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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, made it thru my first winter keep bees (two hives).
Did my first real inspection of the year. Most of the bees are in the upper deep super with lots of honey left and a small amout of brood. I don't know really how much brood there should be at this early date. But, my question is in the bottom super it is empty except for alot of cells, (where the brood would have been late last summer into fall), there is a brown goo. I did the roping test, no rope or strands. What could this be?? It is not capped. I can find nothing online. And the inspector does not start this early in the season.
It looks alot like the pollen patties I gave them only more liquid.
All ideas??
Thanks,
Ern
 

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Ern,

A photo would really help here as I don't have a clue what it could be from what you are describing.
 

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From your description, I think you're on the right track...

It's more than likely pollen patties that they've stored and are turning into bee bread. Nothing to worry about, especially if it's in "bands" above and directly around the brood or brood nest, and below stored honey, if there's any left.
 

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When inspecting a hive in the spring, especially one that has overwintered in the northern parts of the country, it is common to find some strange things. I think most of this is related to moisture in the hive, but some humidity is necessary. If we never went into the hive until late spring, and the colony was strong and healthy, it would probably look nice and clean.

Did you feed sugar syrup too late in fall? There may be some fermentation of stores and pollen,.or mold.
 

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I bought two deep hives with frames and drawn comb from a beekeeper in OKC. He said he was going to all mediums because of his age and ease of taking care of the hives.

Questions: Along the same lines, much of the drawn comb is filled with a liquid that smells like honey. Could this bee honey that wasn't quite finished by the bees and just not capped off or could it be some brown gooey mass like what this thread is talking about.

The combs are black/deep, deep brown and have some large holes in it. Much of the comb is badly warped. There are a few frames of comb that I have seriously considered keeping and putting in the hives with my new bees when they arrive.

What does everyone think? Should I use the old comb with the brown, sweet, honey smelling liquid in the comb or just pull out the old comb and put in new foundation?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the input.
Oldbee: I did feed into November as it was rather warm here, I was not sure it was the best idea after the fact.
D Coates: It has turned cold again here so I can't get any pics foe awhile.
Big Daddy: It is not in bands, it is more where brood should be in warmer weather. But it is the same color as the pollen patties.
I go to bee school tonight, I will ask around there too.

Thanks,
Ern
 

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beekeeper1756.

That's a little different when buying used equipment. From what you describe I would salvage only the best frames, even if that were only five for each hive and make up the rest with new foundation. To pull out the old comb and replace with foundation can be a lot more work/time [and messy] than building new frames. If the combs are badly warped I wouldn't use those either. If the frames were fairly nice, you could ask the previous beekeeper about any diseases. You want to start out on a clean right foot. Speaking of "brown goo",. it's like trying to sell a used toilet seat at a garage sale, not much of a market for them.
 

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I think most of this is related to moisture in the hive, but some humidity is necessary.
Did you feed sugar syrup too late in fall? There may be some fermentation of stores and pollen,.or mold.
I would agree with oldbee's assesment. I assume you are going to the worcester bee school, I would bring a frame out of the hive with you as usually the bee inspector attends the classes, at least he did when I took it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes, I am attending school in Worcester. That is a good idea but, he was not threr last night.
 

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Ern, if your bees are all jammed up in the top brood box, you need to reverse boxes. Bees move up, not down. If they feel crowded, it will encourage them to swarm. Reversing the brood boxes will relieve the feeling of congestion and help prevent early swarming.
 
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