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Heather 

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View attachment 1402

Hope this pic not too big- first attempt

I was called to look at a hive with woodpecker damage - hole big enough to get my fist in! Is the white 'chalk brood'- if not, any thoughts?? Was a mess, but bees safe further in.
Repairs are under way and feed on- fine Chicken wire in place now!
 

Chris B 

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Hi Heather,

possibly chalkbrood but personally I think it looks more like crystallized ivy honey that never got capped. Also a bit of waxmoth or is that a trick of the light?
 

mbc 

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I think the white stuff looks like moldy pollen
 

tonybloke 

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well, that's 3 different responses, how many more will we get? LOL :)
 

m100 

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Chalk brood in my experience is always darker and usually more black than white



well, that's 3 different responses, how many more will we get? LOL :)
Based on past experience, on average you should expect about 1.5 answers per beekeeper, although this might be skewed slightly by the consumption of alcohol.
 

sherwood 

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It is alomost certainly white mould and fungus spores that grow on pollen when it gets damp.
 

wightbees 

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is this a seasonal thing or can it happen at any time of year?
 

mbc 

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tends to happen on unoccupied combs with stored pollen without cappings. these unoccupied combs tend to occur more in the winter so you could say its seasonal
 

oliver90owner 

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One thing it will not likely to be, that close to the hive wall and at this time of the year - brood.

RAB
 

Heather 

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And sadly, an occupied hive. Poor bees. Neglect makes me angry. The hole has been sealed up and all polythene removed, to allow proper ventilation. The bees are at the back of the hive. Amazingly - coping.
I will transfer to a new box asap- with the bee keepers permission, of course!! Think he has just about given up.
 
T

Tom Bick 

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And sadly, an occupied hive. Poor bees. Neglect makes me angry. The hole has been sealed up and all polythene removed, to allow proper ventilation. The bees are at the back of the hive. Amazingly - coping.
I will transfer to a new box asap- with the bee keepers permission, of course!! Think he has just about given up.
Your concern for the bees is wonderful heather and you obviously are concerned for the bees and please forgive me for pointing out the obvious that despite the woodpecker damage the poor neglected bees have and will look after themselves.
 

Hombre 

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I understand that woodpecker behavior of this type is learned. If the keeper had not experienced the problem at this site previously or been specifically warned that it was not just a possibility, but a probability, then I suspect that calling it negligence is a bit strong.

If he/she has only one or two colonies and is a first or second year keeper, then this is much the same as a break in at home. He/she will be feeling rather despondent to say the least.

As mentioned, your assistance is admirable, but please don't make remarks that obliquely disparage your friend. Your assistance is either given voluntarily or it is not. Your opinion which may be perfectly valid is gratuitous and does service to neither yourself or the fellow beekeeper that you assisted. I'm sure that he/she is a lot wiser now. :)

I'm sure that it just slipped out in a moment of bee keeping passion. :grouphug:
 

Heather 

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It wasnt a friend as such - Ok. I own up - it was at one of our out - apiaries being 'managed'!!! Or not. And as a committee member I had every right to disparage the condition of the colonies. I was angry. How can you show that as a teaching example!!!
Today I chicken wired them all, so allowing the hives to dry out. Bees ok :cheers2:

Onward and upward - if it stops raining
 
T

Tom Bick 

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Hi Heather

I think it will be a good teaching experience the BB if kept will show the new beekeepers what a woodpecker can do if they are in your area the photo did that for me, and also it takes the pressure of all the students they see that things can go wrong and its how you deal with it that matters.
 

Heather 

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Good idea Tom. We will transfer to a new BB when a suitable moment and, Yes, I will keep that box as an example. It was the followup treatment of covering the whole lot with bin liners that did it for me- Hives sooooooo wet now. Damp kills more than cold. Should be good bees to breed from - resilient colony!

It is a worry, the Assoc is lovely, good bee keepers generally, but we have lots of new people and I cannot stand by and see poor bee keeping from the few who allegedly set the example.
The new brooms are disturbing some people. Hope the dust settles, not chokes them :ack2:
 

oliver90owner 

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Seemss to me to be no great issue. Woodpecker hole. It happens. Simple fix is a piece of ply, or similar, pilot drilled and then screwed to the brood box. No need to further disturb the bees unecessarily until the weather improves.

Bin bags - sounds like inexperience to me. Bin liners are about as useful for that as the proverbial chocolate teapot. If this was a whole apiary being 'managed', it sounds as though a little more experience is needed. Who 'employed' this person? Some of the responsibility must be their responsibility too.

RAB
 

Hebeegeebee 

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I recall reading that in the US tar paper was recommended to wrap around colonies which would probably have the same effect at polythene. I know some have used polythene in the past as the pesky 'peckers can't get a grip I understand so I guess there was a reason for the plastic. Maybe someone with a PVC fetish? Heather you can get your whip out and administer suitable punishment!

Heather, did you have open mesh floors under the hives?
 

Heather 

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Not yet- as wasn't my place to say- after next Wednesday - YES :toetap05:

Haven't used the whip since I put the uniform away -
 
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