Author Topic: Dead Hive and Mold  (Read 347 times)

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Offline jwalter04

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Dead Hive and Mold
« on: April 09, 2018, 06:02:46 pm »
Title pretty much says it. Took a peek in my hive today to find total devastation. No survivors and a bluish grey mold everywhere. (See photos) I’m guessing this was caused by excessive moisture. Not sure what I did wrong. This hive has been overwintered 3 years the same way without problem.
My question is, what are my options?  Is anything salvageable? Honey, foundation, the boxes themselves? 
I had planned on starting a second hive this summer so I have a complete second hive setup and a bee order in for early May so I’m ahead of the game in that respect.







Offline Perry

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Re: Dead Hive and Mold
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2018, 08:55:57 pm »
Looks like the cluster wasn't big enough and at some point retreated and huddled in the corner where it perished. Could be for a multitude of reasons, failed queen, mite load, etc, but I sure don't think it starved. What you see in your hive is not all that uncommon when you tear apart a dead out. Once you make sure it didn't die of anything serious (AFB), simply turn a hose on the moldy frames (what I see isn't that bad), let the frames dry out and re-use them in your next hive. You could scrape the boxes down a bit but the bees themselves will clean up most of what I see. Said it before but it's worth repeating, sometimes you can do everything "right", and still have things go wrong. It's nature after all. ;)
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Offline jwalter04

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Re: Dead Hive and Mold
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2018, 09:02:14 pm »
That’s good news. It would be a shame to have to toss all that foundation, honey, etc. so much work went into it. Should give the new colony a good head start.

Offline riverbee

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Re: Dead Hive and Mold
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2018, 11:24:22 pm »
jwalter, what is your set up for overwintering bees?

this can be salvaged like perry said, just wondering when you last checked the hive?

it's best to remove a dead out as soon as we can, and 'clean' it up as best we can before mold gets too bad. mold is a result of colony death, bees respiration, decomposing bee bodies, deitrus, temps, etc.... and it just keeps on growing; many things in a hive contribute to mold and mold growth after the bees die.

your hive probably died like perry said, because of mites, queen failure, or other reason.  the cluster was too small for some reason.
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Offline jwalter04

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Re: Dead Hive and Mold
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2018, 06:23:39 am »
For winterizing I’ve keept it pretty simple.
Reduce the hive down to two deeps
Rearrange frames so that any half or empty ones are towards the outside
Replace screened bottom with a solid one
In fall I add a top feeder and around early Dec that gets removed and a normal top cover goes on
An entrance reducer gets put on around this time too.

This would be the 4th summer for this hive and it has survived the last 3 winters.

Offline Robo

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Re: Dead Hive and Mold
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2018, 02:09:58 pm »
Like others have said, from what you showed it should be salvageable.  Frames with anything more than 1/3 of dead and mold I usually chuck.   For my deadouts, I brush off the dead bees and then give them an uv/ozone treatment to kill off the mold and 'bad stuff' for a week or so. 
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


Offline jwalter04

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Re: Dead Hive and Mold
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2018, 03:20:59 pm »
Got my new colony of bees today. I had an entire new hive that I was gonna use to start a 2nd colony so I decided to use that one to get a fresh start. I plan on slowly adding the mold/dead out frames once these new bees get situated so as not to overwhelm them. I put the 3 cleanest frames (2 capped honey, 1 empty brood cells) in with 7 brand new ones so they have something to feed on and get a bit of a head start. Anything else I should be doing or missed? 


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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Dead Hive and Mold
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2018, 04:33:51 pm »
Feed them 1:1 sugar syrup until they don't take it anymore. 

Offline jwalter04

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Re: Dead Hive and Mold
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2018, 04:46:02 pm »
Good idea once they settle down I’ll put the feeder on.


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Offline riverbee

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Re: Dead Hive and Mold
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2018, 12:35:13 am »
"Got my new colony of bees today
I put the 3 cleanest frames (2 capped honey, 1 empty brood cells) in with 7 brand new ones so they have something to feed on and get a bit of a head start"


jw, were these package bees?
also, no need to wait for them to 'settle down' to put 1:1 feed on, and would feed as bakersdozen suggested.

are the '7 brand new ones (frames) undrawn? or drawn?
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Offline jwalter04

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Re: Dead Hive and Mold
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2018, 05:17:23 am »
Package bees. Undrawn frames. By “settle down” I meant till this morning when they are all in the hive and not buzzin all over the place exploring and whatnot after just having been dumped into their new home. I’ve got a top feeder


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Offline Lburou

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Re: Dead Hive and Mold
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2018, 09:47:11 am »
...For my deadouts, I brush off the dead bees and then give them an uv/ozone treatment to kill off the mold and 'bad stuff' for a week or so. 
Robo, I'm interested in this process you describe.  Please, start a thread on your process.  :)
Lee_Burough

Offline riverbee

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Re: Dead Hive and Mold
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2018, 10:58:47 pm »
"Package bees. Undrawn frames. By “settle down” I meant till this morning when they are all in the hive and not buzzin all over the place exploring and whatnot after just having been dumped into their new home. I’ve got a top feeder"


okay, got it!  best wishes, keep us posted!
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Dead Hive and Mold
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2018, 08:11:45 am »
...For my deadouts, I brush off the dead bees and then give them an uv/ozone treatment to kill off the mold and 'bad stuff' for a week or so. 
Robo, I'm interested in this process you describe.  Please, start a thread on your process.  :)
Lee, thanks for asking.  I read that, wondered what it was, but didn't act on it.  Robo, I would like to see a thread on this subject too.

Offline Robo

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Re: Dead Hive and Mold
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2018, 07:32:33 pm »
Sorry Lee,   Been away and Riverbee just poked me to respond :-)

So here is my setup



I stack the supers 5-6 high with the bottom closed off.  I have the light on a timer for 15 min every 6 hours.  I have no rationale for this other than the bulbs have a limited life.   

Here is the bulb I use https://www.buyultraviolet.com/ultraviolet-lamps-uv-bulbs-ozone-gph287t5vh-05-1053-r

When I have multiple stacks of drawn comb I will move the light from one stack to another after about a week.  Stacks without the light get a queen excluder on top to keep the chipmunks out and also lets light in.  With this process I have no issue with wax moths either.
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

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Offline Lburou

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Re: Dead Hive and Mold
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2018, 07:50:53 pm »
Very interesting, thanks for the explanation.  :)
Lee_Burough