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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Union County, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Did the Bees Swarm? And other newbee questions....

    Firstly...A summary of my hive.... the questions are at the end....
    I started my TBH this year, from a package March 28th. We had a early warm spell in Ohio this spring that ended a few days after I got the bees. The Hive is 48" long with 30 bars. I fed them up until the beginning of May (1:1 syrup and dampened sugar) but they didn't seam to take much. Clearly not the quart or more per day I read some people feed.
    The Queen was alive and (to my eyes) well, and I taped the cage to a bar over night (to get the 3day window) and direct released her the next day to avoid horrible comb. I opened the cork end, stuck it up to the hole and she crawled in. I never saw her again.
    They have been doing good, and I check on them about once a week, to make sure everything is OK. (Its hard to balance the 'leave the bees alone' with the desire to learn) They are out to bar 11 now, with the first 8 or 9 being quite big. A few bars get a second little comb started, which gets cut off and tied to a new bar. I guess I got the widths wrong...

    There is no capped honey outside the brood nest. There are bars of just nectar at the back, and nectar/pollen/capped brood at the front, but the only capped honey is along the top inch or two of the brood combs.

    Now...
    There is brood on bars 3-9 (or so) all stages and always eggs.
    A week or so ago I noticed (5/1) I noted the first queen cup. I added a bar between the two straightest brood combs, nearest the back.
    The next week there were about 6 or more. I added a bar between the pollen/honey bar in front, and the last brood comb and the combs in back with nectar.
    They have built out these combs fresh and white, and there are eggs plopped in each cell. There are also a few more queen cups in the new comb, in the center of the face...
    I haven't seen any eggs or larva in them.
    I have not seen any large queen cells, the peanuty kind that are big and obvious.
    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/22915650/BeeHive/IMG_1529.JPG


    I have been keeping an eye on them all the time. The hive is right below my living room window, and I find it better than TV. I have not, to my knowledge seen them act 'swarmy'.

    Yesterday, I saw the queen for the first time. She was not the package queen. I was looking for a white marked queen, and found by chance, a Long Bee. I am guessing it more likely this is a supercedure.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/g0p8ydffo44w782/IMG_1534.JPG

    Is it possible my bees and package queen swarmed when i wasn't looking?
    Should I be worried about the empty queen cups, or is this semi normal?
    I've read about 20% is normal for drone brood. I get the feeling I have a lot of drones, and capped drone brood. Should I worry?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    707

    Default Re: Did the Bees Swarm? And other newbee questions....

    It is possible, but it is more likely a supercede queen, or even a second unmarked queen in the package. Nonetheless, you have a good looking queen. I would not be concerned anout empty queen cups. A healthy hive will always have some built. Sounds like you have a good hive started.

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

    Default Re: Did the Bees Swarm? And other newbee questions....

    Or the mark got worn off which I was warned does happen, at any rate you have a queen & if she is producing workers you are fine

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