Honeyflow.com | FAQ's |

Bees on outside of hive & larvae in honey

I have a lot of bees just hanging out, walking on the outside of the hive. Is this a problem? Getting a lot of honey thought I live where they feed year round.
I also have larvae in the honey last 2 times from 2 frames. Do you think a queen extractor (?) would help. Thank you

It is common in warm weather to have bees hanging outside the hive, if they are in large numbers it is called ‘bearding’ and is more common from late afternoon into the evening when the foraging bees are home for the night so the colony is larger so it can be a little crowded inside the hive, and so warmer too.
Buy a metal QX and it will last a lifetime and you won’t have that issue again with larvae in your honey. Don’t buy the cheaper plastic QX, it is false economy and after a while it will become brittle and break so you will be back to square one.
Your profile doesn’t say if your two hives are Flow Hives or Langstroth but no worry, my advice stands for them both. My apiary has both and I enjoy them both now I have figured out the Flow Hive and there is no flooding and I have a set up to drain 3 frames at a time with no agro from the bees.
Cheers

1 Like

Bearding:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#bearding

Thank you. Maybe I just have too many bees for my hive. Is that possible?

I just drained the hive, maybe that will help.

Thank you for the response. I have a flow hive I believe. Came with the house. Where does the metal QX go and how do I insert it?

Bearding isn’t a problem that needs to be solved. It is worth looking in the hive, just to make sure they aren’t running out of room, but honestly a hive that doesn’t beard on a hot day probably needs investigating too as there are probably too few bees.

Thank you. The bees are very busy and have been giving a lot of honey. I live in HI where it is year round so hopefully not a problem

1 Like

Lots of bees is never a problem.

2 Likes

You are going to need a bee suit, smoker, hive tool and gloves if you are going to take care of the bees yourself. The queen excluder goes just below the box of plastic Flow frames. There may be one in the hive already, but the ones supplied by Flow are plastic and break very easily. That lets the queen into the Flow super, where she can lay eggs. When you put the queen excluder in place, you will need to make sure that the queen is not in the Flow super, or your hive will gradually die out as she will not be able to lay worker bees in the plastic frames.

I would strongly suggest that you join a local bee club and find yourself a mentor. They can help you with hive inspections and how to put a hive together correctly. Beekeeping is fascinating and a wonderful hobby, but it can get very overwhelming very quickly if you are not sure what you are doing. A mentor and a beekeeping club are extremely helpful for beginners. If you don’t want to get that deeply into beekeeping, the club may have somebody who can look after the hive for you, or even somebody who would buy the hive from you if you really didn’t want to keep it.

1 Like

Thank you, I have someone come to help me tomorrow :blush:

1 Like

Excellent news, well done! I hope you decide to take up beekeeping yourself, you obviously care about your new hive. :heart_eyes:

I hazard a guess that SHBs are in Hawaii. If the bearding occurred just after the honey harvest & the larvae are intact, similar in size to long grains of rice, then your problem could be SHB related, which is serious & needs urgent attention. Some photos of that larvae would be helpful. Personally, I wouldn’t eat that honey until it’s confirmed whether the larvae is bee or shb larvae.

Thank you, I have a beekeeper coming tomorrow to check it out. The larvae are smaller than rice. I will search the internet for SHB’s to see pics.

We found an attic full of honey comb which is delicious and I almost hated to close up the hole since I will not get more.

We saw one small beetle and hopefully there will be no more in the hive. The beekeeper said it is a thriving colony.

Thank you for the encouragement. After harvesting some in June, July and Aug I still got over 11 quarts in Sept.

Cynthia Lebowitz
AKTestKits@aol.com

970 201-7406

1 Like

Thank you for the feedback! It is always nice to help people who communicate on how it went. We all love bees in this forum, and seeing your appreciation and enthusiasm growing is very rewarding.

Look forward to hearing more from you as this progress. :blush:

Dawn

P.S. you might want to remove your phone number and email address from your messages. The Forum is completely open to internet searches, and you may get attacked by spam bots and robo-callers if you post personal info in open messages. Private messages are safer for that kind of thing. :wink:

Hi Cynthia, did you get a positive identification of the larvae in the honey? Did you remove the flow frames to see what was going on down there, to get to the source of the larvae?

Personally, I like bees to have access to my lids/roofs, a population explosion will spill out into the roof. Regular lifting of the roof in that circumstance will reveal such population explosions. Then it’s time to act before the bees decide to swarm.

1 Like

Small hive beetle larvae are wriggling and squirming. Bee larvae appear to be not moving. They might barely move but usually not enough to see. Small hive beetles are quite active.

Jeff,

I had an avid beekeeper come and we lifted off the roof and the entire area was covered with honeycomb and bees. Top and bottom. Delicious.

We scraped off the honeycomb then covered the hole and I am now waiting for the bees to finished eating the honey that was left and will put the roof back on.

As to the larvae I am not sure where they came from but the bee keeper said the hive was so strong that the bees should take care of the larvae problem. He did see one small beetle on the attic. Hoping that by draining the hive I have gotten rid of the larvae? We did not remove the frames but he did take a good look at what you can see. Time will tell.

Thank you.

Chava

Thank you, very helpful. How do you get rid of small beetle larvae?

Chava

There are many things you can do.

  1. Kill any adults that you see when you open the hive. It sounds gross, but they are quite dry to squish (no mess) and they can’t then lay eggs. If they lay lots of eggs in your hive, the honey will be destroyed by fermentation and the bees may abscond (leave the hive).
  2. Don’t throw excess wax on the ground around the hive. It is free food for beetles and moths.
  3. Try not to squish bees. Dead bees make nice protein meals for beetle larvae.
  4. Keep the hive strong. Strong hives have enough bees to stop the beetles from laying eggs.
  5. Consider some traps in the hive, like Beetle Blaster traps. You push these between a couple of frames and pour them half full of oil. The bees chase beetles (SHB) into them and the SHB then can’t get out. They drown in the oil. The traps give you a good idea of how many beetles you have in your hive. I look at the traps every 2 weeks or so, and empty them when I have 10-20 SHB in them.

By the way, I know you are responding by e-mail, but you only need to respond once on a subject, as readers can be notified when you have replied to the thread. So for example, your enjoyment of the roof honey will be seen by everyone the first time you wrote about it, even if you didn’t reply to their message directly. :blush: Just trying to save your fingers from excess typing! :wink: