I have a swarm I hived in a nuc in late June. I had been feeding it and watching it for a while. I decided to keep it here @ the house rather than move to my yard. Basically because I just wanted to watch it and had no bees here. I had a couple full size colonies here once I had to move due to visits to the neighbors. So occasionally, I move a nuc in and out to get my bee fix! I was ready to move it to a larger home, it was growing well and heavy. Here's what I found the day or so before i decided to move it.
Looks like a nuc that may be a little overcrowded or hot and needs ventilation. Naw see the vent hole. Also one on the back side and a crack in the top lid. The bees are in a cluster similar to a beard but seem to be restless like they may swarm or something.
Let's Take a closer look:
Well I already suspected what I was about to find. I had entered a couple days before this photo and there were at least a hundred hive beetle at the top of this trap (AJ's). I looked in the trap and I had let the oil get low or spilled it. A further inspection revealed hive beetle roaming the comb, a bad sign. I filled the trap and in two days trapped at least two hundred or so. Did not enter no further.
When I saw the cluster outside, I knew I was in trouble. I have seen it before. My experience is at a certain point, be it due to a scent the hive beetle give off, desperation or whatever, they cluster outside and prepare to abscond. On entry they are usually docile(I guess they figure nothing to protect), probably gorged with honey, waiting for the queen to be ready. Not sure if she is flight ready because of the quick crash.
Two days or so before lots of hive beetle, but good brood and heavy with feed. This is what I found:
Great hygiene but everything tore down and gone, in about two days.
A close look and you can see some beetles(black specks on frame in picture).
I busted it down, found the queen during alot of frustration (I want get into), shook them out away from hive, placed them in a new home, feed them, and placed the old comb in freezer. Time will tell, but it doesn't look encouraging. I will probably combine with another later.
My mistakes (same ones you have read here post after post on shb) Mistakes I was well aware of ahead of time;
I knew I have a shb problem in my home yard and brought the nuc here against my better judgment --- poor choice
I have lost colonies and nucs here before but not colonies or nucs this strong).
Not full sunshine--- leaf matter on ground. How many times have you heard full. And I fell soil consistency in some places plays a difference (sand, clay, etc). The shb love the leaf matter.
Feeder top homemade and two many cracks for hive beetle to hide and I was well aware of this
. How many times have you heard --- seal all cracks where shb can hide from bees.
I let the trap get low --- dumb mistake!!! Not sure what happened here??? I Usually don't make this mistake. I have played with the traps and position of the traps and covering the traps etc.
The biggest mistake ----KNOWING BETTER and doing it anyway
The cost of the swarm and sugar to feed (well you know) --- the stupidity of the things I did when knowing better --- PRICELESS