Last August I noticed scores of bees crawling around my garden with intermittent little seizures every couple of seconds or so. They did not fly, and were constantly thrown off course and even onto their backs by the seizures. It was disturbing to see, and I began trying to find out what was going on. There was surprisingly little information on the internet, and the bee disease specialists I contacted had no clues. As far as I can tell, the possible causes of such symptoms are toxins and viruses, especially the Acute Paralysis Virus (APV) which is associated with Varroa infestation, which I also had last year. This year, I’m seeing it again, but no mites yet at all. On any given day there are a number of bees on the ground displaying these symptoms. Here is a video of one of them:
These crawlers do not make it back to the hive and die on the ground, leaving a scattering of carcasses around the garden. I’m interested in other people’s observations and/or ideas about this phenomenon, so please let me know if you observe anything similar. This year I’m trying various herbal combinations to both enhance immune resistance to parasites and to help the bees detoxify any chemicals they may be exposed to. I’ll post again if anything develops from these treatments.