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I was inspecting my hives and found one that was dead. It had looked like robbing was going on a few weeks ago and I had closed the entrance down to a smaller area for them. Noticed there were no live bees and opened it up this morning to look around. There's clean nice honey on some frames, but the brood chamber is a mess!

It's seems wet around the brood chamber, smells like fermenting honey, looks like the bees may have been capping things to cover over disease or mold? Some of the frames around the brood chamber look moldy and what looks like black stuff underneath capped honey and wax. Looks very dark and brownish. Some kind of liquid (doesn't seem like honey) dripping down the faces of the capped darkish honey frames and graying mold.

Lots of dead bees on ground in front of hive, but I thought this was normal winter loss. Not seeing brood in cells at all - brood chamber seems pretty empty......

Is it AFB? Or Nosema? Or some kind of combo? I've been beekeeping for 4 years but have never seen disease in my hives (I'm kinda isolated). This was my largest, strongest hive going into the winter but it's been a long cold one here.
 

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Hmmmmm...... I lost what I thought was a strong hive too. Don't know why, but just cleared out the dead and set all aside open so that others can rob it out. They didn't bother. Maybe enough nectar now.

Last year I had two hives mold up bad, but the bees survived. After the girls did spring cleaning, the hive looked like it was never there.

If it were mine and since you have goo, I'd take a sample, call your state agriculture or apiary board and ask about a lab test. In the meantime, I'd clear out the hive, toss everything that's too gross for comfort and close up to sequester potential problems.

A very experienced trusted codger does even less and installs a new package for his dead-outs. I'm sure he spots and avoids catastrophic difficulty and then lets the girls do the work.
 

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Sounds more like small hive beetles. They will make a more disgusting mess in a few days as the larvae develop in the comb. I would either cut out the comb and destroy it or destroy the SHB by freezing or para dichlorobenzene moth crystals PDB not napthalene. The larvae will crawl out and die. A dead SHB is a good SHB.
 

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Didn't think of small hive beetles. Freezing sounds good for them, mites and moths.

Two seasons ago I bought old stock nuc boxes that had seen some weather. When I opened the box, a couple wax moths flew out. I found good info on the moths at http://maarec.psu.edu/ and choose to freeze all the gear.

I stacked all frames and panels vertically in a 40 gallon cooler and put one $5 pound block of dry ice from the super market on top. My multimeter has a thermocouple that I used to watch the temp fall to 20 below zero.

I suppose you could do the same with the entire hive by sealing up all openings and piling a couple blocks of dry ice in a shallow super on top. Cold falls, so if on bottom, the top may not freeze.

Don't think it'll work on AFB, I've read spores survive all.
 
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