Albuquerque Beekeepers

Urban beekeeping in New Mexico's largest city.

Does anyone else have small brown and black dots around the entrance to their hives. I fear this may be the dreaded nosema. I was still having a lot of activity around the entrance until a few days ago. Now nothing. Hopefully, I haven't lost them. Two of my hives are seemingly affected. I haven't opened them up yet from winter, so haven't been able to do a thorough analysis. I will do that on a much less windy and chilly morning. Also, if you think that you have had this, can you thoroughly clean the box and reuse it, or is it best to burn it and build another box?

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Probably not. Small dots on outside of hive is normal especially during the winter and after a cold snap when they have been house bound and unable to take cleansing flights... Are you seeing activity on warm days? Post pictures of what you have going on to get a better diagnosis.. I have dots on the outside of my hive and it's from the stuff they are foraging and scrounging around in from the compost pile nearby...

thanks Wendy. I haven't seen any activity for the past few days and I am going to open them up right now. i will let you know what I find.

thinking positively for you .

When I opened them up, there were no black dots on the inside of the hive, so I can rule out the nosema thing. One hive, I think may have frozen. There was no queen or brood and mostly empty comb except for one full bar of honey at the back and lots of dead bees on the floor. The other hive had almost no bees in it and those were dead. the comb was intact but there was a lot of sawdusty flakes of pollen on the floors of both hives. I didn't see any deteriorated/moth chewed comb, so I don't know what this could be. I was thinking maybe these hives had gotten robbed and then died. There were no supercedure cells to make me think that the empty group swarmed. Just gone. I don't think it is CCD. Any thoughts?

I had a very similar situation. I had the spots on the outside and when I opened it all the stores were gone, I had flakes of comb all over the floor. I also had dead bees on the floor of the hive but I also had two very small pockets of bees at the very top of the comb one containing the queen. I know my hive was weak going into winter but I think my hive was robbed because I saw some raucous behavior outside the hive back in December and just due to how the comb looked. I think after it was robbed the remaining bees froze. That's my novice opinion of what I think happened. I'm sorry you lost your hive.

thanks for the feedback Christina. I think that my situation sounds a lot like yours. My two remaining hives are extremely healthy, so I think that they might have robbed the others. I am not too disheartened because I have some survivors! Endless fascination these small and mighty creatures provide.

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