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worst beekeeper ever?!

 
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mrspicklebockle
House Bee


Joined: 20 Mar 2011
Posts: 23
Location: Bristol, UK

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 1:20 pm    Post subject: worst beekeeper ever?! Reply with quote

I think I'm after reassurance that I did the right thing today but I'm really not sure I should get it.. what do you think....am I the worst beekeeper ever??
Several weeks ago I went into my Horizontal TBH and there were no eggs/larve to be seen and very few bees left. Ive bene watching them through the window and at entrance since and the number seems to dwindle even more. So today I went into the hive with the intention of emptying it of the wax/ honey, unless I saw any evidence of eggs/ larvae - my hope was that they living bees would beg entrance at another hive and stand some chance!

There was no evidence of egge/ larvae so I started the most soul distroying job a beekeeper can do- clear the hives out with still a few hundred bees milling about.

Towards the end of the comb removal I spotted the Queen!!!! My feeling was to quickly resemble the colony and hope they'd recover BUT I didnt do this. Throughout the colony was evidence of some sort of worms/ maggots. The queen was lethargic and no evidence of any eggs/ larvae and still very few bees so I continued my work and cleared the hive! The Queen was dead on top of the bars by the end and her workers surrounded her.
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CeeBee
Foraging Bee


Joined: 16 Jun 2013
Posts: 104
Location: UK, Cambridge, Milton

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If 'a few hundred bees' was a serious estimate, and indeed no eggs/larvae, then it matter not if there's an actual queen there, as she is presumably disfunctional. Presumably the bees had no chance to attempt to rear a new queen, as there were no eggs/larvae from which to start. There is no way this lot would 'recover' if you'd put them back together, since the queen doesn't seem to lay eggs. And the worms/maggots are, I guess, the larvae of wax moths, going about their designed purpose of destroying old comb (it's the protein from old larval cases they really want, not the wax) and not enough bees to keep them at bay.

So nothing else you could do, and worth destroying the old comb just in case of disease.
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1051
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree - this was not a functional colony, despite appearing to have a queen.

I would recommend you get a bee inspector or other experienced beekeeper to examine them before housing another colony, just in case.
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mrspicklebockle
House Bee


Joined: 20 Mar 2011
Posts: 23
Location: Bristol, UK

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 11:51 pm    Post subject: thanks Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply and reassurance Smile
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