Wax Moth and Combining
Been a while since I've been on here. Crazy family year this year...
Anyway, I need help. I'll try to be brief. -
We started keeping this spring. Two hives about 12 feet apart. Early in the game Hive 1 bees decided they liked Hive 2 much better. About half of them left 1 and moved into 2. Both hives did really well though. No major issues. Hive 2, having the benefit of extra bees by half, went gangbusters. Tons of bees. Tons of honey. Happy. Happy. Buzz. Buzz. Hive 1 did well, just not as well for obvious reasons.
Went out to do my last inspection before winter-ish weather here. (SouthEast GA). Hive 1 is OK. Small, but brood box is full of bees and lots of honey. Brood box is an 8 frame deep. One 8 frame super has about 3 frames of honey. Bees are busy every day still. Didn't see the queen but not concerned. See honey. See brood. Hive very active inside. No random weirdness. I tend to be a bit hands off and don't take out every frame in every box.
Open Hive 2 and was SHOCKED. I have almost NO bees. No queen. Some honey still and an entire box plus a frame or two that clearly has been invaded by wax moths. This was the strong hive. I had two deeps and a super full plus a little just 5 - 6 weeks ago. Now there might be 3-4 frames of bees and not much else. A few hive beetles, but not overrun. And the bees have been out flying etc., not as much but they get a good bit of shade this time of year (was already planning to move the hive) so I didn't think much of it.
I'm theorizing that something ran off or killed my queen, population declined and the moths took advantage.
I'm going to cut out all the comb and destroy it. It's mostly destroyed anyway. I'll freeze the frames. My question is, what do I do with the remaining bees? They won't last long if I don't do something.
Do I try to combine them with the other hive? If so, how? Do I just let nature run it's course and start again on this one next year?
All ideas and advice most welcome!
Re: Wax Moth and Combining
I had a small swarm that I put with a weak hive and so far it looks good. I put a sheet of newspaper on top of the hive and put the swarm on top in the middle.Cut several strips of the newspaper Then I put a empty hive body around the swarm.I also put my feeders on top of the hive frames. Then I put newspaper waded up around the feeders.THe newspaper is insulation and will absorb any conditaion Hopes this helps
Re: Wax Moth and Combining
Thanks! That's what I've done today. Then I cleaned out all the wax from the frame and scraped it out of all the crevices etc., along with some pretty gooey moth larvae. Blech...
Frames won't fit in my freezer. (Figures) So I have to decide what to do with them.
Funny thing though, I went back to the newly combined hive just to watch it a few hours after I put it together and the little ladies were making a very strange scrabbling sort of noise in the upper portion (bees from the bad hive). Any idea what they were up to?