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Larvae found outside hive??

6062 Views 11 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  thill
I noticed an almost fully-developed pure white larva laying outside the hive. Then I noticed another bee, almost watching the larvae a few blades of grass over. Does this indicate mite intrusion? I think I may be seeing mites around the hive, but with ants and other bugs around and with the small size of the insect I'm seeing I can't be sure what it is or what type of mite I'm even looking for (let alone what it might look like)... Please help me out, I don't know what to think of the situation!
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if it is a bee larva, your hive may beginning to evict drones and drone larva for the upcoming winter. varroa mites are very small red dots, about the size of a period. you can see them sometimes if you uncap and remove a drone larva/pupa with a tweezers. the mite will be on the larva/pupa.
will you please explain the drone eviction thing?
i think most colonies decide they don't need drones around for winter, and actually start booting them out about this time of year. it's kind of funny to watch, unless you're a drone.

it may also be that if your bees have hygenic traits, they may remove drone larva if they detect mites.
In addition to the possibilities already mentioned.....Occasionally, burr comb or ladder comb between the top of the frames in a hive body and the bottom of the frame above is used by the queen as part of the brood chamber. When you inspect the hive, larva can be exposed or otherwise killed as you break the comb loose to remove a frame for inspection.

Brood that is dead from a chill, or even some brood diseases can also be taken out front of the hive: More possibilities for seeing dead larva.

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hey guys! started beekeeping in nyc and noticed today at about 3months (and some strange colder on off weather) that when i pulled out my bottom board (the top is screen) there was larva or maggots? all over it. a few ants ran out also but the bees keep them in check. the larva were long, about an inch, and very thin, i took a short video. not sure how to post it….
Those are hive beetle or more likely wax moth larvae. They eat the detritus on the bottom board, but they will also get into the comb and make a mess. Shake off the bottom board every once in awhile.
Those are hive beetle or more likely wax moth larvae. They eat the detritus on the bottom board, but they will also get into the comb and make a mess. Shake off the bottom board every once in awhile.
thanks but are you sure? they seem to have a row of 3 or 4 tan colored legs near the head? are they SHB like someone else said?
Depends on the size. Wax moth larvae get bigger than the beetle larvae.

Post a picture. Most phones can do it directly.
it won’t let me post a pic here off my iphone without using a pic hoster, trying again!
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need a more focused pic if you can. hive beetle larvae don't grow past about a half inch, so probably wax moth if they are an inch long.

either way, time to look inside the hive and see why the bees are having an issue controlling either one of those.
Looks like wax moth larvae, but it's hard to tell the scale, as the pic is a bit blurry.

What is the condition of the colony?

Most of the time I have seen moth larvae in weak hives or ones that have gotten robbed lately, with a lot of detritus on the bottom board, and not enough bees to keep it clean.

You might want to check that colony again. They might be on the decline. Queenless, robbed or overrun with mites. I recommend you act swiftly, just in case there is something going on.

If the hive is really weak and small, you might consider moving them into a nuc box. For some reason, small colonies seem to thrive in the 5-frame configuration. I made some 4 high last year, and even wintered one that way, and they outperformed ones in big boxes by a wide margin. I made six more for this year, and am using every one of them. Once they get strong and growing again, you can put them back in a big box, if desired.
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