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Author Topic: Hive Postmortem  (Read 530 times)

Offline CoolBees

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Re: Hive Postmortem
« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2020, 01:45:22 pm »
... in my area bees need a full medium of honey to get through the winter, and I didn't want to take their brood from them, so I couldn't fit all the honey they would need into one box.  Perhaps that was a mistake.  What do you guys think I should have done in this regard?  ...

Phillip said it best - "you did what you could". That's all.

For future reference, a hive that doesn't grow during the summer, has major issues. I had one last year - that never made it out of a medium 8-frame box. Nosema I think - but I don't know for sure. I finally dropped the entire hive into the freezer in mid summer, after our flow, to sterilize the equipment. Then I placed a split back into it and started over. I should have done this much earlier in the season.
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Offline The15thMember

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Re: Hive Postmortem
« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2020, 05:14:38 pm »
Alright, here's some more comb pictures.  2 things are making this diagnosis difficult.  #1, There is definitely powdered sugar on some of these frames.  #2, the robbing bees opened the honey cells really messy, and there are crumbs of wax all over the comb as well.  This is making it very hard to ID what is sugar or comb bits, and what is mite frass. 

Exhibit A: For reference, here is a picture of a section with powdered sugar, and a picture of the ripped open honey cells, just so you can see what these things look like on my camera. 
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Not all the pictures will fit on 1 post, so just hold your thoughts for a minute while I post the rest.


I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Hive Postmortem
« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2020, 05:20:19 pm »
Exhibit B: I think most of the debris in this picture is just comb bits.
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Exhibit C: I think this picture shows a little of all three, mite frass, comb bits, and sugar.  The deposits deep in the cells are probably mite frass. 
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Exhibit D: This picture seems to clearly show mite frass.  The comb in this area was pretty clean, and those little white spots are too deep in the cells to be powdered sugar.
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Honestly though, I think it's really hard to tell what's what.  So what do you guys think?   
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Hive Postmortem
« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2020, 05:39:58 pm »
Here's some more from a different camera.
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That first one I think is only powdered sugar.  Honestly, I think a lot of it is just sugar and comb debris.  There is some mite frass to be sure, but I really don't think it's as bad as it looks.  Thoughts? 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Hive Postmortem
« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2020, 05:57:19 pm »
What a clear pic, in focus to the bottom of the cell which looks like the cells were spit polished, made ready for a queen to lay in.  Very nice camera.  I would like to know what kind of camera.

I clearly see sugar as well as frass.  Every hive has mite frass, some frames more than others so detection of frass is not a conclusive unless there is quantity.  I cannot really define quantity of frass with any sort of accurate meaning.  I have seen frames with a lot more frass than shown in your pics; like every cell had a speck or two of frass which I do not see in your frames, Member.  A lot of cells do not even show frass, clean.

Again: What beautiful pics.
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Online Skeggley

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Re: Hive Postmortem
« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2020, 06:25:30 pm »
It must be your eyes.  :cheesy:  They are all workers in the pictures.
Ok, after double checking, Nah mate, not my eyes, definitely drones, check out the way their eyes meet at the top.


Offline The15thMember

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Re: Hive Postmortem
« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2020, 07:39:32 pm »
What a clear pic, in focus to the bottom of the cell which looks like the cells were spit polished, made ready for a queen to lay in.  Very nice camera.  I would like to know what kind of camera.

I clearly see sugar as well as frass.  Every hive has mite frass, some frames more than others so detection of frass is not a conclusive unless there is quantity.  I cannot really define quantity of frass with any sort of accurate meaning.  I have seen frames with a lot more frass than shown in your pics; like every cell had a speck or two of frass which I do not see in your frames, Member.  A lot of cells do not even show frass, clean.

Again: What beautiful pics.

Thank you for confirming what I thought I was seeing, Van.  I think we can chalk this one up to multiple factors, probably mites and a small cluster.  Perhaps the mites just weakened the bees enough that too many died off, and the cluster got too small to keep warm.  Do you agree? 

The camera is the camera on my iPod Touch.  The first pictures I posted are from my point-and-shoot, but as you can see, my iPod took much better ones.  The clarity can't be beat.  The only problem is you can't zoom using the iPod camera without losing the clarity. 

Ok, after double checking, Nah mate, not my eyes, definitely drones, check out the way their eyes meet at the top.

I'm sorry, but they are workers.  Here's a comparison photo that I snagged off of google. 

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I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline MikeyN.C.

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Re: Hive Postmortem
« Reply #27 on: February 05, 2020, 04:54:48 pm »
Member, you can nuc down 8-10 frame boxes , by using follower boards and foam, their entrance has to be so they can get to frames. To much space is a certain failure. I learned this the hard way , losing 8 out of 9 hives last year. 5 of the 8 was because of mites, 3 was my fault. The beauty of follower boards in 8-10 frame boxes, is u can expand as bee's expand instead of having all that room.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Hive Postmortem
« Reply #28 on: February 05, 2020, 05:52:13 pm »
Member, you can nuc down 8-10 frame boxes , by using follower boards and foam, their entrance has to be so they can get to frames. To much space is a certain failure. I learned this the hard way , losing 8 out of 9 hives last year. 5 of the 8 was because of mites, 3 was my fault. The beauty of follower boards in 8-10 frame boxes, is u can expand as bee's expand instead of having all that room.
Thanks for that idea, Mikey.  I don't have any follower boards at the moment, but I should probably get some.  Certainly cheaper than investing in a nuc or 2. 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Hive Postmortem
« Reply #29 on: February 05, 2020, 06:08:26 pm »
Member, you can nuc down 8-10 frame boxes , by using follower boards and foam, their entrance has to be so they can get to frames. To much space is a certain failure. I learned this the hard way , losing 8 out of 9 hives last year. 5 of the 8 was because of mites, 3 was my fault. The beauty of follower boards in 8-10 frame boxes, is u can expand as bee's expand instead of having all that room.
Thanks for that idea, Mikey.  I don't have any follower boards at the moment, but I should probably get some.  Certainly cheaper than investing in a nuc or 2.

I like Mikey's idea also . Mikey, did you buy the follow boards or did you make them yourself? The reason I am asking, after I have read your good idea I intend to make some of these. Can you send a picture of one of these along with the set up of foam?
Thanks,
Phillip

Offline MikeyN.C.

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Re: Hive Postmortem
« Reply #30 on: February 06, 2020, 02:05:01 pm »
I've not made any, I made nuc boxes. I seen theater method 2 yrs ago, the guy made follower boards with 1/4" plywood and used 2 " foam boards. U just have to make sure boards goes all the way to top and bottom so bee's can't get over, under or around follower boards. He used a piece of plywood with a 8x10" hole cut in it. To put between two boxes, so follower boards in top box would come all the way down to plywood inbetween.

Offline MikeyN.C.

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Re: Hive Postmortem
« Reply #31 on: February 06, 2020, 05:06:06 pm »
Main thing , is where there are no frames u can't have empty space, if u do and bee's can get to in that space you've got a problem.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Hive Postmortem
« Reply #32 on: February 06, 2020, 05:56:31 pm »
Yes I see your point. If they can reach the other side of the Follow board there could be a real mess during comb building season. During winter months at members location, this should not be as imperative as long as she gets back in before the spring comb building start?

Offline MikeyN.C.

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Re: Hive Postmortem
« Reply #33 on: February 06, 2020, 07:44:08 pm »
Not understanding .getting back . where the Queen goes is where bee's go.



Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Hive Postmortem
« Reply #34 on: February 06, 2020, 08:15:03 pm »
Not understanding .getting back . where the Queen goes is where bee's go.

Sorry Mikey. To be a little more clearer. In the winter months the bees pretty much shut down, depending on what area we are in. I am thinking in Members area this may be the case? No comb building. Or very little? So the total requirement a security sealed follow board should not me a problem, being the area past the follow board is or should be empty. The queen likes to stay on the comb of the brood mostly. Beings it?s winter, the bees should not build comb and everything should be ok in the hollow area past the follow board? If she goes back in, meaning Member, before new comb begins to be built, and does what needs to be done, she should be able to head any problems off at the pass. Best of all circumstances?
Phillip

Offline MikeyN.C.

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Re: Hive Postmortem
« Reply #35 on: February 06, 2020, 09:46:23 pm »
The hole point of using follower boards is to make a 8-10 frame box a 4-5 frame box , with no extra space, extra space is the problem.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Hive Postmortem
« Reply #36 on: February 06, 2020, 10:09:31 pm »
The hole point of using follower boards is to make a 8-10 frame box a 4-5 frame box , with no extra space, extra space is the problem.

Clearly understood, I am only saying that it should not be imperative if the follow board is not 100 percent sealed in the winter. The bees should stay in the desired place until spring in Members area. If we were trying to make a (divider board) for the purpose of housing 2 colonies in the same 8-10 frame box winter, summer, spring, and or fall then the sealed divider board would be imperative.  I understand you my friend. Thanks for your response. I have seen videos of the follow boards on Khmer beekeeping, a fellow for either Guam or The Philippines or somewhere in that area, (by the way he is always glad to answer questions if you are interested I will send the link to you), I had not seen close up and personal pictures of the set up. I do know that his (follow board) floated loosely and he would simply slide them over as one would slide a honey frame and add needed frames and foundation as hive grew. These follow boards looked to be a piece of
luan board attached to a regular wooden frame. I did not see a way this loose fitting follow board set-up could be sealed. I thought this is what you were describing as a (follow board) If you had such a set up I was interested in seeing your set up, close up Thanks for your reply just the same my friend.
Phillip

Online Skeggley

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Re: Hive Postmortem
« Reply #37 on: February 07, 2020, 02:52:04 am »

I'm sorry, but they are workers.  Here's a comparison photo that I snagged off of google. 

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All good mate, we must have different strains here as the female bees eyes here are visibly separated and on the sides more so.
I'd add a pic however I've given up trying.
Fortunately my biggest worry is wax moth...