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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pendleton County, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    64

    Default Hive leaking honey

    I went to check on my hive today (I have only one). Several bees were coming and going (it is 44 degrees and bright sun today), and I used a stethoscope to listen and can hear the roar of bees inside. All seems well. Except, there is honey on the bottom board (the white one below the screen) in the back left corner, about 3 inches in diameter. At least, I assume it is honey. It smells, looks, and feels like honey. I didn't taste it. I pulled the board out, and there was another circle about 2 inches diameter in the upper left corner (basically, all is on the left side of the board). It isn't a TON of honey, but looks like maybe 1/8th of a cup dumped out. I only noticed it because it was in the back corner and was noticeable to me as I was back there listening to the bees.

    What could cause this? Is it honey? I have an entrance reducer, but I didn't put it on until November. My bees were fairly active up until then, as we have had a warm fall. There have been several times that we have had warm days since putting on the reducer and the bees have flown in an out. I am assuming that if there was a mouse in there and the bees are active (as they have been on the warm days), they would have broke cluster and they would have killed a mouse? Can a mouse be actively living there when the bees aren't clustered?

    I am assuming that this means comb is damaged from something, correct? Could this be uncapped honey/nectar dripping because of the warm sun? Any advice? I really don't want to break apart the hive this time of year.

    For what it's worth, I sniffed around and didn't notice any odd smells, and listened to the bottom box with my stethoscope and didn't hear any unusual sounds either.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Anastasia Island, FL, USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Hive leaking honey

    You might have a resident mouse?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Glencoe, Okla USA
    Posts
    310

    Default Re: Hive leaking honey

    Just for curosity how about you opening that hive up and you tell us what is going on. It sounds to me like you have a mouse in there! Or there are neighborhood bees robbing!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pendleton County, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Hive leaking honey

    Is it terrible to open it up when it is this temperature? The clouds are increasing and I'm afraid I'll have a bunch of frozen bees if I open it up. Won't the bees kill a mouse?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Louisville, ky 40206
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Hive leaking honey

    Hello
    Several years ago I had a bad experience, the candy board (because of the lack of ventilation)
    started to melt, pretty badly, melted candy was coming out from the hive entrance. Looking a little bit like honey! Neither to say I lost that hive that year, and It was my best one! Lesson learnt ! The inner cover is always slightly open now!
    Or it could be a mice?
    Good luck

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland. U.S.A.
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Hive leaking honey

    Tough one Stacie, really don't want to disturb but don't want a mouse in there either, reducer was added before or after last inspection ? # of hive bodies ? no mouse poop ?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
    Posts
    728

    Default Re: Hive leaking honey

    Do you have the small hive beetle in your area? OMTCW

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pendleton County, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Hive leaking honey

    Cedar Hill- from what I understand, we do have small hive beetle here in Kentucky, but I have not seen evidence of them in my own hive.

    I just went and took the hive apart. No sign of mice or anything. The hive is two deep hive bodies, and a super that was full of honey. The bees are in the top deep and the super, near the middle and right hand side of the hive. The left side is where the honey is dripping, and is actually coming from the super. I do not see any sign of mice or anything ever having been in the hive. After looking it over further, it looks more like nectar or honey that wasn't completely thickened. It smells normal (not stinky at all), and looks like honey. It's not cloudy, frothy, etc. I also sniffed around the best I could and didn't notice any unusual or strong odors in or near the hive. Nothing smells rotting/fermented/etc.

    Is there a possibility that what is dripping is honey that wasn't capped before cold weather? I'm just sort of dumbfounded at this point.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Anastasia Island, FL, USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Hive leaking honey

    you been feeding them ?....maybe 1:1?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pendleton County, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Hive leaking honey

    Quote Originally Posted by AUXCOM View Post
    you been feeding them ?....maybe 1:1?
    Nope. Haven't fed them since spring.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,316

    Default Re: Hive leaking honey

    Stacie, Now that you have opened the hive and verified that no mouse was living in there it might be a good idea to wrap the hive with roofing felt since the propolis seal has been broken, we are probably still in for some bitter cold windy winter weather ahead. I wouldn't worry about the honey leakage, there is not much more that you can do at this point, it would be best to wait till better weather and give them a full inspection at that time, I have an idea that they will be just fine.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pendleton County, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Hive leaking honey

    Quote Originally Posted by WWW View Post
    Stacie, Now that you have opened the hive and verified that no mouse was living in there it might be a good idea to wrap the hive with roofing felt since the propolis seal has been broken, we are probably still in for some bitter cold windy winter weather ahead. I wouldn't worry about the honey leakage, there is not much more that you can do at this point, it would be best to wait till better weather and give them a full inspection at that time, I have an idea that they will be just fine.
    That is what I am planning. I am sick about opening it up and exposing them to more cold and cracking open all of their seals, but I guess I would have been sick with worry if I hadn't. Danged if I did, danged if I didn't.

    I am going to check with my Dad, I think he has some rolls of roofing paper already. If not, it will be a trip to Lowe's tomorrow.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,316

    Default Re: Hive leaking honey

    Stacie, I wouldn't be concerned about having to open the hive, bees are very tough little bugs, i was reading on here not to long ago where a fellow was describing going to his yard and finding several of his hives toppled and laying open on the ground, he put the hives back together and they came through the winter just fine. You did the right thing by making sure a mouse was not in the hive.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
    Posts
    728

    Default Re: Hive leaking honey

    They don't seem to be occupying the lower deep, why keep it in place? It's just another space to heat up. Since there are no signs of mice, small hive beetles, or remnants of left over syrup feeding, there is nothing to worry about. You still have Jan.,Feb.,March, to go through, is the super of honey a deep? If not, you might consider pouring some granulated sugar on your inner cover. If they don't consume it, you can always use it for 1:1 sugar syrup in the spring. OMTCW

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland. U.S.A.
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Hive leaking honey

    certainly duct tape seams, perhaps wrap, assuming air tight top leave bottom box in place to separate cluster further from cold entrance, glad no mouse

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Anastasia Island, FL, USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Hive leaking honey

    waist of time duct taping...the bees do it for ya...propolis

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    LaGrange; Oldham County; Kentucky
    Posts
    158

    Default Re: Hive leaking honey

    Stacie!! I am so excited to see you are right up the road in Pendleton! I'm in LaGrange and my hives are in Westport!! Wanna bee friends?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland. U.S.A.
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Hive leaking honey

    they might have difficulty re-sealing if clustered, would guess that working propolis gets more difficult in the cold as well, duct tape can't hurt even though, assuming close fitting hive bodies, they are probably re-stuck pretty good already.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    LaGrange; Oldham County; Kentucky
    Posts
    158

    Default Re: Hive leaking honey

    I see now that you are in Pendleton county not the town of Pendleton, so you are not as close but still not far!

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