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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Jwchestnut posted this in another thread about things seen on a bottom board.

"Make it a practice to take the "pulse" --- count landing bees over 15 secs, record it in your notebook. The pulse is a good tell-tale of hive vigor.

One hive in four can be supplied with a screen bottom and sliding insert. Pull out the insert and inspect.
You will see which frames are hatching brood -- look for yellow/straw shredded cappings, and the antenna casts of the pupation."

Are these the tiny black things that look like two pieces attached in the middle. Kind of like a split oat seed?
 

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No, these are transparent molds of the antenna, that are shed in the final pupation stage just before emergence.
Pix at 20x
Not sure what the winged black object you refer to. The eggs when they hatch shed a straw color husk that often looks a bit like a grass seed.

 

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I don't see the paired black widgets in my hive. They look a bit like the corn anther bracts. Is there a hayfield upwind, blowing grass pollen and anther parts into the hive. I get Euc anthers blown into my hive in profusion.
 

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View attachment 12896

What are these? Not wings Of some kind I don't think. They don't look like bugs either.
I have seen these under my SBB's as well, and it wasnt until I looked at your picture that it hit me, they look exactly like the little black things that hang all over bahia grass seeds.

Update



I can't upload a pic from work, but I'd say its a pretty sure bet thats what they are. There is a very dark dusty substance along with the specks, I assume it is pollen. I have never seen a bee working a bahiagrass seed head, but as with other beehaviors, they don't often explain them to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So how are they getting into the hives? They were in all four hives. Now that you have said that, it does look like the grass seed things. I changed the board out on Tues. Last night there were none on the new boards. I will check tonight and see if they match grass seed things. I have saved some of them on a board and can compare under a microscope. Will report back....

Another thought: Whatever it is originated in the hive. The way my bottom hive stands are constructed, nothing can "blow in" except in the back and the opening is pretty small. It would be next to impossible for weather to blow anything into the bottom of the hive and cover the boards like this. It has to be coming down from inside the hive. If it is from outside the hive, the bees have brought it in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Okay, I think JW & Buzzleblast have identified the item in question. Now, why is it coming out of my hives....I know it is not blowing in because the front is completely closed off and the back (when the sample was taken) was almost completely closed. And they were completely covering the boards...not more at one end or the other. If that much of the anther bracts (?) is being blown in, then the entire bottom of the table my hives are sitting on would be black. I think I might drop a board in one tonight and see if any more drop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Here we go. Saw this somewhere tonight. I think they are bringing back the bracts as they work bahia grass. It must come in inadvertantly on their bodies. image.jpg

I put a board in tonight to see what drops tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Here we go. Saw this somewhere tonight. I think they are bringing back the bracts as they work bahia grass. It must come in inadvertantly on their bodies. View attachment 12906

I put a board in tonight to see what drops tonight.

Just checked the board and it did have bracts on it covering the entire board. The greatest concentration was near the entrance of the hive 2" in from the hive entrance. The bracts must be brought in by the bees and then become dislodged when they put the pollen up.
 

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I was just reading about this on another forum. That seems to be the conclusion, they are bringing them home. G
 
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