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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Lake Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    42

    Default Weird hive inspection

    I'm rather worried about my hive. While I didn't inspect every frame (what I saw distracted me too much) I didn't see larvae (and I've never been good at finding eggs) but I did see healthy looking capped cells.

    I also saw really strange looking cells that appear to be honey cells. But the coloring is strange, and the hexagonal pattern is messed up.









    This hive was building up nicely after my previous inspection, but they haven't expanded into the new frames I've provided.

    I'm worried now.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    mineral county,Montana USA
    Posts
    805

    Default Re: Weird hive inspection

    everything looks normal to me. if anything looks strange it's the bees capping the honey cells but that's what they do. it lets you know that the moisture content is low and things are going well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Lake Los Angeles, CA
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    42

    Default Re: Weird hive inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by justin View Post
    everything looks normal to me. if anything looks strange it's the bees capping the honey cells but that's what they do. it lets you know that the moisture content is low and things are going well.
    So on the show Frasier, a caller was describing a problem. When he stops, Frasier says "Either you need to check into the nearest mental institution immediately, or you are a first year psych student."

    So I saw the mottled appearance of the honey caps and I panicked.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    213

    Default Re: Weird hive inspection

    everything looks normal...Don't expect to see uniform hexagonal capped cells of honey.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,770

    Default Re: Weird hive inspection

    Don't worry about the capped honey. You'll see it on brood comb all the time exactly the way you see it in the pics. All looks well....at least from the capped honey standpoint.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
    Posts
    829

    Default Re: Weird hive inspection

    There is nothing wrong with the cells but on the second frame I can see only a few brood cells (hatching bees).
    Did you brushed the bees of before you made the picture? Is there no frame in the hive with eggs, larva and more closed cells?
    Normally the frames should have lots of honey and a nice brood pattern.

    Even the hive on picture 4 shows no bees on there frames. Just in case all your frames look like the one on the pictures….
    sorry your colony is gone.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Lake Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Weird hive inspection

    While I didn't brush the bees aside for that picture, it was one of the emptier frames. Other frames weren't nearly as empty, some were very heavy frames full of bees, capped brood, and honey.

    Looking again (yes, I actually inspected two days in a row) we did verify the other problem.

    I noticed a lack of larvae yesterday. I've never spotted eggs so I wasn't worried about that myself, but today my wife who has much better eyes than I do inspected looking for eggs and larvae.

    We didn't find any, although we did find capped brood.

    We think we may have found two queen cells though.

    Maybe



    Probably



    Yeah, I think we may have suffered a queen loss.

    Is it too late in the season to think about getting a replacement?


    (Yeah, I know this isn't a disease or pest at this point)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
    Posts
    829

    Default Re: Weird hive inspection

    If you are not sure make a queen test. Put a frame with EGGS from a second hive in and check it in 3 days. When bees starting with queen cells you need a new queen, buy a mated queen. Mount the cage with a wire on a frame with foundation and put it in the middle of the hive. If bees starting building combs around the cage in 3 days, remove the cover from the food plug and give the frame back. Bees will eat the candy and your queen is free. Wait a few more days, remove the frame with cage and close the gab.

    If the hive is to week, combine it with a other hive.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Lake Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Weird hive inspection

    Unfortunately I only have one hive. I know where I might get a frame with eggs, that might be my best way to get more queens if my hive is as queenless as I fear it is.

    Do either of those pictures look like queen cells to you?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Manassas, VA
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Weird hive inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by jasongonella View Post
    Do either of those pictures look like queen cells to you?
    Sorry. But it dont look like you have enough bees to just add a queen.looks like your gonna need to start over..It looks like at one time it had a good brood pattern then something went wrong.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Lake Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Weird hive inspection

    It looks unpopulated because the bees are barely working some of the frames.

    I started with 10 frames, five of them empty and five of them full of purchased brood, bees, honey, and pollen. Then, as the empty frames started to work I added a second box.

    Some of the frames are barely busy while others are very busy.

    So there may very well be enough bees if I had a queen. The question is do I call my supplier and ask for a frame of eggs, or are those two pictures queen cells?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Manassas, VA
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Weird hive inspection

    What I would do is order a already mated queen that way she is ready to start laying when she is free from her cage. sorry I don't see any queen cells.

    Good luck

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Littlerock, California, USA
    Posts
    940

    Default Re: Weird hive inspection

    Jasongonella, What did you do? Were you able to recover?
    “Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end”

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Lake Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Weird hive inspection

    I ordered a new queen. When the sugar hole was finally broken through she did not survive. I don't know if it took to long or if they rejected her. I think the population is falling in my hive now.

    If the hive fails I try again next spring.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,869

    Default Re: Weird hive inspection

    Sorry to hear!
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Littlerock, California, USA
    Posts
    940

    Default Re: Weird hive inspection

    I just requeened one of my new hives since there were no eggs aftr two weeks. I hope I do not have the same problem with the candy plug. I will be checking this weekend to see if she got out. If not I will let her out through the cork manually. It will be three days today. I will open it up tomorrow.
    “Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end”

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,653

    Default Re: Weird hive inspection

    It looks to me like a dry hive, no nectar, or not enough to count for anything. If the rest of the hive looks as dry as this, I'd say your queen went off laying and stopped brood production. You need to feed this hive more than anything else that I can see. If you have a queen in there and you start feeding, within 10 days you should see brood production start back up again. If you don't see any pollen stores in the hive as well then consider adding some pollen for them too.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Anderson County, Texas
    Posts
    1,254

    Default Re: Weird hive inspection

    Ray:

    I agree. I think you hit the nail square on the head.

    I started out this year with two colonies, and towards the end of July was thinking I could eventually go into the winter with about 16, as I had split up to 6 at the time. Then the heat and the dearth of August hit, and all my colonies just shut down. I don't like feeding syrup but needed winter stores, so started feeding syrup about the first of September, heat eased up to mid 90s, and brood production picked up again. Luckily we have plenty of pollen sources here. We finally got rain from the equinotical storms, plenty of sealed brood now, temperatures only reach mid to upper 80s, but just planning on going into winter with 8 colonies now, and hoping for a good fall flow.

    Check with local beeks and see what you can expect, after the bees get on a good flow, you should be able to tell as they will most probably quit taking syrup.
    "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." Nathan Hale, 1776

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,653

    Default Re: Weird hive inspection

    I'm in a dearth here as well, with a few splits I'm trying to build up. I'm feeding syrup and pollen both.

    Most of the hives I've here won't need much syrup, just the three splits I'm boosting and one hive that went dry on me. There was dry brood, the queen was not laying, the combs were dry except for some sealed honey frames, and the bees were all running around on the combs like race horses at the track. I put feeder on them and gave pollen and the next day they were all calmed down and getting to work.

    I've got 4 out of 10 here that's going to need feeding through the end of October to get stores up, the other 6 will be ok with just another 1/2 gallon or so I'm thinking at this point. We should be getting a low volume nectar flow starting here by month's end.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Lake Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Weird hive inspection

    Good news. I thought my hive was, well, kaput. Dying, you know.

    They even rejected the replacement queen.

    So I decided to wait for it to die and then try again next year (this year).

    Well, as I was looking at the hive this morning (not opening it up) I saw a few bees buzzing in and out. It's not dead, the queen had just stopped laying for whatever reason.

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