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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Monroe, CT
    Posts
    16

    Default Hive collapse and pests?

    This past year was my first year with honeybees. I live on the East Coast in CT and we had a pretty cold winter. I checked my girls about 3 weeks ago and they were alive. I had given them a fondant cake weeks before that inspection as it seemed they were low on honey. When i went to see them today they were all dead I snapped some pictures and wanted to get some advice. I think the hive got too wet. Maybe I need better ventilation. I did find some worms on the bottom board. are these wax moth worms? also, what is the stuff that looks like pollen? I think it's some insect eggs or something?

    http://postimage.org/gallery/a71jnvkq/

    Thanks,
    Tom
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,377

    Default Re: Hive collapse and pests?

    Picture # 1 looks like the cells are full of mite feces. My guess is these bees died of a varroa collapse. This is a fine example of an "a natural" untreated hive? Correct?

    Although we don't have them in in our area where they are a problem I am wondering if the "worms" might be hive beetles. Seems to be a little early for Wx moths in your area.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Monroe, CT
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Hive collapse and pests?

    Correct. Natural untreated hive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,637

    Default Re: Hive collapse and pests?

    sorry about you losing your bees finesherb.

    i agree that the 'dandruff' looking stuff in the cells in picture 1 is mite feces, and there is indeed lots of it.

    i see some bees dead head first in some cells too, which usually indicates starvation.

    the white stuff on the frame in picture 2 is mold.

    the larvae do look like small hive beetle larvae.

    was there any honey at all in the hive? if yes, and it had slime on it, those beetle larvae may have spoiled it to the point the bees could not use it anymore.

    were you able to find the queen?

    i think you are looking at a combination of several problems here.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,377

    Default Re: Hive collapse and pests?

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i think you are looking at a combination of several problems here.
    Agreed. I thought of the starvation issue also although the rest of the photos show that enough food would have been inconsequential in the long run.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Monroe, CT
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Hive collapse and pests?

    Thank you Squarepeg and Honey-4-all for your comments. Now that we agree that it is mite feces, would you agree that I should remove the foundation from those frames? A few of the frames did have a bit of covered honey and it is not slimey. Should i leave those frames in the supers for my new bees once I receive them or would you suggest to not take a chance with there being Mites? Could I freeze those frames and then re-use them?

    What suggestions do you have for using a natural mite deterrent? Other than natural methods, what is also used for mites?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,688

    Default Re: Hive collapse and pests?

    Your frames should be fine to reuse. I would make sure they go through a couple days of freezing either in the freezer or in CT. outside maybe good enough. Freezing will kill the wax moth larva and small hive beetle larva both. Your new bees will clean up the little bit of mold on the frames.

    There are lots of different opinions on natural treatments. Here are some that are considered soft treatments by most. Apigaurd and Apivar life (thymol based) Mite away quick strips (formic Acid based) and Hopsgaurd (Beta acid based) each one has its own set of characteristics. The Thymol and formic acid based products have temperature ranges where they work best. Formic has a upper temperature range where it can actually kill bees and brood if it is used at too high a temp. You will have to read up on each one to learn the differences. I have had good luck with Apigaurd used right after our main flow during the summer. It is too hot here to use formic acid products. But, you may be able to in CT. Read up on each one and see which one you think will work best for your area. You may also ask some other local beeks what they use.

    Good luck with your new bees. Save your old comb it will give your new bees a big head start by not having to redraw the comb.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Monroe, CT
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Hive collapse and pests?

    Thanks for the info Johng!!

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