Hard orange segments in honey comb

Is this bee bread? The orange bits?

Maybe, but it looks pretty slimy to me. What did the frame smell like? Sickly sweet, fermented smell?? It could be crystallized honey, but without knowing where in the box it came from, and the health of the colony at the time of the photo, it is hard to say. However, with the wet comb below and the big hole in the comb, has the hive been attacked by small hive beetles? Maybe even wax moth and rodents? My best guess would be an SHB slime out, unless you did something to the comb before the photo.

I would be interested to see what @JeffH thinks

Hi. No it slimy and not sickly sweet. I cut the hole as i was harvesting the honey very crudely by cutting the capping off and letting it drain out. Thats why its all wet. This is my first time harvesting from naturally drawn comb. It was in the super of a very active strong hive. It was on the edge. The hive is sittung on a Hive doctor base with oil in the beetke trap trays and theres a few shb but not a lot and i didnt see any scurrying around any of the frames in the brood box or super. The photo was taken at 3.00pm today ( Sunday 4/12)

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In that case, bee bread/pollen is unlikely, as they normally put that next to brood. If it was in the super, it would be further away than bee bread is usually placed. So crystallized honey would be the most likely in that circumstance. :blush:

I dont have a queen excluder in the hive but there was no evidence of any BIAS in that frame. There was one frame with a small amount. Its a new 10 frame hive that i formed in early September by splitting 2 other hives. I put the super on the split 3 weeks ago.

I have a Flow hive as well and it is so much EASIER to harvest the honey.

I melted down the wax from that segment of the comb because it seemed quite dark and fibrousy and it isn’t wax.

I went and took the frame back out of the hive and had a dig around. The dark parts of the hex comb seem to be lined with a fibrous soft shell and the orange powderywaxy stuff is inside that but i cant see any trace of eggs or larvae ofvany description. I’ve cut out all the comb from both frames.

This is the nextdoor frame. It has dark parts, discoloured edges of the hexes and only one bit of orangey stuff but in the unfilled hexes there’s a trace of a milky substance. No fibrousy shells though.

Interestingly i had trouble finding a place to take the photo where the milky substance didnt appear blue, and its overcast here today. ( northern nsw)

Now that I know you didn’t have a QE below the “super”, that could be bee bread. The dark fibrous comb suggests that it was previously brood comb and the brown bits on your hand above are likely cocoons, shellac (from pupae) and larval poo.

I don’t know how you are extracting your honey, but I wouldn’t crush and strain old brood comb, as I wouldn’t enjoy having bee larva poo in my honey. Lots of other people do it though. I would prefer to spin it instead, keeping the comb intact to minimize the contamination. Of course spinners are expensive, and not everyone has one. :blush:

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Thank you so much Dawn. I did some more research and had come to that conclusion because i coukdnt find any pest or disease that fitted what i had but i was waiting to get confirmation from someone more experienced. I wont harvest anymore honey by squashing old comb anymore because the flavour isnt great and it is a bit cloudy. Ive only just started to harvest from comb as ive only had bees for a little over 12mths and started with a flowhive and then a second from a swarm from it, and now this spring a split and another swarm. Very much a sharp learning curve. Thanks again for your valuable advice.

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Hi Dawn, thanks for mentioning me :slight_smile:
Without looking closely at the photos & after reading the thread, I agree that the hard orange bits are bee bread, & the fibrous bits are leftover cocoons.

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Thanks so much for your input as well Jeff. Its very much apprecited. Thank you.