I opened my two hives today for the first time. Everything looke good. The queens had been released and they were building lots of comb. I was amazed at how transluscent and pristine the comb looked. Really amazing to me. I was also surprised at the weight of the frames that had a lot of sugar water stored in them. There was some pollen in cells also. I couldnt see any eggs for the life of me. I removed some comb they had built in the big gap where I hung the queen cages and brought it inside when I was finished and with a good light I could see eggs in it so I guess everything is going according to plan. I was antsy about keeping the hive open too long so I didnt stay in long on either hive. Do you all have a time limit once you open one or do you look for signs that you should go ahead and finish up?
Denise, I saw the drones you talked about before. They looked like big old fat overgrown workers.
It is very difficult to see eggs on pristine white comb like that. It is really pretty wax isn't it.
I did my first hive check today. I found out reading about it is a whole lot easier than actually doing it! All three queens were freed, I saw them in hives one and two but in hive three (permacomb) there were more bees and I couldn't find her. I'm sure I just overlooked her. Didn't see eggs in any of them, but lots of pollen in the permacomb. I sure hope confidence comes with practice, I felt pretty inept this morning.
my first i year i remember being nervous about having the hive open too long and chilling the brood,etc.,i would find the queen only part of the time.after a while you relax and get to know what you are looking at,get a good technique down for handling your frames so you don't crush your queen and the bees will also be less alarmed.be sure to remove an end frame or 2 and set it aside so you have room to work the frames loose.after a few more weeks i think you will find will got more and more enjoyable.the bees usually take care of themselves.
Dave, I know exactly what you mean about feeling inept. I think I did OK and I wasn't really nervous but I did feel rushed for some reason. Next week I'm going to take more time and look for the queen. I know she's there because of the eggs. How are you taking sugar water to the hives? I'm thinking of getting one of those plastic gas cans with the spout and using it. Right now I'm carrying it in a bucket. Good luck and keep writing so we can compare notes and share experience.
All three queens were freed, I saw them in hives one and two but in hive three (permacomb) there were more bees
Were hives one and two on fresh foundation or drawn comb?
Did you notice more brood as well as bees on the Permacomb?
Are hives one and two mediums or deep and how many?
How many mediums of PC are you using?
I am a little late on my second year back into bees due to several good jobs. This is unusual for the electrical business during a slow economy and at this time of the year. Last year my brother and I got 3- 3 pound packages and got started. We ended the the year with 11 hives. Last Monday we put 5 medium supers, that had been stored in plastic bags after freezing for 1 week, back on the hives and added supers for all the others. Plus we added 1 undrawn super above each drawn super on the stronger hives. All 11 hives made it through and some are very strong without the use of drugs or chemicals.
People just keep asking us to get bees out of every kind of container, there are just too many to do. But we did do one for a guy I had promised about a year ago. The bees were in a electrical control panel on a pump jack oil well. Because we were so late, last Sunday he tried to kill them with diesel and had tried to wash them out. Finally he tied a chain to the box and pulled it off the pole just to get the bees out of the way. He got stung once and gave up. When we arrived there it was late and after looking at the mess we decided to just gut the hive out so that he could have his box back. After I removed the first comb about 2 by 1 foot I noticed a lot of bees but they were not mean at all and there was a lot of brood and a good pattern. But since we did not have our bee vac we still thought this would not work. When I pulled the second comb out and turned it over there she was a beautiful queen on the comb just slowly walking. Now we knew we could not kill this hive, gentle at least for south TEXAS, no signs of mites,and a lot of brood, and strong so we caught her in a queen catcher and put her in the hive while we salvaged as much brood and comb as possible. We released her and she walked right across the frame and onto the comb. Now they might not make it, but it sure was exciting to find the queen in all that mess and save a possible mite resistant hive. Now is the time to stop the madness, only 3 boxes left to catch our own swarms and I must learn to say no.
It looks like a good spring for bees in the Houston area Chinese tallow trees are busting out and plenty of moisture is in the soil for cotton.
[This message has been edited by James Urbish (edited April 06, 2003).]
I'm using hivetop feeders from Beecommerce.com and carrying the syrup to the hives in gallon milk jugs that we had saved up. I'm mixing Honey-B-Healthy in each gallon and mixed in Terramycin and Fumidil in the second batch just to be on the safe side.
Both hives one and two have fresh Plasticell foundation in a single deep. Hive three is two mediums of PC, I hung the queen cage in the top med. and sprayed all PC frames with Honey-B-Healty syrup before hiving. All three have only been hived seven days, I didn't see anything but pollen in the PC and a little in the drawn comb of the Plasticel. There may well have been eggs, but they weren't obvious and I didn't spend much time looking. Like James, I felt rushed for some reason. Thanks for y'alls responses.