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Author Topic: Small hair-like "things"  (Read 4474 times)
ArmucheeBee
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« on: July 30, 2008, 04:36:31 PM »

On my bottom board and landing area I found small hair-like things mixed in with the wax debris the bees have chewed.  None of these are more than 1/2 inch long, some straight, curved, curling, etc.  All the same old, brown color like the wax.  Could this be some type of fungus?  I have seen fungus make hair-like projections (not in a bee hive, though).
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Stephen Stewart
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« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2008, 06:33:21 PM »

This sounds alien to me - and a lot of other folks too I bet.

Any chance you can post a picture?

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Moonshae
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« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2008, 06:43:31 PM »

Sounds like it could be broken off bee legs, cell rims, discarded wax pieces, or propolis pieces. I doubt it's a fungus.
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ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2008, 07:57:01 PM »

They are not legs, I have a biology background.  That's what thought at first until I looked closer.  The bees are chewing up a lot of wax right now so the bottom board really has a lot of that too.  The "things" are very hairlike, no rough edges.  I'll try for a pic but they are so small I don't know if the camera will zoom in to it.

Thank you for replies.



« Last Edit: July 31, 2008, 07:26:42 AM by Robo » Logged

Stephen Stewart
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Cindi
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2008, 02:04:30 PM »

Stephen, I don't think it is anything to worry about.  I think maybe it might be dried pieces of grassy things or something like that. I doubt that any fungus would grow like that on the bottomboard, seriously.  Ignore it.  Beautiful and most wonderful day, Cindi
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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2008, 02:45:16 PM »

Do you set your hive bodies or frames on the ground during inspections? They almost look like plant roots that could have gotten stuck, and then pulled off by the bees.
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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2008, 04:40:43 PM »

I want to say that I saw something like that in my hive that was infested with SHB larvae.  I'm not sure that they were that long, though.

Do you have SHBs in there?
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Rick
ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2008, 05:58:59 PM »

I do have SHB.  I kill 6-10 each time I open.  These things are very crumbly.  I tried to pick one up and could never get the whole thing.  It just kept falling apart.  So maybe it's from chewing off the caps, like someone suggested.  My combs are from the house I cut the bees from.  So the comb is very old.  I plan to start putting in new frames this weekend.  Just got a new queen.  Thanks for all your replies.
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Stephen Stewart
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« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2008, 08:58:06 PM »

Maybe it is wood shavings left on the comb when it was scraped from the cutout? Thin, crumbly. A wild guess  Kiss
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« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2008, 09:00:25 PM »

Are there any bees in that hive? (Only saw one on the entrance) If so, I don't think its normal for them to let the bottom board accumulate that much debris (seems pretty weak), Maybe this hive is being robbed out, and what you see is chewed cappings etc. I think I also saw a couple SHB larva in that photo.They are very small at first. If so, be on the look out. With a weak hive, they will take over very quick.
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ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2008, 09:14:34 PM »

The hive is small and only taken from the house 3 weeks ago.  I requeened two Sunday's ago and did not see her when I checked after 7 days.  I'm about to put on a screened BB.  I thought it seemed a little too dirty there too.  I started feeding them Monday this week 1:1.  Any suggestions?
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Stephen Stewart
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« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2008, 09:35:29 PM »

If the hive is weak, and queenless than i would suggest combining with another hive. Depending on how bad the SHB infestation is you may want to shake off the bees freeze the comb and replace before combining. In my area, feeding will encourage more robbing if your in a dearth. Also, order some SHB traps soon. With only a few guard bees, your hive will be drawing them in faster than they can fight them off.
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« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2008, 12:32:28 AM »

Not to say you may not have a SHB problem later, but what you are showing in the pics are not related to SHB. Is any of your equipment some sort of fiber board etc. Looks like hive debris not to be concerned with.

Stay on top of the shb:

-Watch for adults free roaming and hiding in comb --- not so much a few corralled by the bees on covers etc
-Watch for a sort of dark greasy look to brood comb---especially where pollen present
-Watch for larvae--- definitely a bad sign--- usually late in game
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« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2008, 09:42:58 PM »

     Looks like quilting or knitting scraps. Smiley

    Actually I have seen this in a couple hives.  Usually from scraps of debris as Cindi and Moonshae suggested. 
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« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2008, 10:38:24 AM »

Do you think it might be dried slug or snail faeces? At night when it is damp they crawl acorss the bottom boards.
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ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2008, 06:47:57 PM »

I think we decided it was the bees cleaning the old comb and it made these little things as they continuously cut it.  They stopped after I took most of the old comb out.
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Stephen Stewart
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« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2008, 11:26:57 PM »

Ok, this is much to late to be helpful, but I finally have picture proof of what I said earlier.  A couple of extracted frames had a bit of pollen remaining, and the SHB set up shop.  Size perspective is a little difficult, but the SHB larvae definatley leave little strings behind.  I don't know how long the SHB strings get or if the bees can remove them intact. 

Was there any pollen or SHB maggots on that old comb?

You can click on them and zoom if desired






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Rick
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« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2008, 09:54:49 AM »

Rick, very great and interesting pictures.  I hope that is not what was on the bottomboard, that SHB is a nasty, nasty, nasty.  We don't have it up here, hope it never ever comes.  Have the best of 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
ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2008, 09:00:08 PM »

That looks like it.  I never saw the SHB larva in the hive but that definitely look like the same thing.  Is that their excrement?   Or a product of chewing?   I do have SHB but I have not had any comb destruction.  Great detective work.
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Stephen Stewart
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« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2008, 08:48:05 AM »

I haven't done any tests or research...but my theory is that it is SHB larvae poo...undigestible wax as they chew through the comb processing pollen and honey.

When you mentioned that there was old comb in there and the weird detrius stopped when that was removed, that makes me wonder if there were some current or probably older damage from the SHB larvae.  Bees won't trash comb and wax, they will just get rid of the bad parts(cocoons?) and reuse any wax that they chew off.

Rick
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