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Given an infested failing hive help?

I was given a hive that had Vero mites, wax moths and shbs. There was no queen and the wax moths destroyed all brood. I just bought a queen she will be here in a few days. I had no choice but to scrape the hive and remove all frames and replace with empty ones all the other frames are currently in the freezer the ones that look salvagable in the next 4 days ill return to them. What else can I do for them I am feeding them like crazy right now. The wax moth larva was so bad since just last night I scraped out 1/2 an inch of their larva off the bottom.

If I was given a hive in that poor a condition I would say ‘no thanks’ and wouldn’t take it home. Frankly if you are wanting to begin bee keeping then be happy to spend some cash and buy a hive that is free of just about every problem going. The chances of the colony surviving are slim at the best with Winter coming soon.

I took them to give them some sort of chance. I’ve done it before but wanted to try and save them. As a whole since stripping all that out of the hive the bees actually seem way happier. But trying to find a few tricks I might not have thought about. I tend to have a bleeding Hart so to speak and didnt want to leave them to doom.

That 1/2 inch of larvae on the bottom was more than likely SHB larae. It would be good if you could put the bees in a nice clean box, with some fresh frames of brood (depending on the number of bees) to go with that new queen.

Freeze all of that larvae, or put it in a bucket with a lid on tight, in the sun. Don’t let any beetle larvae make it to ground. That’s where they complete their life cycle, before returning as beetles.

Thoroughly clean the box & frames before using them for bees again. The bees don’t like the residue from beetle slyme.

Yeah payday I’m buying an apimaye behive the insulated one. And I’m barrowing a nuc box and some frames to put them in to completely scrub the hive down tomorrow weather permitting. I feel bad though because I have to mess with the poor bees everyday vleaning it out to help them. Hopefully just a few more big hive cleanings and a move plus their queen

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I burned the larva I skraped out. Some Had already fallen to the ground so I’m gonna set the clean hive up else where and find a way to treat the ground

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To stop the SHB in its tracks I really drench the ground under the hive with a cup of table salt and two cups of vinegar in a watering can of water and that changes the PH of the soil and kills them. It would be better to scorch all of the wood ware to kill off all the nasties eggs. I wish you luck with that job.

If you want to be organic, I use these with good results:

Thank you thats what I was looking into actually. Just wondered if anyone used them seccefully .

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I am glad you came here and asked the question then, as I have actually tried them myself! :wink:

They are not the whole answer, like anything organic. :blush: They do help a lot though.

The first time I found SHB in my hive, nobody else in my southern California county had them, apart from a few guys inland (I am coastal). I came back from a couple of weeks vacation and found around 30 of them pinned to the inner cover by bees. I photographed them and sent the photo to our local Dept of Ag Bee Inspector so that he could alert people. He agreed with the SHB ID and sent out information for beekeepers immediately.

My next steps were to install Beetle Blaster traps (one or two per hive) and water with the nematodes. For the first couple of months, the traps would have about 20 beetles every 2 weeks, but after that, it was just one or two. It has stayed that way since we treated, although last inspection, we found about 10 beetles in the trap. Time to retreat with nematodes, I think.

For us, I think once per year is plenty. If you have freezing conditions, you might want to retreat in the spring. Otherwise, these little guys seem to do a great job, and I will be buying more. :blush:

Thank you for the info. I do have beetle busters installed. She had already had them in luckily. There were like over 80 in one trap from 1 day before I cleaned the hive the best I could. Thursday I intend to buy an apimaye hive for them. The new queen will be here not to much after that. Hopefully sooner.

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Is there even any saving any of the old frame I have in the freezer?

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If you are asking about SHB and wax moths, 48 hours of freezing in a domestic freezer will kill them absolutely. So no reason to worry for next year. The only issue is storing the frames after freezing. :blush: You need to prevent reinfestation, mold and rotting of any brood. But you probably already know all of that. :sunglasses:

Yeah I know that but I wanna give them back the honey frames. I was going to rinse those set them in the sun and then return them to the bees. They have been in the freezer for 3 days now.

Should be fine then, as long as it is just honey (no brood). Go for it. :blush:

What’s the best way to strip the rest of these frames ofvthe old gunk. The dead brood and such. The wood frames with wire id normally cut out as much as possible then use a hairdryer to melt the rest. These have plastic foundations I dont want to ruin them.

I wouldn’t rescue them, personally. Several reasons:

  1. If the hive was failing, it may be diseased. Many diseases are concentrated in brood areas. Don’t want to pass the disease on to another hive, so discard.
  2. It takes me about 20 minutes to clean up a frame. Frames cost just over $1 and foundation is another $1.00 or so. My time is worth more than $2 per 20 minutes or $6 per hour. You might be faster than me, or on a lower wage, but that is how I work out if it is worth it. Combined with the risk of infection as described above, I usually don’t bother.

Just my point of view. things may be very different for you. :blush:

Hi Dawn, my understanding on treating the soil is that it only needs treating if beetle larvae are exiting your hive. The extra beetles you found in your hive most likely came from somewhere else. Some other hive that got slymed out.

If beetle larvae are in your hive, you will recognize the foul odor wafting out of the hive, instead of the usual sweet honey smell.

Under normal conditions, bees wont let beetles lay eggs.

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Good point, @JeffH. Having said that, I treat the soil around all of my hives, with the thought that even if I don’t have a slime out from SHB, some of the nasty little things might be hatching, munching and trying to leave the hive. If I can kill most of those that make it to ground near my hives, I am all for it! :blush:

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Ive got them in a clean nuc clean frames done a sugar roll. They are for the moment pest free. Ive spent over 100 hours this week alone. Ive busted my butt and put so much love into this hive. Ive returned the honey and pollen frames to them after a good rinse. Ive left the rest of the frames setting out side for them to take what they can use from them. The new queen will be here Wednesday. But despite my efforts I cant get anyone to sell me brood. Yes I mean sell. Even my sister inlaw. I feel having no brood right now will likely bee what ultimately screws this hive at this point. Ive done what I can. I guess its up to the fates from this point on.