fingers.

the seller may come back and make good, but i doubt it.

 

how many bees are left in it ?

 

i don't see any chalk brood.

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Why do you say, huge varroa mite population? No dig, just questioning my own diagnosis.

No worries at all, always happy to be questioned. :)

 

The photo below shows what I am talking about, it is classic PMS. Notice the uncapped, pupae, the bees do that when they detect there is a varroa mite family living in the cell with the pupae. Notice the dead larvae shrivelling up onto the bottom of the cells? This is because the bees do not detect and uncap all the infested cells and the pupae die. They are left to rot because the bees are overwhelmed with numbers.

 

Another thing about PMS, a light varroa infestation does not kill many larvae as only one reproductive mite enters each brood cell. Larvae only start dying in big numbers like in this photo, once there are so many mites in the hive that more than one reproductive mite has to enter some of the cells. This is too much for the larvae and they die.

 

The dead larvae pictured are not the result of cold, or starvation. We can tell this by the patchy nature of the dead brood. If you want to see a classic picture that typifies parasitic mite syndrome, this is it.

 

pms_zpsohuvmczb.jpg

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I don't want to make this guy look bad unfairly, I think there was a fair amount of brood on the other frames, I only took photos of the stuff that looked bad, some of the frames looked OK (in my amateur opinion). Also one of the nucs was in a lot better condition than the other. I will definitely contact the vendor, though I might see if one of the experts from the local club can come have a look - just to be certain there is no AFB.

 

What would a fair seller do to make this right, should I be looking for discount/refund/replacement?

 

I brought all new wood ware for these bees, if I have to get a replacement then the new bees will be going in used boxes.

If the current lot are sick then the the disease could be transferred to the new bees if I put them in the same boxes?

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NZBF: - Received nucs today

i guess that was part of it as well ?

 

 

I think there was a fair amount of brood on the other frames, I only took photos of the stuff that looked bad, some of the frames looked OK (in my amateur opinion).

take some pics of the whole lot, including all of the bees. need an overall shot so can get an idea of how many bees are there.

 

no real beekeeper takes nucs off a PMS hive.

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Oh dear,that isn't a nuc in good health. PMS or parastic mite syndrome is evident and/or signs of not enough bees to care for the amount of brood that was alive at the time the Nuc was made up. You were sold a dud and it does need to be replaced with a strong healthy nucleus.

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The roping in picture #5 doesn't look like AFB - not homogenous enough. Heaps of scale but I didn't notice any with pupal tongue. They appear to have died at the pre-pupal stage. I would be interested to know whether they can be removed from the cells easily.

 

 

I think the pupae can be removed from the cell easily, when the nucs arrived there were a dozen pupae or so in the bottom of each box, along with some dead bees.

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Sounds like chalk brood and varroa.... VERY VERY bad form... Were they sold with varroa treatment in place? Sure as heck if i was selling to a new beek I would have a Nucs worth of strips in the Nuc and enough strips in a zip lock bag taped to to the box to top it up to a full box. Worth making a little bit less coin to cover bases!

i may have meant Sac brood....

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If you if you get no joy from the seller (you will know within a few days) you may want to consider combining the two Nucs now and wintering them together as one hive and splitting them back out in spring.. If you are carefull and have a good excluder you can even get away with having both queens live in the same hive...

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