Hi all. I’ve just experienced my first slime out after some La Niña action here on the Sunshine Coast. I have elected to burn all my brood frames and am going to wash the super frames in hot soapy water. How am I best to ensure the brood box, super and roof are thoroughly cleaned to stop this disaster from happening again?
Hi Kiah, I’m also on the Sunshine Coast in Buderim, we did have a lot of rain, however that wouldn’t be the cause of the slime-out. There would have been other underlying factors that would have contributed to it.
I helped another Flow customer after a slime-out, in that case I scraped the brood frames clean before fixing fresh foundation to them. I scraped the insides of the boxes & roof clean. The bottom board, being Araucaria had a lot of dry rot, so he decided on a new bottom board, which I built. We scrapped the plastic QE.
I gernied the flow frames, which needs gernying again. I still don’t know if the bees are going to take to them because we haven’t put the honey super on yet. They may need to be stripped down with each piece thoroughly scrubbed with warm water & detergent.
Thanks so much Jeff. Yes I suppose my hive weren’t that strong and I probably should have done a hive inspection before I went away on holiday. Do you have any advice how I can prevent this disaster in future?
You’re welcome Kiah. My main advice is to keep all the combs in the brood box at a high percentage of worker comb. That results in a high percentage of workers compared to drones, that don’t do any defending in the hive. Workers will chase beetles relentlessly, not allowing them to lay eggs. Drones will allow beetles to come & go & do whatever they like.
I sell nucs. Yesterday while transferring the frames into a customer’s hive, I had trouble finding some drone cells on the frames to be able to show the people the difference between worker & drone comb. I found 4.or 5 cells on the last frame, which is how it should be in my view.
On top of that, avoid leaving squashed bees in the hive after an inspection, avoid major honey spills & make sure that frames containing brood & or pollen have a decent covering of worker bees.on them.
If I’m not jumping in too late here, I would recommend taking a couple of photos of the brood and super frames before burning/cleaning, for diagnostic purposes.
A slime out is not just a mess to clean up but also an indication of an issue (usually SHB - small hive beetle - but can be additional issues).
What Jeff says about keeping a strong hive and strong worker numbers on the frames is correct so as to avoid the female SHB from laying eggs. It’s also a good idea to remove any boxes that are not heavily populated and make sure the hive gets plenty of sun (as long as it’s not too intense there).
Feel free to post a couple of photos here if you want some opinions from the forum community or Flow. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll let you know what we can see.
Sorry to hear about your bees and hive, that doesn’t sound fun to clean up. The weather has certainly been a bit wild for inspections lately!
Best of luck.