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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Randolph County, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    4

    Default What in the world is happening?

    This morning I go out to the hive and find bee "shells". They look like bees with all the insides sucked out. Just empty shells. There is also a lot of soft brown matter and what looks like a bunch of larvae and eggs. Any idea what is going on here?

    I tried to upload a picture but could not manage it so here is a link to the photo. www.speedysoftusa.com/images/bees.jpgbees.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Murray County, Georgia
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: What in the world is happening?

    Looks like the dead bees have deformed wing virus. It looks like the bees are cleaning out cocoons or wax moth damage. Inspect the brood inside the hive and tell us what you see.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Fayetteville, Arkansas
    Posts
    203

    Default Re: What in the world is happening?

    I agree with Tim... all that frass looks like they are cleaning up and tearing comb out trying to control wax moths...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,540

    Default Re: What in the world is happening?

    It appears that some larvae are running around those dead bees. At this time of year in GA, I'd be looking for small hive beetle problems. You had better get into this hive ASAP and see what's going on.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Murray County, Georgia
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: What in the world is happening?

    When you go in, if you find wax moth or hive beetle larva, remove all damaged and infested combs leaving only as much as the bees can cover, reduce the entrance to an inch or two and start feeding. Freezing the combs will kill beetle and wax moth larva and will save your combs.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,776

    Default Re: What in the world is happening?

    Those are the pupal skins/schucks of hatched out bees. What do bees usually do with them as now that I think about it, never see them. It wouldn't surprise me if they ate them or something.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Randolph County, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: What in the world is happening?

    OK, I finally got a chance to open it up. There are a couple of frames with uncapped nectar but all the rest looky pretty bad. Empty except for some larvae of some sort crawling around on them. The bottom board is covered with crawling and dead larvae. Here are three more pictures. Sorry that the one of the bottom is not well focused.bees2.jpgbees3.jpgbees4.jpg

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Fayetteville, Arkansas
    Posts
    203

    Default Re: What in the world is happening?

    yep wax moth or SHB... you can freeze them and still save that comb though! kill what larvae you can by squishing them or stabbing them with hive tool. Do what Tim said and condense hive down. Soon you will see cocoons( if wax moth) and you can scrap them out and smash. There is something else going on with your hive though. Is there a queen? Do you have larvae and brood?

    Sully

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Randolph County, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: What in the world is happening?

    Sully, Thanks.

    To tell the truth, I have never seen the Queen. This is my first hive so I am really green. I have looked every time I opened it but never saw her. There used to be brood and larvae but a few weeks ago they took all the brood out - most of alive. At the time I figured it was a dearth and started feeding. Everything seemed to go back to normal until this happened. But, I did not see any brood cells at all today. Just all those maggots/larvae crawling around.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA USA
    Posts
    189

    Default Re: What in the world is happening?

    A couple of weeks ago I had a weak 5-frame nuc abscond. When I opened it up, I saw a layer of SHB larvae in the solid bottom board: they could not get out because of a robber screen. I also saw slimed frames such as the one in your photo. I fired up the grill with some pine straw and scraped all the larvae on the bottom board on it: very satisfying. In addition, I froze those frames and eventually I will give them to a strong hive a few at a time to clean them up. I would think that your hive will soon abscond, and if not, that they are queenless.
    Stavros

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,776

    Default Re: What in the world is happening?

    Looks like SHB larve, but hard to tell from the pic, maybe wax moth or both.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Randolph County, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: What in the world is happening?

    When I opened the hive . I today there were SHB running all over the place. So I scraped all the larvae off the bottom board into a fire then reassembled the hive with the least affected frames and put the rest in the freezer. It is back down to 5 frames but it looks like less bees than the package that started it and I see no queen and no eggs or brood. I think I have lost this one.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,540

    Default Re: What in the world is happening?

    Definitely SHB. I agree, sounds like the bees lost this fight. You need to assess whether you still have a queen. Even so, without immediate infusion of more bees this small hive may still not make it. Small colonies at this time of year in the south are a BIG challenge. The goal is to get your bees built up ahead of the SHB so that they can adequately defend themselves as populations of SHB rise in late summer.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Griffin, GA USA
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: What in the world is happening?

    I just lost one hive around July 4th to SHB The queen lived and they went to a limb for a few days before disappearing...
    I immediately bought a Freeman beetle trap, and there are many dead beetles in it every time I check it. I can stand by the hive entrance in the evening and watch several SHB flying around the hive trying to get in. Of course I snatch them out of the air and kill them if at all possible. I HATE SHB with a passion, hopefully I learned my lesson, it will be a cold day down under before I let them get another of my hives.

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