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Author Topic: Checked the hive today  (Read 1555 times)
sangoo
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« on: March 11, 2005, 07:44:05 PM »

Well, spring is here in North Idaho where we are experiencing beautiful weather. The bees have been flying for several days now so thought I would take a look at the inside of the hive.....quite a mess. Dead bees all over the bottom board, as well as some mold and detritus. A few of the cells had mold too. There was LOTS of honey in the frames. I didn't see a queen...not to say that there isn't one....and there were just a few frames of bees. I think I saw some brood, but will wait a few days to see if any is capped by then. Some bees were carrying pollen, and there was some in the cells. My thinking is that now is when the queen (if there is one) will start laying...because there is now pollen. My question is: is there any need to feed the bees, since there is plenty of honey? I am thinking that I should so that I can give them some terramyicin. Also, is the mold anything to worry about, or is it there because there was some moisture on the bottom board?

Sangoo

Thanks for any insights you can give me.
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Robo
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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2005, 08:13:05 PM »

The mold is nothing to worry about, as long as the moisture is not too bad. The bees will clean it up once it gets warmer and the population grows.  Did you have an upper vent/entrance? The mold is a sign of poor ventilation and moisture.

Not that I medicate with TM anymore,  but if I recall, it does not last very well in syrup and is best to treat using the sugar dusting method.

The collecting of pollen is a good sign that there is brood or a queen.

Good luck....
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sangoo
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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2005, 08:18:16 PM »

I did have an upper vent entrance. In addition to that I lifted the inner cover about  an eighth of an inch to help with ventilation over winter. I guess there is no way to keep it completely dry.
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« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2005, 08:27:20 PM »

That is good.  If you hadn't of had the upper ventilation, there would have been a good chance that the miosture would have been too severe and you would have lost the hive.

Do they show any signs of dysentary/nosema?  Dark brown feces stains on/or around the hive?   If not,  they I would not be worried, just keep the upper ventilation until the hive dries out.
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Finsky
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2005, 03:18:31 AM »

Quote from: sangoo
and there were just a few frames of bees. I think I saw some brood, but will wait a few days to see if any is capped by then. .


You must now limit the frame space as big as bees crew the frames.
If you have possibility to build insulated box for bees it helps a lot.

If you have 5 frames bees, you will get normal hive.

If you by a styrofoam insutaling board, from that you get easily proper box.

.
Quote

is there any need to feed the bees, since there is plenty of honey? .
 No need for that. Keep your honey and give them later on summer.  Nosema may be the killer of bees.

.
Quote

I am thinking that I should so that I can give them some terramyicin. Also, is the mold anything to worry about, or is it there because there was some moisture on the bottom board?
.


After winter there is many kind of mesh in the hive. Moisture is normal on bottom board because, when warm air meets the cold surface, it makes droplets.

When wether is good, close hive's upper entrance. Bees learn to find lower entrance during day. First they try to go through upper entrance.

I have used terrarium heaters with that kind of case. I have got normal hives from those "few frames hives" and they have brought 180 lbs honey next summer.

Most important, give them warm insutated box and take away extra space.
Later see if brood is porous. Give terramysin, if you  see collapsed larvas. Also chalk brood can attach that kind of hive, but for that warm hive is the best medicin.

Put lower entrance small, not bigger than one inch. If they ventilate much ouside, make it bidder.
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sangoo
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2005, 12:06:33 PM »

The bees definately have nosema. Since it has been warmer (50s and 60s) I decided to clean up. I put the frames in clean, dry boxes. I think the suggestion to take away extra space is good. They seem to all want to be in the upper box, so I will remove the lower chamber that is pretty empty. Will the nosema go away now that it is warmer and dry in there? Is there anything else I should be doing? I really appreciate the help.
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Robo
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2005, 12:20:38 PM »

Sounds like you have done the right thing,  by reducing them down.  As the weather warms up,  they will be less stressed by the moisture, and as long as there is enough bees left the keep the brood warm and feed it, they should over come it.
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Finsky
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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2005, 03:22:37 PM »

Quote from: sangoo
I did have an upper vent entrance. In addition to that I lifted the inner cover about  an eighth of an inch to help with ventilation over winter. I guess there is no way to keep it completely dry.


That lifting of inner cover is not good. The upper entrance is enough and it is valuable.  Extra space inside hive is cold and moisture turns into dropelent  on walls.

If you have tighter space, hive would be warmer and dryer. It will never be "completely" dry.  When I have looked inside my hives, there are hanging icicles and on the bottomboad there may be plenty of ice. But they survive.

The most inportant thing is that you have a strain which is good genetic abilty to stand winter.  Nothingh helps, if bees does not have that ability. You have lost plenty of bees, but I can tell that that happens to individula hives and it is normal.

Every year I have one or two hives which act oddly. Some 2 box hive may come ouside during winter and there is only  the queen and coffee cup size bee ball.  Why it is so, I don't know.

But now your hive is alive and they will get rid of nosema. Some queens became sick and they are not able lay eggs any more.

But dont worry. Who lives he sees!
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