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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
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    130

    Default Hive that didn't make it...what to do with it?

    Several weeks ago I posted some pictures of my TBH showing lots of honey and eggs but no brood.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...week-old-swarm

    I finally got a chance to check on them again today and the hive is dead/dying. No honey to be found and scattered capped cells (I did find an earwig =) Some dead bees on the hive floor due to lack of housekeeping.....and maybe only a few dozen living bees in the hive. I'm assuming what I saw previously was either a laying worker or the queen just didn't make it. Any ideas?

    The good news is the hive directly next to it is booming with 9 drawn comb and is chocked full of capped brood (but not much honey...hived swarm the last day of July.) I'm guessing I'll need to feed it since its so late in the season but they look strong in number. Perhaps they robbed the dying hive of their honey?

    What should I do with the dying hive? I didn't combine any of them with the good hive in the event they are diseased some how. Should I just let them run their course and discard the comb or should it be kept?
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,118

    Default Re: Hive that didn't make it...what to do with it?

    I always freeze all frames with comb immediately for a few days to kill hive beetle & wax moth larva. Then frames can be stored with Paramoth crystals during warm weather until you get more bees or want to split the one you have next spring. Drawn comb is valuable. Wax moths can destroy it quickly.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: Hive that didn't make it...what to do with it?

    Quote Originally Posted by heaflaw View Post
    I always freeze all frames with comb immediately for a few days to kill hive beetle & wax moth larva. Then frames can be stored with Paramoth crystals during warm weather until you get more bees or want to split the one you have next spring. Drawn comb is valuable. Wax moths can destroy it quickly.
    So do I just shake off the existing bees and put the bars with comb in the freezer or should I let the hive run its course first?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Hive that didn't make it...what to do with it?

    not enough to worry about on those pictures. Shake them off in front of the other hive and let nature do its thing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: Hive that didn't make it...what to do with it?

    Snagged a few more pictures once I got one of the combs up to the house. The comb pattern looks really bubbly. Is that just capped drone brood I am seeing or should I be worried about disease?
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Madisonville,TN
    Posts
    207

    Default Re: Hive that didn't make it...what to do with it?

    Yep, that is just drone comb, freeze it if you can, but be careful, that comb still looks pretty new. It will be fragile.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,629

    Default Re: Hive that didn't make it...what to do with it?

    I run foundation so not use to managing just honey/brood comb or understand how vauable that size comb is. I would put the comb directly into your strong hive wherever the honey stores. If you can't use the comb right away I would freeze it for use sometime later. The bees need to get the dead drones out they will start to stink and rot.

    I wouldn't be worried about disease The bees that were there probably obsconded to the strong hive and/or strong hive robbed them out.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Midlothian, Texas
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Hive that didn't make it...what to do with it?

    I like your pictures. On the left side towards the top it looks like a cell that the bees were making a queen cell with, kind of sticking out farther than all the rest. At least that's what I've read and seen other pictures of. I haven't seen any myself and my experience is limited. Maybe something happened to the queen and they were trying to raise a new one and just didn't make it. I'm glad you have another hive. Good luck!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,629

    Default Re: Hive that didn't make it...what to do with it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonestarbees View Post
    I like your pictures. On the left side towards the top it looks like a cell that the bees were making a queen cell with, kind of sticking out farther than all the rest. Good luck!
    "Queen Cups" don't mean much, they make them just cause.... "queen cell" implies the queen cup is active with larva and royal jelly.

    He never had a queen. She probably left the cluster during capture. The laying worker developed within 1-2 weeks.

    Also if you notice the upper comb is torn and jagged from robbers tearing the cappings and robbing the honey.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: Hive that didn't make it...what to do with it?

    Thanks to you all for your advice and help. So nice to have resource like this forum to toss these questions out on. A few more questions for you:

    1: I ended up putting the 6 bars with comb in the freezer to get rid of the pests I saw running around (ants, ear wigs, and a few unknown flies). Do I need to let the comb thaw out before putting it in the stronger hive?

    2: The dead bees on the bottom of the hive were pretty far gone and didn't smell too great. I'm assuming the capped drones that are dead are in the same state. Will the bees still clean them out and use the comb no matter what or is there a point at which adding old comb back will do more harm than good?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Bertie County,NC
    Posts
    870

    Default Re: Hive that didn't make it...what to do with it?

    let them freeze for three days to be safe. Then move them out and allow to come to room temperature before installing in the strong hive. The bees will clean them right up. I have even scraped the capping just a little in the past to help speed the process of housecleaning, but it is not necessary.
    personally I would save the comb this way...but if you are overly concerned, just melt it down and make candles!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,729

    Default Re: Hive that didn't make it...what to do with it?

    Very scattered brood. A lot of domed caps. Are there multiple eggs in the cells?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: Hive that didn't make it...what to do with it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Very scattered brood. A lot of domed caps. Are there multiple eggs in the cells?

    Yeah there were more than one egg in a few of the cells on my previous check.
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...week-old-swarm

    I wish now I had gotten out to the farm before now and perhaps caught them before the hive really took a turn for the worse but life didn't allow it =(.

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