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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    57

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    I've been monitoring my hives recently with a sbb sticky board and wonder if someone could tell me what the stuff is I'm seeing on some of the boards.
    Along with the mites, chewed wax, nd general scattered debris, I found on 2 different hives a small pile of beige colored fine powder about the diameter of a quarter. It was only in 1 spot on the board.
    Any idea what it may be?
    To everything there is a season ....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
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    6,624

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    Sounds like some stuff I've seen which turned out to be white mites (really really tiny ones) recycling old pollen. This was always in deadouts however. As well as piles of it on the bottom board, there'd be powder dusting the frames where it was being pushed (?) out of the cells by the mites.

    I'd be surprised however if these mites could exist in a hive with bees, but you might find some in a large hive without a lot of bees to cover the combs, such as you might see in winter. Here is a (not terribly good) picture of them:

    http://www.sweettimeapiary.com/pics/pollen_bugs.jpg

    I could be all wet on this.

    George-

    [size="1"][ January 12, 2006, 06:32 PM: Message edited by: George Fergusson ][/size]
    Dulcius ex asperis

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    57

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    Thanks George. I'll be on the lookout for the white mites... but I don't think that's what I've got here right now. It's like someone dumped a 1/4 teaspoon of tan confectioners sugar in one little pile. They are probably just chewing something up real fine but I wonder what it may be.
    To everything there is a season ....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
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    6,624

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    Well, mine looked like curry powder, same color, the same fineness. I imagine the color has to do with the color of the pollen, mine was predominantly orange. That picture was about 50x so when I say really really tiny, I mean virtually invisible to the naked eye. That picture is the bottom of a single comb cell.

    If it's not something eating pollen, I don't know what it could be. Maybe someone else will [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Dulcius ex asperis

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    57

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    Maybe that's what it is George, sounds like it could be. The piles were on the outside edges of the boards. Are they something that the bees will clear out when they start moving around again? I don't know anything about them.
    To everything there is a season ....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

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    I've only seen it in deadouts Mike [img]smile.gif[/img] I imagine, if it is white mites, that the bees will clean them and their pollen powder out come spring.

    There are others here who've looked at a lot more bottom board detritus than I have. I reserve the right to be wrong [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Dulcius ex asperis

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    57

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    Well George, you got me wondering about this so I took a sample and looked at it under a microscope to see if there were any signs of mites. It looks like it is all crystals with small amber colored lumps mixed in .... chewed up crystalized honey I'm assuming. Guess I should have checked this first.
    Thanks for the heads up on the white mites though. It's a new topic for me .... guess I better read up on them too.
    To everything there is a season ....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
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    >guess I better read up on them too.

    I wouldn't get too excited about them. As far as I can tell, they're just nature's way of cleaning up good protein. The critters would never survive in a populated hive. I thought there might be a chance, in winter with clustered bees that they might enjoy some freedom to munch around the edges some. I never did put the powder under a microscope. Probably should have.
    Dulcius ex asperis

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

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    Wax moths tend to leave more of a fine powder behind, but it also has little pellets of feces.

    It's probably something chewed up by either the bees or the wax worms.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
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    2,837

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    MikeGillmore . . .

    >Any idea what it may be?

    Keep watching. Youll likely find a small worm on the board. I think its the bees chewing out the guy. I see it sometimes, too.

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