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Discussion Starter #1
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When my friend showed me this pic, I didn't think she had a problem and maybe it was sugar that had crystallized. When we went to do a full inspection today, I found it was everywhere and so was Brown poop. As we were scraping some out, the liquid was very runny, and she said it smelled fermented. Is that what this is? We pulled and scraped this stuff out of 2 deeps and no bees were in it in the hive or on the scrap pile.
We left queen and remaining small cluster of bees in the super, in a clean box, with another shallow of drawn comb from last year. Anything that had this white stuff we trashed...but what is it?
I am thinking her syrup was runny? She caramelized her sugar blocks? Her syrup was old?
 

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With a small knife blade you could have taken a sample of the white substance and crushed it to see if it was crystalline and also if it dissolves in a drop of water- both signs of harmless sugar.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'll check tomorrow when I go back to see if they are still alive.
When I unwrapped my hive tool to clean it today the smell was overpowering. I didn't know what all I was smelling when we found this whole mess, between that and the poop and the spring bog. (I can't smell much anyways)
I'll get a sample and do some testing.
They weren't in either of the 2 deeps all that was in, and didn't even go near the pile of stuff we scraped off. It can't have been good for them.
On another forum a guy said he lost all his hives and he noticed this too.
The smell was so so bad and fermenty...really, how could you save it?
 

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If there was bee poop in the hive around this mess it could have a real problem. Was there poop on the top bars?
 

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It might be fermented and crystallized honey that was not thick and capped over winter. It could be from nectar or sugar water feeding. Sugar water fed too late in the fall or nectar collected too late to get dried and thickened and capped by the bees can ferment. The crystallization comes from the cool long time over winter.
 

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Looks like crystallized honey. Not a problem.

>There was poop EveryWhere!

I don't think I have ever seen "poop everywhere". Are you sure that's what it was? Maybe it's propolis? Propolis is everywhere in the hive...
 

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The part about not being raided by swarms of bees is what has me wondering. I put out a frame anywhere around my house and within 15 min i got swarms of bees on the frame robbing it for what they can get. If it were crystalized honey, I would think it to be no diff.

The only true way to find out for sure if your bees just had a bad case of dissintary or something worse would be to send a sample of them off to a lab and have them check.

What i'm thinking is since the other bees around aren't messing with the frames to clean them up, possibly it was a case of dissintary that caused bacterial growth in the frames. It did have a smell which could also be from either fermintation or bacterial growth.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yes, anything left out usually induces a feeding frenzy..but not this stuff.
That contamination is something I didn't consider.
We thought about testing, but there are so few bees we didn't want to hurt the hives chances of recovering to get an answer.
They do seem to be recovering once all that weird honey and poop was removed.
I wonder if a bee lab would test the lumpy honey?
 

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Hello, Just thought i would share my story and say thanks for posting pictures. I lost my hive this winter and all my frames looked just like that. I am new at this so i had no ideal what it was. I went ahead saved the frames set up new package with them and so far there doing well. I assumed it was crystallized honey and once in hive they would make it right. I hope i did not make a big mistake.
 
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