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Discussion Starter #1
My weak hive [just 1 deep] has done nothing in 3 months; it came from a tiny swarm I caught -- had a queen at the time but I've not seen her since, and there's been nothing going on for a long while. My queen-finding vision's pretty poor, though. I've fed them throughout, but lately they're taking almost no syrup at all from the frame feeder.

I checked the weak hive Friday and saw several little clumps of SHB maggot webbing; tossed 'em out and smashed the several maggots I saw.

Now I'm thinking: should I try to find/pinch the weak hive's queen and add the best-looking frames (out of the several drawn) into a nice little nuc I hived last week? At that time, I moved the 3 drawn frames of the nuc (and 2 undrawn) into a deep, then added 5 fresh/partly-old-comb frames. Too much room, I think, and I had to kill scores of SHB's in the nuc. SHB #'s are booming here now. :eek:

Per Michael Bush (I think), if SHB maggots are seen in a hive, "it's probably too late" to salvage the hive. That's 1 reason I wanna deep-six that hive.

Should I dump weak-hive bees into the hived nuc -- hoping the queen's not on one of 'em -- or .... do a newspaper combine {maybe there's no queen at all now?], and later place the weak hive's drawn frames into the hived nuc and freeze the other frames? :s

I know I should keep empty space in the hived nuc to a minimum. The weak hive doesn't really stand a chance, and my hived nuc has a fresh, active queen, so .... that seems the way to go.

Seems pretty complex to me; I haven't been able to contact anybody lately about this, so any ideas/advice would be appreciated .....
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Mitch, hive beetles do not make webs, wax moths do. If there are no eggs or larvae at all, just shake the bees in front of the other hives, then wash and freeze the frames. That hive is dead and the bees are probably old and won't be around much longer anyway. However, if there are eggs and larvae, move the two best looking frames to a separate new nuc, shake all the bees into the nuc, and then wash and freeze as before. Too much space and not enough bees.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Mitch, hive beetles do not make webs, wax moths do. If there are no eggs or larvae at all, just shake the bees in front of the other hives, then wash and freeze the frames. That hive is dead and the bees are probably old and won't be around much longer anyway. However, if there are eggs and larvae, move the two best looking frames to a separate new nuc, shake all the bees into the nuc, and then wash and freeze as before. Too much space and not enough bees.
Obliged as always, JW; I sorta played with the idea of a nuc (maybe even placing a drawn frame with nurses from a strong hive?). I have a feeling I won't see any larvae -- I've never, ever been able to see bee eggs, no matter what. Some visual thing or other, and it definitely compromises my beekeeping abilities.

I've known since the get-go that odds of this little colony (a tertiary swarm from somewhere, maybe) making it were slim-to-none. Can't cry about 'em now - just at the syrup I've wasted on 'em.

Re: the webs ... I did't see any cocoons, just tiny weblike areas with tiny dark bits in it. I've seen massive webbing from the moths -- these seem different. And I've never seen a moth in this particular little colony. I realize that probably means nothing, though.

Well, we'll see what happens. Today's the day. Thx again ....

Mitch
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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You can always add a frame of brood from another hive and add a purchased queen too. Sometimes though you just have to cut your losses. A few of my splits went LW. Rather waste time and effort, I let them die out on their own. Caught the frames before they got slimed too bad, washed, froze, and gave to other nucs that were doing well. Eggs are getting hard for me to see also, especially when my glasses start to fog up in the heat. Hatched larvae in a pool of royal jelly are easier to spot. One of the reasons I advocate a longer waiting period before calling a split a failure.
Wax moth webs start out as a single cell with a web cap and poo. By the time you see tunnels, the maggots are huge. When you find those, grab the frame and your cane pole. It's time to fish for bream.
 

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Mitch, hive beetles do not make webs, wax moths do. If there are no eggs or larvae at all, just shake the bees in front of the other hives, then wash and freeze the frames. That hive is dead and the bees are probably old and won't be around much longer anyway. However, if there are eggs and larvae, move the two best looking frames to a separate new nuc, shake all the bees into the nuc, and then wash and freeze as before. Too much space and not enough bees.
Plus one on this advice.
plus, if you have other strong hives that can spare the bees, you can add bees to the landing board, either shaken from frames or by the handfull from dangling beards ( I love this idea, no chance of getting the queen). the fliers go go back home, the nurses go inside. be sure they have food. Good Luck ... CE
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I'm following my own advice today. Been taking care of my splits from ealier this season and ignoring the big hives. So I noticed there weren't many bees in the feeder on hive #3. Time to take a look. No brood, larvae, eggs, or queen. Multiple opened qc's. Crud. It has been at least six weeks since I was in this hive and it was super strong then Probably swarmed and failed to requeen. Shook the two deeps and a medium into a single five frame nuc and added a frame from a sister hive that had some eggs on it. Washed the fermenting honey off the comb and put it back. No SHB larvae but comb was shiny. Not in a good way. Anyhow, if they are able to produce a mated queen, I have plenty of other resources to boost them right up to winter strength. It is really too late to do this type of requeening, but the resource cost to give it a try is minimal. Real shame about this hive, it was my first successful split from last year and has always been strong.

On a more positive note, my June splits were bursting at the seams with bees and all got a second five frame brood box with drawn comb.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
well, JW, the loss totally sucks, of course. Sounds like you have plenty going on otherwise, so not really (on a practical level) a major loss. Sentimental value?

Anyhow .... I don't recall seeing any worthwhile brood/stores/etc in the weak hive when I opened it yesterday. Not a healthy population of bees, either. I'm thinking I'll just dump them in front of another hive (one needing a little pop. boost) and let 'em take their chances. Maybe the bees in the nuc-now-hive will be more disposed to welcome extra field hands? Or maybe not? Either way. Having seen the maggots in the weak hive, I'm not too keen on adding healthy frames from my strongest hive -- just more fuel to the vermin fire.
 
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