Hive update

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Hobie, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

    Messages:
    1,399
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Finally got to peek in at my poor neglected hive. Looks like they are doing fine without me!

    This was the one with the empty bottom box. Well, lack of space did indeed, push the queen down, and there is a good brood pattern on the 2 frames I pulled out. Upper 2 supers are a mix of brood and honey. They were busting at the seams, so I added a super.

    The SBB was covered with several hundreds more larvae mummies. All seemed well in the hive, so all I can guess is that they had a massive kill early in the spring when we had a cold snap, and the ladies have just been cleaning the cells on an as-needed basis.
     
  2. Omie

    Omie New Member

    Messages:
    2,845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi Hobie,
    I'm just wondering why all those dead larvae are being left on the screen bottom board. Hundreds sounds abnormal. And I would think the housekeeper bees would be taking them out of the hive to dispose of them. You call them 'mummies'- do they look like this?:
    http://img235.imageshack.us/img235/1414 ... d05gr8.jpg

    If so, then it sounds like you may have a case of chalkbrood. Chalkbrood can be fought by improving ventilation in the hive- like adding upper openings to reduce humidity and increase air flow, or even as simple as propping the top up in the front with a couple of popsicle sticks.
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I would agree with Omie here.

    of course the mummies could be from a number of causes. I have long suspect some diseases (chalkbrood, efb) may have nutritional aspect since they will often times clear themselves up with a good flow. both seem to display themselves most severely during an excessively wet spring.

    Hobie writes:
    Looks like they are doing fine without me!

    tecumseh:
    yes they usually do.
     
  4. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Hobie writes:
    Looks like they are doing fine without me!

    tecumseh:
    yes they usually do.


    But YOU are a beekeeper, and in this case, they can do better WITH your help.
    Whenever you find an accumulation of dead bees/larvae or even "dirt" in the hive, your best move is to clear them out. At minimum, you save the bees a lot of hard work that they could be applying to more productive tasks. At best, you can be removing a potential source of infection or hiding places for wax worms or other pests.
     
  5. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

    Messages:
    1,399
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Alas, I am a beekeeper working 11 hour days!

    Anyway, it could very well be chalkbrood - looks a lot like the photo. However, I have a fully open screen bottom board, and shims on top of the inner cover to lift the top. The grass around the hive is reasonably short, and there is no grass under the hive. The hive gets full sun for about 4 hours a day. (The bees are using the upper deck as their main entrance.) I'm not sure what else I can do. Can't control the fact that it has been raining so much this year.

    I did clear the dead off the SBB, by the way.