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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Cameron, MO
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    Default Newbee's reaction to nuc's actions.

    I installed my first nuc 10 days ago. I checked them out Sunday, they have drawn 1/2 a side of comb. That seems a little slow but its been stormy and cool. The queen was real busy which seems good. The bee's are bringing in pollen. I am feeding them sugar water and spilled some yesterday and today in came the ants. I put some ant killer under a pie pan on the closest ant hill to control that.
    I saw 2-3 bee's hovering toward the hive just above the entrance(bottom), Not in any hurry to land. They would come down to the entrance and then bump into a bee coming out then frantically hover some more. I finally saw one fly into the far corner. Could this bee a robber? or do the family bee's hover in front of the hive? I also noticed alot of black crumbs(and pollen) under my screen bottom on the whiteboard. What could this possibly bee? Last of all I saw some smaller bee's peeking out the entrance today and all the other bee's seemed to go over and say hi. Could this bee the newest family members? Just learning things and asking questions.thx

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Grifton, NC
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    1,302

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    When you feed one hive, bees from a stronger hive willget the news and try to rob. I always leave entrance reducers in on smaller or weaker hives. That gives the guard bees a little advantage against interlopers. Those bees nervously flitting to and fro and trying to test the guards are probably potential robbers. Foragers with pollen or honey or water will usually flop on the front porch and will be greeted by the guards and admitted.

    I have a swarm I caught that I am feeding and the ants are trying to get in. I use the inverted bucket feeders on the inner cover with a hive body between the inner cover and telescoping cover to contain the feeder bucket. I opened the hive today to check the feeder and the top edge of the hive body was ringed by ants, but the bees were keeping them at bay.

    The crumbs are probably just trash where the bees have chewed off cappings or cleaned out old comb. Pollen drop just happens. The pollen baskets aren't that secure. That why pollen traps work.
    Banjos and bees... how sweet it is!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Cameron, MO
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    586

    Default newbee reaction

    I dont know of any "kept hives" around and have the area surrounded w/ traps w/ in a 1/2 mile radius. Hopefully if there is another batch of bee's they will like my traps!!! I did put in a reducer for the possibility of robbing and to help keep in the heat. Its been cruddy weather here w/ rain and wind most days these past few months. It is suppose to warm up and clear up so I'll keep an eye on these hovering bee's and see what happens. The ants(3 different types!) seem to be kept a bay so far. I may put in a frame feeder to keep the area cleaner. The current baggies do drip a little. I picked up a bucket from the baker but it is too big for my super I put on top so will have to invent a better way sometime. What about using pollen traps to a new nuc? I planned on waiting a while but hate to waste the pollen! I want to start eatingi t for my allergies! Just another pro for keeping bee's I guess!!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,084

    Default

    >I saw 2-3 bee's hovering toward the hive just above the entrance(bottom), Not in any hurry to land.

    2-3 bees is not robbing. If you have robbers there will be hundreds if not thousands of robbers.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesrobbing.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Cameron, MO
    Posts
    586

    Default nucs actions

    Ok didnt remember reading how many bee's would be robbing so thats comforting. Thx MB

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    West Newton, Pa.
    Posts
    915

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Zane View Post
    What about using pollen traps to a new nuc? I planned on waiting a while but hate to waste the pollen! I want to start eatingi t for my allergies! Just another pro for keeping bee's I guess!!!!
    A nuc is way to weak to use a pollen trap on. A nuc is in the process of getting extablished and growing strong. I wouldn't even think about using a pollen trap on any hive that wasn't at least two deep hive bodies or three medium hive bodies strong.
    Be Yourself, Everyone Else Is Taken!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lee\'s Summit, MO
    Posts
    1,300

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zane View Post
    I also noticed alot of black crumbs(and pollen) under my screen bottom on the whiteboard. What could this possibly bee?
    Those black crumbs could be dropping from wax moths. I had the same thing happen to me and that's what I found. Take a peak in there the next time you look in there for combs that are being attacked by wax moths or are being cleaned up from wax moth damage.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Cameron, MO
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    586

    Default newbee reaction

    OK no pollen trap till next year or more, fine. Regardingthe wax worm idea. These are 5 old frames from a nuc and 5 brand new frames w/ wax foundation. I plan on opening them tomorrow so what do the wax worms look like? Last look I saw some wax foundation getting removed(3"x3") to show a plastic foundation and a hole(I assumed access hole) eating out of another frame foundation.They seem to be building frames together looking in from the top. I'll know more tomorrow.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    piperton,Tennessee,usa
    Posts
    369

    Default

    Pollen being dropped rather than being placed in a cell, probably brood cappings chewed open on your white board and orientation flights out in front, and perhaps a guard bee the others were checking in with sounds like what I think you are seeing. However, you will get many many answeres on here seeings we didnt and cant see them for ourselves.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Cameron, MO
    Posts
    586

    Default newbee reaction

    Ok I finally got back to inspecting my nuc yesterday(It's been just over a week). There still isnt much honeycomb built up. Maybe 1 1/2 sheets of foundation. I dont see ANY new capped cells except possible some big drone cells in the old comb but the caps look old and brown. Shouldn't the new cell caps be clean and white? I did notice smaller maybe :confused:younger bee's coming out and walking around. There looks to be alot of new pollen and honey (or sugar water cells?) in the old comb. I didnt see the queen(2-3 months old) on this last inspection. My sugar water baggie was sucked dry so I put in another. When I looked a little longer to see if they where taking the sugar water I saw 2 balls of bee's on the inside wall of the super (I have it on for room for the sugar water baggie). :confused:Any reason for this?(Nice partly cloudy day w/ rain earlier,windy, 70 degrees)The Kelly wired wax foundation I put in the nuc w/ the 5 new frames was from a friend and is many years old. It looks perfect and was kept well. :confused:Could the old(yet new)wax foundation be hampering the bee's? I have all sorts of things in full bloom and have since the bee's got here. We have had great 70-80 degree days for over a week. It's been 3 weeks and not even 2 frames of comb build up. Shouldn't the bee's be building more than that? I plan on looking tomorrow for the queen if the weather holds. Any suggestions?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    546

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    The bees hovering and flying into the hive slowly are the (loaded down B-52's) bees filled with pollen and nectar. If the guard bees are doing there jobs, they should be "meeting and greeting" most bees entering the hive, weather its on the landing board or just inside the hive, they are verifying that whoever enters the hive belongs in the hive. In your message, you appear to have a 5 frame nuc installed on new foundation, and they have drawn a frame and a half in just over a week, which I think is about normal. The smaller bees you see peeking out the entrance are most likely your guard bees. I'm a 3rd year beekeeper, and you'll find all these questions and answers on this forum amazing. Once you start learning more, the addiction will kick in really bad. Some of the most amazing things about bees are their social structure and how they all unite while doing different tasks for one common goal. Micheal Bush has some great pages (He'll most likely post a link) explaining bees and beekeeping. Good luck with the new bees!
    Find A Beekeeper - Swarm List
    "There's nothing wrong with me, it's the rest of the world that has a problem"

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Johnson City, TN
    Posts
    217

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    Newly capped brood cells on new comb are usually a whitish yellow. With each passing day the capping get darker and darker until they look brown just before the young bees chew their way out. Your bees sound normal to me. As your population or worker bees increases due to new bees emerging, things will really start to pickup and your foundation will get drawn much quicker. It takes a good population of bees to make things happen so be patient.
    Bee just and just bee

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Wheatfield, IN
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    2,069

    Default

    Rainy cool weather can stymie comb building. The next warm dry day take the frame that is starting to be drawn and place it in between two frames of sealed brood. They will immediately begin drawing out the frames especially if you are feeding syrup. If they do not draw out this frame within a couple of days there are likely not enough bees.

    Any quality nuc that has been purchased should easily have enough bees that this won't be a problem. In fact, many of the nucs I sold had at least 1 frame that was drawn and filled with eggs within days of being picked up.

    I placed 1 frame of foundation in each of two nucs on Tues night right between two frames of sealed brood. When I checked last night (Thurs) the frames were completely drawn and completely full of eggs. The temps have struggled to get into the low 60's each day with low 40's at night and I am NOT feeding. I would expect you should have no problem doing this.

    You can continue to do this until all the frames are drawn out. I would NOT do more than one frame at a time until the hives are much larger.
    Dan Williamson
    B&C Honey Farm http://www.flickr.com/photos/9848229@N05/

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Cameron, MO
    Posts
    586

    Default Newbee's reaction to nuc's action's

    Well I swapped the partial drawn frame w/ its inside neighbor w/ some brood. So now its sandwiched in between 2 frames w/ brood. I guess I dont know what a full hive looks like but mine does have the 5 frames completely covered in bees(in the middle of a nice warm day) and a few straglers in the other 5 frames. They are hitting the sugar water heavy and in and out all day. Its going to be in the 80's for a few days and then back into hte 70's for 5 more. I'll wait and see!!

  15. #15
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    Mar 2008
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    Cameron, MO
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    Bee's have been very active lately. Had some 80 degree temps. I plan on taking the reducer out soon as the traffic is jamming up!!! Its going to rain tomorrow and only 60s as a high. Hope the frame swap got them making some comb and laying!!! I have 2 going on 3 swarms and can build this nuc up I guess if its still slow in a week.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Cameron, MO
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    586

    Question new reaction-what happened?

    Well I went to pull the entrance reducer on my nuc's hive and see 4 dead bees and 1 dead brood(white bee well developed) on the entrance board. Upon a closer look w/ my flashlight I see at least 30 dead bees out front on the grass. The temps on the mid 60's right now and should be close to the low today. Are they getting cold or is it something else? I currently have an empty super on top for sugar water bag feeder room. They are still taking alot of sugar water(2 cups+ a day) for the amt of blooms in the area. The whole yard smells of locust and black cherry blooms. Any ideas whats going on?:confused: Also I have a new swarm I want to set out. Should I put it well away from this nuc in question?

    I'll ck the frames today and see what they are doing after the swap.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    I'd pull the feeder before they fill the empty space with comb, and put on a super. There's plenty of nectar now.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Cameron, MO
    Posts
    586

    Default nuc reaction

    I looked at the hive today. Wow the swapping of those frames worked!!! I see almost as much production in this past 4 days as they did the first month!!! I see some uncapped brood now and alot of pollen and honey production. Still see capped Drone cells. I removed the feeder bag and super body. I still have 3 1/2 frames not even touched so will wait a week or so to add the super I think(I'll keep an eye on them)
    I still wonder what I saw last night w/ all the dead bee's and larvae???

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Cameron, MO
    Posts
    586

    Default Nuc

    A month since the last post- THe bee's are really building up nicely. I am about to add another super to my deep. They are building well but sprayed sugar water on some foundation and swapped them around for more comb to be built on the wired wax foundation. I made up some frames and will probably use a full sheet then a starter strip etc. They need to fill another frame or 2 before I add. I dont see any extra honey this year but time will tell in the slow season!

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