Bee gathering in autumn: the reason for leaving the hive and measures to prevent the problem

Bee gathering in autumn: the reason for leaving the hive and measures to prevent the problem

Often there is a rally of bees in the fall, but no one understands the reason for this phenomenon. The bee family leaves the hive if something has disturbed it. Causes of concern can be viral diseases, tick activity, death of the queen, pumping out all the honey and lack of stocks for the winter. Bees can fly away, frightened by a loud sound, rodents, birds. The bee family, flying off the hive, dies or settles in another house.

Reasons for the gathering of bees from the hive

Sometimes a bee family flies away from the hive before wintering. Most often, this phenomenon is observed in the middle of autumn. There are several reasons for the sudden gathering of insects from their houses.

Bad honey collection

During the honey-bearing period (end of spring - whole summer - beginning of autumn), the main food of worker bees is nectar and pollen of flowers. It is this food that allows insects to secrete wax, build honeycombs, produce honey and royal jelly. The uterus, drinking milk, actively lays eggs. With normal nutrition, all family members perform their functions.

If weather conditions do not allow collecting nectar and pollen, the bee family begins to use their own honey. However, such food is not acceptable for an active period. The uterus, eating honey, will reduce the number of eggs laid or stop laying eggs altogether. Nurse bees without nectar and pollen will produce less milk to feed the larvae hatched from the eggs. Young bees will grow weaker and will not live long.

Usually, insects that have switched to honey during the active period die after 90 days.At the beginning of autumn, young bees do not appear that can survive the winter. After all, the uterus, eating honey, could not lay eggs in the summer. Not having accumulated enough honey for wintering and not growing young bees, the bee colony suddenly disappears in autumn (flies from the hive).

Tick activity

The bee colony is often killed by the Varroa mite. This parasite actively reproduces throughout the summer, feeding on hemolymph, the fatty body of insects. A huge number of ticks parasitize on adults and pupae. Weakened insects eventually die. In summer, the death of bees is hardly noticeable, since the uterus actively lays eggs, new individuals appear instead of the dead. However, in autumn, the activity of the parasite can lead to the mass death of the bee colony (or flight from the hive).

Usually, beekeepers process bees from ticks after pumping out honey, the release of the last brood and during preparation for wintering. However, it is in autumn that parasites hide in the intersegmental septa of the abdomen, from where it is impossible to smoke them out. Too late treatment with acaricidal preparations does not give a positive result. The bee family is sick, flies off the hive.

Infections and viruses

Diseases leading to autumn rally:

  • Wing deformation virus. It affects brood and adult insects. Carried by the Varroa mite. The peak of the disease occurs in autumn. Wingless and individuals with ugly wings and paws appear. Sick insects die en masse.
  • Acute and chronic paralysis virus. It affects larvae and adult insects. Sick individuals lose the ability to fly, they crawl, tremble. With the onset of paralysis of the limbs, insects die. The virus is spread by Varroa ticks. The peak of death occurs in autumn.
  • Infectious disease melanosis. Afflicts the uterus. It leads to the cessation of oviposition, the formation of a fecal plug, blackening of the ovaries. The causative agent of the disease is a yeast-like fungus. Worker bees throw out the diseased queen from the hive. The family stops laying eggs. Left without a queen, the bee family flies off the hive in autumn.

Sugar Syrup Abuse

Many beekeepers feed their bees with sugar syrup in September. Usually a 60% solution is prepared. To do this, take 1 liter of water for 1.5 kg of sugar. A few drops of vinegar essence are added to the sugar solution. If diseases are detected, medicines or pollen are injected into the syrup. The main thing is to choose the right time for feeding and not to abuse the sugar solution. Feeding too late and too long can cause the bees to fly away.

It is better to give sugar syrup at the end of August or early autumn.You need to finish feeding before September 10. Sugar syrup wears out insects a lot. Bees have to expend a lot of energy processing this product. Old insects processing the solution may not survive until spring. The main thing is that young bees do not eat syrup.

Bad wombs

The life of the hive depends on the queen. It is she who lays eggs, from which bees, drones, young females hatch. For fertilization, the young queen flies out of the hive and mates with at least 12 males. The resulting seed is enough for the rest of his life. In one season, the female can lay up to 200,000 eggs.

The queen feeds all her life on royal jelly, in rare cases (before swarming) on honey. Worker bees, in addition to the main female, feed several young queens. They are kept in case the main queen fails to lay eggs. If the reproductive capacity of the old female decreases, the bees will drive her out of the hive.There is a "silent change" of the uterus.

Old females are replaced by young ones. The main thing is that the hive is not left without a queen. After all, it is the female that secretes a substance that serves as a signal of well-being for bees. If the queen disappears, and there is no smell in the nest, then the bee family behaves restlessly and often flies off the hive.

During the replacement of the female, problems with reproduction are possible. It is not uncommon for young queens to be unable to find drones to mate with and remain unfertilized. An infertile female also lays eggs, but only drone ones. Such an anomaly can lead to the degeneration of the bee colony. The life of the hive depends on the fertilization of the queen.

Black honeycombs

Worker bees secrete wax and build honeycombs out of it. In these wax cells, brood is hatched, honey and bee bread are stored. Honeycombs remain light for a long period. The cells in which the brood is grown turn black over time.

The honeycombs in which the uterus constantly lays eggs are clogged with cocoons, excrement. The depth of the cells changes due to the accumulated debris. However, the queens continue to lay their eggs in the black combs. Small bees develop in littered cells. Often they become infected with ticks and viruses living in excrement. Over time, the bee family can fly out of the black comb hive and settle in a cleaner home.

Warm autumn

Bees collect nectar and pollen at the time of flowering plants, that is, in summer. This food is not available in autumn. With a cold snap, the activity of insects fades. The bees form a winter club, feed on a small amount of honey and prepare for the winter. Too warm autumn can activate bee years. Insects begin to actively fly and spend their reserves. Such activity exhausts the body of bees (they die).

Influence padi

Bees can collect not only nectar from flowers, but also sticky liquid from the needles of coniferous trees and linden leaves. The pad is isolated by some insects (aphids). The diet of bees affects the color of honey. The transition to honeydew occurs in rainy or, conversely, dry summers.

Honeydew honey has a brown or greenish color. It contains a lot of minerals, amino acids, protein, phytoncides. Such honey is useful for humans, but destructive for bees. The increased content of protein in honeydew negatively affects the digestion of the bee family, and it flies off the hive.

Signs of a problem

The autumn gathering of bees usually takes place in September and is a complete surprise for the beekeeper. Some one bee family flies out of their hive in the early morning and never returns home. Moreover, there are no irritating factors and signs of anxiety.Other bee colonies quietly swarm in their hives. In the abandoned house there is no dead bees (dead bees), honey reserves are intact. In the event of a sudden gathering of bees, it is necessary to analyze the situation and understand why the insects left the nest.

What to do?

If the bees fly away from the hive and do not appear in it anymore, you need to understand the reasons for this behavior of insects. First of all, you need to open the bee house and see what is happening inside. Problems are indicated by holes in the hive (bees could be frightened by mice), stuffiness (poor ventilation), black honeycombs and death (mites or viruses activity). In this case, it is necessary to repair the bee house, carefully clean and disinfect it, install new frames with foundation, populate a new colony and feed it with sugar syrup with flower pollen.

If only worker bees disappear in the fall, and the queen surrounded by her retinue and brood remain, then the cause of the rally is not an infection and the hive is not in poor condition.Workers could die from exhaustion and overwork. This happens if there was a field sown with sunflower near the apiary. Worker bees worked all summer collecting honey for the winter. In autumn, their vitality could be at zero. In the event of an autumn gathering of worker bees, you need to take care of the surviving insects (insulate the hive before wintering).

Prevention measures

There are several ways to prevent the autumn rally. Preventive measures are recommended in spring and summer, before the death or sudden disappearance of insects.

How to prevent a bee rally:

  • plant honey plants near the apiary;
  • treat bees from ticks with preparations "Varotom", "Bayvarol", "Apistan";
  • remove old frames with black honeycombs, insert new ones with wax;
  • in the second half of summer, replace the old uterus with a young one;
  • in the warm season and even in winter, spread plants (wormwood, mint, fir) in the hive to deter the reproduction of ticks;
  • leave at least 20 kg of honey in the hive for the winter;
  • don't make noise in the apiary.
Important! The reason for the gathering of insects may be natural aging. Bees fly from their places before death. Insects rarely die in the hive (only in case of paralysis).
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