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Thread: Black Larvae

  1. #1
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    Apr 2004
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    I just noticed in my OBS hive that one frame has a bunch of black larvae. Anyone have any idea what it might be??

    Heres a pic of the larvae, its the second picture down from the top.
    http://oregonsparkie.tripod.com/

    Im really worried


    [This message has been edited by oregonsparkie (edited June 12, 2004).]

  2. #2
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    Looks like they abandoned the brood and it died. Not sure why. Did they get robbed out? Did they run out of stores? Is there a dearth (no pollen or nectar)? Was there a long rainy spell that they ran out of stores?

  3. #3
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    It’s a nice piece of furniture.

    There are two possibilities why you have the dead larva in the cells.
    First, your hive is too high and works like a radiator from a car. As soon as you open the side all the warm air disappears and the brood dies. You shouldn’t go higher than 3 frames.
    Second, someone spayed pesticides in your neighborhood. This hive has not enough bees to clean the cells with the dead larva.

    I personally wouldn’t go higher than 3 frames; it is better to have 3 levels with 2 frames each, better for the bees to keep there brood warm enough. In your case, as soon as you open a side the temperature drops at least 10 degrees in the first minute.

  4. #4
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    Question

    Well, then, I guess MY question is this: How cold can those larva get and for how long ??

    They get exposed for quite a while sometimes when hive inspection is going on, don't they ??

    Seems like one would have to assume that the temperature in ox's house was so cold that the drop in temp mentioned would have such a quick affect, and one would have to assume that he opened the side in the first place. Niether of which we know for sure.
    lol

    I am not so sure about the "radiator theory" . :->

    ------------------
    It's Not The Destination, It's The Journey. We Cannot Change The Wind, But We CAN Trim The Sails.

  5. #5
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    Chilled brood. EFB. Chalkbrood. I saw a little of this in the spring. It went away.

    Dickm

  6. #6
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    When inspecting a regular hive any given frame of brood is usually only exposed (does not have a frame of bees on either side of it) for a short time. In an observation hive every frame is exposed.

    I'm with Axtman on the best height for an observation hive. I'm not sure about all the effects, but I've had the best luck with three deeps or four mediums. Anything smaller doesn't seem to work and, although I haven't tried anything larger, I would think it would be difficult to come up with the correct amount of ventilation. Too much and the bottom gets chilled, too little and the top gets too hot.

    But maybe if you get the ventilation just right it will work fine.

    I fought with the ventilation on a small one (one medium and one extra shallow frame) and have never succeded at getting it to do well. It's always too much or too little ventilation.

  7. #7
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    Thanks everyone,

    My bee population has slowly been dying. The capped brood hasnt hatched yet so there are fewer and fewer bees everyday. They have both honey and syrup store but for some reason they wont draw out the bottom 2 frames. The queen stays on the top frame and wont come back down to the other frames to lay more eggs. There are attendent bees around her but thats seems to bee the only ones on the frame. INside temp in the house has been between 70 - 80 degrees. All the bees seem to be concentrated on the 3rd frame from the bottom, this is where the majority of the capped brood is.

    Im a nervous wreck!!!

  8. #8
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    That what I told you before, it is to cold in the hive the warm air go up and your bees heating and heating without success.
    Remove the two top frames put some plastic on top of frame number 3 and than fill the upper part totally with Styrofoam. In my opinion this will solves your problem. Drill a 12mm – ½ inch whole in the height from the 3 frames and cover it with some mosquito screen for ventilation. If the whole is too big bees will close it with propolis, when the temperatures going up bees removing some of the propolis.

    Don’t get to nervous, everything can be fixed.

  9. #9
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    Thanks Axtmann,

    I hear what your saying, I do have screened ventilation holes at the bottom of each frame - I was hoping this would be enough. Any guesses why they wont draw out the bottom 2 frames? Only about 1/8 of the frames have drawn comb.

  10. #10
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    I think you may have too much ventilation. Try blocking some of the upper vents. Or as Axtman has suggested you could fill the top with some styrofoam and see what happens.


  11. #11
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    That’s normal; bees can’t draw out the frames under the low temperatures in your hive. Bees producing wax only when it’s warm enough in their hive. They sweating the wax, you can see it sometime in a normal observation hive with a magnifier when bees are on the glass/plastic window. Two tiny white wax flakes appear on the underside right behind the first ring on there body. Other bees collecting the little flakes and building the combs, if beekeeper have not enough space in their hives (foundation) the worker cleaning the hive and dumping the wax outside.

  12. #12
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    Axtman,
    When you talk I usually listen. I don't particularly disagree and I want to learn. When you say the tall hive acts like a radiator I assume you meant like a "chimney". i.e creates a draft from bottom to top? This would be true when the hive is closed, not when it is opened in the 70/80% house. Putting a cork in the upper vent holes should solve the problem, leaving a mass of warm air above the bees. They can pick the height/temperature. they want to live in.
    Back to the black larvae.
    Do larva chilled and dead, turn black?
    Can chalkbrood be secondary to temperature problems, (like not enough bees)?
    Are these diseases, including EFB somewhat retarded by proper hive temps? I know dampness is a factor.
    If he has disease, a new queen is in order.
    Oregonsparkie. Do you see mummified little larvae on the bottom of the hive, or just outside it? Or are there hard little "chalky" chunks in among the brood cells. These can be black or white. BTW it will help if you accept that an observation hive is an aberration to the bees. They can raise brood in Feb. when it's real chilly. They can't cluster in an OB hive to do that. The normal shape of a brood nest is round or oval. I have the shorter version of your hive and the handful of bees (perhaps not enough) have dwindled to the point that I'm going to disband it today.

    Dickm

  13. #13
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    Thanks dickm,

    Since I have been extracting feral hives out of walls for people it is nearly impossible for me to keep the bees away from the honey from this hive(its on the plastic container covers, the bed of my pickup,etc) and Im afraid that some desease was transferred to my hive.

    About a week ago we noticed that the larvae which is very small was turning black. One person thought it was from being abandond by the bees - I might tend to believe this, there are hardly any bees up there. I have been continously feeding them syrup and the temp inside my house has been between 70 to 80 degrees.

    I dont see any chalkbrood or any evidence to any desease although many of the bees seem to be shaking but I dont know if this is normal or not since this is my first hive. My bee population is really starting to dwindle but the brood should be emerging soon(she started laying on may 23rd). I wish the bees would move the queen down to the bottom 2 frames and draw the comb out so she would lay there

  14. #14
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  15. #15
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    Thanks MB,

    I sure hope it is chilled brood. The sympoms looks like it could be EFB too.

  16. #16
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    It looks like abandoned brood to me. Where they started the brood and then conracted the area they were caring for and left it behind. But why is the poulation dropping to where they are conracting that area? Pesticide? Robbing? Skunks?

  17. #17
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    Maybe just bee attrition since this was a swarm installation, the swarm could have had a high population of older bees.

    Also that doesn't look anything like foulbrood of any sort.

    ------------------
    Scot Mc Pherson
    Foundationless Small Cell Top Bar Hives
    BeeWiki: http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/beewiki/

    [This message has been edited by Scot Mc Pherson (edited June 14, 2004).]

  18. #18
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    Im hoping this decline in bee population is due to older bees. the eggs layed on may 23rd should be emerging in about 5 days or so. There are alot of dead bees in the bottom of the hive and looks like housekeeping bees are trying to get rid of the ones that died in the miffle of the hive by dropping them to the bottom.

    The queen has dropped down one frame and is still laying

  19. #19
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    Most of a swarm is made up of young nurse bees. The old bees stay with the old hive.

    But they will work themselves to death in a few weeks time anyway.

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