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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Hill Country, TX, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default After the wax moths.....

    I was wondering if anyone could give me a little advice? I live in the Austin, TX area, and I have 2 hives: one is 4 or 5 years old, and very strong. The other is from a split of that hive last year (I got sick of watching half of my bees leave every spring). The latter hive is not very big still. I checked both hives about 3 weeks ago, and put a feeder/sugar syrup on the smaller one as we have been in a bad drought this year.
    Two days ago I got home and found a curtain of bees on the cinder blocks under the weaker hive. I suited up and opened the hive and found (top to bottom):
    A feeder with rancid sugar syrup and some dead bees in it,
    An upper deep with some wax moths/cocoons/larvae just on the ends of the frames and in the corners of the box. The vast majority of the bees were in this box, they had about 2/3 of it filled with honey, and 1/3 with brood. I did see the queen as well
    A lower deep completely destroyed by wax moths--larvae poop, web everywhere, and no foundation left to speak of.

    I took off the lower deep and feeder, cleaned up all of the cocoons out of the upper deep, frame by frame, scooped up the bee curtain and put them back in, and put the hive back together using only the one deep.

    Today (2 days later), I came home and again found bees in a curtain on the front of the hive (photo)DSCF1312.jpg. Are they planning to swarm? I have seen my hive swarm before and it didn't look like this.
    Three other possibly relevant things: 1. We have had an extremely dry summer, but had several inches of rain in the past couple of weeks so everything is blooming. 2. I had a ventilation hole drilled in the front of the deep that is now their entire hive, and I plugged it with a wine cork to give them better control over the moths (they are covering the cork in the photo). 3. I have ordered Certan.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Allison

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: After the wax moths.....

    The wax moth issue tells me that this hive is not strong enough to guard the space it has - even in final deep it's in (you mentioned you found moth/cocoons/larvae on the end of the frames in that box).

    I suggest trying to get them into an even smaller space until they can effectively cover their frames.

    You need to figure out what is weakening this hive. If I understood correctly, it is a split made last year, so this hive should be caught up in size by now. Have you checked their mite loads?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: After the wax moths.....

    What's the brood look like? Good solid pattern? Have pictures?

    Do a powder sugar roll to check your mites.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Hill Country, TX, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: After the wax moths.....

    Quote Originally Posted by merince View Post
    The wax moth issue tells me that this hive is not strong enough to guard the space it has - even in final deep it's in (you mentioned you found moth/cocoons/larvae on the end of the frames in that box).

    I suggest trying to get them into an even smaller space until they can effectively cover their frames.

    You need to figure out what is weakening this hive. If I understood correctly, it is a split made last year, so this hive should be caught up in size by now. Have you checked their mite loads?
    Hi, and thanks for the advice. This is a split I made spring 2012, the hive got very strong and swarmed this spring. I have not checked for mites--the only way I know how to do it is by using the plastic grid that goes under the screen of the bottom board, and it was so covered with wax moth debris I wouldn't be able to use it anyway. I am concerned about whether they are planning to swarm--they keep collecting on the front of the hive (as shown in the photo), or under the front of the hive in huge numbers, and then they go back in after a few hours. I have not ever seen this behavior before.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Hill Country, TX, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: After the wax moths.....

    Quote Originally Posted by FlowerPlanter View Post
    What's the brood look like? Good solid pattern? Have pictures?

    Do a powder sugar roll to check your mites.
    Thanks for posting advice--the brood looked good, although only on 3 frames of an 8 frame hive. The other 5 in the box were full of honey. I will look into how to do the powder sugar roll. Any suggestions about whether they are trying to leave? They keep collecting on the front of the hive like a swarm, hang out there for a few hours, and then they go back in. (I see them going back in). Thanks again

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Baden Wurtemburg Germany
    Posts
    150

    Default Re: After the wax moths.....

    How hot is it where you are? I have seen this happen when its been humid and hot (35 degrees c) so the Bees just hang out. If so, it's a catch 22 situation. To much space means wax moth, to little and the form beards.

    Stephen

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: After the wax moths.....

    If it's hot they can do beard like that.

    If they are swarming there should be swarm cells in the hive.

    Were there new eggs in the hive when you last checked? A queen will have to slim down for several days before she can fly.

    Was there any pollen stores?

    I would give them more room to lay/store honey, remove one of the capped honey frames and replace it with draw comb or a foundationless frame and put it between the capped brood. Save the honey frame for when they need it (freeze it for a day or more to kill pests)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: After the wax moths.....

    Quote Originally Posted by rusty's View Post
    Hi, and thanks for the advice. This is a split I made spring 2012, the hive got very strong and swarmed this spring. I have not checked for mites--the only way I know how to do it is by using the plastic grid that goes under the screen of the bottom board, and it was so covered with wax moth debris I wouldn't be able to use it anyway. I am concerned about whether they are planning to swarm--they keep collecting on the front of the hive (as shown in the photo), or under the front of the hive in huge numbers, and then they go back in after a few hours. I have not ever seen this behavior before.
    Another poster mentioned in a recent thread that they saw this behavior before treating for mites and it disappeared after.

    The first swarm usually leaves when the first queen cells are capped. If you did not see any cells started on the prior inspection, you have 7 days before you need to check for cells again. This is, by the way, the traditional protocol during swarm season.

    I don't think it's a swarm, but I may be wrong. It takes a strong colony and the begining of a good flow to cause a swarm. Heat and humidity are usually cause for bearding.

    Scientificbeekeeping is a good source on how to do a roll and what your mite numbers are supposed to be. Here is the link. Here is another article that goes in details on how to make your sampling jar.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Hill Country, TX, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: After the wax moths.....

    Quote Originally Posted by merince View Post
    Another poster mentioned in a recent thread that they saw this behavior before treating for mites and it disappeared after.

    The first swarm usually leaves when the first queen cells are capped. If you did not see any cells started on the prior inspection, you have 7 days before you need to check for cells again. This is, by the way, the traditional protocol during swarm season.

    I don't think it's a swarm, but I may be wrong. It takes a strong colony and the begining of a good flow to cause a swarm. Heat and humidity are usually cause for bearding.

    Scientificbeekeeping is a good source on how to do a roll and what your mite numbers are supposed to be. Here is the link. Here is another article that goes in details on how to make your sampling jar.
    Thanks so much, everyone, for your help. I am really hoping that they are just bearding--it hasn't been too hot this week compared to the summer, but I did just decrease the room they have by half. I will check for mites this afternoon--thank you for the links

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