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Author Topic: Weak hive maybe SHB?  (Read 3248 times)
qa33010
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« on: June 03, 2006, 01:06:02 AM »

Well I installed three packages of Russians almost two months ago side by side.  After some drifting the middle hive exploded.  The end hives were a little weak but holding their own (the right one the weaker).  The queens were laying and plenty of open and capped brood.  We were gone to a funeral for a week and I looked them over briefly before we left.  After returning and taking care of more family issues, we again returned and I was able to get in the hives yesterday.  My son and I were in them and raising the left hive when he was nailed by five at once which cut our inspection short.  After making sure he was okay and calming him down I went out and put the one hive back together.  Here's what we found:

     The right hive (single deep) is growing well and getting strong.  Good brood and comb building.  Queen is healthy and a laying fool.

     The left hive (single deep) had larvae and pupa in front and on the ground as well as inside.  The comb looked a little discolored and there were a lot of drone capped brood.  There was some honey and pollen, but not much.  The queen was alive and eating but no attendants (there have not been any queen cells before) and a queen cell on one frame.  The hive is extremely weak.  My son saw the first brown bug traveling between combs (through them) they looked about 1/8" max round and brown but not like the pictures I've seen.  We killed about seven of them and we saw some very active slender larvae being dragged and kicked out of the hive. No sliming noted and no bad smell.  We also saw young bees that had tried to hatch and seemed to die in the attempt.  As we watched a bee attacked a beetle and another joined in dragging it to the edge of the frame and dropped it off the edge.

     I screwed up with this hive as I was called away when I was removing protien patties from the other two hives and forgot I left it in this one until before we went to the funeral and I didn't scrape it that well either or cut down the open area.  We did scrape the rest off and scraped out the bottom groove (never get this type again) on the frames

    I don't know if I should write this one off or pull all the frames shake the bees back in the hive and replace with starter strips, I'm still too new to have a supply of drawn comb, add a frame of brood and nurse bees with a frame of honey and pollen reduce the brood area to three or four frames and freeze the pulled frames.  Clean and throw away the contaminated comb or can it be reused if it has no slime, or would this attract more beetles?  I would like to use nematodes if available in the ground and keep it natural.  Is this a viable solution?

The middle (two deeps) and the feral (two deeps and a medium) hives both smell of honey as I walk by and beard the front of the hives when the temp gets high.

    So should I look at myself as a colony killing slimeball and learn from it or try and save it?  I have a bad habit of not giving up unless I know it prolongs misery and pain.  Sorry I got long winded, too much shift-change maintenance pass on in the Air Force.

Thanks!

David
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2006, 05:54:50 AM »

Here are a few suggestions you might try, I'm not going to guarantee they'll work but as B Franklin once said, "Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained."
1. Set up a new hive in the location of you current disaster.  Catch the queen and transfer her--shake out the bees infront of the hive.  You might need to use the queen cage that came with the package so I hope you saved it.  It's always a good idea to have a few laying around.  The foragers will return to the new hive.
2. Barrow a couple of frames from your feral monster to get the hive your rebuilding some help and to also aid in keeping the queen in.  Consider the use of a excluder between the BB and the brood box--this is on of the few times I approve of their use.
3. Melt all the cantaminated (that's all of it) comb from the existing hive and strain it out.  The frames can be boiled and then rebuilt.
4. obtain a small sized commercial variety cookie sheet about 18X24 (It has 1/2 inch sides all around) and place the hive in the middle. Pour in an 1/8 inch layer of vegatable oil to keep the land borne parasites out, i.e. ants and beetles. The size still enables you to get close enough to the hive to work it.
5. Consider feeding it again for a short period--again this is another exception to one of my rules.
6. Smile, you're going to learn a lot from this experience which is why I often give such wierd advice.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
qa33010
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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2006, 02:15:47 AM »

Hopefully this will show what I mean.  You'll see one photo just before a beetle is nailed by the two girls.  They are festooning and I can still see the queen.  Also there are dead beetles and larvae on the SBB.  Problem is I used a camera that had just been broken on a camping trip and lost juice.


http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j110/mydarlingheathens/SHB05June2006041.jpg

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j110/mydarlingheathens/SHB05June2006046.jpg

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j110/mydarlingheathens/SHB05June2006047.jpg


   There are no eggs or larvae and I have froze the comb that was in the box and reduced space also.  Can this be returned to the box or is it better to melt it and use it to secure starter strips?
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Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2006, 11:27:50 PM »

I would melt it. I took some chances this spring with a hive that had SHB pretty bad and ended up having to merge that hive with another.
SHB =  evil
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Apis629
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« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2006, 10:48:20 AM »

Seeing as SHB are TROPICAL climate insects, I'd think it's safe to assume that after 24 hours of being frozen, they'd be dead.
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qa33010
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2006, 08:50:05 PM »

Well after cleaning out the frames and freezing them and cutting out the comb that was messed up by the SHB I put them back in with three frames of starter strips.  I put on a top feeder and installed a robber screen.  I reduced the area to five frames with a box partition I cut from 1/4" plywood and left the SBB.  I also reset new moth traps in front of the hive.

     That was two weeks ago.  I did a quick look today with my wife and here's what we found.  First the robbing was now non-existent.  There was a good sized wood cockroach that was trying to rob and they killed off (good girls!!!  GOOD GIRLS!!).  Where before all we had were a couple drone brood we now have capped and open brood and eggs in an excellent pattern.  Bees are making new comb (they have ignored the frames that were frozen other than cleaned them out) on starter strips and have pollen in outside cells.  

     They are still on the edge of survival.  I checked the frames I put back in and they have no food or brood.  I reduced the box size further to three frame with the divider.  There was a small spider on one that webbed down and was killed by the girls.  I kept this inspection quick as possible and am guardedly EXCITED.

    Thanks for the input everyone...If progress continues I'll get some pictures posted.      Now if I can keep out for at least another two weeks.

David
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Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)
qa33010
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« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2006, 02:01:00 AM »

I missed part of the suggestions given, but here's an update.  I hope this helps other newbees with my experience at botching a job.  When I went back this past Monday to see if I needed to add more brood frames I witnessed an event I hope to never see again.

When I approached the hive I saw what looked like hundreds of workers and some drones outside the hive.  They were acting a little weird, going to the entrance and backing out.  There were a bunch in the air.  Then as I got down in front of the hive I saw the queen come out.  The workers all congregated around her and those airborne landed also.  Then some bees took off and circled followed by the queen and then the rest of the workers took off.  Moments later they took off North.  When it finally dawned that I may have just witnessed an absconding I got my gear and opened the hive.  Inside were wax worm larvae and a couple bees.  Trashed out comb and darkened clumped slimey comb and a little bit of webbing.  The frames when in the freezer until yesterday and the box was dumped and larvae killed (the first I've ever seen).  

Here's the events from my incompitence:

1.  May - feeding new package sugar syrup and  
    protein patty.  

2.  May - Removed patties from other installed
    packages but not this one as I was called
    away before I entered to remove the patty.  
   
3.  Spaced that I didn't remove it and went to
    Minnesota for a funeral a couple weeks later
    watched them briefly before getting in the
    van to leave.  

4.  June - Noticed brood outside the hive.
    Entered the hive and son saw SHB and  
    destroyed comb.  Reduced brood space to
    three frames added two frames of brood and
    killed as many SHB seen.  Froze affected
    frames and removed wax.  Fed sugar syrup.
   
5.  July - Added more brood.  Queen laying but
    population is still weak.  Brood pattern
    excellent but small.  Not many house bees
    good number of foragers.  Bees are
    defending  home.  Still weak but bringing in
    pollen and nectar from somewhere.  Brood
    space still reduced to three frames.

6.  August - Still weak but seem to be holding
    own.  Went out Monday and watched above
    happen...happy stinking birthday...  

     On an aside with the wax moths; I was with out trap protection for about a week.

I hope this helps someone from messing up like I did.  Starting next year I'm only feeding pollen that I trapped, froze and marked for the hives they came from.

   David

Also I was given some great advise and I thank everyone.

Brian, I'm going to have my wife with me the next time so she can remind me what I have forgotten with my swiss cheese memory.  I just reread your recommendations and believe it may have worked.  I'm boiling the frames tomorrow.  

Edit;  The extra frame (3rd) was a starter strip that was drawn half way down.
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Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)
Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2006, 08:19:41 AM »

One thing I forgot to point out is that it important to replace all the wooden ware when dealing with live parasites as cracks and crevices can give them a place to hide and the result is you've only delayed the inevitiable.  Replace all woodenware and then treat the original stuff by scorching and or boiling.  cutout, melt and replace comb and foundation.
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qa33010
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« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2006, 02:36:09 PM »

Brian  I did freeze the frames and cut out all wax.  Is this okay or do I still need to boil or scorch?

EDIT: I did boil the first frames but the second ones were in the freezer until yesterday when I finally remembered them.

Thanks
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Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)
Brian D. Bray
Galactic Bee
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Location: Anacortes, WA 98221

I really look like this, just ask Cindi.


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« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2006, 10:55:08 PM »

if all of the wooden ware was put in the freezer you should be okay where the hive bodies are concerned, it not I'd still run a blow torch over the inner surfaces of the hive.  Believe if or not I've found that the bees seem to prefer the scorched wood over the finished wood.  Give the choice the bees will go into the hive with the charred interior.  I've done it several times with swarms--give the choice of home and they've gone charred wood every time.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
qa33010
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« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2006, 01:20:14 AM »

Well I have the brood box in a plastic bag since I tore the hive remenants apart.  I'll scorch it and make sure I mark it SHB scorch so I don't forget why I did it.  Here we have to burn everything for AFB, so I'll be able to remember when I get inspected for transport.  

Thanks Brian!

David
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Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)
Jack Parr
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« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2006, 05:59:41 PM »

Quote from: qa33010
Well I have the brood box in a plastic bag since I tore the hive remenants apart.  I'll scorch it and make sure I mark it SHB scorch so I don't forget why I did it.  Here we have to burn everything for AFB, so I'll be able to remember when I get inspected for transport.  

Thanks Brian!

David


From reading your looong tales of woe I think you had a wax moth problem.  That is probably the cause of your bees absounding and not the SHB.

Wax moths go hand and glove with bees and are not really a problem if taken care of.

YOU MUST NOT let your bee population diminish in relationship to their hive space. Meaning that the bees should crowd ALL the frames both sides, if there is comb. IF your frames with comb have too few bees then the space should be reduced as in transferring the frames to a 4 or 5 frame nuc or what ever size box that will do the job of crowding the bees on the frames. Then if per chance there is some wax moth larva/eggs/worms  hidden in the comb the bees will quickly clean that comb and expel the intruders. If you can see tunnels like affair covered with cobweb looking stuff and small black " balls or specks for want of a better word which is really deficant " then that is a sure fired sign that your bee population is too low. Bees will cope with both the Wax moth and the SHB as long as they are plentiful

For Small Hive Beetle hives should be kept infull sun. The populations once again should be plentiful and the will chase and harass the beetles out of the hive. If you have a screen botton board the SHB like to congregate up near the cover and that is where they will usually be found. If your hive has too much space, not enough bees, they cannot take care of the beetles.

I don't think your problem is AFB or anything else other than what I suggested.

You can PM me if you want more help.

Jack
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