Just got into the hive where there were about 6 wax moth larvae over the last week on the bottom board. That was very interesting in that I saw absolutely NO evidence of wax moths…no worms, no webbing, etc. There were some interesting things with this hive I’d like to share with you:
This 8-frame hive has 3 Flow Frames in the top box with w 2 regular deep frames on either side. The 2 inside regular frames were full of honey on one side and being filled with honey on the other. The 2 outside frames were partially built out on the inside side. The flow frames had been worked to seal the cells; but absolutely no other work on them. Nada!
Earlier in the year, I had seen the bees busily working the Flow Frames and there were a good many of them visible through the observation windows on either side of the box. By later this summer, however, the activity seemed to stop. At one point, I opened the top cover to put in a pollen patty and was promptly stung by a very aggressive bee. This hive was from a new package this spring with a marked queen that was supposed to be very gentle…and they had been, initially. Needless to say, I really didn’t want to get back into that hive, so I have left it be for about 6 weeks…maybe longer.
Recently, we noticed it seemed to be more active and when those wax months showed up I knew I had to get in there and take a look. The bees were as gentle as could be. There was some VERY STRANGE comb formation in the box under the Flow Box (see photo) with long cones of comb in places which I scrapped off. My configuration is 1 deep, 1 standard, 1 Flow box. The standard had a mix of sealed brood (although not a great laying pattern), sealed honey and nectar, some open cells. The deep box had about the same, but the laying pattern again was not solid, more patchy. We finally found the queen on the next to last frame we looked at.
BUT…she was NOT the marked queen that came with the package! So…what happened and when? My thoughts are that at some point over the summer the marked queen died and the colony replaced her (although I saw no supersedure cells). There was a lot of burr comb on the frame bottoms so maybe they were disguised?). Maybe this sudden increased activity of the hive is because they are once again queen right? Maybe the less than perfect laying pattern is because she is a new queen? Maybe as you said in an original question about wax moths, the bees have taken care of them?
I welcome any comments. My concern is that this new queen may not be well mated and there are fewer drones around to perform the task. Should I leave that flow box on for now, even though I will not get any harvest from it (other than maybe from the standard deep frames on either side of the Flow Frames? I have switched the queen excluder to between the bottom deep and the standard box so once that brood up in the standard has hatched I could possibly replace the Flow box with another deep regular box for winter.
Thanks Dawn and anyone else who would like to comment.
Central Coast California