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Checked on the hives today, found one to be doing well, the other dead. It seems to me that they starved. Lots of bees in the cells head down. Alot of yellow/brown streaks in the hive also. Several of the frames were covered in mold. Looks like bread mold.

They were fed a 2:1 sugar syrup in the fall. Stores were very low prior to feeding due to a very wet and cold fall. Fumagilin treatment was also given at that time.

The mold seemed to be on frames of uncapped syrup. (the outter most frames).

Questions: -what are the chances of the yellow/brown streaks being nosema? Is it common to see this in a distressed colony?
-can the frames that are moldy be cleaned and reused?
-how does one clean moldy frames?
-is the mold dangerous/harmful to the bee.
(have package bees comming in a few weeks)


Thanks
Jon
 

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Well what you discribe may be Nosema there are two types now Nosema a. and Nosema C. the latter one is real bad. As for mold don't worry the bees will take care of it. I would have the hive tested for Nosema spores and go from there.
 

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I second Honeydreams.

Last year I had mold. One hive was weak with little brood and loaded with mold. I added brood frames and before long it and all others looked great. Harvest was lousy but we had a wet spring and other issues, but I doubt mold had anything to do with it.

If you don't want to spend on another package and your comfortable with the condition of the lost hive, you may want to try a queenless split by taking 4-5 frames with brood and nurse bees from your survivor and putting them in a single section. Add a purchased queen and you may get them going a little faster.
 

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I have had similar experiences when I have lost a hive. As previously stated, the bees will clean up the mold, no problem. Try to shake as many of the dead bees out of the combs and either use that deadout by putting a split in it or a package or even a swarm. Last year I caught a big swarm (Someone called and had a swarm in their yard they wanted removed) and I "hived" the swarm in the deadout hive. They cleaned it up right away and became one of my best hives. Regarding nosema...that is something to be aware of and you can treat for it...but right now, you just need to think about starting a new hive in that old equipment in the best way you can. Best wishes...
 
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