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Discussion Starter #1
I'm something of a newby to beekeeping. Been doing it two years now but not real successful. Last year hive beetles wiped me out. Anyway, got a call on a swarm and ran to get it, but when i got there, i accidentally brought a super instead of a hive box. So i caught it in the super. they are doing a great job pulling out comb and setting up, but its already looking a bit crowded and the queen hasn't started laying. All suggestions welcome
 

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So.... Put a deep on top of it. Change it out next year. Above all don't muck with it until a couple of rounds of new brood have hatched.
 

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I always catch them in nucs or supers. (Medium or deep). I bought some hive staples awhile back and keep some bottoms stapled to the hive bodies so they are all ready to go. I just don't drive the staples all the way in, in case I want to remove at a later date...
 

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Just to clarify: hive beetles don't wipe out hives. Strong hives can exist with hive beetles and wax moths. Only when the hives become weak or underpopulated, do the pests overwhelm the hive's defenses. I have strong hives that actually pen up the hive beetles in propolis condos and corrals and feed them. You need to diagnose the reason the hive got to the point of being overwhelmed. I do not treat my hives for beetles or varroa, but I am fixing to add some of those Laurence Cutts disposable beetle traps with mineral oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi thanks everyone. Sounds like the advice is to keep them in the super and leave them alone. Let the brood get going. That's what i thought i should do, but wasn't sure. I'm not sure i understood the suggestion on the next step. do you recommend adding another super so that it acts like a hive box, or just adding a hive box.

As to the beetles, it was the weirdest thing, and my fault. I'm not sure what happened, but one day the bees were gone and the hive was nasty and overrun with those beetles. The hive was huge and strong and full of honey. I assumed the beetles ran the bees off, but maybe they came later.
 

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When a hive gets weak or is otherwise in decline, or is not queenright, they will sometimes abscond. My bee inspector friend says they get "demoralized," and just give up, which would be a good anthropomorphic analogy. I did an experiment with some hives last fall. I treated every other hive with beetle control. This spring, in the treated hives, I found no live beetles and plentiful bees and stores. In the untreated hives, the bee populations were lower and the beetle population was huge. In my stronger untreated hives, I can watch the bees chase the beetles incessantly. In the weaker hives, the bees don't chase them. I think there is a tipping point where the bees begin to get overwhelmed and then actually quit trying. Once the beetles trash the honey, the bees can starve.
 

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Thanks Beegee, I think your description is what happened to my bees. This was a huge healthy hive and they made lots of honey. I had a tray of oil under the hive but it was open to the back. I think the beetles had free access from the rear of the hive. Also, the bees tended to fly in from behind and get into the oil. Eventually the pan was full of dead bees and hive beetles. I had robbed the honey already and was leaving them alone to let them resupply. I forgot to change that tray. A few weeks later i noticed the bees on the outside of the box. My friend said they were probably hot. Then i walked out a week later, no bees, but a stinking mess full of beetles and larvae.
 
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