Monday, November 26, 2012

Hive Disaster

The last time I opened up my hive I noticed the honey stores would not get them through the winter. So this past weekend I decided to open the hive and put some supplemental feed in for the winter. I had not checked my hive for a while other than watching bees come and go. 

I did not realize the bees coming and going recently, were not mine. They were robbing the abandoned hive. I guess I should have fed them earlier, maybe they would have had a better shot at surviving the first year. I hope I have better luck next year. 

The abandoned hive was not my only surprise.  As I started pulling top bars I noticed what I thought was a lot of spider webs. Boy was I wrong.

These are the larva of Achroia grisella or the Lesser Wax Moth. These are very plump from eating my hives wax and pollen stores. Waxmoths are bred and sold at pet shops as feeder worms. 

This is the damage they can do to a hive. This was my brood comb.

The wax gets completely destroyed. Almost all of my comb looks like this.

Almost all of the honey stores are gone. I am not sure if this is because the bees left with it, it got robbed or the wax moth larvae ate it. 

Here is a pic of some cross combing on the end of the hive. I wish this was my only problem.

Here is a pic of the little bastards. I plan on building new top bars for the hives. Hopefully next year I can get both hives healthy and able to fight this kind of infestation off. 

Here is the only honey I found in the hive. It tastes amazing. Hopefully I will have a better harvest next time. All I can do now is learn from my experience and do better next time. 


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  2. That is terrible. Keep at it. We harvested about 1.5 gallons this year from our top-bar in Year 2. We left quite a bit, and so far had no need for supplemental feeding. Nectar flow season here starts in Feb with Maple trees, so keeping our fingers crossed they make it through good.

    -Jim (from the SSG forums).

  3. Yeah I hope I have better luck this spring. I have two packages of bees ordered. I plan on changing my top bars to the 1/4 inch round type. Glad to hear someone had some luck!