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Thread: Black Tar Cells

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Andover, KS
    Posts
    51

    Default Black Tar Cells

    This hive died over the past winter of starvation. I see no signs of foul-brood so I am going to use the hives this year. However, I have a few frames of this black tar-like substance which I believe is pollen that has gone bad. My question is, do you think I should leave the mess for the bees to clean up, or should I scrape these nasty frames down to foundation to give them a fresh start? If all goes as planned, I will be using this hive for a swarm removal or trap-out.

    Well, my plan was to post a couple of images here, but I can't seem to make the attachments work no matter which browser I use. I guess I'll hit up a moderator. Either way, hopefully someone can answer my question.

    - John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    gordo, al
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Black Tar Cells

    Find a fire-ant bed. Let the ants do the work for you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Andover, KS
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Black Tar Cells

    Good call lavert, but we've had a long spell of pretty cold weather. I haven't seen but one ant this year yet. I'm afraid to put them out anywhere for fear that moths will get them. I will see if any ants pop up in the next day or two though.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    gordo, al
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Black Tar Cells

    Yeah I see your a bit north of me. All we have to do here is look down to find them here.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Andover, KS
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Black Tar Cells

    Here's some pics. I finally got the upload to work.

    CIMG0068.JPGCIMG0069.JPG
    Last edited by jwhiteker; 04-20-2013 at 09:23 PM. Reason: pic addition

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Greene, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    557

    Default Re: Black Tar Cells

    Jwhiteker;

    Try sticking a toothpick into one of the dark cells, swirl it around a bit, and when you attempt to draw out the substance of the cell, see if it is stringy or strings out as you try removing the cell contents. I have never personally seen AFB, but the photos look like the stories I have heard. More experienced beeks can probably tell you for certain.
    No one famous.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Posts
    607

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    1,922

    Default Re: Black Tar Cells

    might be encapsulted pollen, take a knife and open one up. now for the people that looked at the previous youtube, if the guy talking was a bee inspector coming to your hives after inspecting the AFB hives, since he put his glasses on after opening up the hive, could he carry the disease between different apiaries??
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Andover, KS
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Black Tar Cells

    Thanks Bee Whisperer and wildbranch. From everything I have read and from the consistency of the stuff, I am now almost certain that it is encapsulated pollen. I'm not going to take a chance on this hive with my pkg. of bees, but I will give it a shot with a feral hive removal. I will keep everyone posted about how it goes.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,217

    Default Re: Black Tar Cells

    >might be encapsulted pollen

    That's my guess. It seems like the bees may have a reason they "entomb" the pollen. I would probably scrap the comb and reuse the frame.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Andover, KS
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Black Tar Cells

    I think I will take that advice and scrap the tar-like combs. I will reuse the clean comb they had previously used for brood and honey stores. Thanks for the advice Michael.

    - John

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