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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Fairhaven, MA
    Posts
    14

    Question

    Lost my hive over the winter. The inside walls of the hive and tops of the frames are splattered with feces. What should I use to clean it up? I had all new equipment and new comb. The comb in the bottom box had turned deep brown. Is this normal? Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Post

    I suppose if you're afraid of Nosema you could try to disinfect them somehow. This has been discussed on other topics, but personally, I would just let the bees clean it up. I figure there's always Nosema around and the bees only get it when they are stressed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Mason, MI, USA
    Posts
    1,015

    Post

    I also lost 1 hive this winter with the 1 year comb turning very dark brown to almost black.
    I cut a piece of comb about 5 inches by 7 inches and shipped it to the bee lab in Maryland for diagnosis. There was almost 200 pounds of homey in the 2 upper hivebodies but all the bees were dead in the lower box with many bees inside the comb as if they starved. As soon as I get the results back I will post them.
    Clint

    ------------------
    Clinton Bemrose
    just South of Lansing Michigan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Fairhaven, MA
    Posts
    14

    Post

    MA has undergone alot of economic cuts and we no longer have a Bee Inspector so I would not know where to send a specimen. I would be very interested in the results you receive. Please post and I will give you my email address too, Thyme1209@cs.com. Thank you for responding.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Fairhaven, MA
    Posts
    14

    Post

    P.S. I live in a very damp area (on the coast). We are zone 6 where winters are normally fairly mild. I had wedged my hive between two evergreens and wrapped it too. Could I have contributed to the loss of my bees due to moisture? Also, if a beekeeper wanted to clean up the hive anyway, would a dilute solution of bleach and water work, or leave well enough alone as was suggested? Thank you, Diana in Southeastern MA

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    brown county,indiana,usa
    Posts
    571

    Post

    i would not use bleach on frames or soap,you will be amazed how quickly the bees can clean it up,if you want to help them,maybe feed them alot at that time.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Fairhaven, MA
    Posts
    14

    Post

    OK. I'll resist the urge to clean up the frames. Thanks for responding, Diana in Southeast MA

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Mason, MI, USA
    Posts
    1,015

    Post

    You can go to this webpage to find out where and how to send in samples to the lab for free (so far) testing http://www.barc.usda.gov/psi/brl/
    the sample I sent in 9 days ago the results have not arrived yet. They have a large backlog
    Clint

    ------------------
    Clinton Bemrose
    just South of Lansing Michigan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,803

    Post

    I do a lot of bee equipment cleanup with a hot pressure washer. It is also a great way to get bee poop off of my vehicles. The combs, I sort using common sense and they either go back to the bees or into the solar melter. Just starting to get far enough along into spring to melt wax here.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Fairhaven, MA
    Posts
    14

    Post

    Clinton: Thank you for the address!! I am going to give it to the bee association I belong to. I doubt anyone is aware of the service.
    odfrank: I will try the hot water. I was worried that I would get a new package of bees and they might get sick and die too. I really don't think my bees had nosema, but I can't be sure. Winters here on the coast are usually mild but this last one was a blockbuster. I think that's what killed my bees.
    THIS IS A SUPER WEB SITE. IT'S A WONDERFUL RESOURCE FOR NOVICE BEEKEEPERS.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Mason, MI, USA
    Posts
    1,015

    Big Grin

    I just received the results back from the bee lab in Beltsville, MD.
    Diagnosis
    Acarapis Woodi (Honeybee Tracheal Mite) 1 of 16 samples were positive. (these were the dead bees in the piece of comb.
    Varroa Destuctor (medium numbers)
    many Small Hive Beetle larva in comb cells. (this caused the dark Brown to black comb) and probable failure of the hive.
    The check for AFB (none found)
    the check for EFB (none found)
    All this check was for free by the USDA.
    Clint

    ------------------
    Clinton Bemrose
    just South of Lansing Michigan

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Fairhaven, MA
    Posts
    14

    Post

    How long did you have your hive? I got my hive in April 2002, and hoped I would not have major problems with mites as the hive was new. After reading the thorough analysis that you received, I will send a sample of my comb too. I haven't seen hive beetles in my hive, but I do have varoa as I was monitoring them on sticky paper under my veroa screen. Thank you for taking the trouble to let me know the results of the test. Diana in Sotheastern MA

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Mason, MI, USA
    Posts
    1,015

    Big Grin

    How long did you have your hive?
    I started this hive in April of 2002 but the bees superceded the queen in July.

    I haven't seen hive beetles in my hive.
    The Small Hive Beetle is hard to see. The ones I saw were very fast ond hid after about 1 second. I took some captured ones into the local College for ID.
    The easy way to find out if you have them
    is to cut a 4 inch square of corigated cardboard and place on the bottom board way to the back of the hive. I attach a string to the cardboard so I can remove it quickly and put it into a glass jar that can be covered. then inspect the jar contents later for the beetles. They like it dark!

    I do have varoa as I was monitoring them on sticky paper under my veroa screen.

    So far I have lost 4 out of 5 test hives but this was the only one with the dark comb.

    I use no chemicals in my hives only FGMO fogging every week and use the cords also.
    Clint

    ------------------
    Clinton Bemrose
    just South of Lansing Michigan

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    I do have varoa as I was monitoring them on sticky paper under my veroa screen.

    So far I have lost 4 out of 5 test hives but this was the only one with the dark comb.

    I use no chemicals in my hives only FGMO fogging every week and use the cords also.
    Clint

    Reply
    Every time I read comments like this I have second thoughts about buying that fogger and oil...
    Bill

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Fairhaven, MA
    Posts
    14

    Post

    I have used Fumidil B but nothing else. Most beekeepers in our club routinely use chemicals whether a disease is present or not. I am not comfortable doing that. I am ordering a Russian nuc from neighboring Rhode Island. Hope it winters better and I won't lose my hive again. The hive that didn't make it through the winter had about 4 or 5 bees buzzing about my crocuses today. I felt sorry for them. Sort of like Home Alone. Take care, Diana in Southeastern MA

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