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Found This Red Stuff On A Few Frames

6204 Views 10 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  odfrank
While going through one of our hives last week, we found this red stuff on just a couple of the frames. It was pretty firm, if not hard, when poked with a hive tool; and had no odor. The frames are located near the hive opening. We are located in Northeastern Illinois, just about two miles from the Indiana state line. I've asked around a few of the Facebook beekeeping groups and have heard it could be anything from propolis to hummingbird nectar. Just thought I'd seek a few more opinions. Thanks for the help!
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I'm assuming that the damage to the comb is from having been poked and prodded by a hive tool, otherwise there's a problem with how that comb looks regardless of the color.

If the comb looked normal other than the red color, I'd say it's just hummingbird feed or some other man-made sugar based liquid that your bees found useful.
Looks like propolis or some synthetic replacement which the bees often use when available. Had some stealing all the caulking off a trailer 20 years back. Took a while to figure out what was going on as grey propolis is very unusual especial in the yard they where gathering it in. BTW look like them bees need a good dose of syrup or three.......
It's definitely propolis. Why they feel the need to propolize by the entrance is anyone's guess. Maybe because many bees hate to use the plastic comb shown in the photos.
Propolis from some poplar trees is red. Propolis from cottonwoods and other poplar trees can be green or even gray. I would guess propolis mixed with wax or just propolis.
Looks like they all went out for a pizza and got sick.
"Before the city." Propolis.
Sometimes the propolis foragers set up a staging area to put the propolis for the propolis workers who are reinforcing cells, stopping cracks etc. ...
You got any worker brood in that hive? Even the frame I can see in the box looks almost all drone brood.
You got any worker brood in that hive? Even the frame I can see in the box looks almost all drone brood.
Or worse.... Not looking very good. My bet is that hive is toast in a month or less.
Red propolis. We get lots of it. Streams down the outside of boxes below holes on the boxes the bees are trying to plug. I have seen red propolis inside split eucalyptus logs.

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