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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    winston county alabama, usa
    Posts
    35

    Default 1st year beekeeper/don't know what is happening

    Today I made a through first inspection of a package of bees that I installed the last days of May. Inspecting before but not breaking open the hive, I found drones, workers, new workers and I could see honey capped on the frames, a lot of goings and commings, but not a lot of bees.

    The hive is one 10 frame deep. I found 6 frames that had at least some bees, and what looked like used cells. Honey was capped around the top and half way down the sides on 4 of the frames. The 4 frames with honey, has a little pollen and about a dozen capped drone cells on each side. There was about a dozen larva uncapped on the frame in the middle of the hive. I saw no eggs at all. The bottom of each of the empty cells colored dark, almost black. There are some cells that have an orange yellow color that really looks like a colored wax..very close to the bottom and the rest of the cell is empty. I did not find the queen, but I did find 4 small queen cells, one was capped, but very small maybe the size of a sewing thimble, one was open but I could see the royal jelly inside, the others were empty. I found one cell that appeared to have been capped at one time and it was filled with an orange substance, that was mushy, and grainy, but did not appear to have any bee parts inside. The queen included in this package disappeared, ie. died left not sure, but I requeened with a queen from the original place I purchased the package from.

    This is my second package, my first one swarmed about 4 days after I installed it. My other hive is thriving, it is from a swarm spring 2007, and I harvested honey from it. I have read about foulbrood, and the general problems and pest.....I did not find any dead eggs, larva, or capping that were sunken or perferated.

    Help anyone.
    green :confused:
    Green

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Green Lane, PA
    Posts
    839

    Default

    Sounds like there may be a supercedure in progress.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chester South Carolina USA
    Posts
    37

    Default

    Agree with Yuleluder. Sounds like they wanted a better queen.
    What time of day did you check them and find so few bees? Could most have been out working? Good luck and keep us posted on your progress with them. T C

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Damascus, Maryland
    Posts
    376

    Default

    maby the new queen went out for a fly by: I heard they do that once in a while looking for a mate and most the others follow. Now don't take me at my word as I do not know if that is true or not, just something an oltimmer told me.
    "Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil - it has no point."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    greenismycolor writes:
    I found one cell that appeared to have been capped at one time and it was filled with an orange substance, that was mushy, and grainy, but did not appear to have any bee parts inside.

    tecumseh replies: you are describing the remaining (un eaten) dried royal jelley from a queen cell. this would suggest that the hive has been trying to requeen itself for some period of time.

    sounds like superscedurre to me also...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Venango/Crawford Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,712

    Default RE: Your Hive

    It sounds like your queen laying Queen cells and such, might have swarmed. Did you look around in the trees to see if you could find them?



    I wouldn't rule out FoulBrood as yet, but having new bees makes me think they swarmed and new bees are ones that hatched after swarming.

    Let me know how things work out.

    Ed

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    winston county alabama, usa
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SCBEEKEEPER View Post
    Agree with Yuleluder. Sounds like they wanted a better queen.
    What time of day did you check them and find so few bees? Could most have been out working? Good luck and keep us posted on your progress with them. T C

    TC I checked them around 2 pm.
    Green

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    winston county alabama, usa
    Posts
    35

    Default

    eaglerock:... I did check the trees around the hives and didn't find a thing, but I have a lot of trees on my property and I am surrounded by national forest.

    Today I did give 2 frames of brood from my oldest hive, full of eggs, larva and capped brood, with a little honey and some pollen as well. I hope this gives them the boost they need. It is nice to have such a place to come to for quick replies and advice.

    Thanks to all of you. If you have any other info or suggestions please add them. I would love to hear about your bees as well.
    Green

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Stanley, North Carolina
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Green,

    Your problem sounds very similiar to mine. The swarm hive that showed up in April is doing really well (although they are bearding some in the afternoon) and have plenty of room in the first super. I have a 10 deep and 10 medium brood and then a super on top of that. Don't know why they are hanging outside so much with all the room they have. They are doing well capping honey in the top super but it is not near full and flow has slowed. Hope they will survive the winter but there is still awhile before cold weather get here to NC.

    My purchased hive that was installed in early May has a 10 deep and 10 medium and are very slow to fill the medium. Did not see any queen cells but not really strong for the duration they have been in there. I also added a frame of brood without bees to the medium to see if it will help. It did not take but a few minutes for nurse bees to move up and start taking care of the frame. Will check in a week or so and see how they are doing and continue to follow this thread for answers to this puzzle.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Stanley, North Carolina
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Green, sorry for not getting back to you earlier but I was out of town. Here is the easiest way to explain your question.
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm

    Some of the best information I have found is here. Scroll down to the section on queenless bees.
    "Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall,
    torque is how far you take the wall with you."

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Arundel, Maine USA
    Posts
    1,207

    Default

    I have read that it can take up to 3 weeks for a virgin queen to mate and begin laying eggs. If they superceded, you will obviously have a virgin queen and that would account for the lack of eggs.

    Your other hive is doing well. I would take a frame of capped brood, shake ALL of the bees off of the frame and give it to your weak hive.

    After that, you can either wait to see if the new queen works out, or you can order a mated caged queen, find and kill the existing queen and wait for them to release her. If she's not out in 3-5 days, I finish poking the hole in the candy and let her out.

    You may be in a dearth and should put an entrance reducer in.

    The absence of drones may have to do with time of day. They fly between 2 and 4 in the afternoon. Also, you have a queen that's not laying yet, so you don't have a lot of bees which would account for the lack of drones.

    Good luck Keep us posted!
    Let's BEE friends

  12. #12

    Wink

    I also thought that shaking all the bees off the comb before giving it to the bees was the right thing to do. But others here say it's ok if the brood is open, the bees with it are nurse bees and will be accepted.

    So take what others say here as advice but not necessarily right. Everyone has their own opinion, but - well, you know what they say about opinions.
    Try to learn something new every day and give thanks for all your blessings.

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