I'm new to bee keeping (started w/TBH). This am I was getting ready to trim attatchments and the bees seemed very restless. (In the past I had some trouble getting them to go down to put the bars back and a little smoke did the trick.)I may have smoked them too much. After I finished working the hive they didn't seem to get back to business as usual. I went back a few hours later to see if they had settled down and was shocked by what I saw. There were 3X the normal "air traffic" and then I saw a cleaner drag a pupae out and fall to the ground. Then I noticed a half dozen more scattered about. (They were pearley white and soft, normal I think.) I checked on them off and on for the rest of the day and noticed a couple more pupae on the ground but I saw two bees bring out pupae and get airborn and fly off with them. What is happening? Did my smoking them cause bees to open capped brood resulting in the pupae dying, then later clean them out? (I have killed about 5 or 6 SHB when working them but the pupae looked fully formed.)
This may be simply hygenic behavior. They may have had mites in the cells. It's also possible you broke open some burr comb with puapae in them.
I have smoked some hot hives very heavily and never noticed any change from that. I do see them hauling off pupae after breaking open burr comb with pupae in them.
Fill in your profile so we can see where you are from. Very much advice we might give you in the future will depend on where you live.
I work TopBarHives too. When you break combs away from the hive body, you often break burr combs as Michael stated, and sometimes you damage the bits of comb close to the attachments. I see bees pulling out pupae all the time, I don't mean all day everyday, I just mean its nothing new to me. Perhaps your hives are dealing with a pest, perhaps a few pupae just plain didn't make it and the bees are cleaning house so the queen can reuse the cell, who knows. I doubt it is something to worry about, unless you start getting heavy piles of pupae.
Scot Mc Pherson
Foundationless Small Cell Top Bar Hives
so, i've been reading about top bar hives and i'm curious why you use them? are there advantages besides (and i'm assuming here) price?
Good friends are sweet as honey. Winnie the Pooh
Thanks everyone! That makes sence becouse I was detaching the attachments and noticed some comb broken and that hasn't happened before.
Top Bars are fun to see the bees draw the virgin comb. I built it at a low cost. I installed a window so I can slide the cover back and watch them work, also with the window I can inspect them for mites very closely. They crawl on the window exposing the bottom side of the abdomen and I can see the "scales" of wax forming.
I didn't know pupae could fly.....
I was testing a picture but it didn't work.
[This message has been edited by Daisy (edited June 05, 2004).]