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Thread: NEWBEE PROBLEMS

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Santa Barbara, Calif. USA
    Posts
    135
    I hived my first bees (from swarms) in the last couple of weeks. From the outside the two hives seemed to be thriving and I decided to do my first inspecton of the frames. It was pretty much a disaster.

    I am using two 6 5/8 supers instead of one 9 1/2 for the brood chambers and the bees had put comb vertically between frames so when I lifted them out the bottom frame would come partially out with the upper frame then drop back knocking the bees every which way. I did my best to scrape away the comb between frames, but in doing that I got all mixed up on which frame goes where and did not but them back the way they were. Will this be a problem?? I never did see the Queen and hope the falling frames didn't hurt her.
    I also dropped one frame full of bees. It wasn't as easy as I thought it would beee!!
    GABE

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Santa Barbara, Calif. USA
    Posts
    135

    Post

    CORRECTION I didn't explain correctly.

    When I lifted off the top 6 5/8 super the bottom frames came up with it and I didn't know they were there till they dropped.
    GABE

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Langley, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    413

    Post

    BUNSONSR

    Don't be discouraged it gets easier the more you learn about them. Try to be gentle when working with them,use lots of cool smoke,go back in a few days and check for the queen or eggs .

    Terry

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Lenexa, Kansas
    Posts
    445

    Post

    Well, you now know that they have accepted the new digs, are building comb, and are settling in well.

    It's not a disaster, you just didn't get as far in your check as you had hoped. Next time will be easier and you will get more done.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Clayton Indiana
    Posts
    348

    Post

    It is not fun when things go that bad. It makes you wonder "why am I doing this?" But it does give you valuable experience. Stay with it, you will get better at it.
    Todd Zeiner

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,361

    Post

    Just twist the box sideways next time before you lift it. Burr comb between the boxes is just a bee sidewalk to get around easier.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Langley, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    413

    Post

    Bunsunsr,

    If twisting doesnt work for you, gently pry the top brood box up and check for lower frames that are stuck and using your hive tool, gently pry then apart. When the upper brood box is free, set it aside onto the upper lid, work your hives from the bottom up.
    Take frame 1 or 10 out and check it , holding it above the brood box in case the queen is there and drops off. Then pull the next frame into the empty space (left from taking out the first frame) and lift it straight out, check it, holding it above the brood box, put it back in place and check the next one.
    Keep going like this until they are all checked, and finally put the original frame back into the brood box in it's original position. This way you wont lose track of where they go.
    Then move on to the top brood box and check each frame in the same way.
    Finally replace the inner cover and the top cover and that's it.
    Remember to use cool smoke before you start and when you are prying the boxes apart.

    Terry

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Clayton Indiana
    Posts
    348

    Post

    You might also want to make sure the frame rest's got put on. I know that if they are not installed, then the "bee space" in too much between the boxes. This greater gap results in more burr comb. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
    Todd Zeiner

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,809

    Post

    I leave all the burr comb. It just gives the queen a ladder from one box to the next. But that's my opinion. If they burr it up it's probably because you either have some kind of frames with a very thin top bar (like Pierco frames or PermaComb) or the beespace is off for some reason.

    I just use a frame lifter to lift each frame, or lift the top box a little and pry them off of the bottom of the one above.

    I've had this "problem" consitently on anything with a thin top bar including PermaComb, DE hives etc. But I don't see it as a problem anymore. It just encourages the bees to treat it all as one big comb anyway.

    It takes almost an inch thickness of top bar to stop them from doing this consistently.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Mebane, NC, USA
    Posts
    115

    Post

    I've had the problem of some frames burred onto the ones below them. The first time I discovered this, after prying the 2 boxes apart, the bees started pouring out between the 2 boxes. What a sick feeling, when I realized what was happening and I had to squish many bees that were pouring out. They got squished because I wasn't prepared for these frames being burred together, and I had to drop the top box back down, then try again. I got some wood shims and put them in between the 2 boxes after prying them apart again. Then I could go in between the boxes with my hive tool and separate the burred-together frames.
    I too have a question re. twisting the boxes to break the burr comb. Doesn't this run the risk of harming or even killing the queen, if she happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,361

    Post

    anything is possible, but in reality it hasn't been a problem. Any inspection has the chance of harming the queen.

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