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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Prunedale, California
    Posts
    10

    Default Need advice about fruit flies

    I have noticed that there are fruit flies on the outside of the hive and some coming out of the hive. This has been going on for about a month. I have researched and researched but cannot find any information on them. Are they a threat?

    Thank you in advance for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,453

    Default Re: Need advice about fruit flies

    I would check for small hive beetles or fermented honey...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Prunedale, California
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Need advice about fruit flies

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I would check for small hive beetles or fermented honey...
    Thank you Michael, so you think I should go into the hive? I understood that we wernt supposed to disturb the hive during the winter months while they are in their cluster. How does honey ferment? Haha I can google that.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    774

    Default Re: Need advice about fruit flies

    Isn't Prunedale in Monterrey County? That would make it about zone 8 or so. If that is where you are, you'll need to pay closer attention to your hives all year 'round so that SHBs and mites don't get ahead of you. SHB infestations can cause honey to ferment and that would indeed attract fruit flies.

    HTH

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,453

    Default Re: Need advice about fruit flies

    >Thank you Michael, so you think I should go into the hive? I understood that we wernt supposed to disturb the hive during the winter months while they are in their cluster.

    If fruit flies are flying they are not in their cluster.

    >How does honey ferment?

    Honey is sugar. The only thing that stops it from fermenting is the low water content (high sugar content). If the honey absorbs too much moisture it will ferment. Honey is very hydrophilic (likes water) so it will absorb moisture from the air. Small hive beetle not only cause the water content to rise, they inoculate the honey with yeast and make a foaming slimy mess of things...

    It is the smell of fermentation that attracts fruit flies.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Prunedale, California
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Need advice about fruit flies

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Hills Farm View Post
    Isn't Prunedale in Monterrey County? That would make it about zone 8 or so. If that is where you are, you'll need to pay closer attention to your hives all year 'round so that SHBs and mites don't get ahead of you. SHB infestations can cause honey to ferment and that would indeed attract fruit flies.

    HTH

    Rusty
    Yes thats correct, Monterery county. It has been down into the low 20's as a low and low 40's as a high. This weekend it will be upper 60's low 70's so I will go in there and see what I can find. How do I get rid of them, just replace all the frames. Then torch the corroted frames?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    774

    Default Re: Need advice about fruit flies

    I use screened bottom boards with oil traps beneath the screen. Makes a world of difference! Before I discovered the oil traps, I had 2 hives slimed by SHBs and lost both hives. I was so disgusted by the mess they made that I burned the frames, bleached the boxes and then repainted them. Lots of folks don't get that extreme. They clean up the frames and reuse them. I did try that on one hive that had damage on only a few frames but my bees wouldn't reuse them, so I scrapped them and gave the hive replacement frames.

    Good luck with your cleanup!

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

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