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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Hamilton, AL
    Posts
    61

    Default Wax moth and SHB Help

    Hi all,
    Need some help with my hives to see where I screwing up. This is my second year as a beekeeper. I was able to overwinter two hives in double deeps. We had a mild winter and early spring which really made the boom fast. Earlier in the year I deceided to consentrate on making splits and have more hives for next year instead of making honey this year.
    Hive #1 was my strongest hive, hive #2 I wouldn't call weak but it was weaker than hive #1. Ok so both hives nearly busting at the seams with bees. I split them and made two nucs. The nuc from hive #2 has already grown filling out a 10 frame deep and doing well for now. Nuc from Hive #1 was very strong then nothing. I opened them up and they had been taken over by SHB and wax moth larva. I assume they absconded.
    Original hive #1 & #2 were strong and growing fast then the same thing, wax moths and SHB wiped them out.
    Including my first cut-out this year I was up to 5 hives. Now I'm down to two, the cut-out hive and the split I made from hive #2.
    When I did the splits I left the queen in the original hive but made sure the nucs had everything they needed to make there own queen, which they did. I was able to find the queen in one nuc and lots of eggs and brood in the other. I have tried to give the bees no more area then they could protect. I have also put out Beetle Jails, the FatBeeMan boric acid traps, and wax moth bottle traps.
    Where have I gone wrong? If I can get back on track is it going to be too late in the year to make more splits/nucs?
    Thanks All,
    Caleb

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: Wax moth and SHB Help

    Anytime you have wax moth or SHB issues there is too much comb for the bees to guard. Remove anything that is empty and freeze it. Compress the hive down to what is covered in bees until they have cleaned things up. Look into why they are short of bees. Either they swarmed too much, or you gave them too much room or the queen is failing.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    908

    Default Re: Wax moth and SHB Help

    "Anytime you have wax moth or SHB issues there is too much comb for the bees to guard."
    Sorry Michael, I have to disagree re SHB. Some of my strongest hives often have the biggest population of SHB - even if they are full to the rafters.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,068

    Default Re: Wax moth and SHB Help

    It was mide winter this year.
    Starting SHB numbers should have been up at the start of the season.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    7,001

    Default Re: Wax moth and SHB Help

    Boric acid like Fipronil is toxic to all insects. Try taking the poison out for a couple weeks. We had a pretty smart commercial beekeeper put that stuff in his hives, and bless his heart he was almost wiped out. One of the changes since CCD started is beekeepers put unnatural things, and natural things in extreme concentratons (acids) in the hive. Beekeeping used to be the last fully organic, exclusively natural agriculture. Now we like the farmers are looking for the quick, easy solution.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Hamilton, AL
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Wax moth and SHB Help

    Thanks for the replies guys!
    "Now we like the farmers are looking for the quick, easy solution." I would agree to this, I have really wanted to stay as natural as possible. I'll remove the boric acid to see if that helps. I was actually having great luck in converting alot of frames to foundationless before all the pests took over. Alot of times before I do anything I think to myself "Does this seem natural to what bees in the wild would do or want?"
    I am using screened bottom boards. I was using bottom entrances and top entrances but I closed the tops because they seemed to make the wax moths worse. I cut out all the wax that had wax moth damage or wax moth larva in them and disposed of it. All the wooden ware I have stacked out of the way as to not contaminate any of my new wooden ware or wax foundation. I have tried to only give them as much room as they absolutely had to have. Everything I have read said to give them more room when 8 of the 10 frames have been drawn and are in use. I have been waiting until all ten are in use but not to the point the bees are ready to swarm and it always seems like it slows them down to move into the new space.
    I did combine what few bees were left in the two original hives. I gave them everything they needed to make there own queen but they never did. This week I felt like the split I had made from Hive #2 was ready for a second deep so when I put the deep on I put a piece of newspaper between them and combined the bees from the original two hives.
    My two original hives I bought last year as nucs. I does seem like the hive I made from a cut-out this year is alot more energetic and work harder/faster than the bees I bought.

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