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Wax Moth AND SHBs in Abandoned (by the owner) Hive

I brought this hive home late yesterday. I have some work cut out for me today. I’m going to be cutting the comb out of these frames today. Then I’ll retrieve the wax.
These photos really don’t do it justice.

In this next photo I’m pointing to young hive beetle larvae right next to wax moth cocoons.

This next photo shows the wet appearance created by hive beetles.

More wax moth & hive beetle.

This photo shows the bottom brood box. Notice the wet appearance on the end frame.


cheers

PS, I was at this hive last Tuesday while robbing it’s neighboring hive as well as checking them both out. I noticed this hive only had wax moth damage with no associated odor from hive beetle. Four days later, the hive beetle odor was strong. Therefore there’s not much beetle larvae present at this early stage. I’ll be a different story if another 4 days were to pass.

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Thanks for pics and information Jeff, I’ve fitted beetle blaster traps to all my hives recently because of the huge increase of SHB numbers. Not seeing wax moth at the moment but with still mild weather constant vigilance is the way to go.
Cheers

You’re welcome Pete, it must be remembered that this colony was basically non existent before the beetles got a foot hold. There was still a tiny colony in this hive. There was two frames in the two supers that didn’t look all that bad. That was the frames the tiny colony occupied. There’s a lesson in that statement. As long as the frames are covered with worker bees, wax moth & hive beetles wont get a chance to breed on them.

cheers

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This is 3 frames from out of the bottom box.

This could be part of the reason why some beekeepers need double brood boxes. Not all of the combs are up to scratch & basically not used to any extent by the bees.

That top frame is mostly drone comb & wasn’t being used.

This is an example of someone setting up a double brood box, then leaving it to the bees to work it out for themselves. All he was interested in after that was the honey super, so it seemed.

Apparently he abandoned a heap of other hives on a nearby property. The lady just said “10 times more”. That could be 10-20 3-4 super hives unattended. No doubt in a similar condition.

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Is that the hives at Bli Bli Jeff? Sad to think someone could neglect hives like that.
Cheers

I’ve had a similar experience and when it happens one gets a hollow feeling in one’s stomach. Feel sorry for the bees that abandoned the hive. It only takes a few days and it’s devastating. And it’s a lesson learned. Thanks for putting that post up Jeff.

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Hi Pete, yes that’s the ones. It’s a shame because he put a lot of work into them at some stage. Then all that good work was undone by neglecting them.

I reduced the other hive as well as located it closer to the ground. The double brood box in that hive obviously hadn’t been checked for a long time either. Because of the temperament of the bees, I found it necessary to take the bottom brood box somewhere else to work on it. Then the bees went back to where it used to be. I transferred the best brood frames into one of my own brood boxes at the new location. Even that was easy because most of the bees were gathered where the hive used to be. Lucky I found the queen on the third frame I lifted.

I didn’t see any sign of disease, luckily.

There’s a bit of honey coming in because every frame I shook bees off rained fresh unripe honey.

cheers

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Hi Al, I’ll have to reword the title. The bees didn’t abscond from the hive. There was still a tiny little queenless colony still living in the hive. The owner abandoned the hives. He had them on the property of people I know, then 3 months ago he seemed to disappear. The people can’t contact him…

The people say that he abandoned 10x more hives on another nearby property.

The devastation by his other colonies that die out, then succumb to hive beetle could be horrific for other beekeepers in the area. Not to mention his other hives that don’t die out.

Yes Jeff I gathered that. I was referring to my own hive. A nuc in fact. So it didn’t take long. It was moved by the owner of the place who requested it. Basically it was placed on the ground. He didn’t like the place where I put it. The beetles must have got so bad the bees vacated. It’s amazing someone could abandon 10 hives. Might’ve just got all too much. But I don’t know the circumstance so I can only wonder. How are your bees going Jeff and Peter? Mine in different parts of the coast are going great. The number of butterflies around has me thinking that they must have timed it with Mother Nature’s plans. It’d be fantastic to get an insight into her plans 6 months previous.

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I’d like to go & see the other hives to make sure they’re all still alive. Then you start talking about inspecting them, taking the honey, offering to bring some back to the property owner, etc. etc.

And maybe a split or two at the appropriate time to add to the Herriot Empire!!

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I can only guess this past Spring and Summer mother nature was cracking up laughing at what she was putting us and the bees thru. Since the wet season arrived late February instead of early December my bees have been busy with Nectar and left me the option of a double super or more splits. I’ve gone for more splits so I will have strong hives for sale in the Spring, most will be in Poly hives. Like you an amazing amount of butterflies about and the paper barks are a magnet to them as well as the bees. Don’t look at the calendar and you would say it is Spring time. Very unusual for me to be adding a super to a brood box hive with new frames of foundation but it is unusual times here. Finding an increase of SHB beetle in my traps as well, especially in the apiary perimeter traps.
Cheers

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I must get some perimeter traps as well. I find a lot of beetles under my top hive mat(vinyl) where the bees have propolised them in and I crush them straight away. I also have those beetle traps that sit in between the frames and you fill with vegie oil but I think it’d be worth trying to attract them away from the hive. I can remember a guy from Stradbroke I think, Maybe a DPI employee that put a beetle attractant online. I found it. Here’s the YouTube link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHUmK5SlzXU

That’s for sure Al, however I hate to see good frames go to waste. I spent ages cleaning the frames to get them ready for fresh foundation. I wonder if it’s worth all the time I spent on them. I realize that for every hive, there’ll be a mammoth job in front of me unless I’m prepared to scrap all the frames containing all that old comb. I guess what made the job worse this time was that sticky slime from the beetles over some of the frames.

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It is his video that I got involved in apiary perimeter traps, You could get a 10 to 1 trap rate over the beetle blaster traps in the hive between frames. I have yet to find one beetle in the trap which I figure the attractant is actually mead, being sugar, water, yeast and honey.
Like @JeffH I sometimes wonder if all the time and effort is worth it or better to just bin it, but it is nice to tinker with bee gear even if it isn’t the cheaper option to get another year or two from it… What else would I do at 2am and not tired. Bugger :thinking: :thinking:

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