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Debris on the bottom board


This is a different, “what is that debris on my bottom board” issue. We have had flash flooding in South East Tas. I pulled out the bottom board to find it caked in mud. I don’t know how high it came up the hives, but I suspect a fair way! I have the base raised on a concrete paver and lifted on risers after that. The bees seem fine. I measured 187.4 mm rain in 24 hours from the cyclone that parked itself off the east coast. There has been a lot of damage to property and infrastructure.


Wow Dan! Do you think water got inside the hive? Is it too cold to have a look? Can you see a water mark outside?
If you have 2 brood boxes, I suppose there won’t be brood at the bottom and if the bees sound ok, they can probably clean it all up.
The same amount of rain wouldn’t do much damage here up north, but your island likely isn’t prepared for it.
Guess it’s pretty cold too?
Hope all else is ok at your place!


Thanks @Webclan.

Our gutters just couldn’t cope here, and water was coming across the floor like a lava flow. Most of the rain fell around midnight so it was a very late night. Yes, water would have got inside the hive for sure, but I guess the bees retreated upwards, and as you say, there wouldn’t have been brood down there. I couldn’t see a water mark but everything turned into a river. Yes, too cold to inspect but plenty of flying bees now the temp is above 10 and the rain has stopped.


@Dan2 The flooding in Hobart made headline news up here. When you can get into the hive I suspect the high tide mark will be easy to see. That will be a fairly big setback for the bees to get rid of the mud and any drowned brood. That is a heck of a lot of rain, 7.5 inches for those in the US…


Don’t forget Myanmar and Liberia Peter!


I think the US/Canada is about the only countries that has not gone metric. I found counting in metric easy till I lost a finger :grinning::flushed:


Oh my, @Dan2, so sorry. Hope your bees are OK. Please let us know when you have had a chance to look. :hushed:


Thanks Dawn. I’m sure the bees will be fine. I reckon there was mud around the bottom of the frames, perhaps 6 inches up, but the bees should remove every bit of it (I’ll check the corfulte again) and they wouldn’t have hung around down there as the water inundated the bottom of the hive. I don’t think I’ll open the hive as it is quite cool and I’m not sure I need to :pensive:.


I tend to agree about opening the hive up, it could make a bad situation worse. Jest keep and eye on the corflute.
Hope it all goes well for you down there.


My mentor has several apiaries around the San Diego region, and one of them is next to a river. Last winter, we had some heavy rain and the river flooded. Several of his hives got a mud invasion. He said that unfortunately the bees did not clean them up. They didn’t abscond either, the wood and frames were just plastered with mud. He ended up hosing off as much as he could, and discarding what could not be rescued.

Hopefully your bees will be more diligent than his were. :blush:


Thanks Dawn, very interesting advice. The question I am left with is I wonder if it matters if there is mud on the frames and in the cells? I haven’t had bees abscond before, so that could be a learning curve if they don’t like it in there any more :sweat_smile:


Hi Dawn, I just went out in the dark and pulled out the corflute. It was muddy again on the sides and I really suspect that you are right in that the bees are leaving it. I’m not quite sure how to handle it. It is only about 6c outside at present, the days are warmer but I couldn’t get to it before later in the week. Do you or anyone else have any other opinions or advice? I combined two hives to reduce my number of hives, so now I am down to 2 and hope the queens didn’t kill each other in the combine. The flooded hive has a newish queen and was not one of the combined ones. Thanks


I just asked David what he thought, and he says probably best to leave it until spring, especially if your queens stop laying over winter. First nice day you get in spring, rinse off a few brood frames (assuming you are on single brood), and if there still isn’t enough space for the queen to lay (the mud won’t wash out), put in some fresh frames for them. Just a thought.

For now, I think benign neglect is the thing. :blush:

Just for clarification, our rainy season peaks in late winter/early spring, and that is when my mentor had flooding of his hives. It wasn’t such a big deal for him to go in a week or two later and wash them off, as we had some warm days by then.


Thanks very much Dawn and David. The hive is a bit unusual in that it has langstroth brood box at the base, and an ideal super of honey on top, so there should be at least a full langstroth sized space unaffected. Tomorrow morning I reckon I can get a torch and mirror and look up through the screen. There must be an exit space for them as they were coming and going from the hive yesterday and the day before.


I was able to see and photograph up through the bottom of the hive with a mirror placed under it and the corflute removed. You can see the bees on the bottom of the frames and the frames look clean. Mud is still visible on parts of the wire mesh but also, some mud is falling through the wire and onto the corflute.


Not too bad. I would still leave it until the weather and temps are kinder for bees. :blush:


My thinking is that you would be best to leave the hives till winter is over, after all the colony seems to be functioning as it is. When the cold of winter is over then assess the combs and decide what to do next. By now the mud will be drying and I suspect it will stay where it is and the bees will work around it.
Keep us updated


I hope they make it! Thanks for sharing as well. I’m glad I have mine up 2 feet as we get very heavy rain here in a micro climate. Keep us posted! Fingers crossed! :smiley:


Hi Skeg,

Thankz for the rain :umbrella:️ amount conversion. That’s purely a lot of rain. In Nam (tropics) I saw dumps like that during the wet season but up here near Seattle n Puget we are noted for being damp … but our is kind of spread-out not poured on us in hours. Most I’ve even seen here in 24 hours was 4.00”. It hit n melted a lot of mountain :mountain: snow … Freeways were underwater, landslide, n we were land locked. No way out except boat or air.