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Drone Bee
Nov 9, 2008
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Can anyone tell me what is in this pile underneath my hive, sorry the image is crap, i am again asuming its chewed away wax cappings as they eat stores, im sure i can see what looks like sugar crystals, as its my first winter i wanted to ask those with more experience what they can read from it ?

What have those bees been up to. ??

There were even bees on the underside of the OMF, just three or four, not sure what they were up to.
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I am not the best one to answer but I think its cappings and Ivy sugar.

If left it goes rock solid and has to be taken off with your hive tool.
Have you used apiguard ?.reason I ask is that bees will remove from foil container and post it through the omf :) once in the cold it stays crystalised and stops evaporating ,
Scrape some out and have a sniff, the smell of thymol is quite distinct .

I did treat with Apiguard back in sept, the removable floor was in at the time tho to collect the mite drop.
This has built up since i shut them away for winter, they did take down syrup in the first few weeks of Oct when we had the warm spells, and they have also had some fondant.
I wouldnt worry too much but it might be interesting to view it with a strong magnifying glass
Nothing to worry about Andy,just general waste and other bugs that live among the bee's,bits of capping,pollen,granulated stores.Get this all the time on the slides for monitoring varroa.If you have not got mouse guards on in very cold weather,and you see bits of comb outside the entrance,plus sometimes grass and leaves pulled just inside then its, well mice.
Thanks HM

I was dying to open them up and have a peek, i held my nerve tho. im getting better.
As long as they are strong,they should be fine,worth just lifting the crown board to check they are strong.
If i do have a peek, (looks like a cold snap is on its way this weekend tho) How many frames would you expect to see covered ? i guess less than four would be critical ??
Was looking at mine this afternoon,all hives are flying except a WBC with Italians who are clustered.

The flying bees are local mongrels and Carnies.
Depends on the breed of bee's,if you have carnica they apparently have a smaller cluster in winter,and you have langstroth hives with big frames so five frames should be fine,if they were a nuc then they would most likely only have 3 frames and overwinter okay.I have some now with 3 and 4 frames in bs nucs and they are fine.

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