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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    43

    Default Very small white worms/larvae on bottom board

    Hi - I am new to beekeeping and this forum. Three weeks ago I installed a five frame nuc into a 10 frame hive and so far things seem to be progressing well.

    Today however I checked the bottom board after a 24 hour period and noticed very very small white worms crawling around. They were so small they were hard to see and the only reason I really noticed them was because they were moving. Had they have been dead I would probably have mistaken then for debris left by the bees. Any idea what these are and if they are a problem?

    Any insight would be appreciated. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    2,231

    Default Re: Very small white worms/larvae on bottom board

    My guess SHB ....... Potential big problem. But SHB larvae are not THAT tiny and are easily seen. Got any pics?
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,288

    Default Re: Very small white worms/larvae on bottom board

    Probably wax moth larvae or Small Hive Beetle larvae if you are in an area where they have become established. When the larvae are larger and you can see the legs, the SHB larvae have 3 pair of legs behind the head.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,992

    Default Re: Very small white worms/larvae on bottom board

    SHB are tiny when they first emerge. When they are full size the hive is almost a gonner!
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Very small white worms/larvae on bottom board

    SHB larve start out about .01 long and grow... at aboout .100 long there ready to pupate in the ground..... You have a problem... SHB... gaurdstar, and beetle traps..... time to get busy.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Very small white worms/larvae on bottom board

    Oh no! That's unfortunate news....what are the steps to resolve this? I googled SHB and found this picture, it looks similar to what I saw except on the bottom board.

    Would itbe wise to freeze one of the original frames from the nuc, i have one that looks pretty old and has funky comb and the worms were on that side?

    Also I was In The hive 2 days ago and I didn't notice them on the comb, the hive seems to be strong....the population has increased a lot in fact I was planning on adding a second brood box this week. Do you think it's pointless to do so or is their soe way to help them out? I hate to use chemicals but if that's the only way I might not have a choice.

    image.jpg

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kingsville, OH
    Posts
    959

    Default Re: Very small white worms/larvae on bottom board

    If you have a screened bottom I would install it ASAP.
    Are your hives on the ground, if so get them up off it ASAP.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Very small white worms/larvae on bottom board

    Yes you can freeZe to kill them off... reality is your hive is shrinking instead of growing. the area the bees used to cover and store food, is being overrun. so the bees have retreated to protect what they can. Look closer for other issues.
    The other thing that will help is if you can keep the larve from pupateing (reaching the ground alive) I would bet an inspection would show adult beetles.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Very small white worms/larvae on bottom board

    They are on cinder blocks near a river. The screen bottom board is on, I miss spoke calling it a bottom board.....what I meant by that was the sticky board.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Very small white worms/larvae on bottom board

    Just as an update... Today I went into the hive to add a new hive body because it was getting really crowded. Saw only 1 beetle in the hive, and 1 on the cinder block it was sitting on...didn't see any larvae inside either. Confusing?

    I did however add 2 different kind of beetle traps with vinegar and oil to the top bars, and moved the hive to a cement surface. We'll see...

  11. #11

    Default Re: Very small white worms/larvae on bottom board

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhited View Post
    moved the hive to a cement surface.
    How far did you move it?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Very small white worms/larvae on bottom board

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    How far did you move it?
    Not far, about 10 feet. But I think at least a sunnier spot

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Pottstown, Pennyslvania, USA
    Posts
    376

    Default Re: Very small white worms/larvae on bottom board

    Your location says Upstate NY. Where did you get that nuc? At least in my area, SHB are just a minor annoyance. I haven't even seen one this year after last years cold winter. Are you sure the small white worms weren't ant larva? If your area is as cold as I suspect, I doubt you have a huge SHB problem. I would just monitor the traps and see what you find. Keep the hive strong, and don't give it more area to protect than the bees can cover and you should be fine. If you give a pollen patty, just give a small piece at a time and check underneath it when you do your inspections. It's supposed to be candy to SHB, but I wouldn't let my bees go without in the north because of it.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Very small white worms/larvae on bottom board

    Placing the hive in full sunlight and maintaining a strong hive are the two best defenses against SHB. There are various styles of traps available, too.

    Good luck!
    Greg Whitehead, Ten Mile, TN
    Blog - http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Very small white worms/larvae on bottom board

    Quote Originally Posted by DPBsbees View Post
    Your location says Upstate NY. Where did you get that nuc? At least in my area, SHB are just a minor annoyance. I haven't even seen one this year after last years cold winter. Are you sure the small white worms weren't ant larva?
    I got the nuc in the same area, about 20 minutes away. I believe it maybe have been a swarm he trapped. I'm pretty sure it's not an ant larvae....it had the three pairs of feet behind the head indicative to the shb.

    I'm hoping you're right and that it's will just be a minor annoyance, like I said when i opened the hive I only found 2. (Checked corners and looked in the bottom) For now I'll monitor the traps and see what happens.

    Thanks for your help everyone!

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