Hive Meltdown

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by letitbee, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. letitbee

    letitbee New Member

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    I just posted earlier that my 2 hives that swarmed seemed to be recovering. I just came in from checking them and one hive is ok but the other has melted down. I guess the colony from that hive absconded and the hive is loaded with maggots eating the dead brood. There is still lots of bees in the hive but I have no way of knowing if they have a queen or not. I had a second deep on the hive and it has no comb yet so I put that clean box on the bottom board and shook all the bees out onto the grass in front of the hive and they started going in right away. I really need some good advice here. Being that the other colony simply swarmed about 5 days ago, I have no frames of eggs to give the melted hive for them to make a queen. I guess I will wait a few days until they have calmed down and go back in to see if they have a queen. If not should I just combine them? What a mess, melted comb , honey stores all flowing out onto the bottom board, maggots everywhere. Those poor bees.:sad:
     
  2. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    Sounds like a classic case of small hive beetle taking over a week hive
     

  3. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I will second the SHB, they will drive the bees out of the hive, have personally seen this, not a pretty site for sure.
     
  4. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    If you find you are queenless but you still have lots of bees, why not just buy another queen?
     
  5. letitbee

    letitbee New Member

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    Perry, they have no drawn comb, and no stores of anything. There was not one beetle to be found in either hive. The comb that is left is literally melted. It seems a bit late to get a new queen when we are in a dearth. I could try re-queening but I doubt they could build up enough reserves to over-winter. I am going to check them tonight and see if they have a queen, if not, I will combine them into my good hive. I am also going to put some screen netting over the hives today to block some of the sun. We are expecting over 100 degree heat index again today.
     
  6. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    The sun isn't the issue, colony strength is, enough bees to fan and circulate air is, providing a water source for them is also very helpful. I will assume your colony is one story ( brood chamber ) and solid bottom board. Even so bees are more then capable of properly ventilating the hive in full sun, with alittle water they will have bees collecting water, others throughout the hive fanning their wings, some facing in the hive some facing out and others doing the same thing to create proper circulation to bring air in, and to force air out. Others will splash water around the inside, this reduces to water vapor that collects heat, and is moved outside the hive by air movement, caused by bees fanning their wings---really quite efficient if there is enough bees doing it.
    Barry
     
  7. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    If it isnt SHB than I would say its wax moths a good stong hive shouldnt have any larva in the hive other than the bees. Either or the hive is week and at this point I would guess it is doomed unless you can salvage a nuc out of it. How are you thinking of combining? You may end up with 2 hives in trouble if not careful. I would shake the bees out in front of the strong hive and move on:thumbsup:
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a barry snip...
    The sun isn't the issue, colony strength is, enough bees to fan and circulate air is, providing a water source for them is also very helpful.

    tecumseh:
    well maybe yes and maybe no????

    with the record setting temperatures in the northern tier states temperature could well be the issue although without a doubt a hive's capacity to ventilate a hive also comes into question. in such circumstance how a beekeeper sets up a hive can also make a large difference.

    we regularly have temperatures here in excess of 100 for extended periods of time and yes hive can literally melt down. multiple entrances and most especially upper entrances seems to help as does reducing the number of frames in the bee hive by 1 frame both seem to help.

    a good water supply for cooling is without a doubt essential requirement number one.

    a snippet...
    I guess the colony from that hive absconded and the hive is loaded with maggots eating the dead brood.

    tecumseh:
    could be flies but also could be small hive beetle larvae. if these are actually eating the brood I would suspect they are fly type maggots.
     
  9. jewelant

    jewelant New Member

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    How big are the maggots? If they are smaller ones I would suspect hive beetles. I just lot 4 hive to this very thing. No queens, one hive swarmed to get away from them, and it took a week to disinfect and clean up the mess. My one remaining hive has a queen, but I destroyed the maggot/beetle infestation with a vacuume (small nozzle) soapy hot water in a tote, power washer and chlorox. I transferred the remaining bees to a fresh hive and am feeding them outside the hive so as not to feed the remaining beetles that might still be among them. Listen, I have discovered several things while going through this, and I wrote an article on it on my blog, which you can find here:

    I realize that some remedies are not expedient for commercial beekeepers due to the expense and logistics. I’m a backyard beekeeper, so am working at this from a different situation so bear with me.

    My one remaining hive has a queen, a new hive and frames, and is starting over in JULY for goodness sake. Recently they discovered the small hive beetle on yet another Hawaiian island. BUT people are working on solutions and inventions to contain the problem. I ordered some predatory nematodes for the soil under my hive area, and dusted with the varroa mite remedy powdered sugar, which angers the bees to chase beetles also. Some of my other solutions, born of observation of what was left:
    http://jewelant.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/small-hive-beetle-help/