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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Butte, Montana
    Posts
    58

    Embarrassed Install From Hell

    I received my 4 pound package of NW carnies on April 7th, the food was out and had an hour drive home. It was too cold, but I had to install the bees. 5 top bars where missing from hive so cut some one by temporarily to fill the back behind a redneck false back. The queen arrived alive, but no candy, so I just opened the cork and hung her between 4th and 5th bar. I never saw a dead queen on floor and she was out fo the cage. The weather was miserable for days high of 36 snow wind but I decided after a couple of days to put a heater under the hive and warm them up so they started eating. The weather has been 46DEG F, 59 deg F and today 59 deg F, they have been flying, eating a quart of 2:1 syrup/day. I just refiled the feeder and looked inside and the bees are still bearded up and I cannot find any combs being built. I have to check the hive daily to feed them

    I am still keeping them alive on syrup and they are flying and the bees color seems brighter, the temps are going to warm over the next couple of days 48 DegF right now, but hopefully 70 by Sunday. I am hoping they will start drawing comb for brood on Sunday

    What a 1st time experience

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,121

    Default Re: Install From Hell

    While you may be correct in that they are not drawing comb, festooning looks a lot like the "bearded up" term that you used. Festooning is how bees build comb. You may find the Beesource Glossary helpful. While not all terms currently have photos, festooning does.
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...eping-Glossary

    (Photo contributions to the Glossary are welcome. See the comments at the very end of the Glossary for more info.)
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Butte, Montana
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Install From Hell

    I should have said go from a beard to a ball, they are very tight, it has just been too cold, plus they did not have enough food from the supplier and the first couple of days they did not eat until I put the heater under the hive. I think looking at their color yesterday they are just coming back to health. I should know in a couple of days, there is no way I can find the queen right now because if alive she would be in the center of the ball. They are making flights and return flights today not just cleansing flights it is 50 and sunny.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Install From Hell

    My guess, although it's only an (somewhat) educated guess, is that there is at least SOME comb in the middle of the "huddle" of bees in your hive. In my experience, several groups of bees I've had have started building comb within hours of being installed in ANY form of hive (even my bee-vac), but the combs are nearly impossible to see until the bees are shaken off, or until it gets warmer & more of the foragers leave to gather nectar/pollen.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,892

    Default Re: Install From Hell

    You live in a climate where your might make future starts from nucs.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arlee MT USA
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: Install From Hell

    Its hard to find nucs in montana, or at least I've had a hard time finding them.

    April seems way too early to start packages, especially in chilly butte. I started mine May 4th and it snowed for the first couple days.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Install From Hell

    Get a queen and intall her cautiously ASAP. Bees will not build hardly any comb without a queen present. You hive will bet set back alot the longer you wait.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Butte, Montana
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Install From Hell

    That certainly is possible

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Butte, Montana
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Install From Hell

    I wish I could have found a latter shipping date, end of may would be nice, I think I found a place now, but I wanted closest to my climate and this guy was in idaho, the other northern California. I will not make that mistake again!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Butte, Montana
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Install From Hell

    I am talking with the person I bought them from he promised me another queen if necessary, I have a call into him, no call back yet. I will have a better clue on Sunday since it will be 70 DegF.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Butte, Montana
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Install From Hell

    OK 3 days of weather in the 70s, feeding a quart of 2:1 syrup every day, the bees seem happy and they are drawing out comb, I will do a detailed hive exam in the next couple of days and see if I can find the queen. Fingers crossed!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Butte, Montana
    Posts
    58

    Embarrassed Re: Install From Hell

    Update: the weather just will not cooperate with me doing a full hive inspection. today it might be 60 but it is very windy, tomorrow will be 70 but windy and thunderstorms and then another cold front is moving in dropping the temps down to 40s. I did do a separate the bars and look down inside inspection and there are plenty of brood combs covered with bees, but not enough to tell if there are worker cells; there was no cross combing.

    It is now day 23 this week looks like a no go and I am going away for treatments for a week, so no inspection until JUNE, I am running on faith at this point. If it turns out i need a queen the hive is in trouble, but I just do not think it does need one, just gut feeling.

    The good news is that there is allot of traffic with workers coming in with both orange and yellow pollen, they cut way down on the feeder so I removed it yesterday, had not filled it in days. Ants had found the hive so I dusted around it and legs with cinnamon and it seems to have worked.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Butte, Montana
    Posts
    58

    Smile Re: Install From Hell

    cinnamon did work and the weather gave me a quick break today so between storms I went for an inspection. they have drawn out 13 combs of brood comb 9 are full and heavy, I saw worker brood comb and lots of carnica worker bees on the comb, this means the queen is alive and well! I could not do a thorough inspection because of weather and now it is going to get real bad for the rest of the week and I am off for treatments for a week. So the break came just in time!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: Install From Hell

    That cinnamon is good stuff, eh? Glad to hear your colony is coming along nicely. A bit of a tip from some old pioneers of the craft...if you're not sure what to do, do nothing...the bees will show you what to do...or not to do.

    Best wishes on your treatments.

    Ed

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Butte, Montana
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Install From Hell

    Thanks, I did notice something that my sub conscious worked on one of the combs seemed to be coming over the edge and the other side seemed tight. So I thought hmm maybe those last combs are honey comb, they had pollen arch in them so I ASSuMEd they were going to be brood, so went back into the back of the hive today and had a look at the last few combs. they have been busy and the last couple of large combs were too tight and things were starting to get off track, so I put spacers in around those bars. I mean, after removing the combs the bees got thicker on the comb and I could not close them, so I listened to the bees and gave them more room. i need more spacers so I had to move the false back up a bit to close it up proper, still plenty of room to grow. I have spacers in route, so when they arrive I can close up the whole hive properly.

    The bees were none too happy, this time opening the hive at 45 DegF and windy, I had to let them settle down a bit while working with them. I was amazed the bees were flying and foraging at 45 DegF which is good because snow is on the way!

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