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Larvae deaths after cutout

Greetings from Austin, Tx! Marz here with my first two hives:one classic Flow Hive (just did a cutout from-) and the second will be into new boxes from the final split from my compost bin where the bees have been for last 4 years. Since the comb was all frameless, there was much cutting to get the comb out of compost bin. The day after (both days in 80sF, nights in 70s), I found a bunch of snow white larvae in the bottoms of my frames. Is this normal post cutouts? (Since we damaged comb). Or could it be that the new brood box of flow Hive doesn’t have enough pollen & honey to support this part of the hive? Haven’t found the queen yet, but I suspect she’s still in compost bin (it still has majority of comb and bee activity around it). I’ve been looking at pics online of healthy and unhealthy hives/comb, but as a
NewBee it’s hard for me to distinguish
if mine is healthy (obviously it’s very dark/ black due to lots of brood cycle, but there do seem to be quite a few inconsistencies/problems?). Any tips as to what to search would be helpful. I did see just a few SHBs, so I’m mitigating those. But the FoulBrood potential is what I’m hoping to rule out now. I have seen two or three perforated brood chambers, but it’s not widespread. Thanks in advance for any thoughts!!

Welcome to the Flow forum!

The white larvae in your photo look normal to me.

Have you done a rope test? Stick a cocktail stick into a capped cell and see if it comes out long and stringy? Some of those caps do look a bit sunken, so it is worth testing.

Do you have an experienced beekeeper helping you? If not, it may be worth joining a local club and getting somebody to give you an in-person opinion. :blush:


Thank you! So it’s normal for larvae to die in a swarm cutout? (Because of cut/broken cells, due to having no frames). I’ll try the matchstick rope test. I have a local bee keep meetup, yet I tend to be out of town for our meetings. Yet you are right, having a local mentor would really help. All the best with your colonies!

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Yes, and even during inspections if you have a densely-packed hive. Most of the larvae which die during my inspections are drones, which don’t help the hive directly, so I don’t cry about it. :wink: However, it is good to remove the dead bodies if you see them, as small hive beetles just love to lay eggs in them. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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Good to know, thanks! I’m working on my Beekeeping book, but there is so much to learn. Thanks for your tips. Cheers!

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As @Dawn_SD has said when you damage a cell as you can see in your excellent photo the larvae will fall out and die. The undamaged cells will of course survive to emerge as bees.
Personally I would use something like a toothpick to remove the ‘loose’ larvae so that the bees won’t have to clean up and to reduce the risk of SHB and ants.
The perforated brood cells may be new bees emerging. From the pic you have done a good job. And welcome to the forum, you will find a heap of reading, tips and advice from members and remember no question is a stupid question.
Cheers, Peter


Thank you, Peter! This is all so exciting, and I really appreciate your help! I’ve been scouring the web for info, yet oddly, my beek book doesn’t cover cutouts. Sure am glad to have found this forum! All the Best!


It is amazing what doesn’t even get a mention or is vaguely covered.
There is a great bunch of folks here only to happy to pass on their advice, and very nice to get a message of thanks.
Cheers Peter

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