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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Question Noob queen possible issue query.

    Below is a copy of an email I sent to the company I bought my hive from and am looking for a second opinion as to whether I am on the right track or not. My NUC, Italian queen, picked up here in Texas was set up on 2 June. I never saw the queen and was sent one for free for replacement and I did a hive check on both 6/16 & 6/17 to try and confirm whether I missed the queen or not.

    "I may have a problem. I received the queen in USPS mail no problem (re-queen), one worker died but the rest were fine (on 6/7/12). I put her in the hive Thursday afternoon, 6/7. On Sat. 6/9 I checked to see if she got out of her shipping cage, no problem and found her in the hive. The following week on Sat. morning, 6/16, I inspected the hive to check for egg laying plus looking for the queen. I could not find the queen and could see no eggs. I now have two deep frames nearly full of honey and some pollen. On frame that was in the NUC I received was wax foundation only (no comb) and it now has an area of about 4 inches across of new comb, no eggs or honey. The other frame received in the NUC (Order #XXX) is now filling up with honey and pollen, no eggs and the brood that was there has all hatched. At this point they have not started building comb on my new wax coated plastic (black) frames, but they are always some bees found on every frame."

    "Your advice on my perceived problem would be greatly appreciated. If you think I need to re-queen again I will pay for this one, but I also know of nothing I have done wrong. Thank you again for your time and support. I have really enjoyed sitting near my hive and watching their activity."

    Have I done anything wrong and am I rightfully concerned? I have a standard 10 frame starter set from Dadant, no issues there. Any advice of what to do or look for would be greatly appreciated as I want my first hive adventure to be successful. I do have a top feeder (the kind with two sections and wood floats with Honey Bee Healthy patty on one side and 1:1 sugar (organic/vegan) with Honey Bee Healthy added to that. I try to stay out of the hive and do sit and watch them bring in pollen etc. There are still enough bees to cover 3 frames fully, plus some on the balance of the other frames.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time and support, and I will answer all queries if I did not provide the right background information.
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: Noob queen possible issue query.

    might recheck the hive in a few more days looking for a queen or eggs before you buy another queen.
    is this your only hive?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Noob queen possible issue query.

    Agree, give it another week.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: Noob queen possible issue query.

    Can do on the re-check. Yes this is my only hive, first one too. I am getting set up for a second hive (stand holds two) in case of a swarm or split. It is in my back yard.
    Thank you

    Update; next Sat. will be good for me too for another inspection.
    Last edited by mmmooretx; 06-18-2012 at 12:58 PM. Reason: update

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: Noob queen possible issue query.

    OK, just finished my hive inspection and no queen and no eggs. I did find one sealed queen cell near the top of one of the original NUC frames. Should I leave it or re-queen and remove it? Bee count is starting to go down, but no laying worker egg cells yet.
    Thanks for the help in advance.
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: Noob queen possible issue query.

    OK, just got back from my bee source where I bought another queen plus four frames of brood. Doing the install I added my second brood chamber with a piece of newspaper separating them, pierced 5 times with a knife. I then put the four frames in with the queen attached with a rubber band in the middle (upper brood box). The queen cage had the candy cork removed with a small hole drilled in the candy, screen facing down and some wax from the lower brood box rubbed on the screen. On top of the second brood chamber I put my queen excluder, then my feeder (the two chamber kind with floats) one side with 1:1 sugar (organic) with Honey Bee Healthy, and the other side with Honey Bee Healthy patty. After that I put on my screened inner cover upside down so the upper had an exit too, then telescoping cover.
    It has been about 30minuts and no noticeable fighting, so hopefully it will be a peaceful transition. I was advised to not go into the hive for 10 days before checking for eggs, so the do not disturb sign is out, and I have my fingers crossed that all will go well! At this point the lower,brood chamber has two full capped frames of honey, one more 3/4 full about 30% capped. The upper four frames looked fairly balanced at 1/3 brood, 1/3 capped honey and that was about all I saw during the install, I wanted to minimize my time doing this
    I have been watching for about 45 minutes so far no fighting still. The lower brood box seems to be still coming and going and he upper new residents it is hard to tell . I have 30-50 hanging out near the entrance and around 30 flying around. No team jackets so hard to tell who is who. This has been a very expensive first hive, but I will be happy if they make it. I have my Harris County Beekeepers Association meeting tomorrow night and will check there too.
    If anyone thinks I have done something wrong please let know how to correct my error. I want my ladies to be happy and successful. They are Italian survivor as a breed.
    Thank you for your time and support in advance.

    Day two Update: I checked this morning and there were more guard bees than usual on the lower entrance (maybe 50 last night and 20 this morning). The new NUC in the upper had much less quantity of bees around their exit (telescoping cover), maybe 30. No paper bits outside yet, will look again after I get off work.
    Last edited by mmmooretx; 06-26-2012 at 06:21 AM. Reason: typo
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: Noob queen possible issue query.

    Day three update, checked yesterday morning all looked ok with only minor guards posted. In the evening there were several hundred flying around hive from the upper/new NUC. Checked again after dark and they were mostly in the hive, no unusual guard counts or beards. This morning at dawn only some minor guard counts and a few fliers. No paper bits on the ground from the newspaper separating the two brood chambers. It is going to be tough waiting until 5 July for a hive check, 8 days and counting...
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: Noob queen possible issue query.

    Some paper pieces were found partiality blocking the small entrance so entrance reducer was rotated to the larger entrance and most of the newspaper was pulled out. I also flipped over the screened inner cover so now the only entrance/exit is at the bottom. Did not go into hive, still waiting for 5 July.....
    I will check the top feeder tonight to check sugar water level.
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Big Grin Re: Noob queen possible issue query.

    It has been 10 days since I added a NUC to the upper brood chamber with newspaper separating them. I went in for an inspection (93F) and the following items were noted:
    • Queen is loose and much fatter!
    • Much of the purchased brood has hatched.
    • The frames are filling with "honey", four on top three on the bottom.
    • They finally have started pulling wax on two frames in the upper and one in the lower (all plastic foundation).
    • Both the upper and lower brood chambers have been checker-boarded.
    • They have consumed a gallon of 1:1 syrup with Honey Bee Healthy, and have eaten 1/3 of a Mega Bee Patty in 10 days.
    • Unable to see any new eggs.

    While watching them I see lots of pollen being taken in, many colors.
    Should I wait another 10 days before going back in? I may have to use a flashlight next time to look for eggs as my hive is in the shade (Houston). I do not want to walk out into direct sunlight as my queen is clipped and marked (yellow) Italian.
    Any constructive input would be appreciated, I am feeling better about my hive health. Thanks in advance.
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: Noob queen possible issue query.

    7/7/12 did another inspection and basically saw grubs curled up in the bottom of the cells, so assume queen is laying and doing her thing. My eyes do not seem to be good enough to see eggs in the bottom of the cells. Hive seems to be doing well and added some SHB traps & CD case traps. killed half a dozen "maggot" sized bugs (not sure if they are SHB or wax moth larvae) found swimming in the 1:1 syrup with HBH and killed one moth. I will check again on 7/15/12 when I get back from a family reunion in Seattle. I think the hive is on the plus side now and should have grown by the time I get back.
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,576

    Default Re: Noob queen possible issue query.

    way to go m, sounds like they are off and running!
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: Noob queen possible issue query.

    I was out of town for 4 days but did an inspection on 7/15, Sunday afternoon, when I returned. Very happy queen is laying well and I have several frames of capped brood, with no queen or drone cells noticed. On 7/17 I decided to stop feeding and put my med. super on, frames sprayed with 1:1 and HBH. The ugly part I had not seen was that I had a lot of worm larvae swimming in the 1:1 with HBH (SHB?) and a bunch of wax moth cocoons under the HBH patty. I had seen none of the moth cocoons in the two brood chambers in any inspection. I had seen some SHB but I hope removal of their breeding pond I will get that under control. I sprinkle Diatomaceous earth around the base of the hive every couple of weeks, no ant problems yet (1/2" pipe legs in vitamin water bottles with veg. oil & inverted plastic cups above for rain shields).
    Looking at building a second hive soon but will wait for a swarm or box of bees to populate. Also looking at a TBH and I think that is all I will put in my city back yard.
    Love my new hobby and thanks for the inputs! Looking forward to my first harvest, but do not really expect it this season.
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

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