Winter hives and bees removing brood?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Bigwig, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. Bigwig

    Bigwig New Member

    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Midwinter greetings to everyone (although around here it's been pretty mild weather most of the time...)

    I've been monitoring my hives on a weekly basis this winter, and noticed some condensation under the outer cover. I propped open the upper lid just enough to let air flow, and to also act as a second entrance. However, we've been having pretty warm and mild weather - as warm as the 60s - and the bees have been pretty active on those days.

    On the last two visits I observed some pretty heavy robbing attempts going on. Until now I had the entrance reduced to the "summer" opening, and that with the rigged upper entrance was probably too much. I should say I have two hives, and i find it hard to tell if the robbing is happening between the two hives, which I'm sure it is, or if other bees in the area are aslo paying a visit, which I'm sure they are.

    Anyway, because of this I closed down the upper entrance (which also closes off the extra ventilation, for now) and reduced the bottom entrance to the smallest "winter" opening. It seemed to help right away.

    HOWEVER, as I was doing this I noticed, on both hives, one or two bees flying out of the hives with what appeared to be brood/pupa. I was a little surprised to see this. I don't think they were SHB larva, because they were just too big; it was easy to see them even from a few feet away, and they were almost as big as the bees themselves.

    Why or what could this be? If I have laying queens right now that seems like it woud be a big problem. Or perhaps its old brood from the fall that the bees are clearing out to make room for food that is coming in on the warm days??

    Thanks for all your input.
     
  2. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Bigwig, did you see the bees fighting? I thought i had a robbing problem, lots of activity in the bee yard, but turned out to be cleansing flights. If you want top ventilation you can put round toothpicks (or something similar) on the front two corners of the innercover. (opening to small for bees to enter. The pulpa could be some that froze during the cold nights you had earlier. The only way to be sure would be to go into the brood box, but myself, i wouldn't break the seals on the hive at this time, we still have some cold winter coming. (i think :confused: ) Jack
     

  3. Bigwig

    Bigwig New Member

    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks, that's what i was thinking. Yes, definately robbing; lot's of fighting going on, even bees fighting inside the hive then making a dash for the exit.

    I'll give it another go with the ventalation using smaller props, thanks.