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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    North Pole, Alaska
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    145

    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    well went into both hives today.

    Hive 1 is booming. There's only a few bars left that are not fully drawn minus the 2 or 3 my feeder takes up. I plan on letting them finish the feeder off and pull it out, replacing the last few bars. We found the queen about midway through, things seem ok though I didnt see much for laying, I assuming because of the newly hatched bees? I didnt get very far into the brood area to look for eggs, there were some uncapped and a few capped larva.

    Hive 2 is doing poorly. LOTS of drones. There's still not much in the way of comb though they are drawing things out slooowly again. Not much for bees on the combs either. They are there, but its a significant reduction from when I hived them (4lb package). I may take a bar of capped workers from hive 2 to help kick this hive off some in a week or two. We found the queen, she's laying, there's some capped workers and some capped drones, along with a consistant but small band of larva on most of the bars. Is this due to them cleaning up after loosing the last queen? Is it possible to have both a laying worker and a laying queen? There's no more supercedure cells. I did move the frame feeder back up to help reduce the hive down due to the smaller numbers and plan on feeding them probably through the summer.

    Thoughts on hive 2?

  2. #22
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    Mar 2012
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    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
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    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    Laying workers are generally supressed not by the queen's pheromones, but by the pheromones from healthy brood, so I guess a hive with very little brood MIGHT develop some laying worker activity, but that should correct itself soon after the queen starts laying a fuller pattern. I think you're just about dead on the money with your idea of giving hive 2 some capped brood from #1...that, and maybe a frame full of eggs/open brood, WITH attached nurse bees would be about the best you can do to help them right now. In the near future, if hive #1 keeps booming, and hive #2 never seems to "take off" ... you might want to consider pinching queen #2 and giving them some fresh eggs from hive #1 to replace her from...thin out her genetics if she doesn't have what it takes to keep a colony going up there.

  3. #23
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    Apr 2012
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    North Pole, Alaska
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    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    Today would be week 2 since that queen was released, she's laid some, but not much, and honestly when she was introduced there was quite a few capped drones and a few capped workers. There's not much comb in the hive though they are drawing things out slowly. Its ok to swap nurse bees to another hive? Kind of thought the new hive bees wouldnt allow others in without a fight? Hopefully reducing the area in hive 2 will help some, we've had some squirelly weather again, ok its never really stopped so temps have dropped and without the bees they just dont seem to be going out like I would assume they should/would.

    I did go out and feed hive 2 this evening and put what was left in hive 1. I noticed my entrace had quite a few SHB's. They were standing guard at the entrance...they are more light tan but the body config looks the same.

    Saw some traps for them, kind of curious how that would work out on the bottom board in the hive, not sure how far they'll draw the comb down?

    Gonna head out for a couple days, figured another week before I go moving things around too much.

  4. #24
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    Apr 2012
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    North Pole, Alaska
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    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    another update.

    I went into hive 1 today...noticed ants now...under the cover, and inbetween the foam insulation. The bees are really guarding the entrances in both hives since I first saw beetles and now are having a mob at the entrance with a few running around the face of the front board and under the bottom of the hive I assume on 'roving patrol'.

    Bees are chewing on the foam insulation at the door also. Not sure what to make of this?!?! So far its only in hive 1.

    So far the beetles that I saw the other day are still there...though not en mass like I saw recently. I throughly went through hive 1 today. Found the queen...things over all looked ok. Normally I kill a few in the evenings and I can see a few more in the cracks in the center board (my bottom boards are 3 pieces, with the center one left loose to slide out and help cleaning if I needed it).

    That said I did find one supercedure up higher on a bar on an edge, or atleast I assume its a super?. I should have marked the bar, but didnt think of it at the time. Is it normal for them to make these in a hive from time to time? or is it a sign my queen is failing? I did find her and so far this hive went from slow to booming. My brood patterns look ok, she's not packed with larva or capped but there is some of all there, definatly not full side to side like it was a week ago now. I still cant quite see an egg, might be time for magnifying glass. I did find some 3 day old larva at most so I know she was atleast laying very recently. HOw long before she starts laying again in the old cells? There is also a bar of capped drone's on a bar by themselves on the bars with the spacers.

    What I did notice about this hive inspection and hive 1 in general was the first and 2nd time I inspected this hive there was a ton of capped workers. They are obvoiusly hatched or in the process of it.....the queen isnt laying as hard as she was or atleast it doesnt appear that way. When she is laying its diagnally right up under the pollen. I dont know how long it takes before the queen lays heavy again in the old cells....how long does it take for them to be cleaned up and ready? And she's not laying in the newer cells instead, laying in a angle under the pollen. *sorry if I repeated that *

    I removed the feeder in hive 1 finally...we hit 80 something today...gasp. this hive is really booming with these nice temps. So far I thinkt his hive is doing ok feed wise on its on....though I am starting to wonder if my feeding has anything to do with how successful the queen is laying and the hive is drawing comb out. I am hoping to remove a bar with brood/eggs and move it to hive 2 to help with the numbers if things dont start changing. Hoping to get through this beetle/ant/possible supercedure in hive 1 before I go robbing it of somewhat empty bars.....

    Hive 2....
    I didnt do an inspection today so its been a week now since I saw the queen. They are very slowly drawing comb, this would be week 3 with the new queen now....she's laying though there's not much comb for her to lay on yet. There's some honey at the top, a good swath of pollen and the capped brood and larva in whats left. I didnt grab a bar out of hive 1 yet....hoping I dont regret this decision. I think the extra brood would really help if there was enough capped brood in 1 to swap over. They also dont fly too much though they a handful are out and about....I am thinking the lack of numbers has the number of foragers down quite substantially. I hope anyways. This hive so far has no ants but it did at one point atleast have beetles also.

    Both hives were doused with cinnamon....so far it doesnt appear to affect the ants. They were under the lid just a few minutes ago with a lit dust of cinnamon there also....there were only 3 ants there.

  5. #25
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    Sep 2011
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    Reno, NV
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    3,150

    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    I have my top bar setting up on 4X4 posts. I do get a few ants poking around but nothing my bees can't handle. If I do it will be a simple matter of placing metal flashing around those legs to prevent the ants from crawling up them.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
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    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    I'm guessing, if you had someone who's used to spotting eggs with you, you would have found that the Q in Hive1 has likely already filled in every empty cell that a worker emerged from with a new egg. Give 'em about 5-6days and you'll be able to spot the 2-3 day old larvae to confirm/deny that suspicion
    As far as the supersedure cell goes, how long has the queen been laying in there, and how far along is the cell? If it's just a cell cup, then they're just "being prepared," but if it's more fully drawn (or even capped), then likely you may have a new queen in there before long...means the bees likely found her to be deficient in some way.

    I REALLY wouldn't expect to see SHB up there where you are, did these beetles have the characteristic "clubbed" antennae? They might be SHB, but I thought pretty sure that'd be one pest you wouldn't have to worry with up there.

  7. #27
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    Apr 2012
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    North Pole, Alaska
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    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    Rob one and the same. They were lighter color and very small but appearance looked identical.

    The cup was empty and small so far. Planned on going back in the hive in a couple days too look for more cells.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
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    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    Sorry to hear you have the SHB...had hoped you'd luck out of that one due to your latitude.

    As far as the queen cup goes, my bees keep maybe a dozen or so empty cups per hive, seems to make 'em feel better just having 'em handy. As long as it's not more than maybe 1/2" long, and there's no egg/larva in it (or capping on it, of course), I wouldn't pay it any more attention than to check to be sure that it's still empty once in a while

    Hope things start looking up for your 2nd hive soon

  9. #29
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    Apr 2012
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    North Pole, Alaska
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    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    Honestly Rob, I dont know if they are or not...I havent seen any in a few days now.... Its definatly odd...though I dont quite know what normal is.

    I didnt go into hive 2 the other day so I went into it tonight.....made it through 4 bars and saw good laying patterns.....capped workers, larva and I did find eggs...so hive 2 is going to go eventually.....I'm still feeding this hive though they definatly arent taking as much....the last bar I pulled had good eggs in the bottom. I noticed in this hive there's quite a bit more what I'm assuming to be capped sugar syrup? I'm assuming this if for brood when they hatch?

    The cinnamon seems to be working ants so far were non existent on the outside of hive 2 or around the hive in general...hopefully things are looking up. Temps are crazy warm!

  10. #30
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    Apr 2012
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    North Pole, Alaska
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    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    well went into both hives tonight.

    Hive 1 is doing great. They have a small hunk of comb on the last bar....over half on the two new bars. Pulling bars out it smells like honey! There's not a ton of it, few inches to oh 1/4 of a bar depending on the bar. Saw the queen she was on the last bar...noticed a bunch of capped drone in the honey area (1 5/8 spaces). Not sure what to think of this.....if they eat as much as I do I could be in trouble LOL!

    Hive 2 is ok......some dry looking larva....pics and real person look quite different. Found the queen also....

    no more beetles so far yay! The pic is terrible but if I can find time to post them I'll post last weeks hive inspection and pics.
    Last edited by AkDan; 06-29-2012 at 01:23 AM.

  11. #31
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    Apr 2012
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    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    blah lol....
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #32
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    Apr 2012
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    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    the team....

    bee6.jpg

    the hives

    bee8.jpg

    the bees

    bee12.jpg

  13. #33
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    Apr 2012
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    North Pole, Alaska
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    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    looked at hives just a minute ago.....wow is my strong hive packed with bees...its cool and rainy outside right now. There's still a bar at the back of the hive with little to no comb....the amount of bees!!! They are bearding on the entrance all night even in the cooler temps.

    hive 2 (weak hive) now has 5 full width drawn combs......Makes an interesting dilema. Hoping to get hive #3 done over the next couple of days. Originally contemplating moving a few bars to this hive from hive 1......might still do it, as I still am feeding this hive (about 3 bars with of a frame feeder space wise), plus a few bars. Or just outright set the comb aside from hive 1 to create more room...

    When they are all home there's a LOAD of bees !!!

    edit.....

    Just came in. and went through hive 1 through the honey area (1 5/8 bars with spacers). Noticed a lot of capped drones and drone larva......Started seeing capped worker and worker larva as I got closer to the brood section.

    Dilema

    There's not a lot of honey. So if I remove bars they will be bees. Should I take out drones...soon to be filled honey combs? or? They are on the last bar and starting to draw it out.

    I removed that bar and a bar I added a few weeks ago that was 3/4 drawn to create a little space.
    Last edited by AkDan; 07-04-2012 at 07:41 PM.

  14. #34
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    Mar 2012
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    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
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    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    move 1/3 to 1/2 of the bars from hive1 to hive3, with all attached bees, and let whichever hive doesn't end up with the queen create a new one...3 hives are better'n 2

  15. #35
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    Apr 2012
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    North Pole, Alaska
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    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    Gotta get hive 3 done first Rob LOL! As many bees as there are in hive 1 sitting outside even in the cold, I may try pulling a few bars with bees and giving it a shot.

    Went in yesterday....the weak hive is coming around slooooowly. Good plenty of capped workers. I havent been in the front of the hive very much and sure enough there was cross comb I missed the last couple of times. Had to pull 5 bars, interesting experience! I learned how to reattach with hair climbs....pick dirt off comb.....and just plumb give up on a smaller section tossing it to my wax pile. By than the bees were pretty jacked with two bars to go....hmm more cross comb. I shut the hive up and went to hive 1. I never did see the queen, hoping at this point I didnt kill her in that fiascal.

    Hive 1, my strong hive is doing very well. Found the queen on the last bar as usual, she likes to hang out on that very first bar, makes me wonder if thats why my entrance is packed at night with bees. Good pattern over all...a few bars had 1/3rd capped honey with larva or capped larva pretty close to it. the back of the hive has some capped brood. Hopefully at some point they'll decide to put in honey, if not my overwinter problems could be solved before I get that far.

    For a little fun....stung once on hive today. between last night and this morning, 3 more times. Once up the pant legs at the knee. Another on the finger, and this morning on the upper light right below my nose. Talk about eye watering. Its what I get for trying to get the cluster back to the hive I lost last night. I had them covered up hoping they'd cluster on it, instead they clustered under it...this morning being cool they were lethargic...or so I thought LOL! oops.

    hive three continues...last night realized the glass I was given wasnt cutable by me...and viola I had about 10,000 mini windows LOL! Its quite amazing when a 8' long piece of glass basically explodes.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    North Pole, Alaska
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    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal


  17. #37
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    Apr 2012
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    North Pole, Alaska
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    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    Well its been ahwile now.

    I pulled those blocks and put in an entrance reducer. Both hives are down to about 2"es. Its been chilly and not much flying the last couple of days. Today they were out and about. The flowers are about all done. Fireweed is still going...some vetch that's starting to look pretty poor. another round of dandilions in the yard, albeit sparse, and the sweet clover and redclover's about died off.

    The strong hive is booming with bees. I havent been in the hive for a week but the window is covered on a daily basis.

    I did go in the weak hive today..it was a bit chilly so I rushed things a tad. First they were mean as heck! Nothing new. I was getting robbed something fierce last week so I stopped feeding when that was gone. Today I covered the top of my feeder in the hive, now there's no way in. I did see some good brood pattern up to about the middle of the brood chamber, after that it was pretty sparse. What I didnt see was larva/eggs or the queen. She could have been there like I said I was in a bit of a rush worried it was really going to start raining. I plan on resuming feeding tomorrow again. There's 2 good bars of pollen up front, and 3 full bars of capped syrup in the back. The rest have some capped stores and some open stores, and capped worker brood...very very few drone cells. No queen cups/supercedures. They stopped drawing comb oh a couple weeks ago now completely.

    I'm hoping to overwinter in the garage. Time will tell how that goes. I plan on removing a couple bars from the strong hive probably worker brood, one or two, and moving them into the weaker hive. I need the room for the feeder in the strong hive. The weak hive has had the feeder inside the hole time so there's no room issues. I'll pull a few of the partial bars in the back and replace with the capped workers, depending on how the strong hive queen's laying. Its time to button things up for winter. Vacation in a couple weeks for 2 weeks, after that we're on the count down for snow.

  18. #38
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    Apr 2012
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    North Pole, Alaska
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    Default Re: new beeks TBH journal

    I went back into the weak hive today. Filled the feeder and decided I wanted to atleast see if the queen was around. I found her about mid way through. Still no larva that I can find. For some reason she's not willing to lay much.

    Also opened up the strong hive and took some measurements, trying to decide frame feeder or a hive top like fatbeemans running. I like the looks of fbms and with the long cold winters its a way to feed without opening the hive, or atleast keeping things to a minimum. Saw some eggs/larva and shut it back up. They have a decent amount of stores, not enough to winter on. There are 0 fully capped bars, there's a few 1/2 capped and the other half mostly filled, a couple 2/3rds capped and either empty or filled, and a couple 1/3rd capped with some capped worker brood getting ready to emerge/emerging.

    I also noticed they are pulling some out of the hive, not sure why. There was one the other day and 2 more today. I thought they ate them? I didnt notice if they were drones/workers.

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