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  1. #1
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    Jun 2012
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    Ponca City, OK
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    Default Really need some feed back please

    Please check this out and if anyone can help we could use all the help we can get with this problem. We would like to know if our healthy hive could be affected by these and if so what steps can we take to stop it. http://rl-photography.blogspot.com/p/honey-bees.html

  2. #2
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    Dec 2002
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    Default Re: Really need some feed back please

    1. Do some more reading. No beekeeper should be left in the dark about wax moths. Get a good book or two, I recommend The Practical Beekeeper by Michael Bush and the Complete Idiot's Guide to Beekeeping by Dean Stiglitz and Laurie Herboldsheimer.

    2. Stop feeding. Bees are not horses. They do not need to be fed unless they have no honey to live on going into winter. They do not need to be watered unless there is absolutely no source of water within three miles. Sugar syrup is not honey. It is not the optimal diet for bees. It is a stopgap measure.

    3. Your hive died. Wax moths moved in. If your healthy hive died, it would be overtaken by wax moths as well. Healthy hives do not have wax moth problems. Wax moths are incapable of taking over a hive not already compromised.

    4. If you're worried about losing hives, you need to check your bees a little more often. You don't get a wax moth infestation like that in a week. Your hive looks like it has been dead for more than a month.

    5. You need more hives. I have 28 hives. I don't care if I lose one or two. If you lose one, you've lost half. If you lose two, you've lost all. In today's beekeeping climate, you cannot expect not to lose hives and the fewer you have, the greater the chance that you will lose all of them at once as a matter of probability.

    Sorry to be so blunt, I call it like I see it.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  3. #3
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    Jun 2012
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    Ponca City, OK
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    Default Re: Really need some feed back please

    Solomon,
    Thank you for you bluntness. You are the first person that I have gotten some real answers from.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Augusta County, VA, USA
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    73

    Default Re: Really need some feed back please

    ^^^ what he said...
    I'd add that to have that much infestation go undetected suggests you missed some pretty big warning signs. Ironically, someone who has 20+ hives (maybe in an outyard) can miss a 'dying' hive until it's that bad. But if these hives are in proximity to your home or garden, then you should be able to see how the bee's behavior changes over the course of a season. At some point some time ago, those bees would have started looking really weak and a quick peek inside would have tipped you off that they were in trouble.

    Which is not to say I haven't missed some huge warning signs :-}
    LOL

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Panama City, Florida, USA
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    556

    Default Re: Really need some feed back please

    I will disagree on the "missed the pretty big warning signs"and "dead for a month". It really depends on your inspection schedule and knowledge of bees. I can see my hives go from no wax moth larva to that condition in about 2 to 3 weeks. But that is after the bees have declined to a point that they can't protect the hive. For this to occur the hive had to be either weak or just have to much space for them to defend. Wax moth is not a problem unless the area in the hive is to large for the bees to defend. You either had given them to much room or they diminished for some reason. You just need to inspect with frequency and make hive size adjustments if they have more room than they can defend. This hive would have been overun with SHB before the wax moths got it in my area. At hive death + one month, the Wax moth larva have pretty much destroyed all the frames in one to 2 boxes of comb, at least in my area. They are just being natures recycler, pretty much the only thng out there that can digest beeswax to any degree.

    The take away here is to pay close attention if your hive population begins to decrease.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2012
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    Ponca City, OK
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    8

    Default Re: Really need some feed back please

    abejorro,

    Actually the hives are located out a ways in our field due to the fact that my elderly parents that live on our property are deathly afraid of them. I wish they were closer and am really considering moving them at least a little closer. Not a good excuse but both my husband and I work full time and I have a second job and with the bees being out of sight we were not doing that good of a job keeping up with them. We have learned our lesson and are checking on them more often now. I just wanted to get some advise for our other bee hive so we didn't loose it also. I totally agree with both you and Solomon we messed up bad with this hive so I just want to make sure that we don't do that again. As far as more hives that will have to come with time because bees are not cheap little things lol. We are trying to add a hive a year though. Oh and Solomon we are feeding them because that is what I read in a book to do. Also, all the bee people told us they needed it because our creek is dried up and there are no blooms around to be found. Everything here has dried up.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Panama City, Florida, USA
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    556

    Default Re: Really need some feed back please

    As for feeding, in my opinion, you only need to feed if they are light on stores. Light in the summer being less than 2 frames of capped honey. But in your area, assuming a full one deep brood box, they need to have a full super of honey/syrup going into winter.

    As a rule, I don't feed, except on starting nucs or newly collected swarms.

    There are a lot of opinions out there on whether to feed, trrreat, etc. it really comes down to personal preference, willingness to lose hives, watch bees die, and management style.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Ponca City, OK
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    8

    Default Re: Really need some feed back please

    Thank you jbeshearse, you have really have helped. I think we did have too much space and we had someone come out last year to take a look and help us and he told us that we didn't need a new queen at the time but I have read that you should requeen every year?

  9. #9
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    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    Default Re: Really need some feed back please

    Quote Originally Posted by sandman1053 View Post
    we are feeding them because that is what I read in a book to do.
    I have a website, and on that website, I say not to feed. There, now you have two official conflicting sources.

    Seriously though, the only reason I feed is in years (last year) where it is so bad that the bees don't have enough honey to survive the winter even without being harvested. Feeding is fraught with serious shortcomings including but not limited to robbing, nutrition, swarming, and mass drowning. There is no perfect way to do it and it is generally unnecessary in successful sustainable beekeeping. So I recommend not. http://parkerfarms.biz/unnecessary.html


    Quote Originally Posted by jbeshearse View Post
    Wax moth is not a problem unless the area in the hive is to large for the bees to defend.
    Anecdotal evidence, I have have never seen a healthy colony unable to guard a hive of at least five deeps year 'round. And I know that to be the case because I leave my boxes on the hives year 'round. I've heard this one before, but I do not find it to be the case. I find a colony can be small and healthy and still guard a great deal of comb. In fact, I often use healthy but unproductive colonies to babysit boxes of drawn comb in this same manner.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Augusta County, VA, USA
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    73

    Default Re: Really need some feed back please

    Got'ya. As I said, bees in 'outyards' can be trickier to manage. But if you are feeding, I assume you look into them (to replenish feed) at least every couple of days? In any case, my point was that with a little experience, you can pick up 'warning signs' early on. Usually :-} Also, an advantage of having two (or more) hives, is that if you have a straggler, you can bulk it up by stealing from your stronger hive (of course, don't end up with two failing hives).

    jbeshearse: Not sure what you are disagreeing with if you proceed to say bees can go from 60-0 in 2-3 weeks and that it depends on 'knowledge of bees'. That would be exactly my point: assuming you are a hobby beek, and at least glancing at bees once a week (?), you should develop the knowledge to know something is wrong just by popping the lid up. Could not agree more with the rest of your comments...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Reidsville, NC
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    114

    Default Re: Really need some feed back please

    Quote Originally Posted by sandman1053 View Post
    I have read that you should requeen every year?
    Let me say that I agree with what Solomon has already stated.

    If you are feeding with a Boardman feeder; Stop. They are only good for water in my opinion and never sugar feed. I do put them on my hives when we go into drought stages, but only put water.

    There are 2 reasons I say this: the first is the robbing that occurs, the second is when you feed internally you are forced to open the hive. The don’t open the box approach will get you the results that come from not looking.

    As for re-queening every year. I do not agree with this practice. I re-queen when needed and not just because it is a new year. The bees will re-queen on their own 9 out of 10 times, I only do it when I have a queen with lack luster performance or bad genetics, but not just because it is the next year.

    Last thing, if you move those hives closer to your home. Remember you can’t just pickup the hive and move it a couple hundred yards. You will need to do something to disrupt their path so they take reorientation flights or move them several miles away then a week later you can move them back again. Just do some searching or find a good mentor before moving any hives, other wise you will lose all your foragers.
    Experience is better than theory.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Panama City, Florida, USA
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    556

    Default Re: Really need some feed back please

    Sol, you are correct, but then they don't really need to defend empty comb that was never used for anything but honey. They generally only wreck brood comb or comb has been used to store pollen, past or present, as you know. If you leave your honey supers on a hive over winter, it is usually not a problem. But just go ahead and leave 5 deeps on that were used for brood on that small but healthy hive then see whats left next year, if you even have a hive.

    Just anecedotal, I don't bother even putting my drawn comb that has only had honey in it on a hive over winter. I just stack it out by the garage, no crystals, none of Sundance's BT, etc. and I seldom lose any of it to moth damage. Its not that your small healthy hive is protecting the comb, it's that there is not enough nutritional value there for the moths to be interested in.

    jbeshearse
    Last edited by jbeshearse; 07-11-2012 at 11:41 AM. Reason: added comment

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Really need some feed back please

    Quote Originally Posted by sandman1053 View Post
    I have read that you should requeen every year?
    Yep, my website says not to do that either. Think about this question: Why would you arbitrarily replace a queen who has survived an entire year and is doing a good job with a queen you've never met before? http://parkerfarms.biz/unnecessary.h...ary_Requeening



    Quote Originally Posted by jbeshearse View Post
    But just go ahead and leave 5 deeps on that were used for brood on that small but healthy hive then see whats left next year, if you even have a hive.
    Like I do every year? I don't have drawn comb that has only had honey in it. I use unlimited broodnest. Comb that has had brood in it is about the only thing that will hold up to the extractor here on extracting day when it's 105 in the shop. These theories do not stand up to my first hand experience.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  14. #14
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    Jun 2012
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    Ponca City, OK
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    8

    Default Re: Really need some feed back please

    Wow, thank you for all the advise. My head is spinning lol, but seriously thank you all for answering so quickly.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
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    486

    Default Re: Really need some feed back please

    Sandman1053 Don't feel too bad. Wax moths happen. I have a hive that must have swarmed or something happened. It was a real strong colony and I had a few boxes over it. I just noticed recently that traffic slowed down at the entrance. It may have been 3 weeks or so since I had looked in it because I wasn't feeding them and last I looked they looked good. Well I looked in and the numbers were low so I started getting into the boxes and sure enough there was a bunch of wax moths larvae in the combs. Still some bees but not alot and I couldn't find the queen. I have the combs out right now in the sun and I guess I will freeze some of them and re use them. The others I may melt the wax down not even sure.

    I cleaned the bottom board and the bottom deep and re introduced some frames of brood and honey and pollen from a nuc I had going and put a queen cell in it. Time will tell but hopefully they will have a new queen and be a swell hive. My head still spins sometimes too. The bees keep me re thinking strategies and what not.

  16. #16
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    Oct 2009
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    Panama City, Florida, USA
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    Default Re: Really need some feed back please

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Like I do every year? I don't have drawn comb that has only had honey in it. I use unlimited broodnest. Comb that has had brood in it is about the only thing that will hold up to the extractor here on extracting day when it's 105 in the shop. These theories do not stand up to my first hand experience.

    Sol,

    Nothing in my statements are theory. They are my first hand experience, and I have quite a bit of it. I also practice unlimited brood nest beekeeping. Seldom if ever do my queens get all the way up into the 5th super, and I run mediums. Occassionally they will ventur up into the 4th and lay a little bit of drone in the middle frames. If you don't rotate the combes from those upper supers, they hardly if ever end up as brood combs. Personally, I prefer not to have them store honey in old brood combs as I feel it could affect the taste of the honey (that is my presumption and not necessarily a fact). Also the combs used up high are usually drawn out with larger cells if you are using foundationless, for honey and drone storage/production, but then maybe your experience is different from my expereince, they can both be valid, depending on practice and the bees.

    I also extract on days approachin 100 degrees here in Florida. I have never blown a frame out during extracting in my Dadant radial. Probably because I run all mediums Wired foundation with no cross wire. And yes you are correct, brood comb that is clean (no pollen of other protien or honey left in it will generally be ignored by wax moth. Otherwise the brood comb used in swarm traps would never survive. So once again, in my experiece, its not the bees in your small health hive protecting that area, but a lack on nutrition and interest from the wax moths themselves.

    But niether of us are complete authorities on beekeeping, no matter our experience and what we think. Our experiences are just that OUR experiences, they can be different and both still be valid and factual, and they do not necessarily negate each other or apply to others. Bees and all the other bugs involved will do what they decide, reguardless of our influence.
    Last edited by jbeshearse; 07-12-2012 at 04:08 AM. Reason: added comments

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Really need some feed back please

    Quote Originally Posted by jbeshearse View Post
    And yes you are correct, brood comb that is clean (no pollen of other protien or honey left in it will generally be ignored by wax moth.
    I can't be correct, because that's not what I said. And it's not what you said in post #12, you've changed your story. First wax moths don't bother comb only used for honey, now you're saying they don't bother brood comb without pollen.

    I'm gonna go right ahead and call this bogus. You're just changing the argument to suit the argument. And now deliberately misstating what I said? Be a little more respectful of my intelligence.

    I'm only going to talk about what I've seen. That's what separates me from some of the other beekeeping pundits around here.

    1. Wax moths love brood comb. They don't usually touch white honey comb. They rarely touch foundation. In fact, in a hive that's not producing, foundation is in much more danger from the bees.
    2. A healthy hive can protect as much comb as you're comfortable giving them without the hive being in danger of falling over.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  18. #18
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    Oct 2009
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    Default Re: Really need some feed back please

    Sol,

    You are right, I did change what I said, I clarified and expanded it, since you evidentally didn't understand it.

    I asked you to "just go ahead and leave 5 deeps on that were used for brood on that small but healthy hive then see whats left next year, if you even have a hive."

    Then considering MY experience with bait hives and the brood combs that I store overwinter, I stated that the determining factor between the moths destroying brood comb or not, is the presecnce of dirty comb containing protiens of some type (dead pupae, pollen, etc). Hence my statement about clean comb. You can disagree and play semantics if you like, or you can discuss our different experiences and conclusions and learn from it.

    But if you want to play semantics, worry about respect, and take shots at others, it does not belong on this thread. PM my and we can discuss it if you like. You can also clarify what exactly you are calling bogus.

    The only reason I chimed in in the first place was to share my experience, not my theory, since it is different that yours, yet just as valid and relevant.

    cheers,

    Jbeshearse.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Really need some feed back please

    This thread isn't about winter is it? It's about a hive that died when it was nice and warm. And that's all I've been talking about. But for some reason, you're building your case on how you can store comb over winter without problems. Irrelevant.

    Save your comments for posts from states neighboring yours.

    And I still keep 5 deeps on hives year round. It's something I do, not just talk about. Just like everything I talk about.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Freeport,Pa. USA
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    35

    Default Re: Really need some feed back please

    Be careful when you move the hive a short distance,some precautions need to be taken or the hive will return to the old location....Now you know what wax moths look like..I make up traps for the moths placing 1 cup of sugar 1 cup white vinegar 1 banana peel 1 cup of water, in a 1 liter plastic bottle with a 3/4 inch hole just below the neck.....Works great, and catches flys too...

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