Flies in the hive?

I’m thinking my hive is infested with house flies/maggots?? What should I do?
I noticed the other day that there was honey and little white maggots in the tray. I figured they were bee maggots and honey draining because it has been so hot (real feels in the 120’s) that maybe the caps had popped off. But the maggots seem like they may be too big to be bees… And there are A LOT of flies around the hive, I’ve even seen them enter the hive. My bee numbers are down too…

Welcome to the forum, Elizabeth.
Photos would be helpful, but your description suggests small hive beetle (SHB). The larval stage could be mistaken for maggots. SHB can overrun a weakened hive. This is known as a slime out.

My first thought would be Varroa has caused the decline. What was the mite load last time you checked and when was that? Did you need to treat and did you test afterward? It could also be AFB or a number of other pest and diseases.

Right now, your bees need help. Are you in a club or have access to an experienced beekeeper to help you? If the bee numbers are way down they may have absconded or are too weak to recover.

If the slime out damage is extensive, I would shake the bees into a new box with clean foundation or drawn comb and feed them until they’ve built up for winter or a nectar flow. Test and treat for Varroa before there’s any brood.

Put all the contaminated frames in plastic bags and into the freezer for a few days to kill the pests. You could then clean up the frames and reuse, burying the waste material in the garden. It’s a messy job, but I’d rather deal with a slime out than change a diaper.

It would be much easier with help, so I hope you find a local beekeeper to pitch in.


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I think I’d rather change a diaper, haven’t done that for a long time.

@Elizabeth_Dyer , I also welcome you to the forum. I agree on the photos. BSFL (Black Soldier Fly Larvae) can’t be ruled out, especially seeing as you think they are too big to be bees. BSFL would fit into that category. However BSFs look different to house flies.

I think that whatever you can do to keep the hive cool will be a big help. Plus follow @aussiemike 's advice.