The Bee Graveyard smells...

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Eddy Honey, May 19, 2012.

  1. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    I am in the process of tranferring my hives from pallets set on black weed block paper to cinder blocks and 4x4's to make it neater and easier to work the hives out in the beeyard.

    I was working near my mega-hive because tomorrow we were hoping to remove our first honey crop.
    They had a pile of bees in the usual corner on the black paper where they've always hauled the dead and dying. It was a sizeable pile in that I could cup my hands and probably get a handful.

    I noticed a very faint odor like seafood that has set out in the sun for too long. It wasn't overwhelming and would come and go but nevertheless......do rotting bee corpses stink?

    I know what I need to do and that is get into this hive and have a peek. I was hoping to hold out until tomorrow as bee-ing a newer beek my wife says I'm in there way too much.

    They were good a week ago Friday.
     
  2. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    anything organic generates methane gas as a by product of decay, if one bee corpse you won't know it, if it's a few thousand----you will recognize it immediately.
    Barry
     

  3. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    After being out there working and smelling it away from the hives in places I now know the smell is rotting soybean piles that the farmer across the street must have disturbed while working the fields yesterday/today.
    Man that stinks!
    I checked the hive. They are queenless because they swarmed last week. There was a capped queen-cell and another that was destroyed/chewed through on the side.
    They've been so close to giving me honey for the last couple of weeks. One super is fully capped except for 1" in the bottom corners. The kids and I are hoping they get busy and finish it off already!
     
  4. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    A new sister queen killed that queen cell by attacking it from the side. The old queen left with the swarm. A new queen emerged from a cell and attacked and killed off the side-ripped rival queen in her cell. There is another capped queen cell which may or may not contain a live queen.
    Most likely the virgin queen is about to, in the middle of, or has finished her mating flight and is either wandering inside the hive now or will be shortly. She may not be large and noticeable yet. The other capped cell may also emerge or may be killed by the new virgin queen. Or, it may be not viable. But the hive is not 'queenless'....odds are high that you have a young queen in progress. :smile:
     
  5. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    Hope so Omie.

    I checked my queen castle and saw 4 honey colored virgin queens running. around, 1 in each compartment.
    It sure is nice to have queens on standby.
    It'll be interesting to try and manage these standby queens.
    I'll probably start some nucs with them and see if I can build them up to full hives.