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Author Topic: New Member in Georgia  (Read 1266 times)
wtmartin
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« on: December 04, 2007, 12:40:37 PM »

Hello everyone...I am a new member and just wanted to say Hi!

This last year was my first attempt at beekeeping, but it did not go so well. After reading some articles, I feel confident my hive was taken over by wax moths. There is nothing left, but a mess. Can someone tell me how to go about cleaning my hive and preparing it for another try in the Spring? I only started with a queen and 3 lbs. of bees.

Terry
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Terry
reinbeau
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2007, 12:46:00 PM »

First off, Welcome!  Please go into your profile and update your location so we can tailor our answers to where you actually beekeep.  Smiley

As for the wax moth damage, just clean everything out down to the bare frames and start over again, since the bees have been lost.  The new package will clean up anything you miss.  Make sure you close down your entrance next time so the bees have a smaller opening to defend, at least until they get their numbers up!
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wtmartin
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2007, 01:05:45 PM »

Thanks...profile is now updated. I guess I missed that part at registration.

Do I just use warm water, or can soap be used to clean hive?

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Terry
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2007, 07:31:45 PM »

Welcome wtmartin from a fellow Georgian.

No need to go to that extreme in the clean up. Just scrape out the cocoons and let the bees do the rest. If there is some undamaged wax, leave it even if a section is damaged. The bees will repair. I suffered this with one of my hives this year as well. Do you have any SHB's? Learn all you can about them! Keep your hives strong as both of these pests will destroy a hive.

Welcome, Steve
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2007, 08:37:13 PM »

>I feel confident my hive was taken over by wax moths.

I'm sure it was, however that was not the cause of it's demise.  A strong successful hive doesn't get taken over.  It was failing in some way already when they moved in.  Likely causes of failure:

Queenlessness.
Laying workers (see queenlessness).
Varroa mites.
Starvation.
Pesticides.

Other possible causes, but not as likely:

Brood diseases (EFB or AFB).
Tracheal mites.

You may never figure out the cause but pay attention and you might.  as you go you'll get better at diagnosing problems, but only if you pay attention to the details.  Look for things like:

Are there stores left?
Are there pierced, sunken cappings on brood comb?
Are there scales in the bottom of brood cells?
Are there piles of dead bees in the hive and in front of the hive?
Are there tens of thousands of dead Varroa mites in the dead bees on the bottom?
Do the dead bees have a lot of deformed wings?
Do the dead bees have a lot of "K" wings?
Is there an inordinate amount of drone brood?
Are there a lot of drone caps on worker sized cell?
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Michael Bush
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JP
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« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2007, 08:53:24 PM »

Welcome Terry! As Michael mentioned, before a hive is taken over by wax moth, it has had some other type of problem that weakened the hive to the point that they could not defend themselves against the wax moth intrusion. Sorry for your loss. What type of frames and foundation are you using?
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tillie
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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2007, 07:15:55 AM »

Welcome, Terry.
Georgia is a great state in which to keep bees.  I know Dallas is a ways out but if you are ever in Atlanta on the second Wednesday of the month, stop by the Atlanta Botanical Garden for the Metro Atlanta Beekeepers meeting. 

Linda T in Atlanta
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Cindi
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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2007, 08:55:01 AM »

Terry, welcome, this is a great place to hang out and spend some great time learning.  Have a wonderful day, Cindi
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wtmartin
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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2007, 12:22:08 PM »

Thanks for the good advice and encouragement...to answer a few of the questions - no sign of beetles, bought my brood chamber and super from Dadant, I believe I used the EZ frames. I just might come to one of the bee meetings in Atlanta (that sounds like a good place to learn more about bees).

I started with just one brood chamber and added a queen excluder and super after the brood chamber was about 70% full of larvae and honey.  There was never any real work in the super.

I do agree with most of your comments that my real problem was a very weak hive to begin with.  I suspected that it was queenless in September when it seemed the numbers started dwindling fast.

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Terry
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