Spiders in the hive

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Spiders in the hive

Post by RussAyres » Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:48 pm

Hi. I have a Kenyan Top Bar hive. I recently returned from five weeks holiday to find Red Backs had taken up residence in the hive roof (ie not in the hive itself, as best I can see). I killed 14 female spiders and as many of the males as I could see. There were a lot of bee carcasses in the roof cavity (perhaps 40-50), presumably victims of the spiders. Should I do anything further? (NB I also noted that despite having been away five weeks and this being a new colony this year, there was no new comb built while I was away. There is also very little honey that I can see. Not sure if any of that relates to the spiders.)

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Re: Spiders in the hive

Post by Jonj » Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:07 pm

The lack of comb (wax) can be attributed to the lack of nectar, something that is affecting most colonies at the moment. I wouldn't place too much emphasis on the spiders, although having redbacks in your hive isn't healthy for the beekeeper. Most of my (and others) hives are in a holding pattern at the moment, just marking time, hoping for a late nectar flow. It's been a rotten year so far.


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Re: Spiders in the hive

Post by Dick » Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:08 pm

I think you are doing the right thing with the spiders, manual removal.

The lack of honey and failure of the colony to grow is common in Canberra and surrounds this year. And it is the second year in a row. Just make sure you have healthy brood and prepare to feed before winter if things don't improve.

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