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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Coeur d' Alene, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    26

    Default Hello and an observation is needed

    Hi All, my wife and I are first year beeks from Idaho. I have been reading here for months and thought it time to say hello. We ran into our first question this afternoon. Here is a basic rundown.....
    We started two hives from packages in April.
    Hive 1, is quite a bit slower than hive 2 but filled out about 9 frames in the first box and a second brood box was added about a week and a half ago. they have just started working that top box.

    Hive 2 also had it's second box added about two weeks ago, and as of last week were working the top and had a few frames of brood going. These were just quick looks while filling the feeders.

    Today, we were due for a through inspection. Started with hive one, it looks good although they only have about two frames in the upper box pulled, but we did see eggs, never seen the queen, but didn't look to hard either because of the eggs.

    Hive two, the upper box has six frames of brood in the upper box, one is completely solid with only about 20 cells of honey in the corners, the girl is doing a fine job I thought. Then on the next frame, I found about 5 or 6 queen cups, no worries I thought, they make them, there were no eggs or larva in them so I moved on. Then on the next frame, I found two capped queen cells, about 1/3 to 1/2 the way up the frame, hmmmm.

    So I looked for the queen, which I located in the upper box doing her thing, laying.

    I then looked into the bottom box, which is basically empty. Lots of bees and they are keeping some stores down there but there isn't much for brood, maybe a few patches about 3 inches in dia.

    So this is what I did. I rotated the boxes on hive two. I left the capped queen cells alone. I have read to often on here that smashing queen cells is a pretty good way to end up queenless, especially capped ones. Looks to me like the girls are looking to replace their queen, but for the life of me, I am not sure why, this hive's population is far ahead of the other one and she is laying outstanding patterns. We have had a big bunch of rain and rather cold days, not sure if they are blaming her for that or for not coming back to the other box. Any advice is very welcomed.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,139

    Default Re: Hello and an observation is needed

    As good as it sounds like the queen is, you might want to move her to a nuc, with a couple frames of bees & capped brood.
    That way you won't loose her for no reason. If the new queen is a dud, you can combine them back into the original hive.
    Dan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Coeur d' Alene, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Hello and an observation is needed

    Thanks for the reply. I was wondering about that or if I should move the frame with the queen cells seeing as they are both on the same frame.

    You have to love this beekeeping, just getting started and expanding already.

    Are there any real advantages to a nuc as opposed to just starting another 10 frame hive?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,240

    Default Re: Hello and an observation is needed

    smaller size means less strain on doner hive, or if you're refering to the box size, smaller is easier to protect and regulate the temperature. good luck,mike
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,920

    Default Re: Hello and an observation is needed

    Proper space is as vital as pollen, nectar, honey, and brood. If there is not enough they will go where there is enough. If there is too much small hive beetles, wax moths, etc. will infest the hive and you will have a real mess. This is the greatest strenght to top bar hive keepers, the follower board creates exactly the space they need without too much.

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