So I’ve managed to find a only a few small larvae in the channel, I noticed that the excess honey turned into a funky colour and when I opened and took a closer look, there were a few small larvae in the fermented honey?..…… I inspected the entire flow super box only, as I didn’t have anyone to help me lift the box off today. All frames were 90% capped and full of honey, there were some empty cells untouched by the bees (apparently I was told they sometimes the bees like to keep them to hold the SHB trapped there). So my question is I have attempted to clean channel with chux wrapped around the flow key and cleansed out as much as I could. So can I still harvest the frame?
I would suggest to carefully inspect each frame for more larvae & or slime over the cappings. If each frame is completely free of larvae or slime, you could rinse the channel out with warm water, before drying or draining the water until the smell is gone. Then I believe the honey would be safe to harvest away from the hive.
You’ll need to do a brood check to make sure that beetles haven’t reproduced down there.
You could clean out the channel using your flow hey with a damp chux and rinsing the chux out as you go. Then drain the frames 1/5th at a time to avoid flooding honey into the brood box. Make sure the slot at the end on the chamber is clear of any wax/propolis as well so that the bees can clean up any drips after you have drained the frame.
I suspect the larvae is SHB as it is rampant in the Gosford and Wyong areas. It might be worth adding a couple of ‘Beetle Blaster Traps’ to the hive if you don’t already have them fitted.
Filtering the honey will eliminate any nasties from the honey.
Thanks Jeff, I’ll be checking tommorw or the following day due to my shift work (Nurse) if its warm early morning I will check if not it will the following day. I’ve hurt my back and unable to lift the flow super off the brood box to inspect… but saying that I’m going to check as I’m so worried that the brood box may have problems. Will keep you updated.
Hi Peter, thanks for you advise as well, where can I purchase them from? Bunnings?
Bunnings, or your local hardware shop, Coles IGA and Woolies in the house cleaning area.
Hi Ria, this doesn’t help your situation one bit, however the advance of hive beetles in a hive can be very rapid.
I wouldn’t attempt to remove a flow super off either with my 72 y.o. dodgy back. I’d remove 3 or 4 frames out first.
If you see a wet appearance over the honey cappings accompanied by tiny grubs, I wouldn’t use that honey for personal use.
Let’s hope things aren’t all that bad.
Thanks Jeff, attached are pics of the frames I checked 2 x days ago they are capped… but would like a 2nd opinion pls
A great set of pics Ria, I would take at least 1/2 the frames out of the super before removing it to do a brood box inspection, the weight of a 6 frame flow super full of honey will be about 30 kg’s. Far to heavy to try to lift in one go.
Hi Peter, thank you… can please send me a pic of what the ‘bait traps’ you have so I can search them at Bunnings after work today pls…
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If you PM me your email address I can send you an excellent video of how to make up the bait to attract SHB as Bunnings sell the trap as a ‘fly trap’ with the wrong instructions for the bait which won’t work on SHB. I have been using them for several years with excellent results for SHB and not had a single bee drown in the trap.
Those frames look fantastic Ria. You can see that the cappings have a dry appearance. You have plenty of bees in the honey super. As long as the combs have that dry appearance, the honey should be fine. I would clean the channels until the smell disappears, then I would harvest the honey away from the hive. That is to avoid honey flooding onto the brood frames which you want to avoid if hive beetles are around.
Hi Jeff & Peter,
I managed to take brood box off with a a bit of help. I checked each frame in the brood.
Queen was there (she is marked) lots of brood / pollen / larvae & drone cells & capped honey. No signs of slime or smell👍🏽
I then covered the brood box.
Then took each flow upper frame and brushed off onto brood box (all 6 of them)
Then I washed out each channel cell in my bathroom basin… with warm water. I then place back in the flow… but stupid me forgot to place the cap back on so some bees flew in 3 of the cells and I saw aSHB ran
in one of them
I’ve been stung 4 x time this afternoon, I’m exhausted after a day at work & all 5 x of the frames are ready to harvest.
Q…what do I do wth the bees in the channel? I can’t believe all that hard work 3hrs and flushing out the channels thoroughly I forgot to put the cap on
I’m sure I’ve caused a lot of stress on the bees this afternoon & a lot of death as well …
thanks for feed back & advice…
Peter I ended up buying a few of the at Bunnings
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Well done Ria, you could harvest the honey with the tube going into a hand strainer to strain the bees out or simply pick them out from the top of the honey after it settles. They wont affect the taste of the honey.
Be careful when doing inspections not to squash bees between frames what putting it all back together again. If the bees can’t remove the dead & trapped bees, hive beetles will lay eggs in them. You can use your smoker to remove bees from where you want to replace frames.
Was thinking of getting a sieve … I’m going to harvest tomorrow afternoon if that too early to harvest after all the stress I’ve caused ?
And how many frames should you think I should harvest?
In regards to squashing bees onto frames, unfortunately Jeff I managed to squash a lot more today… what other things can I use other than vegetable oil in the bottom tray and (newly bought fly traps) so they don’t breed in the bees?
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You could use garden lime or dalmatious earth in the tray just a couple of mm deep is enough. ‘Dalmatious’ might be spelt wrong but it is pronounced that way, Bunnings or a hardware store for that.
As for the bees in the drain chamber you might be able to get them out with the frame key but have your suit on as they will come out angry I suspect. If they won’t come out then you could flush them out by extracting the frame into a sieve and put them at the entrance for the bees to clean the honey off them.
You could extract 3 frames as soon as you like, I would leave the other 3 for Winter stores for the bees. I always leave 3 frames all of the year. Then extract the 3 frames you haven’t done next time you want honey.
Thanks Peter, yes I have DE powder as well, but like to use the Vegetable oil so I can see what’s floating in the oil.
Thanks for the advice in regards to draining the frames.
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