HELLLLLP! Can Someone Tell Me...?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Lynn, MA
    Posts
    328

    Exclamation HELLLLLP! Can Someone Tell Me...?

    OK, one of my 3 hives seemed to be getting a little less strong quickly. Then I noticed there were fewer bees coming and going and bees constantly fighting at the entrance and stinging each other. So, I thought my really strong hive was robbing them. So, I put the enterence reducer back on. The next morning it seemed like more bees were coming and going. Almost like normal. By afternoon I noticed a pile of bees at the reduced coming and going and a whole cloud of bees around the hive going into the upper enterence and up under the cover.

    So today I went out and popped off the cover and there were lots of dead bees all around on the inner cover. They were curled up likle they had been stung. Upon further inspection much of the capped honey in the honey super was gone and cappings all over. I took the honey super off and the queen excluder and the 2nd deep had been about 60-70% robbed out. Lots of curled up dead bees and a few bees fighting inside.

    At that point I went to the bottom deep and the same thing. HOWEVER, something I've never seen.... There was no capped brood but lots of larva, alive, and crawling out of the cells and crawling around on the brood comb.

    Is the an attacked and robbed hive with the larve no longer being few so they are crawling out to look for food? They WERE NOT chalky or dead. They looked quite healthy, just out of their cells or coming out of the cells. It was like this on a few frames. Looked like it was a pretty good brood pattern too....

    Any ideas?

    Should I just take these mostly robbed supers and put them on my other hives and let the bees clean them out and move the honey around? What about the deep framed with the brood crawling around?

    PS: Saw no mites on any of the larva or bees.

    Thanks!

    Bob
    Lynn, MA

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,836

    Default Re: HELLLLLP! Can Someone Tell Me...?

    Hate to give you the bad news, but that hive is dead. The crawling larvae you see are not bee larva, but small hive beetle larvae. They are eating the dead brood. Remove the frames with the larvae and freeze them to kill all the SHB. Let your other hives finish robbing out the honey frames and then store them for next year, taking adequate precautions for wax moths. Treat your hives for varroa! This is the time of year when strong hives succumb and the weaker ones are not far behind.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Lynn, MA
    Posts
    328

    Default Re: HELLLLLP! Can Someone Tell Me...?

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Hate to give you the bad news, but that hive is dead. The crawling larvae you see are not bee larva, but small hive beetle larvae. They are eating the dead brood. Remove the frames with the larvae and freeze them to kill all the SHB. Let your other hives finish robbing out the honey frames and then store them for next year, taking adequate precautions for wax moths. Treat your hives for varroa! This is the time of year when strong hives succumb and the weaker ones are not far behind.
    So, just let me be sure I got this right...

    It's OK to brink in the 3 or 4 frames with the SHB larva, freeze them in my freezer (should I put them in a plastic bag?) to kill them. Then bring them back out and let my other bees clean up the rest of the honey?

    And then, are my other deep drales thaty didn't have brood in the lower and upper boxes contaminated or can I extract that with my honey from my other hives? If it's OK, should I freeze those first before extracting?

    ANd the resty of the frames that have been 60 to 75% robbed already, just let me bees finish them off?

    Thanks for the info. I didn't even know they had SHB in New England. Thought that was a southern thing.

    PS: I have one SUPER, SUPER strong hive. I think they robbed out and fought the bees in the dead hive.
    Lynn, MA

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,836

    Default Re: HELLLLLP! Can Someone Tell Me...?

    Bob, I would bag them and then freeze them. My wife hates finding loose frozen larvae in the freezer. I do not know if SHB are prevalent that far north, but your description is spot on. I assume you already know what wax moth larvae look like and you did not mention seeing webs. Bee larvae can't crawl around.

    So freeze the frames for at least 48 hours, then put them in your hives for the bees to clean up. Leave the other frames out to be robbed or put them above the inner cover on a hive like you would for extracted supers. I would not mix any honey from that hive with honey you will be eating unless the frame is fully capped and dry. SHB spoil the honey by defecating in it, causing it to ferment. I don't know how much you have or what condition it is in, but I would give it all back to your bees rather than risk contaminating all the honey.

    Pleaae keep in mind that everything I am telling you is based on my understanding of the situation. If you can, post a picture or two for confirmation. Those of us in the south are very familiar with frames that have been slimed by SHB.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Lynn, MA
    Posts
    328

    Default Re: HELLLLLP! Can Someone Tell Me...?

    Thank you. I'll try to get pictures tomorrow.
    Lynn, MA

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