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Discussion Starter #1
Last year was my first keeping bees, and because I got a very late start plus bad weather, I wound up combining my two hives. The girls made it thru the bulk of our abnormally cold & snowy winter, but that last warm up/sub-freezing spell did them in. After confirming they were indeed gone, I disassembled the hives & placed them on flat boards so nothing could get inside.

I have ordered a new package, arriving next week, so I wanted to sort thru the equipment to set up for the new arrivals. The remaining hive had been stacked 3 deep, and the section where the dead bees had clustered gave off an almighty stink when I opened it. Like dead mouse stinky. Plus when I shook the body, a clump of bees & maggots fell out.

The bees on the outlying frames look normal but dried. The clustered bees look like charcoal and the wax is black, too. The wax is intact except for the color & stink. When I scraped off the mass of black bees, there were still a couple of maggots in there. Definitely look like fly maggots.

I have enough unaffected drawn comb in the from the hive I combined that I can start the package. But I am concerned about the black wax/bees. I'm willing to toss those frames into the burn barrel, but would like to know what I'm dealing with. I know what foulbrood looks like, and this isn't it.

Any suggestions most appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Possible. I've never seen SHB or the grubs, but these are white, and a least a good half inch long. I *did* see some bluebottle flies around the hives, which led me to think fly maggots. And in amongst the mass of dead bees were a couple of reddish pupa cases, like flies.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
After reading up a bit on SBH, here's some additional information.

None of my frames have a scrap of honey or brood; it's just coated with the dead bee clusters.

The interior of the affected hive has dark smears & streaks inside, but I can't tell if it's from me pulling out the frames or what. They look like tar.

The unaffected hive (the remainder of the frames & hive bodies that did NOT get combined with the hive that died) is clean inside, and the frames & drawn comb are nice and light colored. Just as a precaution, I will rotate these frames into my freezer as I have about a week until the new bees come.

I started with brand new frames, foundation & boxes, but I did buy some local nucs and inserted those frames. I inspected often (nervous first timer), and saw nothing amiss until now.

Not sure if what's happening is normal decomp or what.
 

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just normal for a hive thats died and over the winter and definately fly maggots.
Clean up the frames as best you can and when your hive is nice and strong whack them back on for the bees to clean out and they will be good as gold.
Cheers
kiwi
 
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