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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Elk Ridge, Utah, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default What to expect??

    I am new to beekeeping and have a question. I built a TBH and installed one package (3 lbs) of bees into it a little over a week ago. I have fed them with 1:1 sugar water and made sure they have pollen and other water sources. What should I expect to see at this point. FYI: I have taken a look at the hive and see that they have built up comb but I do not see any sign of egg laying by the queen yet. I was also unable to locate the queen in the hive. Should I be concerned??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Papaikou, Hawaii, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: What to expect??

    Is the queen marked?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Elk Ridge, Utah, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: What to expect??

    Unfortunately, no.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,192

    Default Re: What to expect??

    Wait a few more days. Eggs are hard to see, especially if you haven't seen them before, but capped cells are very obvious.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
    Posts
    243

    Default Re: What to expect??

    I'd like to add just a little to the general topic of "what I should expect". much of the TBH literature isn't written to the case when you are installing a package into a brand new hive", so here's what I've discovered in my first two weeks:
    1. They festooned and obscured any potential comb, so I had to wait about a week before I could see if they were building straight comb, when I could get to them, I saw they weren't NOTICE: all these ideas came from the forum
    2.: The comb is slightly more rigid than Jello; not only that, bees are adding their weight to it. very gently
    3. There are techniques for replacing the bars without stepping on someone's toes.
    4. We cut back some bent comb (back to the bend) but it sprang back into a curve; we should have forced the comb back in place and either held it in place with a pin (perhaps an upolstery pin (the one about 1 1/2" long with a "T" on top) or by simply smooshing the comb into the foundation.
    5. you can't work the comb inside the hive; build yourself a quicky 2 bar stand upon which you can set the bars; then you can leisurly look at the frame, and if needed, gently move them off the comb. The books say they don't like to be brushed, even with a bee brush. So what do you use?

    Hope this helps - Mike
    Oh, did I say "you can't rush" each bar must have taken me 7 minutes; but I was scared.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
    Posts
    243

    Default Re: What to expect??

    Oh, and read that thread on "using hairclips" the various comb support will save you from going frantic when something drops (thud) - Mike

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia
    Posts
    392

    Default Re: What to expect??

    I opened my TBH hive too-early, after only three days, to retrieve the queen cage (direct release on bottom of hive), and that turned out to be a mistake because I inadvertently picked up a bar at the wrong end of one enclosure and a bit of brand-new comb dropped. (I left it.) It turns out that the cage was empty (as I actually knew it would be because I'd observed the queen starting to head for the exit), and was being ignored by the bees. The colony was entirely lumped at one end of the enclosure.

    In a couple weeks, I'll check again to see if any comb-straightening needs to be done. I can see that I should have left them entirely alone at this point.

    I use a bee brush and find it to be an invaluable tool: with a lazy, gentle sweep of your hand, you can gently move a bee out of the way without disturbing her. When lowering bars into place (first one side, then the other) you can brush the curious out of the way, pushing the bristles into the opening to make them move aside. Anything that you at first instinct would do with your hand, you instead do slowly and gently with the brush.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Elk Ridge, Utah, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: What to expect??

    Thanks for the reply's, I appreciate the help! I don't have a bee brush yet and have been gently blowing on the bees to move them off of the comb. It's not the best way to get them off the comb but works well enough. I also used my finger to gently move them but they clung to my glove like glue! I made the mistake of changing the positions of the topbars to seperate the bee clusters hoping to get them to even out the amt of comb throughout the hive. I didn't know this was a mistake until I watched a Dadant video and the keeper there said that changing the order of the bars messes with how the bees set up brood comb for the queen to lay eggs in. I'm going to change them back to the way they were today and pray that I haven't ruined the brood comb. Stupid beginners mistake! Any ideas on this? Should I just leave it alone and hope for the best or change it back to the way it was?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia
    Posts
    392

    Default Re: What to expect??

    New-bee here, but my guess would be to leave them "bee." Whatever mistake you made they'll fix: they're building the whole hive from scratch anyhow.

    I numbered the bars and put an arrow on one end. Blowing on 'em doesn't work well, and your breath has carbon dioxide.

    That very soft long-handled brush (e.g. http://www.bee-outside.com/beebrush.aspx) is the only "official" tool that I bought, but it's tremendously useful. I try to tell myself, "at all times, my left hand (I'm left-handed...) should be holding a brush. If I put the brush down to do something else, I'm going to notice where I put it, and when I'm finished, I'm going to pick-up that brush again." Anything I would do 'with my hands,' I will instead do 'with the brush.'" I move the brush "leisurely, and with no force at all." (Even if *ouch!*)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lafollette,Tennessee,USA
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: What to expect??

    The bees know what they want. Let em do their thing. The only thing you want to fix at this point is crooked comb.

    I know lots of folks use a brush, but I always heard that a brush irritates them. I use a turkey wing feather.
    Integrity - Doing the right thing when no one is watching.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia
    Posts
    392

    Default Re: What to expect??

    Quote Originally Posted by Beev View Post
    I know lots of folks use a brush, but I always heard that a brush irritates them. I use a turkey wing feather.
    Honestly, all I know is that my "girls" seem to be fine with this brush, which has exceptionally soft bristles (and probably already smells like bees, since it was used in other beehives many years ago). I suspect that it has mostly to do with how you use whatever soft tool you use: slowly, gently ... *!ouch!* ... still patiently. Not "sweeping them away," like some human oaf ... but obliging them to move out of its way. And not with a brush that smells like weird chemicals.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lafollette,Tennessee,USA
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: What to expect??

    Quote Originally Posted by mrobinson View Post
    Not "sweeping them away," like some human oaf ... but obliging them to move out of its way. And not with a brush that smells like weird chemicals.
    You have probably nailed it right there.
    Integrity - Doing the right thing when no one is watching.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,212

    Default Re: What to expect??

    It can take up to two weeks for a queen to start laying.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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