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Thread: New TBH day 7

  1. #1
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    Default New TBH day 7

    Well it's day seven now since I hived my package of bees. I made a couple of mistakes in the process... namely when I put the queen cage in I forgot to take the cork out. And of course I didn't realize it until I had it all closed up again. So I opened it back up and got the queen cage out... and is there a special trick to getting the cork out? It sure seemed kind of hard to grab a hold of, since it didn't stick out any and was wedged in there nice and snug. I tried to take it out with some needle nose pliers which didn't really work to well. Trying to get a grip on the cork I ended up actually pushing it into the cage. At which point I realized I was opening the wrong end...

    Well the damage had been done and since the package seemed to have already accepted the queen I went ahead and direct released her into the hive. I stuck the open queen cage between a couple of the top bars hanging down and closed it up again. Then later that night I started thinking that I should have let her crawl out into the hive and removed the queen cage right then so they didn't start building comb around it. So I went back out around 10:30pm and got the queen cage out. They seemed pretty docile at that time of night... guess maybe they were worn out from a long couple of days travel lol. I had a torch with me but alas I must have accidentally stepped on one of the girls because she stung me on the side of my foot. My first bee sting ever, and on the first day I got my bees!

    I've been looking in on them from the observation port on the side and around day 3 I could see three fresh combs they were drawing out, two of them probably two thirds of the way to the bottom of the hive and the other one much smaller. The field bees have been bringing in loads of pollen... some of them coming back with bulging loads and some of them with little tiny loads. I've also noticed that the field bees are much more accurate and quick with landing and entering the hive.

    I've been hesitant to open the hive and disturb them too much. They've stayed in a big ball around the combs they are drawing out and I feel like if I disturb them by pulling bars out it's just going to impede their progress. But I may pull a few bars tonight just to make sure everything is going well and also see if the queen is laying yet.

    Here is the comb as of three days ago:




    And this is the way they've been staying (and why I'm hesitant to start pulling up bars and disturbing them):



    So far they don't seem to mind me getting up close (of course I haven't started digging into their home yet!)


  2. #2
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    Default Re: New TBH day 7

    Sounds like they are coming right along. Give them another week before you start pulling bars and by that time you should have double the amount of comb and the bees will have spread out to work the new comb. Pulling during the middle of the day when the foragers are out seems to make it a little easier and it's also warmer so you don't cool the brood too much. Everyone makes some mistakes when first starting out, the important thing is you are plugging right along and your hive is doing well.

    My understanding for the different pollen amounts has to do with the bees only visiting one variety of flower at a time and so there may have not been enough pollen for a full load and so they fly back with a partial load. Others may have more experience or better explination for this.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: New TBH day 7

    You need to make sure they are building the comb straight, you don't have to inspect the whole nest just the edge of it, if you wait to long they might have a comfy castle but an imposable one to inspect. Of course don't inspect if the temp is to low since you could chill the brood and kill it.
    My blog @ Bee Crazy

  4. #4
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    Default Re: New TBH day 7

    Quote Originally Posted by trentfysty View Post
    My understanding for the different pollen amounts has to do with the bees only visiting one variety of flower at a time and so there may have not been enough pollen for a full load and so they fly back with a partial load. Others may have more experience or better explination for this.
    That makes sense, I didn't know they only visited one type of flower at a time.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Smith View Post
    You need to make sure they are building the comb straight, you don't have to inspect the whole nest just the edge of it, if you wait to long they might have a comfy castle but an imposable one to inspect. Of course don't inspect if the temp is to low since you could chill the brood and kill it.
    I think I'm going to peek in and check on them in a little bit here. I'm gonna try and just take a look around the edges and make sure the comb is straight and not disturb them too much.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: New TBH day 7

    Looks like 6 combs so far. I didn't pick the bars up just slid them back a little to take a look at each comb and make sure they were straight and not connected to each other or anything. A few bees peeked their heads up and a couple crawled out. All in all they didn't seem too disturbed by me poking around. Closed it back up and let them get back to it.

    I think I'll give them another week before I pull combs to look for brood. Unless I should check sooner?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: New TBH day 7

    Congrats! Great looking TBH and nice comb too (not that *you* had anything to do with the comb LOL)

    I'm certain there are others on the forum with more experience than I, but it's my understanding that the observation of the girls going in with pollen is an indication of the presence of brood ... is that correct?

    Peace,
    Joseph

  7. #7
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    Default Re: New TBH day 7

    Quote Originally Posted by greenbeek View Post
    Congrats! Great looking TBH and nice comb too (not that *you* had anything to do with the comb LOL)
    Thanks! And I certainly didn't have anything to do with it! I'm just hoping I didn't mess up by putting beeswax on the bars as a guide. After I did it I read on Michael Bush's site that he recommends not to, as the bees will attach the comb stronger than if you put it on there. Hopefully I didn't start them off with a weak foundation to build on!

    Quote Originally Posted by greenbeek View Post
    I'm certain there are others on the forum with more experience than I, but it's my understanding that the observation of the girls going in with pollen is an indication of the presence of brood ... is that correct?

    Peace,
    Joseph
    I wonder if that's true... I had just kind of assumed they were building up stores but maybe there's already some brood in there?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: New TBH day 7

    I wouldn't worry about brood to much yet, it doesn't hurt to check one comb for eggs/brood as long as the weather is warm and you don't smoke them to much I don't use my smoker very much any more, if you don't move quickly and get them all exited
    My blog @ Bee Crazy

  9. #9
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    Mount Desert, Maine
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    Default Re: New TBH day 7

    Ok, so looking at the pictures it looks like your bees are favoring the side of your box where the observation window is, true? The reason that I asked is that in both of mine they have favored the window side since hiving them to the point that all new comb starts off center on the window side and all comb seems to stop just past the center area. Once they reach that area they start on the next bar.

    The windows are on opposite sides of the boxes when compared with the entrance locations and they have drawn comb on twelve bars in each but the only bar that has comb all the way accross is the one that I put back in backwards (I don't really know where my head was then). That comb is now built all the way to the glass.

    I know that light must leak through the cover and I thought they didn't care for light inside the hive. Has anyone else seen this? I know it will be all filled eventually but.............

    M

  10. #10
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    Default Re: New TBH day 7

    They Favour the window side or they don't? In the pic it looks like they are building opposite to the window. If I had to guess I'd say it was about insulation, wood actually has an R value, glass tends to stay cold or hot ect. I find bees main concern when building comb is temperature control imho.
    My blog @ Bee Crazy

  11. #11
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    Default Re: New TBH day 7

    Yes they are definitely building starting away from the window and working towards it. Not sure if it's Lexan or Plexiglas but they definitely know it's there, even with the wood cover over it.

    Not the best photo but you can see they are well on the right of the bar. I put 4 more bars in last Sunday evening (started with 10) and this is one of the four. The comb on the next bar forward is much bigger, the comb on the the next bar back much smaller. They're definitely staying busy though!


    Should I let them build out the combs they're working on completely before I add any more bars?





    I noticed the comb in the middle of this next picture has a much larger cell size... is this going to be a drone brood comb or something? Also in this photo you can see how they are progressing closer to the window on each bar. The four newer bars are to the right, only two combs are visible on the newer bars. The large cell comb and all to the left of it have been there since the beginning.



  12. #12
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    Default Re: New TBH day 7

    ether drone or honey storage or both, if its not too cold, the comb is straight and there are enough bees I would let them have all the space in the hive to do with what they please. your comb is so white, is your clover in bloom yet?
    My blog @ Bee Crazy

  13. #13
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    Default Re: New TBH day 7

    Idk if the clover is in bloom here. I'm in a suburb but there are some decent sized fields around my house. The field bees always seem to be coming back with loads of pollen though. I'm gonna build an inspection stand this week then on Friday I'm gonna get in there and look for eggs/brood. The visible comb sticking out is pretty white but on the bar I pulled it had some stuff in it (nectar?) in the top part... probably where they first started building the comb. I'm guessing the others may be filled in a similar fashion..


  14. #14
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    Default Re: New TBH day 7

    I was kind of surprised how calm they were when I pulled the bar... I didn't smoke them or anything and they just kept on doing what they were doing, crawling around on the comb! Not even that many bees came up through the open space. Some poked their heads up and I did use the smoker on the ones that came up and they went back in pretty good. Oh and the smoker was empty, not lit... I was just blowing air on them... it did kind of have a left over smokey smell to it though lol.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: New TBH day 7

    Yea the other day I inspected my four hives in a t-shirt with a net on, no smoker, they get twitchy when its a bit cold and breezy, but if you leave only the space you are working in open, then you only expose 1/2 a bar each side. They also get twitchy nearer the entrance, probably older bees doing foraging stuff. What kind of bees did you buy? They look almost like the feral bees I pulled out of two places that had been there for years, bit more orange then mine.
    My blog @ Bee Crazy

  16. #16
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    Default Re: New TBH day 7

    I wanted to get a BeeWeaver package and queen but they were sold out already by the time I had decided to take the plunge so I ended up getting a package of Italians from R Weaver and one of their queens. Although they were sold out of the package bees as well and got the bees from a smaller local supplier then added one of their queens.

    When I first started out my bee suit hadn't yet arrived so I just wore a white long sleeve shirt and some white track pants. That was actually the first day I got them then since then I've just been wearing a t-shirt (sometimes dark... they don't seem to care) and shorts or jeans no veil. Of course I haven't really been messing with them all that much so I may come to see the error of my ways one of these days!

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