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mould on capped honey

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New Bee

Joined: 29 Dec 2015
Posts: 3
Location: Birmingham,West Midlands, UK

PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 5:29 pm    Post subject: mould on capped honey Reply with quote

I am fairly new to beekeeping, and have my bees in a national hive.
I waited to open the hive until this week due to temperatures, and found that two thirds of the capped honey in super had greyish mould on them. The bees are thriving, and bringing in pollen and are very busy when weather permits, but did notice some dead bees at the front of the hive in recent weeks.

My question is could this be connected? and do I leave the bees to sort this out or do I remove the frames with mould on?

I did put insulation inside the roof over winter, so am assuming that this is what caused this. I have since removed this. One site I looked at suggested as the bee count rises they will take care of the mould, is this true?

Thanks very much
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1857
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Verity.

Yes, I have seen bees clean up both mouldy honey comb and mouldy brood comb and some of it was in a pretty shocking condition, so I would leave it for them to sort out, when they are strong enough.
I wonder what sort of insulation you used? If I insulate at all, I try to use something that has a wicking or at least breathable property. I've used a pile of newspaper or a pillow case stuffed with straw or even an old feather pillow itself, or an offcut of wool carpet. Since Nationals have trickle vents at the top it can be quite helpful to place something over the crown board that sucks up some of the moisture but prevents a flow of air and resultant heat loss.

Congratulations on getting your bees through winter. Dead bees at/below the hive entrance at this time of year is pretty normal as the bees will be doing some spring cleaning of the hive, particularly in stronger colonies. There is natural die back over winter but it is not a priority to remove the dead until the temperature conditions warm up outside and there are enough workers to spare for such a task and the same will be true of the mould on the comb.

Good luck with them.

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