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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Oconee, Illinois
    Posts
    55

    Default Beekeeping confession looking for help

    Well first off I admit to being a bad beekeeper by not having my honey supers off yet. I've had two hives since the spring of 2010. So still very much learning and goin at it alone. Late August I had two supers on each hive that I know I should have taken off then but time permitting I took them off today. One hive still chocked full of honey and no problems but there was a lot of commotion at the second hive as soon as I pulled up. I could tell they were being robbed by every buzzing insect in the county. I was smashing yellow jackets and red wasps like crazy and trying to get the hornets too but only got a few, they're a little more intimidating. The top super had a few wax moth larvae which was a first for me. I was only sure it was moths because there was two adults. The honey was capped still but you could tell the honey had been tapped because the caps looked flaky and the cells weren't full. I was goin to come here and ask if the honey was salvageable until I got to the second super. The frames were full of larvae, yellow jackets, and just as many honey bees. There was moth webbing and little moth feces and the cells were pretty much destroyed. I decide to just hurry up and get the supers off to see if they were gonna be in the deep brood boxes as well. I didn't pull any frames up and look because I was in the middle of a cloud of robbing bees and wanted to get it closed up. Looking down into the frames it appeared normal other than some of the webbing that was sitting on top of the frames. I did scrape it off and there were visible bees down between the frames. I also closed the entrances down as far as possible. So I guess I'm looking for advice on what to do here and what's to come of this hive. After I got everything buttoned up and walked away. I wondered if this hive had already failed and nature was taking its course and that the present honey bees weren't from that hive either. Am I being gullible by hoping this colony will be able to defend it better now that I shrunk it down and closed the entrances down. I've actually been quite proud that I had hung on to the same colonies as long as I had.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Enfield,Ct.
    Posts
    469

    Default Re: Beekeeping confession looking for help

    The wax moths are a "dead" give a way.
    2 to 1 it's dead and being robbed

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Enfield,Ct.
    Posts
    469

    Default Re: Beekeeping confession looking for help

    Sorry,didn't really answer the question.
    You could go in the hive in the early am before the robbers are flying,check if the hive is dead and see what is salvageable.

    Or if you know the hive is disease free,let the good hive rob out all the honey.
    This will make it easier for a winter cleanup.
    Freezing temps should kill most of the wax moth.
    Do you know the difference between wax moth and small hive beetle?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Oconee, Illinois
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Beekeeping confession looking for help

    Well I assumed wax moth because there was a few live adult moths sitting around. The larvae and cacoons were laid out side by side on top of the frames and then there were some end to end along the edges of frames. Then there was the webbing in areas also. But I'm always open to advice if you have it! Is it a good idea to extract honey out of the supers that just have flaky looking cappings. The top super has the flaky looking cappings but the second super isn't hard to decide. It's a train wreck. I'm thinking the super itself should be reusable but not the frames.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,910

    Default Re: Beekeeping confession looking for help

    Frames are reusable. You might scrape off the comb if you are using plastic foundation, or wash them in a tub of water. Webs and loose comb will float off. The bees will clean up everything in the spring.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Oconee, Illinois
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Beekeeping confession looking for help

    Ok thanks Americasbeekeeper!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Eldersburg, MD, USA
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: Beekeeping confession looking for help

    One other thing to consider, is if the "good" hive is still there and near this dead hive, it may need to have it's entrance reduced as well, just to be on the safe side. As you know, you can't tell if the bees in the dead hive are the original bees or robbers, let alone your own bees from the intact hive. The hornets and wasps may take a shining to the "good" hive you have left.

    One thing I found out, the hard way of course, is that the smallest entrance on an entrace reducer fits a hornet perfectly, you would think that the hornets are too big but no, they just saunter right in. I've added hardware cloth over the entrances and that keeps those nasty things out. I hate hornets.

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