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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think I know what I did wrong, but figured I'd post here for feedback, and to post the experience. I had two hives running; one at home one 15 miles away. The backyard hive is great. The remote one abandoned ship. I moved this hive two weeks ago, as it is in a coastal region, and the high tide line made it tricky, and wet, to check at certain times. I didn't realize this until recently- the hive has been there since April.

The move: I got there at day break, moved the box about ten feet (possibly the main issue?) and clogged the entrance with pine needles. Today I found NO BEES, and mass larvae of wax moth, I am assuming, since little to no wax remained and a pile of crumbly poo was on the bottom of the hive.

I put the hive there by request of the property owner, in order to discourage trespassing/vandalism. My main thought is the move of the hive box sent the bees elsewhere, other options could be the area is too wet, or someone sprayed the box, in order to keep fishing on the property. There were no bees, capped brood or stores in the box. I figure if it got sprayed, there would be some bees, but being a rookie- do wax moth/SHB eat dead bees?
 

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I think I would have told him to get a big dog and kept my bees at home!
No, seriously, this does not sound like a good place for a hive. The reason for placing it also does not sound like a good one to me either. All my books say to keep the hives somewhere dry with good and easy acess for maintanence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
For my pigheaded learning- the moving of the box should not have caused them to abscond? It sounds more like poor location? I worried every time I'd go check em that they'd be vandalized- but was willing to risk it on the location for the access to the neighboring woodlands.

They are next to a state park, which has acres of palm, mangrove, etc, which have just finished blooming...there were some types of undergrowth in bloom when I went by there today, so a dearth would suprise me. I have a lot to learn, about locations and management (or lack of) and I thank you for your comments.
 

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Sounds to me like you found a great hive beetle location. Wax moths build webs through the combs and the larva are big enough to use for bream bait! They'll also tunnel into the wood inside the box. Hive beetle larva are smaller, about 1/2" long and tunnel through the combs, but don't leave webs. They defecate in the honey and pollen causing it to ferment and run down and out the entrance. You'll find big gobs of larva on the bottom board and infesting the combs. When they reach that stage of infestation the bees abscond and go somewhere livable. Your only recourse now is to clean up the frames and boxes, cut out the slimed combs, wash everything thoroughly to get rid of the smell and let them air out for a couple months before trying to put more bees in. Do a search on SHB and get some traps in your other hive ASAP! :(

BTW, FL is SHB heaven. Without traps expect a very short life of your hives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Fish stix-There was only one frame left with any wax to speak of.... too bad the area is salt water- from your description I had both SHB and moths= lots of bream bait. I had a beetle blaster/oil trap in the box, but must not have been enough, I guess. I've got traps in each layer of the hive at home, and they seem to be under control at the moment.

Once its all cleaned up, would it be worth the time to wrap the frames or stuff the box with lemon grass to clear out the gear? We've a hedge of the stuff growing...
 

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You claim that you moved the hive 2 weeks ago. In my experience the damage you describe is probably wax moth. The problem is that they cannot do that much damage in 2 weeks.

So, according to my detective reasoning, you moved a dead hive 2 weeks ago. There may have been bees coming and going, but they were robbing out any honey that was left in the comb. I would guess that it died 4-8 weeks ago.

But that is an answer from 3000 miles away, without x-ray vision.
 
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