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Author Topic: What the heck is this?  (Read 2084 times)

Offline tlynn

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What the heck is this?
« on: December 06, 2008, 10:57:09 PM »
Hi All,

I was going through one of our hives today and came across a small worm rummaging through a frame on a super.  I'm guessing it's SHB larvae but wanted to post just to make sure.  Unfortunately after going through the pictures I didn't get a shot of the worm and when I set the frame aside it seemed to have run off.  The worm was very active.  I'd say it was between 1/8 and 1/4 inches long.  Anyway the frame is in the freezer and I'll return it to them next week or so.  I inspected all the other frames and didn't see anything else like it.

http://www.purplemangomedia.com/IMG_0093.JPG

I suppose this is what to expect from a weak hive.  The hive has shrunk quite a bit the last couple months, maybe swarmed, I don't know.  Just about no capped brood except for some drone cells.  I found a queen and there are sporadic eggs and some larvae only on 2 frames, though nothing like the other hive.  A couple frames are nearly full of pollen.  I haven't seen this in the other hive.  The middle brood frames were maybe 50% covered with bees (middle of day) and sparse bees on the outer frames.  I was thinking of moving a frame of brood from the strong hive to help it along.  Would that be help?  If so, should I shake off the bees before I rotate the frames?  Order a queen from Hawaii?

Any ideas on all the above would be greatly appreciated. 

Tracy

Offline BjornBee

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Re: What the heck is this?
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2008, 11:00:16 PM »
Not SHB.

It's classic wax moth larvae.

If the hive has dwindled, remove all extra boxes and comb. Freeze them a day or two.
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Offline johnnybigfish

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Re: What the heck is this?
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2008, 11:10:06 PM »
hey bjorn, are the black specks the larva or the turds?

your friend,
john

Offline BjornBee

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Re: What the heck is this?
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2008, 11:55:19 PM »
hey bjorn, are the black specks the larva or the turds?

your friend,
john

Turds..... :shock:
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Offline annette

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Re: What the heck is this?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2008, 01:41:31 AM »
I had one hive that got the wax moths this summer. I had way to many supers on top and did not know they were dwindling down. I was able to save the hive by bringing them down from 6 medium supers to 2 medium supers. I crowded them in and then they were able to defend themselves from the moth and remove them.  They are now my strongest hive.

Good luck

annette

If the population is really low, then bring them down to just one super. Crowd them in really good.

Offline adgjoan

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Re: What the heck is this?
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2008, 05:10:45 AM »
Is this the reason nuc boxes are so small?  Joan in KY

Offline tlynn

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Re: What the heck is this?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2008, 08:26:19 AM »
Ah...wax moths.

The hive has one super on it that I was planning on leaving for them until citrus in March-April.  The outer frames of the brood box have plenty of honey.  So BjornBee ,should I freeze the super and not put it back on for now?  I think I may be over cautious about keeping a supply of honey for them.  For my 2 hives they each have a pretty full super and I have another super and a half set aside and they seem to still be bringing in nectar.


Offline BjornBee

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Re: What the heck is this?
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2008, 08:59:08 AM »
Is this the reason nuc boxes are so small?  Joan in KY

Nuc boxes are used for a variety of reasons. Each use may take advantage of the benefits of: Less resources being used in queen rearing, less to defend for starter colonies, trapped heat benefits, ease of movement between yards, and so on. I do not think that a nuc box for most people include wax moth defense, but certainly anytime you compress a small swarm or split into the smallest box, they can deal with issues easier.

A nuc box is something ever beekeeper should have on hand. Whether it's for a small swarm or to place a couple queen cells into.
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Offline BjornBee

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Re: What the heck is this?
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2008, 09:10:42 AM »
Ah...wax moths.

The hive has one super on it that I was planning on leaving for them until citrus in March-April.  The outer frames of the brood box have plenty of honey.  So BjornBee ,should I freeze the super and not put it back on for now?  I think I may be over cautious about keeping a supply of honey for them.  For my 2 hives they each have a pretty full super and I have another super and a half set aside and they seem to still be bringing in nectar.



tlynn,
Where you are at, they may be bringing something about all the time. But for now, I would be compressing them down (the one with wax moth larvae) into a smaller area to defend. (Don't worry about swarming until after the winter solstice and the next flow.) Freezing the box will also kill off any eggs, and it's normally what you don't see that will be much more damaging.

If this hive is truly weakened, try to find the reason why. You mention no brood and some drone cells. You probably have a bad queen and need to get that corrected. Don't be afraid to swap a frame or two of capped brood from the other hive to keep the numbers up. And get another queen. I think the telltale sign is the last ditch attempt by them to raise drones, indicates a situation beyond the normal slowdown or shutdown of brood rearing.
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Offline Cindi

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Re: What the heck is this?
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2008, 10:40:00 AM »
Tracy, that silky tunnelling-kind-of-thing that you see in the picture is a sure-fired sign of the wax moth, the black specks is the frass.  I have seen this once only, and those silky tunnels are what the larvae live in.  I had a wax moth larvae that was crawling across a frame that I had stored in the house, it was trying to get back into the silky tunnel and did.  It had been disrupted when I picked up the frame I guess.  I couldn't believe it when I saw it climb back into the web, guess they can see pretty good.  Have a wonderful, awesome life and day, health.  Cindi
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Offline JP

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Re: What the heck is this?
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2008, 11:19:44 AM »
Ah...wax moths.

Who here has popped the cocoons and had them squirt in your eye, hands up, my hand is up!


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Offline BjornBee

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Re: What the heck is this?
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2008, 12:07:09 PM »
Ah...wax moths.

Who here has popped the cocoons and had them squirt in your eye, hands up, my hand is up!


...JP :-D

Ah yes, memories. :fishhit:

I had an inner cover once that was just loaded with larvae and cocoons. Tool the hive and thought I would just scrape them off. I use the "hook" end. Crap went flying all over the place as I probably scraped 50 of them in one pass.
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Offline Cindi

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Re: What the heck is this?
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2008, 01:47:23 PM »
JP, Bjornbee, ich, ich, ich.

No one likes me, everybody hates me, going to the garden to eat worms, long, long slimey ones, juicy, juicy grimey ones, greasy, greasy, grimey, grimey worms!!!  (Remember that little diddy?)  I can imagine those wax moth larvae, squirting their life juices EVERYWHERE!!!  Have a great and most wonderful day, Cindi
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

Offline steveouk

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Re: What the heck is this?
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2008, 03:06:03 PM »
That's wax moth

Offline rast

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Re: What the heck is this?
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2008, 05:28:37 PM »
 BJORNBEE said "If this hive is truly weakened, try to find the reason why. You mention no brood and some drone cells. You probably have a bad queen and need to get that corrected. Don't be afraid to swap a frame or two of capped brood from the other hive to keep the numbers up. And get another queen. I think the telltale sign is the last ditch attempt by them to raise drones, indicates a situation beyond the normal slowdown or shutdown of brood rearing."
 I experienced this with two hives this past fall. Even after I stopped the moth larva the queens would not start relaying. The moth larva were able to survive because the hive got weak. It just seemed like both hives got in a state of depression and gave up. My thoughts were they would requeen themselves, but they didn't.
 Also as he mentioned its what you didn't see, the hundreds of unhatched eggs that are in there. They will hatch and grow very quickly and overwhelm the hive.
 I have some Xentari BT and will let you have enough to spray that hive with. PM me if you want it.
 
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Offline tlynn

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Re: What the heck is this?
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2008, 12:02:55 AM »
Thanks everyone for the advice, and to Rast for the offer.  I PM'ed you.  Yes, I am going to to requeen.  Anyone know of where to get one in December?  Do I need to freeze any of the honey/pollen frames in the brood chamber or just the super, where I found the larva?

I will move over some brood too.  Do I need to shake off the other hive's bees first?

Offline BjornBee

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Re: What the heck is this?
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2008, 01:40:13 PM »
  Do I need to shake off the other hive's bees first?

As long as there is no queen attached, the option is up to you. I sometimes leave them on, but also will smoke them heavily, or spray them with some sugar water. By the time the smoke clears or they clean up the syrup, you will not get any fighting. You probably would be transferring over younger nurse bees, and without many field bees, they will be accepted.
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Offline tlynn

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Re: What the heck is this?
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2008, 05:38:42 PM »
Update - 1 frame of brood moved to weak hive.  Queen released after 2 days in cage and she's happily laying.  Going to feed for a bit to make sure she kicks in laying.  All seems good.  Weather's upper 70s all week and big orientation flight this afternoon.

 

anything