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Moth related I think, but what is this?

Hi all
Despite splitting weeks ago one of my hives swarmed anyway.
I caught it and have had it in a nuc box for about 2 weeks. There’s a massive queen in there and all looks good. Eggs, larvae and they’re building up the comb nicely.

We recently had some heavy rain and when I looked in there today, it’s obvious some water got in. There’s mould on the bottom of frames and there was even a puddle on the back corner.

There was some early signs of wax moth but the bottom of the nuc had this white stuff all over it. Didn’t actually see any moths or pests of any kind, but I’m scared that this white stuff is some sort of eggs. God I hope not.

Have cleaned it all out and have a new hive for them arriving on Tuesday. Can anyone tell me what this is? In the photo they in the bottom of a plastic tub.

Cheers
Ron

Gosh Ron, to me it just looks like wax flakes. I can see how a pile like that could have a slight resemblance to something like ant eggs (and believe me, I’ve seen such piles and would never want to again in proximity to my hives :nauseated_face:) but the shapes are not regular enough to be some type of critter eggs I think.

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I agree with @Eva, they look like soggy wax particles and flakes. Do they feel like wax between your fingers?

Thanks guys.
It didn’t really feel waxy but it definately didn’t feel slimy between my fingers either, which I think it would’ve been if they were eggs, so I think you’re right.
Cheers
Ron

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If you really wanted to know, you could dump them into a clean empty tin with some boiling water and leave it for a few hours. If it sets into a sheet on the top of the water, it was wax. If it makes a mess throughout the tin, something else was in it too… :wink:

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Thanks Dawn, I’ll give that a go, just to settle my curiosity.
Can I also say to you and Eva and everyone else on this forum… Thank you… You are all my mentors. Not sure I’d have reached this point without you all.
Thank you all.

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…I myself owe huge debts to all my forum mentors and pals :heart_eyes::pray: What a trip to be receiving such thanks - you’re most welcome, Ron!

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Please let us know, because now I am very curious too! Wax would be a creamy white to yellow layer, but looking at your photo, I would guess more on the white side. :thinking:

Thank you very much for the kind compliments. We all learn from each other here, and there is no question that I have become a better beekeeper since joining this forum. When people ask questions, it makes me look things up and question my previous knowledge, to make sure that it is still viable. There is always something to learn in beekeeping, no matter how much experience you have. :blush:

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yep, 100% it’s wax. had it in a black tub and when i went out this morning to do the hot water in a tin thing…i didnt need to. being a black tub in the sun it was all soft. just had to run my fingers across it to know it’s wax. i guess there a fair bit of wastage and off cuts when theyre in the build up stage.
sometimes the simplest answer is the right one. why do we (me) jump to the worst conclusion first?
cheers
ron

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I showed your photo to my hubby, and he said that it would be worth checking the hive entrance for robbers. When he has seen that much wax on the floor of the hive in the past, occasionally it has been a sign of robbing. Robbers rip the wax apart to steal the honey, but they don’t carry the damaged wax out of the hive. Worth a look, but hopefully not the case for your hive. :blush:

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Robbers, good point. Always something eh, Ron? Hoping not but if so, the comb faces will have a ripped up texture. Obviously if it’s still going on you’d see the robbers all around and being hopefully wrestled & bundled over the ledge by your bees at the entrance. Along with a robbing screen I hang a large damp towel (damps the scent & helps it hang down snugly) over the front face of the hive, so only a small opening is available to the side, to further restrict the entrance area and confuse the robbers.

Fingers crossed it was just a crazy-go-nuts comb-building session!

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Hi Ron, that IS a fair bit of wastage, as you say. A solid floor will avoid all that. I use only solid floors, which the bees in populous hives keep nice & clean. In doing so, I’m guessing that any wax flakes that fall to the floor can get picked up & used.

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No sign of robbing or ripped up comb. In fact the queen is massive and it looks like it’s building to a strong nuc.
It’s in a corflute nuc. It’s a caught swarm

My 2 hives both have solid bases and the bees keep them both spotless, which is why it bothered me so much.

I normally have 2 hives but at the moment have 7 hives and nucs going. Unbelievable!
We split them both, they then both swarmed a few weeks later, then I had a call from a honey customer who had a swarm so felt obliged to catch that one too.
Have some in my parents yard because ours is not big enough. Now that the two mother gives are queen right I need to start off loading the rest.

Thank you all again.

Cheers
Ron

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