like Facebook follow Twitter watch YouTube subscribe RSS Feed

This is what hive poisoning looks like….

Home Forums HoneyLove Forum This is what hive poisoning looks like….

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Author
  • #10074
    susan rudnicki




    Please don’t use pesticides—this is what bee hive poisoning looks like—both of these colonies were robust yesterday.
    Two of my bee hives at the house have been poisoned. Sending photos

    I am so distraught—the hive under the Jacaranda was also poisoned, dead bees in a circle out front of the porch—staggering around..Just took honey off them last week. They are currently 3 deeps and a medium.
    The Nuc has probably lost 50% of its population, and more are dying, from the looks of it. I transferred them into a clean nuc and saw the queen. I hope they make it and she is not affected—only time will tell. I got my husband to take photos and a short video—I will post on the HL site and to others who should know. I will write to Conrad Burton, the apiary inspector.
    This happened to the Jacaranda bees last July ’14, and two-thirds of them were killed. They were 3 deeps at the time. I think their size was their saving grace. The queen did not lay for 2 weeks. But they survived. Now, they’ve been hit again, though this one is not as bad.
    It happens because bees are wild, and you can’t control where they forage—a area of square miles. Some idiot is spraying or dumping systemics on their roses and the bees get the nectar, take it back to hand it off to the house bees, and poison the forager as well as the house bee. Pollen can also be poisoned. I am anxious to go check the Public Works apiary—they could also have got into it.


    ceebs bailey

    Susan! So sorry to hear this. Such terrible news. Are you sure that a disgruntled neighbor did not poison them? John Lyons had that happen to him last year. Do you know what sort of poison could devastate them so quickly?

    susan rudnicki

    I have 4 full size hives (3-5 deeps) at this site, my home, and the one nuc. The Jacaranda hive (3 deeps and a med. that I took honey off last week) which suffered a massive kill last July, had a much smaller hit this time—-though I have not gone into the bottom box to see what is on the floor. The Nuc is much harder hit. When I went out at 6 am, still somewhat dark, I thought it looked odd that so many bees were on the porch of the nuc, as I walk by it all the time to let the ducks out of their night quarters. Once it was light, I could see the real situation—the bees were all dead and more on the ground. You see the photo of the inside of the nuc. I transferred them into a different nuc and saw the queen, though we shall have to see if she is affected. I am hoping the poison got the foragers and the house bees so quickly, the Queen would not have a chance to be fed anything bad.
    Here is the dismal note I got from the Apiary inspector, Conrad Burton.
    Unfortunately use of pesticides is common throughout LA. If you happened to see an application or have evidence of the agency or company that sprayed pesticides in the area our Pesticide Regulation Division could look into it. Hopefully you caught the problem before it completely desimates the hive.
    Pesticide Regulation Division – (626) 575-5466.
    Here is the more helpful note I got back from Bill Lewis, of Bill’s Bees
    Hi Susan,

    This is a sad sight. The remaining bees will need to be fed or the rest will starve to death. The house bees will eat up all the food stores since there will be very few field bees bring in food and you want to keep what is left of the house bees home for a while so they don’t get into whatever the forager bees got into.

    Where is this hive location? I would like to google map the location to see what else is around and maybe determine what might be the source of the pesticide.

    This does not look like a systemic pesticide kill to me, it is something worse designed to kill a lot of bugs quickly. Could be Fipronil which is used to ground drench for termites and ants. I had an apiary of 100 colonies look like this because Fipronil was sprayed on the ground to kill ants. Not even on blooming plants. Wind put dust in the air that contained Fipronil and piles of dead bees was the result.

    You should definitely file a report with Conrad Burton.

    Sorry for your loss,


    susan rudnicki

    And by the way, checked my 17 hives at the Public Works yard and they all looked great!! Yea!!

    susan rudnicki

    Update—this is obviously a different toxin than the July ’14 event. Bees continuing to exhibit poisoned behavior, falling off the frames, dying out front and on the bottom board. The nuc is going to fail—almost no bees, just the queen and a few hundred workers that show erratic behavior. Brood is dying or dead. I think the big hive will weather the storm.

    susan rudnicki

    Update—it has been 6 days. I was in the nuc to take out a frame to submit a sample for pesticide testing of honey/nectar/beebread. The queen is still there!! Only a few hundred left of her retinue, but it has been very cold, and rained last night, yet she persists. There is a small amount of activity at the entrance.


    New blog post on pesticide testing:

    Amy Tiedeman

    Thanks a lot for the information.

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • The forum ‘HoneyLove Forum’ is closed to new topics and replies.

About susan rudnicki

Been beekeeping almost 5 years now. Have 27 hives,(2 client hives) I work with the City of Manhattan Beach, re-homing bees in conflict with citizens. Allowed to keep bees at the Public Works yard (19 hives) in exchange for this work. I do many presentations for HoneyLove, teach bee students, rescue bees and sell honey.


Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates.