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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I ventured into my hive today; creepy findings. These are it, and I'm wondering if anybody knows what they mean --

1. All comb was brown in both deeps. Some [in the lower deep] was burned looking. No brood living, as far as I could tell. Could this be foulbrood?

2. On some frames, I saw numerous tiny white slivers on tops of cells; some kind of deposit from vermin?

3. Lots of hive beetles on a couple of frames. Saw another wax moth in the upper deep. Plenty of ants.

4. There were a few dead bees seen on some comb; some had their heads IN the cells. If any of their sisters were around at all, wouldn't they have taken the bodies out?

5. This hive, and its weaker sister, both developed some odd, tan, round "stains" (maybe 3-6 of them) on the box walls -- maybe 3" in diameter. Could these have meant something? Not nosema-type stains, just rounded large spots.

If the wax is diseased, is it legit to scrape off the stuff (I'm using plastic foundation), maybe freeze the frames some, and store them in a plastic bag?

When I inspected a couple of weeks ago, my honey super had maybe 5 frames with capped honey. This time, just 1. I'm gonna harvest that -- may get a couple of spoonsful. Pricy stuff.

Any feedback would be appreciated. This clenches it -- nothing more until 2017 (if then).
 

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1 After white comb has brood in it, it turn brown, more cycles of brood, it turns almost black.

2 need pictures, could be fragments of wax, mite dropping, small SHB larva.

3 low population of bees or a dead hive; freeze frame for 24 hours. If the hive is alive reduce it down freeze bad frames. If they are all bad relocate in to new comb.

4 A dwindling hive, also a queenless hive sometimes loses motivation. Makes them more prone to beetles and robbing.

5 bee poop, maybe Nosema.

6 just scraping off the wax will not sanitize enough to reduces diseases

Queenless? Treat for mites? Any open or capped brood? How is your brood pattern when you had one? Got pictures?
 

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Also, bees with heads in cells can mean starvation.
Two weeks is not a lot of time for things to go that bad unless they were robbed.

Sorry for your loss.

Alex
 

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>1. All comb was brown in both deeps. Some [in the lower deep] was burned looking. No brood living, as far as I could tell. Could this be foulbrood?

Dry dark comb is just empty brood comb. The symptoms of foulbrood are sunken and pierced caps over cells full of goo.

>2. On some frames, I saw numerous tiny white slivers on tops of cells; some kind of deposit from vermin?

Like flowerplanter said, pictures would help a lot.

>3. Lots of hive beetles on a couple of frames. Saw another wax moth in the upper deep. Plenty of ants.

Scavengers taking advantage of low population/too much space.


>4. There were a few dead bees seen on some comb; some had their heads IN the cells. If any of their sisters were around at all, wouldn't they have taken the bodies out?

If they were around, sure.

>5. This hive, and its weaker sister, both developed some odd, tan, round "stains" (maybe 3-6 of them) on the box walls -- maybe 3" in diameter. Could these have meant something? Not nosema-type stains, just rounded large spots.

Pictures would help. Could be propolis.

>If the wax is diseased, is it legit to scrape off the stuff (I'm using plastic foundation), maybe freeze the frames some, and store them in a plastic bag?

No reason you have given to believe it's diseased.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thx a heap for the input, guys. Helpful. I rechecked the supers (re: the odd stains), and noticed that the stains on outer surfaces correspond to the knots seen within, SO .... I have a feeling those're just artifacts of paint absorption [knots less absorbent, I'd guess?].

Can't attach a shot of the weird tiny white specks; I'm too low-tech to have an iPhone.

The brown wax thing surprised me; in all these months of apiology I've read/heard, I don't recall ever hearing about the color change in wax. Kinda comforting, though -- I was afraid there was some hellish disease.

Alex: just after the swarming (Tuesday), I saw robbing. Thx for the sympathy/empathy. Unless people go through this kind of miserable loss (of time/$/work/etc), they don't have any idea how the feeling is. Maybe I should start raising chickens.

Planter: the hive swarmed Tuesday, so .... few bees left for anything. I'd hoped to see some queen cells but nope; just a swarm cell opened at the bottom. The hive's history [since late April, when I got it] has been good. Brood pattern was good, honey production in the one honey super was good, etc. I was told by the locals to wait until this month or Sept. to treat for mites, so I hadn't done anything, and I never noticed any health issues with the colony. In the last month, though, I noticed a pretty significant SHB population. Tried a home-made trap that didn't work, and the local supply rep with beetle traps never responded to my calls, so .... no beetle tx.

Well, maybe I've learned enough through this ordeal to make it work next year. I hope y'all have good success with your hives. I can appreciate beeks now more than I ever could before .....

Mitch
 

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Mitch,
Don't give up on bees. Although the learning curve can be steep it is a very rewarding endeavor.

I have chickens also. We get great eggs from the hens and make enchiladas from the roosters, but I swear, some of 'em are the dumbest animals on the planet. :pinch:

Alex
 

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Unless people go through this kind of miserable loss (of time/$/work/etc), they don't have any idea how the feeling is. Maybe I should start raising chickens.

Mitch
To lessen the blow mlanden, you are not alone. All of us have gone through, and still go through at times, those losses. Stick around long enough and you'll get to go through them again (and again), but hopefully not as severe.
Yup, it's not all rosey all of the time.

Get some of those enchilada roosters, they sound interesting don't they :)
 

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AHudd>> what are you doing to me? you dimmed my only bright light re chickens!
now I'll have to stick with those easter eggers they sold me last year. big deal they are, so what light blue and green eggs and no chocolate anywhere. they can keep them. :scratch:
 

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Like Clyderoad said, we all go through it. I have an empty spot in my yard where the strongest of my two hives was back in the spring. Last fall it was a double deep packed full of stores. This spring it came out like gangbusters and produced a super of maple honey in March, thanks to the incredibly warm winter . I pulled the queen and made a split off of it in late April. It produced a swarm in May, which luckily I was able to catch. But then it never could recover. Population was low. The late spring weather turned very cool and wet which effected queen breeding and foraging. I condensed to a single and gave it eggs and brood on two occasions but never got a good queen. Last week I shook out what few bees were left and put the frames in the freezer when I saw the beetles and moths were taking over. Now it's history. The upside is that the split and the swarm off of it have built up nicely this summer. Beekeeping is definitely an ebb and flow kind of deal.
 
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