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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Introduction and ??'s: Nosema? Growing Pains? Trach Mites?

    Greetings, and let me start by saying thanks up front for a great forum with everyone's insights, curiosity, hard work, willingness to help, etc., etc. I am brand new to beekeeping and fell in love with TBHs immediately. Though starting late, I was able to make a hive (with observation widows) and then put bees in on June 1st. Here's my short history with my current questions/concerns:

    June 1: Installed a 5 frame nuc. Had to chop & crop. 3 frames/bars were dark brown/black with brood and honey and were easy to cut and install. 1 frame/bar had brood on tough yellow plastic with some brood emerging as I worked. The last frame was also tough yellow plastic and it barely had comb started so I didn't install it.

    After install, the bees seemed fine. They covered the old comb and started drawing new comb. I set up a station feeder with 1:1 syrup in a poultry feeder, and I usually left around 1-2 tablespoons of pollen (from a local health store) on their landing board each day. They usually took in all the pollen each day, but never seemed to touch the syrup.

    Around June 6: The bees seemed to cluster and "beard" outside the entrance/above the landing board in the evenings, and I started worrying about swarming. I also want to rotate the original chopped nuc bars out, so I placed empty top bars between the chopped nucs, including one at the entrance. I discovered that they had been very busy making some new white comb on a couple of empty top bars that were behind the 4 chopped nucs. I also swapped out the 1:1 syrup for 2:1 and placed it on a table right in front of the hive. Still no takers. But they kept taking the pollen on the landing board.

    June 11 (Monday) to now: Noticed a few bees walking "aimlessly" on ground about 5 feet from hive, and this has been increasing. I also see more dead bees--about 5-10--on the ground, and a few in the hive. (This morning there were two on the landing board who were just about dead. ) Their activity around the rear comb/bars seems at a standstill, and there's no "congestion" below the comb and the bottom screen (like in the past). The entrance is not "congested" either. It looks almost unguarded actually, so I plugged 2/3 of the openings.

    I switched back to 1:1 syrup in the station feeder, and even added a small shallow bowl feeder inside the hive. I've only seen one bee feed from the hive feeder though. I plan on doing a complete inspection this afternoon (weather permitting) to see what the brood and laying patterns look like, and to see if I can find the queen.

    But I'm wondering if I stressed them into Nosmema, and/or is something else is happening.

    I'll post what I see, but any comments/thoughts are welcome in the meantime.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    540

    Default Re: Introduction and ??'s: Nosema? Growing Pains? Trach Mites?

    Not just saying this to you, but I have never understood why sone choose to ask for advice before doing an inspection. Did you ever see the queen during your transfer? From experience, chop and crop can be harzadous for queens. Thus fa I have never lost one, but it would be easy to lose a queen.

    I would say that it's a bit early for you to see such a significant drop in population due o losing a queen. I would say that a number of things could be happening. One is a pesticide incident. It could just be that it's a good day to forage and everybody is out looking for nectar/pollen. It could be disease as well. Let us know what you see on your inspection. You may also check the observation window later in the evening to see if the population seems better.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Introduction and ??'s: Nosema? Growing Pains? Trach Mites?

    No harm no foul.

    An inspection would have helped. Mostly weather had been preventing me at that point, and the bees had been in the hive just over a week. But there was also a little bit of anxiety about doing an inspection.

    But a good first inspection the next day showed that things were fine. There was lots of brood--mostly worker and some drone--along with some well drawn comb on some of the TBs. There were pollen stores and lots of curing honey too. I also saw the queen--so big she surprised me. Sure do love them fat bottomed women!

    Best of all, a small piece of comb with curing honey fell off and I got my wife and 5 year old daughter to taste it! The web of life in action!

    Best.

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