A question about other flying critters around the hive.
Over the past 2 weeks. I've noticed a few large green shiny flies (the kind we always used to see on dog poop, while growing up) crawling on the front of the hive. No more than 3-4 at a time, occasionally going just inside the hive before buzzing back out. Hive seems robustly healthy. Last inspection a week ago. Any concerns?
Also, yesterday, a beautiful large moth, very colorful wings, was hanging out within a few feet of my single hive. Then it occurred to me that I don't know what wax moths look like. Any internet pics of those critters?
David in Baltimore
Here's a picture of a wax moth http://www.probertencyclopaedia.com/j/Wax%20Moth.jpg
I don't think I'd describe it as beautiful. Is this what you saw?
Adult Greater Wax Moths are small, heavy-bodied moths about 1/2 to 3/4" long. Upper surface of wings vary from grayish to brown to dark gray to almost black. Underside is light gray. Wing are held aganist the body in "rooflike" fashion when the moths are at rest.
Good point -- the first image I posted showed the wings expanded.
Here's one that shows the moth in a more natural position: http://www.beekeeping.com/swarm/b401_4.jpg
A wax moth just looks like your common boring moth. Not what I would call beautiful. I don't really know that they aren't just millers except we call them wax moths when they lay their eggs in the wax.
If there are a lot of green flies I'd take a look (and a smell) inside and see what you find. Maybe it's nothing and maybe they know something you don't.
Thanks, all. Those photos look nothing like the larger and beautifully winged moth I saw. Wish I knew more about entymology (sp?); then I could tell you what it was. What it wasn't was a wax moth. Thanks.
There have only been a few green flies around, and everything smells fine. Looked fine last week and there were flies then as well.
Thanks for the reassurance.
David in Baltimore
Micheal, what is a hive suppose to smell like this time of year. All mine smell the same. Kind of a lived in kind of smell. I don'y smell honey like it was in the springtime.
Hard to explain what a hive smells like. It varies by what is coming in, but what it SHOULDN'T smell like is eaiser. It shouldn't smell rotten. It might smell a litle bit yeasty, like bread raising, but it shouldn't smell like alcohol. It somtimes has a sour smell or a sweet smell or a minty smell or a floral smell depending on the nectar being worked.
I wouldn't worry to much about the flies, but since they seem to have suddenly appeared, I'd just check to make sure things seem ok. If the brood is going bad (EFB or AFB or starvation) then the smell could attract the flies.
Mine smell yeasty. That's it. Thanks Micheal.