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Author Topic: Found something disgusting inside of hive today  (Read 3101 times)
annette
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« on: November 04, 2007, 09:59:25 PM »

Was doing my powdered sugar dusting of the 2 hives. When I opened the first hive, I saw a blob of something at the top notched entrance. Looked like a sticky caramel blob on the side of the box inside. I took my hive tool and scraped it out and wiped it on a rock. Looked like they propolized something. Could sort of see what looked like a large larva perhaps inside the blob.

Anyway, when I did the powdered sugar dusting and checked the sticky board later, I found a large wax moth stuck to the board they had killed. 

My questions are  1. Could this have been the larva from the wax moth they killed?? 2. How in the world could they propolize such a big blob??  3. Could this have been something else?Huh

The bees looked fine and healthy otherwise.

I am thinking of placing a screen over this top notched entrance for the winter as I do not see how the bees can protect this space when they are clustering down below. What do you all think about this???

Appreciate all input from my experienced beekeeping friends here.

Annette from unbelievably warm Placerville. (supposed to be 70-80 all week)


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abejaruco
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2007, 11:28:25 PM »

I´ve never seen a wax moth larva propolized by the bees. I´ve never seen a wax moth killed by the bees.

Are you sure that the wax moth larva was dead. I can see, ocasionally, any wax moth larvas, living in the propolis, perhaps under the propolis...

If you have any wax moth, you are losing bee population. Put away empty frames and reduce entrances.

By the way, have to be a Pleasure living in Placer ville.
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annette
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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2007, 11:31:34 PM »

Not even sure it was a wax moth larva. Just a larva of some sort. Not sure it was dead either, just stuck in this gooey mess.
I have seen a few wax moths killed by the bees that end up on the sticky board.


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abejaruco
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2007, 11:42:48 PM »

Wax moth, dead or alive, are bad sign. How many frames of bees has your hive? How much brood? The emerging brood...is homogeneus or irregular?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2007, 06:51:32 AM »

If they can remove something that doesn't belong in the hive, they do.  If they can't, they propolize it.  If a wax moth managed to get cocooned they might propolize it, but if it was just a larvae they would kill it and haul it out the door.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2007, 07:47:52 AM »

1. Could this have been the larva from the wax moth they killed??

As Michael said, if they can't drag it out, they propolize it.  I have never seen them propolize larvae, but cocoons yes.  Here is a photo from a removal I did that had been there for many years and gradually migrated across the opening.  You can see the many cocoons they had propolized.


Quote
2. How in the world could they propolize such a big blob??


I've seen photos of whole mice and snakes propolized.

Quote
I am thinking of placing a screen over this top notched entrance for the winter as I do not see how the bees can protect this space when they are clustering down below. What do you all think about this???

What are they protecting from?  If it is too cold for them to patrol,  it is also too cold for any other insects.
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annette
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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2007, 01:58:12 PM »

"What are they protecting from?  If it is too cold for them to patrol,  it is also too cold for any other insects."

I did think about this that other insects would not be going in when it gets too cold, but I was concerned about something like perhaps a small mouse.

This is just an isolated blob and everything else looks great in the hive. They are strong in numbers and so I guess I will not worry anymore about this. I may try to take a peek again if it continues to stay warm.

Thanks for the help
Annette


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annette
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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2007, 02:02:24 PM »

"By the way, have to be a Pleasure living in Placer ville."

Yes Abejaruco, it is a wonderful place to live. I believe we have perfect weather about 9-10 months of the year. Especially the fall is so beautiful and warm. The bees are bringing in lots of pollen and still making honey for themselves. We start to get cooler just about now, but so far it has remained warm.

Take care and thanks for the responses

Annette

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ElDoBill
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2007, 04:24:41 AM »

Annette, When do you winterize your hives? By the calendar or temps?

Thanks,
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2007, 07:18:47 AM »

A blob of propolis with or without a pest in it is a sign they are healthy and strong.  If they killed a pest and propolized it, they are doing their job.  If they didn't they are not doing their job.  I always consider it a good sign when they have stuck the lid down well and glued everything together well.  Hives where they are stretched thin or overworked because of a lack of population don't get those jobs done well.
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Michael Bush
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annette
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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2007, 01:51:37 PM »

Annette, When do you winterize your hives? By the calendar or temps?

Thanks,

My hives are already winterized. Reduced the entrances, made sure they have enough stores of pollen and honey and I placed insulation on the top of the inner cover which came with the cover from Honey run apiaries. I have a top notch entrance for condensation removal. I am about as ready as ever. I am though continuing to do the powdered sugar dustings on both hives as long as the weather remains warm, but only on the top supers right now. Do  not want to keep breaking the seals on the supers. Randy Oliver from Grass Valley wrote me that it is sufficient to just dust the top of the supers right now. The mite counts are down to a handful of mites on each hive.

We are getting very cold weather at night now, so no more big inspections.

If you have any more questions, let me know and I can help you if you need it.

Annette
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annette
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« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2007, 01:52:55 PM »

A blob of propolis with or without a pest in it is a sign they are healthy and strong.  If they killed a pest and propolized it, they are doing their job.  If they didn't they are not doing their job.  I always consider it a good sign when they have stuck the lid down well and glued everything together well.  Hives where they are stretched thin or overworked because of a lack of population don't get those jobs done well.


Thank you Michael as this makes me feel better. I do feel that things are fine and the hives are strong going into winter.

Sincerely,
Annette
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ElDoBill
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« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2007, 02:15:56 PM »

Annette, I was going to winterize but they are still dragging in some pollen.  I thought the entrance reducer may inhibit that. I was waiting until the daytime temps were in the 50's around the end of this month.  I guess I should winterize now.  I read on another forum about small cell being about 40% of the broodnest comb and the rest being large cell for honey and pollen storage.  I am going to start a new colony from a package next spring and I was going to use 100% Mann Lake Pf120 foundation in the brood nest.  Have you any opinion about the 40% vs 100%??

Thanks, Bill   
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abejaruco
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« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2007, 02:18:16 PM »

I don´t doubt that a blob of propolis is a good sign, but actually the real and authentic sign of healthy hive is the homogeneus emerging brood, if you see spotty brood you have problems, because you are losing a percentage of bees. You can calculate the number easily, only counting the young brood or eggs among the emerging bees.
And the new young adult bees, how long they will survive?
If you have a handful of mites you have to control the brood.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2007, 08:04:01 PM »

>Have you any opinion about the 40% vs 100%??

100% is easier to manage as everything is interchangable.
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Michael Bush
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annette
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« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2007, 08:31:28 PM »

Annette, I was going to winterize but they are still dragging in some pollen.  I thought the entrance reducer may inhibit that. I was waiting until the daytime temps were in the 50's around the end of this month.  I guess I should winterize now.  I read on another forum about small cell being about 40% of the broodnest comb and the rest being large cell for honey and pollen storage.  I am going to start a new colony from a package next spring and I was going to use 100% Mann Lake Pf120 foundation in the brood nest.  Have you any opinion about the 40% vs 100%??

Thanks, Bill   

Bill,

We do not have the winterizing problems that most beeks have around the country as we are not that cold in the winter. When I say I have the entrance reducer on, I mean on the 4" size. This does not inhibit them from coming and going. In fact the only reason I actually use the reducer is in case of robbing, which I see a little of here and there at this time of year. Having the reducer on helps them to guard the entrance. This is small time robbing, just a few fights on the landing strip at various times of the day and nothing to worry about, but I like to help them. Some beeks around here do not even use any reducers on the hives. It is really not necessary around here. So there is  not much to do in the way of winterizing, but the main concern is moisture in the hives. You have to have enough ventilation for them. Other than that, not much else to really do. If you have any more questions just let me know.

Regarding the small cell, I would listen to what Michael Bush has to say. I have been trying to regress my hives by introducing frames with starter strips into the brood area. It will take some time for me to have all the brood on starter strips. Hopefully by next spring I will have all the brood on starter strip frames. I  have also been switching out frames in the honey supers as well with starter strip frames. I haven't decided yet if I will totally switch out the honey super frames, as I like to use my extractor. I may as well go with the same Mann Lake frames as you are purchasing for the honey supers.
Hope this information helps you. Stay in touch

Annette
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annette
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« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2007, 08:45:48 PM »

I don´t doubt that a blob of propolis is a good sign, but actually the real and authentic sign of healthy hive is the homogeneus emerging brood, if you see spotty brood you have problems, because you are losing a percentage of bees. You can calculate the number easily, only counting the young brood or eggs among the emerging bees.
And the new young adult bees, how long they will survive?
If you have a handful of mites you have to control the brood.


Abejaruco

I am not really understanding what you are trying to say to me. The hive is otherwise very healthy with a strong brood pattern and a good queen. A handful of mites (I am talking about 4-5) after 24 hours is a very low count from what I understand. The only concern I had was this awful blob of propolis.  Thank you for your concern, but I believe that all is well for this hive.

Thanks
Annette
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Cindi
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« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2007, 11:53:29 PM »

Annette, you have said something that has caused me some concern.  In a post you said that you have been doing the sugar dusting and that you are "down to a handful of mites".  I want you to define that a little bit more clearly.  Does that mean just a couple, a few, a few hundred....define this please.  A "handful" means quite a bit of something to me, but then maybe my handful thoughts are different than what you would call a handful.  Off to watch "House" with my Grandson for his Grammy night.  Have a wonderful and beautiful day in this greatest of our lives.  Cindi
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« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2007, 12:06:16 AM »

Quote
A handful of mites (I am talking about 4-5) after 24 hours is a very low count from what I understand.

Well, It is a hand-empty. grin
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Cindi
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« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2007, 09:51:43 AM »

Quote
A handful of mites (I am talking about 4-5) after 24 hours is a very low count from what I understand.

Well, It is a hand-empty. grin

Ooops, my apology Annette, guess I missed the (4-5) in parentheses.  If you are into the mite counting, why not do the 3 day (72 hour) count, and then use the equation to get a more exact number (I do this for interest myself).

I did the 72 hour mite count and took the boards out of the hive yesterday at 11:00 A.M.

The results were OK, I need to treat though, no question.  One hive had a fairly high number, it was the same hive that had a higher number when I did the mite counting in September.

I am doing the oxalic acid fumigation tomorrow.  THis will kill all mites.  No brood, so nothing to worry about there with hatching mites.  I may have to do a second treatment on the hive with high numbers though, we'll see.  I am into mite counting, it is my experimental nature and I don't mind to do this to keep records, as I love to record keep too.  Have a wonderful and beautiful day on this great planet, Earth.  Cindi

Does anyone know how long mites can live on the bees without the ability to propogate?  I could google it I guess, but am rather lazy in some regards.
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2007, 01:03:25 PM »

Annette, thanks, I have an SBB on the hive and I was going to leave it open all year for ventilation.  I have a migratory cover which I was going to replace with an inverted solid bottom board as a cover to provide ventilation.  I was going to put an entrance reducer on both, with the largest opening, the bottom to help keep out mice and the top to help keep out rain.   What do you think?  Regarding the small cell, I think Micheal is saying that trying to use two sizes of foundation is too limiting and too hard to administer. Next spring I want to checkerboard the hive to prevent swarming and I would like to use the small cell for some of the empty frames.  How many of the small cell should I use to begin the regression do you think?  I planned to do this this coming weekend.  I'll message you about getting together to look at the hive.  I'd like to know if I left out something important in preparing for the winter.   
Thanks again.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2007, 07:29:16 PM »

>Does anyone know how long mites can live on the bees without the ability to propogate?

Months.
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Michael Bush
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annette
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« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2007, 09:37:00 PM »

Annette, thanks, I have an SBB on the hive and I was going to leave it open all year for ventilation.  I have a migratory cover which I was going to replace with an inverted solid bottom board as a cover to provide ventilation.  I was going to put an entrance reducer on both, with the largest opening, the bottom to help keep out mice and the top to help keep out rain.   What do you think?  Regarding the small cell, I think Micheal is saying that trying to use two sizes of foundation is too limiting and too hard to administer. Next spring I want to checkerboard the hive to prevent swarming and I would like to use the small cell for some of the empty frames.  How many of the small cell should I use to begin the regression do you think?  I planned to do this this coming weekend.  I'll message you about getting together to look at the hive.  I'd like to know if I left out something important in preparing for the winter.   
Thanks again.

It sounds good to me for the ventilation. Sounds like you can put the entrance reducer on the top on the smaller size. Only a small opening is required to rid the hive of condensation, but lets see if anyone else has a feeling about this.


Regarding the introduction of the small cell foundation, you need to ask Michael Bush as I am extremely inexperienced when it comes to this. As I mentioned before, I placed about 8 frames of just starter strips into my brood supers here and there between frames of brood and the bees drew out the combs really, really nicely. I just plan on introducing more and more of these starter strip frames in between brood frames when the spring comes. I also need to contact Michael and figure out if I am doing this correctly.

It sounds like you know what to do regarding the checkerboarding. Stay in touch.

annette
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Cindi
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« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2007, 09:48:52 PM »

Annette, you quoted, but you forgot to type something in the text box, or is it invisible, hee, hee.   Wink Smiley  Have a wonderful and beautiful day. Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2007, 09:55:33 PM »

>I was going to put an entrance reducer on both, with the largest opening, the bottom to help keep out mice and the top to help keep out rain.   What do you think?

How cold is it where you are?  Probably a top entrance is irrelevant as long as you don't have skunk problems.  I like #4 hardware cloth to keep the mice out.

>  Regarding the small cell, I think Micheal is saying that trying to use two sizes of foundation is too limiting and too hard to administer.

Well, I'm saying it's harder.

> Next spring I want to checkerboard the hive to prevent swarming and I would like to use the small cell for some of the empty frames.

When they are drawing comb to store honey they are reluctant to draw small cells.  When they are drawing brood comb is when they want the smaller cells.

>  How many of the small cell should I use to begin the regression do you think?

I'd feed them in as you can with the plan to be to replace it all.  I'd have enough on hand to replace it all and go from there.

>  I planned to do this this coming weekend.

Reduce the entrances?  Not regression, I hope.

> I'll message you about getting together to look at the hive.  I'd like to know if I left out something important in preparing for the winter.   

Do you have any excluders on?

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#winter
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2007, 12:34:34 PM »

Thanks Michael,
>How cold is it where you are?  Probably a top entrance is irrelevant as long as you don't have skunk problems.  I like #4 hardware cloth to keep the mice out.<
The temps are running in the 70's daytime, 40's at night, heading into the 60's daytime next week.  I haven't had any skunk problems yet but I did see one about three weeks ago at day break running across the driveway.

I plan to reduce the entrances this weekend. 
I have a 2 deep super broodnest.  The upper super is full of honey and the lower super contains brood, pollen and honey.  I expect the colony to cluster in the lower super soon and move up into the upper super during the winter.  I planned to checkerboard the vacant lower super and reverse the supers placing the empty frames above the cluster. This checkerboarding I was planning on in the late February time frame when the temps start back into the 60's. I plan to eventually replace all of the frames with small cell.  I wanted to checkerboard with 5 frames of small cell at one time.  Is 5 frames too many to start with? I expect there will be a couple of weeks of indecision for the bees at that time. I thought I would rotate the remainder in as the brood cells become empty during the summer.

Thanks for the help.
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« Reply #26 on: November 08, 2007, 12:36:02 PM »

Annette, thanks, will do.
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