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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    Posts
    2

    Default New hives not eating and I haven't found a queen?

    I could really use some advice on my new hives; Iím just starting beekeeping. My bees are not eating and I still have not found one queen. I could really use help with each problem individually.

    Problem #1

    My bees are not eating.

    When I set the hives up I put a top feeder on each hive with 1:1 (by weight) syrup. I mixed the syrup by putting 10 lbs of water in a bucket and then adding 10 lbs of sugar. I have seen two bees in the last 12 days in the syrup and they were stuck. Had I not seen them I would think there was an issue with the feedersí entrance slots. I have not seen any change in the volume of the water. Iíve been told they should be all over this syrup but I canít get them to eat it. Two days ago I changed the water and added Honey-B-Healthy as well to try to attract them but again they are not eating it.

    How can I get them to start eating so they can start building the hive out and getting stronger? When I was in the hive for my 1 week inspection (more details below) there was not a great deal of pollen, nectar, or sugar syrup in the comb they had built out and there wasnít a lot of that.

    This is the top feeder I have:

    http://www.bee-commerce.com/products...Feeder%29.html

    Problem #2

    Could only find queen in one hive

    When I did my inspection at one week I did eventually find the queen in one of the hives. However, after about ten minutes of looking in the other hive I never did find the queen. I did not see any eggs in either hive. I talked to the supplier and they said to wait another week before looking again (so I am) but the Dummies book said to look again after a few days. Iím at 12 days now since I installed the bees. Should I be looking again or waiting until Saturday again? Also, how long until the queen should be laying eggs or I would see larva? More importantly, how long can my hives live if I donít have a queen and how long until a worker start lying and really causes problems? Am I in really big trouble here?

    Problem #3

    Not a lot of comb at all at 1 wk

    How much comb should I have had when I was looking at 1 wk? I have some burr comb I had to remove etc, but I didnít have all that much of the regular comb in the frames. How much should I expect to have at my next inspection? 1 side, 2 sides, etc? Should any of it be full depth or will it all be a work in progress?


    Thanks for your help in advance. Iím a bit worried about my new hobby right now.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: New hives not eating and I haven't found a queen?

    you boiled the water first, right? you are supposed to add the sugar to warm water to dissolve the sugar into the water., but be sure not to boil the sugar and the water, as it will make a syrup that can kill the bees. just boil the water, then as it is cooling (off of heat) add in the sugar.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: New hives not eating and I haven't found a queen?

    I did boil the water.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,225

    Default Re: New hives not eating and I haven't found a queen?

    Quote Originally Posted by polloguapo View Post
    I did boil the water.
    Boiling has nothing to do with it, you boil sugar water to make bee candy 150 deg for a long time. Now if you burn it and your sugar water is brown then its bad.
    To make 1:1 you can use cold tap water. I use hot tap water to make 2:1 (or close enough) no need to boil.

    Sprinkle some 1:1 drops around your inner cover or on landing board watch your bees. Are they eating?

    Also look for dark brown or black bee poop, search Nosma, this is also linked to not drinking sugar water. HBH claims you help with this.

    Do you watch your hive entrance, look for bees coming and going and gaurding the front door, watch for pollen on back legs, look at incoming bees bees are them plump filled with nectar. these are all good thing to see.

    Are your bee over defensive, do they bounce off you as you watch them? This could be a queenless hive but not always.

    You should have eggs and brood by now, they might be small and hard to see. You could check now and in a few more days. you supplies might requeen for you. I would not spend to much time looking for a queen, i can never find one, look for signs like worker brood.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Johnson City, TN, USA
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: New hives not eating and I haven't found a queen?

    Please take my comments with a grain of salt. My experience comes from being a honey bee researcher, I'm not well trained as an actual beekeeper.

    Problem #1 (Bees not eating)
    I do have a LOT of experience with feeding bees (although not in your area). I have observed that it is often difficult to coerce bees to take from a sucrose feeder when natural nectar sources are plentiful. This can be mitigated somewhat by increasing the concentration of sugar in the syrup you are trying to feed. I have frequently fed 2.5M sucrose solution, which the bees are very fond of. I am not sure what Dustin is referring to, as I and many others regularly make syrups by boiling the water and sugar together and have never observed ANY adverse affects from this practice.

    The recipe for 1 liter of 2.5M sucrose is 855g of sugar + enough water to bring the total volume to 1L. This solution must be boiled to dissolve the sugar.

    It may be worth mentioning that bees will not consume the sucrose if they consider it to be contaminated. What was in that bucket before the sucrose?

    Consider making a small 1L batch of more concentrated sucrose and offering it from a jar feeder on the inner cover. If they will take from this, you can reasonably conclude that something is wrong with the original food batch and scrap it.


    Problem #2
    I believe that how much you should worry about this is related to how quickly the queen was released as well. Did you remove any of the bee candy plug, or did you leave it fully intact? An intact candy plug would take longer for the workers to remove, and some queens may be slow to get started after release. Also, eggs ARE very difficult to see if you do not have experience looking for them. Did you start out on pure foundation? Are there any parts that are built up to be suitable for egg-laying...? Are you smoking the hives when you inspect? This will provoke the queen to run and hide. Smoke is excellent when inspecting established hives, but can be counter-productive when looking for the queen.

    Problem #3
    The speed of comb building will be related to food intake. If they're not taking from your feeder and they're not finding sufficient forage, comb buildup will be slow. I can't speak to the specific time-frame you should be expecting, though.

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