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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have three top bar hives (first year). In the third one, the colony has had difficulty from the get go. The package arrived with a damaged queen cage and she was either gone or killed. I re-queened - and she was a poor layer. I re-queened again last week. In all this time, the bees have seemed indifferent - only a few trying to go about their business, the rest just hanging around. With the new queen they seem to be picking up a bit. But the question is - the bottom of the hive is covered in wax flakes. Why would this be? They are drawing comb (albeit very slowly-might be 6 combs). But the flakes cover almost the length of the hive.
 

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I don't know squat about top bar hives or how they operate. However when I see wax flakes in the bottom of a langstroth hive I normally associate this with robbing.
 

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When you see wax flakes are you talking about chewed comb or the almost clear flake of wax that the bee has produced and either dropped it or it fell off of her?

Chewed comb could be robbing or if the bees have slowed down foraging for some reason they could be eating their own stores.

I might try feeding them to see if that would snap them out of it and get them to building comb again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's the clear flakes and I've been feeding them since the package arrived, though they don't take much syrup. I have a robber screen on the entrance. No signs of fighting. Could it be that these bees were without good direction from a viable queen for so long, that they just aren't sure of what they are doing?
 

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With that new queen in there things should turn around for ya hopefully. They should start drawing out comb for her to lay eggs in.
 

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im with tecon this one its a good sign the hive was being robbed. If they was week and unable to put up a fight there wouldnt bee the frenzy you see in most robbing cases
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Interesting thought regarding weak bees and less frenzy. Anything I can do at this point other than the robber screens? And hope the new queen turns them around. I'm very, very careful not letting syrup drips and bits of wax lie around, and only a few bars are opened at one time when I'm in the hive.
 

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reduce the entrance to where its easier for them to defend and feed them inside the hive if your feeding not sure what you use with a top bar hive but a boardman or a feeder that is easly accessed from outside by the bees will start robbing
 

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I get lots of wax capping flakes if i feed a hive a frame of capped honey from some other hive. They dive right in and uncap it to eat it. not robbing.
Did you give that hive any capped honey comb as food?
 
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