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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Santa Fe TN USA
    Posts
    36

    Default New bee keeper questions

    I purchased 2 complete hives about a month ago. One of the hives seems to be doing great but the other I am worried about. I went through the hives last week to look for the queen and inspect the brood but could not find the queen or any brood in the weaker hive. On the other hive I could identify the queen and brood. The guy i bought the hives from is also my mentor and he is having health issues. There seemed to be allot of bees in there and there was some uncapped honey. There are also allot of bees bringing in pollen which someone told me is a good sign the queen is there but I missed her. What should I do. It will be too cold to go back in the brood area until mid next week. I am so new I am wondering if I missed something or if I really have a problem.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Alpharetta, GA, USA
    Posts
    521

    Default

    When the weather warms next week try pulling a frame or two of young brood and eggs and place in the middle of the hive in question. This is a good diagnostic tool because if it doesn't have a queen, you should see queen cups formed in a few days. If that happens just let them make a new queen or quickly order a new one, if you like. Be careful not to move the queen with the frame of brood though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,985

    Default

    unless you are experiencing some very cool weather the lack of brood in the weak hive likely means that it is queenless (I am of course assuming there is some provisions in the weak hive which might also keep the queen there from laying). as kenpkr sezzz remove a frame or two of very green brood (eggs and very young larvae) to the possibly queenless unit. bump (grasp a single frame by the top bar ears and give a quick flip of the wrist) or brush the bees off the frames before exchanging.... I would assume the two frames from the weak hive will go back into the strong so go ahead and bump any bees off this frame also before placing in the other hive. mixing brood between hives is one thing but it is not such a great idea to move live bees since these may create it own problems.

    if??? one hive is queenless and the other is queenright it is not such a bad idea to notice the behaviorial differences between the two since this is the first indication of a hive having problems that will commonly reoccur in any and all hives.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Santa Fe TN USA
    Posts
    36

    Default

    Yes I have noticed the one I do not think has a queen is much more gentle. Also they do not seem to fly as much. The stronger have will fly earlier and on cooler days. I thought this was probably genetic differences but is probably due to the queen issue I guess.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Santa Fe TN USA
    Posts
    36

    Default

    Thanks for the replies. One more question. If I move the eggs and young brood and they do not have a queen how long before I should see a queen cell and how long before i have a laying queen back in the hive?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,410

    Default

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmath.htm

    Approximately 24 days.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oxford, Kansas
    Posts
    1,988

    Default

    I bet you got a queen in there if the bees are bringing in pollen. She may have just not started laying strong yet. I would do has mentioned above and add a frame of eggs. If you are queenless you should see a queen cell in a couple of days.

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