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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a medium Nuc on May 21st from a local Beekeeper. I've noticed for the last few days the bees were always underneath the SBB. I thought maybe they were hot. I did my first inspection today and was shocked at what I saw. No brood at all and 2 frames were crawling with SHB larvae. I'm guessing I have about 1,000 bees right now. It looks like this Nuc never had a queen. Only 1 frame has drawn comb that was usable and without SHB larvae. I ordered a Queen from Bee Weaver as soon as I saw what was going on. I'm not sure how successful I will be installing a Queen since they have been without for so long. Right now I have one frame of drawn comb and 9 new frames. Any advice on what to do next? This is my first time posting pics. Hope it works.

http://i986.photobucket.com/albums/ae347/roger2517/Frame5.jpg
http://i986.photobucket.com/albums/ae347/roger2517/Frame4.jpg
http://i986.photobucket.com/albums/ae347/roger2517/Frame3.jpg
http://i986.photobucket.com/albums/ae347/roger2517/Frame2.jpg
http://i986.photobucket.com/albums/ae347/roger2517/Frame1.jpg
 

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Once the frames are infested with small hive beetle larvae, the best you can do is take the whole hive off several yards. Set up a new hive in the original location. Gently move the queen to the new hive if you can find her. If there is no queen put the new queeen cage in the new hive in the old location. Shake all the bees off the old frames, not into or over the new hive. If a frame has absolutely no SHB larva you can put it in the new hive. Kill all the SHB larvae by baking them in the sun or PDB moth crystals or just destroy the frames if you do not want to save any of the old frames. If you leave the cover off the old hive or strewn over the grass, they will go back to the old location eventually. I do not like chemicals in the hive, but you might put a Checkmite + in the new hive in case a few SHB follow the bees back to the new hive.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There is only one frame in the hive that came with the Nuc. The rest I've leaned up against the fence about 20' away. This one frame didn't seem to have any signs of SHB on it. The rest of the frames are new plastic frames. I did brush a coat of beeswax on them before putting them in. I went all the way through the hive and only saw 1 adult SHB. The rest were larvae. This is my first and only hive. Just hope I can make it work when the Queen arrives.
 

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It is not the adult that drove your queen and bees out. The SHB larva make the hive unliveable. The bees will leave once the SHB get in the comb. So you have at least one good frame to start again with. Since your frames are plastic, treat them with PDB, bake the SHB in the sun or just scrape and hose the intruders off. The great feature of plastic frames and foundation is SHB and wax moths do not get in the plastic. If you had chickens they do a fantastic job and it is a free meal for them. I am sorry to say your hive almost surely came with the problem already. The SHB life cycle precludes getting adults and destroying comb with larva this quickly.
 

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Put some frames with foundation in the nuc. Make sure you have a feeder on. Put your frames with drawn comb in the freezer for 24 hours. After the frames have been frozen for 24 hours they can be put back in the nuc for the bees to clean up. If they still have honey/nectar in them that is good. If not I would spray/drizzle some in one or two of the frames to allow the remaining bees to have an immediate food source.

You will need to feed the bees while the frames are freezing. This will also help them to start building comb. But with only about 1000 bees in the nuc, they really are not strong enough to draw.

The bigger problem is that assuming your new queen arrives tomorrow and immediately starts laying (doubtful) it will be 21 days to new bees and then another 5 to 10 before they start foragaing. So that puts your new foragers 30 days out at best.

I have seen many more SHB larva in a frame than you have and the bees make it. But you have to be proactive in getting rid of the majority of the larva so the bees can contain the balance. Be sure to use rock salt, gaurdasil or diactomous (sp) earth under the hive to prevent the larva from pupating into adults.

Do the above and hope for the best.

good luck

jeb
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here is what I have done so far after reading your replies. I went out and got the 4 infested frames I had leaning up against the fence and looked them over very good. They all still have SHB larvae and a few adults. 2 of them are full of honey. I double bagged them in plastic bags. When the wife wasn't looking I stuck them in the deep freeze :no: After cleaning up the hive body I installed 9 new frames and 1 drawn frame. Luckily the bees were still staying on the bottom side of the SBB. I shook them into the hive and placed my feeder on top and covered it up. About a minute later I opened the feeder body and saw they were already drinking from it. I positioned my entrance reducer on the smallest opening. After the 4 frames have been in the freezer for 24 hours I will put them back in the hive. The one that's drawn that's in it now will go in the freezer just to be safe. I really don't expect my Queen to be here before Thursday or Friday at best.

I am wondering if I should contact the supplier I got this Nuc from and complain. You can see from the pics there was very little brood cells if any. Just seems to me this Nuc was destined to fail from the beginning.
 

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I was not going to suggest the freezing in case my wife reads these. She may wonder what may have gone through the dishwasher and washing machine when she was working and I was home. Freezing is the cleanest and safest way to get rid of wax moths, small hive beetles and sacrificial drones. Definitely call and let em know what you got and what you still need, a healthy hive! Any business person knows you will tell at least six people how you are treated and we are all interested how this supplier does business.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I haven't mentioned who the supplier is. I want to give him a chance to make things right. There's not a LOT of bee suppliers in Oklahoma so it's not real hard to narrow it down to 2-3. I will call him Tuesday and post the results here.
 

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I have cleaned infested frames (SHB) in a tub of hot tap water, I have a loundary sink in my shop and I filled it with hot tap water and submerged the frame in it and watched the little buggers come out I swished it around for a while (this will clean the slime off too) then set the frame out in the sun to dry then back on a hive.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I contacted the supplier today and told him what happened. He didn't even hesitate to make good on it. I will pick up a new Nuc from him Saturday. Now, another problem. The new queen I ordered has shipped. I expect her here Thursday or Friday. How do I handle this? Should I have my Supplier pinch the queen from the Nuc? Do I introduce the new queen to my hive the day I get it? Too many things going at the same time. I suppose I will have to combine them using the newspaper method. What are your thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Grab a frame of brood from your new supplier nuc, and setup another nuc w/ the new queen.
I don't have enough equipment to do that just yet. I was supposed to have a Nuc box last week but the Post Office lost it :doh: It's a medium Nuc(frame swap) so I might be able to set something up long enough for me to get equipment for a 2nd hive.
 

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Heck, a temporary Nuc can be put together with scrap cardboard and some tape, or a nuc shell built with cheap plywood and a few nails (many waste or scrap materials could be used for bottoms and covers).

The vast majority of my own nucs only have sides and ends of wood or plywood, I don't use bottom boards, or traditional covers. My bottoms are pieces of 1-1/4" styrofoam insulation board and my covers are pieces of 3/4" thick styrofoam insulation board. My entrances are created by sliding the tops back enough to allow bees to enter and exit.
 

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If your nuc came in a cardboard box, use it for the split mentioned, until you get regular equipment ready.

Another thing to watch out for, as you feed your bees sugar syrup, if you use a hive top feeder (which I use and prefer) you'll get shb in the feeders, and their larvae. I made that discovery the hard way...but manage to kill the little buggers... only 3-6 in each one, but still frustrating.

Good luck to you!
Steven
 

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You might consider adding a divider board in the middle of your 10 frame hive. Make sure it is tight, so that no bees can move across the divider. Add separate tops for each side, close up the entrance on one side and then drill an entrance on the opposite side of the half with the closed entrance. This would give you two 5 frame nucs in one box. With the entrances on opposite sides and the queens separated. If you do this, be sure to never open both tops at the same time or run the risk of the queens meeting each other. Worst case with this scenario would be the queens find each other and fight until there is only one queen.

In any event, I would introduce your purchased queen to your existing bees, She may be a better queen than the one you are getting in the new nuc. If you have the queen in the new nuc pinched, you run the risk of rejection of your purchased queen, then you are back to square one. Better to have one in reserve until you are sure of the other.


Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I have a few days before my replacement Nuc and new queen arrives. I think I will buy some more equipment and set up 2 hives. This is a good excuse to start the other hive. If my existing small hive doesn't take off I can always combine them. Looks like I have a lot of work to do in the next few days.
 
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