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Can you tell me what these are?


Hi. We lost both of our hives this past winter. We are just taking them apart and doing a very sad post mortem. Both of the clusters seem to be in very good condition and there was plenty of honey. And when I found the queen was about 7 inches away from the cluster sitting all alone. Heartbreaking.

When we lifted the bottom board, this was underneath the screen. https://youtu.be/9e1EQF2qbRw See the movie.

We also found what looks like something waxy and egg-like in the cells, and also this suspicious little big. could you please help me identify these things. Thank you!


The white stuff is probably crystallized sugar.


Agree with Dawn, sugar crystals and the bug looks harmless, probably sheltering in the warmth of the hive.


Hi, the bug looks like a harmless lady bug.


Hi Jon,

Dawn has answered your question about white stuff in cells. Your bottom board looks pretty nasty but normal. Guess that mite or two are croaked/dead ! I try to clean the SBBoard slider once a month in the winter n every other (usually) during the active months. I learn a lot viewing the slider without opening up the hive. I’m trying to inspect every other week now n check the sliders on the other week.

I also lost several hives to varroa mites. 2 last early autumn n one more finally surcumed late winter/early spring. That’s a real bummer at best but makes me analyze my notebook entrances n data. I rather not make that mistake if possible too often.

The rest of last winter into our cool wet spring I’ve been sliding in a sheet of new white paper n pulling 24 hours later every two weeks as a mite drop check. Nothing seen yet in my two healthy surviving hives. I’m not nhieve enough to think a few mites are upstairs already but still too low of count to matter. Weather n brood should improve soon so I can administer a true (sugar-roll) mite test end of April.

I’ve got to be more watchful this season n with last season under my belt … A few changes n guessing my inspections will be more n more fruitful as I gain more experience.

I have gotten four new Nuc’s (pricy replacements) to replace the three die-outs n gaining one additional apiary colony. So learning n moving on. Lots to figure out but every new endevour has its learning curve!

Good luck n take care,


I am extremely prone to motion sickness, and unfortunately I couldn’t tolerate the movement of the camera in the movie for long enough to get a good look at the bugs running around. They didn’t look like ants from what I could catch from the video, but I have seen ant nests looking very much like that underneath the SBB. As Jerry says, if you don’t regularly clean under the screen, it is a haven for all kinds of undesirables, including wax moths, small hive beetles, ants etc. The bees actually do a superb job of cleaning the hive floor if it is solid. That is why I am moving away from screened bottoms now - my 2 non-Flow hives are on solid floors. My Flow hive has the slider in the upper slot all of the time, so there is no space for freeloading squatters to make a home. :smile: