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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Morehead City, NC
    Posts
    1

    Embarrassed Newbie from the Crystal Coast of NC!

    My husband and I started 4 new hives this year in the spring. Two hives are vibrant and two hives have seen their woes. One NUC never got off the ground from day one and is just now showing signs of possibly growing. The other woeful one started out as our greatest honey maker this year producing 12 frames of delicious amber honey, 2 deep boxes with frames full of honey and extra honey super for wintering. We found out last month this hive now has wax moths and small hive beetles. Where did we go wrong? I don't know, but we are in damage control right now. Found this site and have been glued to my seat reading everyone else's woes and remedies!! This place could become my new found home..I do so love my bees and want to try to help them survive the winter! Thanking everyone in advance for in help or insights you may be able to provide. I love to take pics, so beware, I may begin to bore some of you!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: Newbie from the Crystal Coast of NC!

    Welcome. I'm a newbie with only one hive so I can't give you much advice. I've opted for being treatment free on the bees and letting them take care of things in the hive. Everyone has small hive beetles. If the colony is strong the bees will keep them under control. Wax moths are a different animal. I've seen my bees dragging out wax moth larvae and haven't seen any infestation so I guess they're keeping that under control as well. Sounds like you've done pretty well as a first year beek. Good luck with your hives this winter.
    The road goes on forever and the party never ends ---- Robert Earl Keen

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Bayboro,NC,USA
    Posts
    242

    Default Re: Newbie from the Crystal Coast of NC!

    Welcome ChattyBee,
    Believe me, you will ask yourself that question many times, "Where did we go wrong?"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA, USA
    Posts
    223

    Default Re: Newbie from the Crystal Coast of NC!

    If at all possible, find aa local club and an mentor who can help you assess problems.
    the SHB and wax moths are usually a sign that the colony was in distress.
    Have you monitored for varroa mites? Sometimes the strong, growing hive--because it has more brood--can be the one to succumb to varroa -- it can seem suddenly that the numbers of bees decline and the hive becomes succeptible to SHB and moths.
    You might search this site for links to the Freeman beetle trap -- there is a good link to some observations of Jerry Freeman about SBH. There is also a good video by Jaime Ellis on BeeHealth.
    (Sorry, I don't know how to embed links yet.)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,118

    Default Re: Newbie from the Crystal Coast of NC!

    Welcome from 6 hours west of you.
    Beekeepers usually consider wax moths and hive beetles as a secondary problem that take over when the hive is already weak of failing. They realize a hive is weak before humans do. But they add extra stress and damage to a hive and make it fail faster.
    Varroa is the usual culprit for a failing hive. Also, the number of bees should be appropriate to the amount of room they have to defend. Knowing the correct relationship comes mostly with experience but when you look in the hive, bees should be covering most of the frames (after the flow is over).
    If you think there are still a good number of bees to make it through the winter and the queen is still laying,(another experience thing). I like to crush hive beetles with a stick or hive tool. Maybe reduce it to one deep and take out comb damaged by wax moths. Freeze the damaged frames in a garbage bag for a days to kill the wax moths larva. Both wax moths and hive beetles can increase their damage very fast. You need to take action right away. If you have honey that is fermented (really bad smell) from hive beetles, take it out and freeze it also. Fermented honey is not to be used or fed back to the bees. Wash it out with a garden hose and let the comb air dry well. Getting damaged comb and honey out and reducing the number of hive beetles and getting the correct relationship of bees to amount of hive to defend will help with the stress of the hive and give them a better chance.
    Is there a laying queen with various ages of brood? The queen will be shutting down her laying soon in preparation for winter. The last brood is the "winter bees" that live through the winter.
    Have you treated for varroa?
    In my area it is way too late for a new queen to be raised and I think it would be for you also.
    If there is no queen you might consider distributing the good frames and bees to your other 2 hives. Just don't move fermented honey. And you also risk moving varroa/viruses to your other hives.
    That's my 2 cents worth. Other beekeepers may have different ideas. Good luck and let us know what happens.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    7,050

    Default Re: Newbie from the Crystal Coast of NC!

    Welcome!
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Honey Hive Farms, Winfield Missouri
    Posts
    357

    Default Re: Newbie from the Crystal Coast of NC!

    Welcome Chatty Bee. pics are great and good info will help get your info that you need.
    Always look for new eggs and we vent our hives. Also watch the mites and hive beetles, there are lots of good videos out there and a lot of smart beekeepers on this forum so you will do fine. Take it slow and learn, learn, learn.
    Honey Hive Farms "Saving the world one bee at a time"
    www.HoneyHiveFarms.com

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