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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Houston, Harris, Texas USA

    Default Novice bee keeper nervous about colony

    I put a package colony and queen in a new hive on Saturday. Am feeding with sugar syrup (simple). When what will I be looking for when I open my hive for the first time? How do I know that things are going along as expected.

    My hive is on some farm property west of Houston, Texas. Our farmhand is supplying the refills on syrup. Hive is in part shade and we do have a large water source near by. At this point I am using only one box - as per the advise of B. Weaver apiaries.

    If anyone will offer me guidance, I would certainly appreciate it. ALL of my books say things that are totally different from each other.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Kirkland, WA, USA


    For the first inspection, keep it simple:
    1. Check the queen cage. If the queen isn't out, release her by peeling back the screen and letting her walk onto the frames.
    2. If she's out, look for eggs and/or larva.
    3. Look at the comb they are drawing. pretty, huh? Remove the queen cage and push (gently) the frames together.

    If you let her out, mission accomplished.
    If she is already out and you found eggs or larva, mission accomplished.
    If you have a released queen and eggs or larva, your colony is on its way. Refill the feeder, take a deep whiff of the scent of the colony and close it up. You can of course practice finding the queen but if you can't it is no reason to worry. Eggs and larva mean there's a new generation coming. The next generation will draw wax easier, they'll replenish the dwindling population, and they'll mean a whole host of fuzzy faces greeting you next time you open the hive.

    Don't worry about using only one box. Your colony's primary challenge for the first four weeks is to draw comb and make more bees. After that is when the fun starts. - Tales of Beekeeping and Honeybees

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    College Station, Texas


    weimar writes:
    Hive is in part shade and we do have a large water source near by.

    tecumseh suggest:
    I would suggest that you move this hive to full sunshine and remove all vegetation around the hive. Likely??? the reason bweaver suggested one box was the small hive beetle (shb). placement of the hive in full sunshine and limiting space where the shb can linger are two of the most direct things you can do to limit this problem.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    New York City


    I'll add one minor note - remove the empty queen cage, and slide in any
    frame you removed to make room for the queen cage. Bees have this
    annoying habit of drawing comb first around the queen cage, rather than
    on the frames.

    Queen cages smell like a queen, so of course bees tend to favor them
    over something that does not smell like anything special.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Houston, Texas


    Weimar Bee,
    I live in Houston but keep two hives I started last year about 7 miles south of Weimar off FM 155. Glad to hear someone else starting hives in the area. This is my first spring & I am excited to see how it turns out. Got Small Hive Beetles last Sept & have had success with the West trap. Beesource has been a great resource. Lots of great people willing to share their knowledge & experience. Welcome.



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