Sunday, June 30, 2013

small hive beetle larvae & dark brood comb

If I told you what happened, you probably would not believe it. The first photo contains the queen's retinue. When my finger tips touch these bees, enough space opens up for me to see her majesty - this experience is a rare gift.
I have been away for one week and returned to a hive with significantly fewer bees - maybe the hive swarmed, perhaps more than once.  My concern is that this hive has a huge surplus of honey, and many deep frames of dark brood comb attractive to small hive beetles (SHB) - too many frames, too much space and too few bees to keep the SHB confined to the margins of hive.

To my horror, several frames in the bottom box of this skyscraper hive contain SHB larvae crawling through pollen, honey and the dark brood comb.   I created a new hive configuration containing no dark brood comb at all.  I moved the small population of bees onto clean light colored comb, added a one gallon pail of 1:1 syrup (with Honey B Healthy) and reduced the entrance.  Stay tuned.

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