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Slugs are eating the comb and stores!

 
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Ariel
New Bee


Joined: 07 Apr 2015
Posts: 7
Location: Hertfordshire, UK

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:51 pm    Post subject: Slugs are eating the comb and stores! Reply with quote

Hello,
I seem to have an issue with slugs eating the bee's stores Sad
Last week I noticed that some comb had been badly damaged, originally I thought it was a mouse but it seemed way to organised an eating pattern, keeping to only one half of the comb and not breaking through.
This evening I looked through the window with a torch and found that there were many more points with the same destruction and one length of comb that had a whole section eaten out from its middle! Please see photos in links below.
Then I saw a small slug on the inside wall of the hive and some slime on the other side and I now think slugs are the culprits.
Im in Hertfordshire, UK and the bees are flying in the warmer parts of the day but I think its still too cold to open up the hive to take the slugs out.

Has anyone experienced anything like this before? Do you have any suggestions for a solution?

https://i.imgsafe.org/b7ed1ca9b1.jpg
https://i.imgsafe.org/b7ed2071e2.jpg
https://i.imgsafe.org/b808bea028.jpg
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1439
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

I am pretty confident that slugs are not responsible for that. I had a real problem with slugs in a couple of hives last summer and we are talking numerous huge leopard print slugs but they didn't do any noticeable damage to the comb. I would very much doubt even an army of them could eat a hole in a comb like that. You would also see the comb covered in slug slime traces if they were responsible.

I think your original thoughts on a mouse might be correct or the colony were robbed in the autumn.

It looks like they might be getting low on stores and whilst I wouldn't normally recommend opening the hive at this time of year, we are having an unseasonably warm spell that you might be wise to utilise to check and/or put some fondant in.

Good luck with getting them through to Spring.

Regards

Barbara
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Ariel
New Bee


Joined: 07 Apr 2015
Posts: 7
Location: Hertfordshire, UK

PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Barbara,
Hmmm thats good to know, I think I just panicked when I saw all that damage. I will keep an eye on them and feed asap.
They are quite a small colony so they could have very likely have been robbed.
Thanks very much for your advise, I really appreciate it!
Warmest wishes,
Ariel
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