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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Santa Cruz County, California
    Posts
    7

    Default Help for extremely new newbee

    Hi - We bought a beekeeping setup in Feb from someone who was unloading it due to a move to Hawaii. It came with a wild swarm in one brood box. He said they were taking up two frames. We finally opened the hive today (got a smoker) and saw the frames. They're occupying only 1/4 of each of 3 frames double-sided and then the outer 2 frames one-sided. If that makes sense. But only the same little 1/4 of each frame. Are they okay? Do I need to re-queen? Pretty lost here... Any help? BTW, they are on old brood comb - they didn't build it.
    IMG_1554.jpg IMG_1555.jpg IMG_1556.jpg IMG_1557.jpg IMG_1558.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    7,001

    Default Re: Help for extremely new newbee

    You probably need a new queen. I hope you did not pay much, because that is what you got - not much!
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Santa Cruz County, California
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Help for extremely new newbee

    Thanks for the info - I was thinking we need to re-queen. We paid the same we would have paid for the equipment alone. The bees just came along for the ride. I'll get a queen for $25 and hopefully have a real colony after a while.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Cupertino, CA, USA
    Posts
    280

    Default Re: Help for extremely new newbee

    Why do you have to re-queen? You have capped brood and possibly uncapped larvae (the photo is not close enough to tell). That means you had a laying queen when you got them and she was laying only a few weeks before the photo was taken. You could look for the queen, or larvae, or eggs. It is a small swarm but given time it might make it. Eggs hatch in about 3 days, are capped in about 9 days, and emerge in about 20 days. The queen was definitely there when the eggs were laid. Plus, they are now in heaven, the santa cruz foothills (where I am) are currently bursting in more nectar and pollen than they can handle.
    Last edited by MichaelShantz; 03-22-2012 at 09:42 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Santa Cruz County, California
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Help for extremely new newbee

    Actually, we saw uncapped larvae when we zoomed in on the photos we took. Does that mean this queen is good enough? Should I give her more time?
    IMG_1555_2.jpg
    p.s. Click on the photo to enlarge - that's as big as it lets me post...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Peace River, AB Canada
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Help for extremely new newbee

    The queen seems to be laying a pretty good pattern considering the amount of bees present. Once that brood emerges and there are more nurse bees you will get a better idea of her potential. I would wait and give her a chance.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,505

    Default Re: Help for extremely new newbee

    I'm hardly an expert, but that pattern looks fine to me, just small because there aren't that many bees in the hive right now. It looks to me as if you have at least one frame where the bees are emerging, so you will have a lot more bees in a week, and the queen will then lay a larger pattern.

    I don't see any irregular brood, no "shotgun" missing brood where the bees have removed larvae or pupae they didn't like, so I'd wait before I got a new queen.

    Watch to make sure the bees are hauling in copious amounts of pollen, and if not get a pollen supplement patty and feed it to them (put it on the top bars right above the brood), they may be hungry, too!.

    If you do not have some drone brood, definitely feed -- drones are a signal that the bees have plenty of feed, both pollen and nectar.

    Peter

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    213

    Default Re: Help for extremely new newbee

    Yeah...There's nothing wrong with that queen..The brood nest seems to be well organized and the queen has laid as far out as the bees can cover...

    It's just a small cluster...Sometimes that's the way it is.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,297

    Default Re: Help for extremely new newbee

    You don't need drone brood with that small amount of bees. Just someone else for them to have to feed and drones would be useless at this point. They're not showing much in the way of stores so try giving them some sugar syrup and a pollen substitute patty. If you can find another beekeeper close by see if you can buy a couple frames of capped/emerging brood with the adhering bees to boost the population. Otherwise, they'll take a long time to build up with that few bees. The queen may be just fine, she just doesn't have much of an army to support her efforts right now. BTW, if you were looking for the queen she's in pic #4 upper middle of the capped brood; nice pretty bright golden one.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,070

    Default Re: Help for extremely new newbee

    Hey she is a cordevon beauty! She just needs more population as has been stated and you need patience and a feeder of 1:1 syrup.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Santa Cruz County, California
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Help for extremely new newbee

    Yay! Thanks for the encouraging feedback, everyone! Group hug! And wow thanks for letting me know where the queen was in the photo - we hadn't noticed! Great to know she's there and laying well. We're feeding with 1:1 syrup and they're loaded with pollen from the nearby Acacia trees in full bloom. One bee was bright yellow all over from so much pollen! Thanks again and happy beekeeping!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Santa Cruz County, California
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Help for extremely new newbee

    I wanted to thank everyone again for all your help! The bees are doing so well! During the spring we put on another (deep) brood box, and lately even put on a honey super! There are soooooo many of them now! Is it true that I shouldn't take any of the honey this first year?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,929

    Default Re: Help for extremely new newbee

    Glad they're doing well. If they have more than they need for winter you can take some.

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