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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,

Question for the experts.

I've changed out my bottom board with a clean/ disinfected board the over the weekend and I'm trying to understand what I am looking at!
Thankfully, my bees are alive (fingers cross it continues), but I wanted to know what the debris is at the bottom of my board.

This is what I am seeing:

*Lost's of dead bees with mold and are now decomposing. Possible ventilation problem but I will need to investigate further.
*Varroa Mites (There is evidence of mites, there are a few not many). I did an oxalic acid drip method in late November but wasn't able to do a count before winterizing.
* Flakes (look like shavings) Is this Wax flakes?
* Pollen.
* Yellow crumbs ( I don't know what this is). Any thoughts what this is?

I was wondering if I missing anything.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Bottom board is pretty dirty, but about what I imagine a solid bottom would look like coming out of winter.

The flakes if they are whitish could be either new wax or sugar from winter feed. If there is new comb being drawn, I would suspect wax.

The pollen is easy to differentiate as it is in little roundish clumps.

Yellow crumbs if not pollen are usually the cappings from brood that has already emerged. You should see it in neat rows that line up with the seams between the brood frames.
 

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This isn't a dead out, right? If not, then yes, it is typical for lots of bees to die in the winter and just fall down to the bottom board. However, this is an opportunity to understand how important top entrances are, especially over the winter and into spring. If too many bees died, they could plug up the entrance and the live bees would never be able to get out (then they die). Definitely want to clean all of that mess out though, preferably somewhere far away from the hives!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Akademee! I had built winter insulating quilt box and an inner board with an upper entrance. Actually, this as my inspiration/guide: http://strathconabeekeepers.blogspot.com/2011/10/moisture-quilt-insulated-hive-cover.html

So they did have an upper entrance. I cleaned up everything several feet away (probably not far enough) but neebie mistake. Now, I'm going to disinfect by washing the board (beach/water) in case I make a split in May and use it!

Thanks for the reply.
 

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the "yellow crumbs" could be a few things, but if they're not wax cappings or pollen, it's probably frass- bee poop. foragers will make all attempts to do their business outside the hive, and droppings from bees who aren't foragers yet usually get cleaned out pretty thoroughly- but if they're cooped up in winter and can't fly to clean it, or if you've got a mesh bottom and it falls through out of reach, I can imagine it accumulating quite a bit. They've gotta go somewhere...
 
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