Problem with my bees?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by KingOfFools, Feb 14, 2015.

  1. I am having a potential problem with my bees. I have two brood chambers, a queen excluder and one honey super. I have bees that just got over verrora mites about a month ago. I see activity in each of the 3 boxes. There are busy workers, and they seem happy, healthy and docile. I have not been able to carry out a proper hive inspection for a few months. They were real defensive and it was impossible.

    Now they are great. I looked at the honey super (shallow one), and they are going there but not drawing comb yet. The top brood chamber is not fully drawn yet on the outside frames but everything that is is honey... no brood. I separated the top and bottom brood chambers to look in the bottom frames, doing the twist move so that frames don't come up with the top brood frames, and found something crazy. There were larvae all on the top of two or three frames. They were fully formed, white, juicy... I dissected one and found zero visible problems. So now I'm worried.

    I thought that maybe they just filled in between the frames with comb and brood. Never heard of that though. The workers only got agitated when they were exposed and covered them up. There are no queen cells that I can tell.

    Any experienced beekeepers advice would be great.

  2. Razadia

    Razadia The Odd One

    Apr 7, 2011
    Montgomery, Alabama
    Depending on where you are you shouldn't have a honey super on your hive this time of year. All their energy is going into keeping themselves warm and alive. When you don't check your hive for several months they tend to fill in the spaces with burr comb.
  3. ChickenWing

    ChickenWing Songster

    Feb 5, 2008
    Is there a honey flow in your area now? Are the flowers blooming?

    If not, take the super off till the top hive body is mostly drawn out.

    If there is, you'll be ok as things are.

    If there is enough room between the bottom of the frames in the top hive body and the top of the frames in the lower hive body, they will build comb in there. Its normal if they are not cleaned off regularly. Often times it will be drone cells. Your queen is laying, the bees are happy, they have honey stores... It doesn't sound like you have anything to worry about. You can scrape the burr comb off or leave it. It just makes it harder to get things apart when you inspect.

    As for the empty frames in the top brood box, I would move them closer to the center and they should draw them out as soon as there is a flow on. I assume you have the queen excluder above both hive body's, correct? You can also get rid of that until they start drawing the comb in the super.
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  4. Oh yeah, I should've mentioned im in SoCal. It's like 80 F on average now. This is flow time here.

  5. That is what I was hoping to hear. They are Dadant brand so I assumed the spacing was dead on, but without a proper hive inspection for that long, I suppose it was bound to happen. I will try moving the undrawn frames to the center. Great idea. I'll also try to keep the excluder off for now since the super comb isn't drawn. Thank you.
  6. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Crowing

    Apr 11, 2011
    I'm jealous of your warm weather, we're calling for anywhere between 3-12" of snow and -9 tonight :(
    Moving the frames to the center was a good suggestion, as is scraping off any burr comb. Also, doing more frequent inspections is obviously a good idea. Don't feel bad though, you're not alone. I didn't check my hive for several months before winter hit. I have no idea what I'll find when I open them up in the Spring. Probably a mess. But, honestly, I was just happy to see them flying when we had a warm snap not too long ago (which means I haven't killed them)!
    1 person likes this.

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