Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Santa Clara County, California, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default New beekerer. Need bee/queen advice fast!

    Hi all, I'm a new bee keeper with a Warre hive which I just filled with bees in May. Everything was going great and the bees filled the first box rapidly, but like other posters here, they didn't seem to want to move downward. Being new, I figured maybe they were shifting their energy into taking care of brood. Soon, my population seemed to diminish, and then UGG! Ants moved in! I put Vaseline, cinnamon, borax, an ant trap (not in the hive, but near where the ants were marching two by two, but nothing seemed to help. (My hive stand couldn't accommodate oil cans, but I've now reconfigured it to do so). Shortly thereafter, what few bees I had decided to swarm. With the help of a more experienced bee keeper I was able to capture them, cleaned out the hive as best I could, and put them in a fresh ant free box, along with any comb I could that was ant free. There was almost no honey and only a speckle of capped brood.Alas, the next morning they were gone.
    Fast forward two days. Another bee keeper kindly brought me a cutout around 10ish at night and we hived them as best we could, with an empty barless box now occupying the top of the hive (they were in a foul mood so we thought it best to dump and run). He also brought me some brood comb in various stages of shape, which a day later I placed back in the hive.
    So here are my problems, in no particular order: 1) My bees, and the comb they were in are 4.9, and these bees are much bigger. Is this going to be a problem (I really liked my small cell bees)? 2) The keeper who brought them said he hadn't seen a queen, and at this point, despite windows in my hive, I haven't either, but who can tell when there's like a million of them in there?!! 3) Right now what I've got are three boxes on. The middle box has no bars, the bottom a few combs and all the bars, and the top box a large brood comb, a smaller comb, both rather precariously wired in. I need to get bars back in so they don't do that Tower of Babel thing, but they've been so freaked out that I didn't want to disturb them again until things calm down.After reading other folks' posts, maybe having bars but no comb in the middle is a good thing, as it might encourage them to build downward (or upward, depending on how you look at it ) 4Do I requeen? Wait and see? How long?Hope that I don't end up with a laying worker? And if there is a queen in there, will a new queen kill her, vice versa, or a crapshoot? These bees don't seem as gentle as mine, but it might be too early to tell. Help (and yes, opening the hive is a bit scary for me since I'm new and have no second set of hands. Awaiting all your good advice, cordially Laura

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Rock Port, MO. USA.
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: New beekerer. Need bee/queen advice fast!

    I'm just a new beek so I'll be parroting what I've learned from reading others' experiences.

    If you do have a queen, the bees will typically bring in pollen. If not, they would just hang around looking lost. Some bees would go ahead and build emergency queen cells if they don't have a queen. So some beeks recommend waiting a couple of weeks to see if they have a queen. If not, they recommend re-queening.
    You know when you have a laying worker if you have a lot of drones later on.
    Were your cut-out combs built on foundations or free-formed combs? If free-formed, then they shouldn't need regression.
    For the ants, try placing diatomaceous earth on the ground under and around the hive if you can. Some beeks swear by it.
    Good luck. Hopefully a more experienced beek would soon jump in and give you some good advice.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Rock Port, MO. USA.
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: New beekerer. Need bee/queen advice fast!

    Also, check this link out.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beespanacea.htm

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Santa Clara County, California, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: New beekerer. Need bee/queen advice fast!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bubbles View Post
    I'm just a new beek so I'll be parroting what I've learned from reading others' experiences.

    If you do have a queen, the bees will typically bring in pollen. If not, they would just hang around looking lost. Some bees would go ahead and build emergency queen cells if they don't have a queen. So some beeks recommend waiting a couple of weeks to see if they have a queen. If not, they recommend re-queening.
    You know when you have a laying worker if you have a lot of drones later on.
    Were your cut-out combs built on foundations or free-formed combs? If free-formed, then they shouldn't need regression.
    For the ants, try placing diatomaceous earth on the ground under and around the hive if you can. Some beeks swear by it.
    Good luck. Hopefully a more experienced beek would soon jump in and give you some good advice.
    Dear Bubbles, thanks SOOO much for the advice!I've had like 61 views on my post but only two replies. I did put D earth down (apparently I need to water it in to activate it-who knew??!!), and even after all my calesthenics (sp?) the evils showed back up (windstorm threw down some major leaves, thus creating a Bridge over the River Quia-oil), but I nipped that in the bud.
    So on the pollen scene as a marker, I went over to a WAAAY experienced beekeeper today and observed his hive. the kicker on the pollen scene is that right now in our area, the pollen is white, which is super hard to see on the bees! Thank you Mother Nature, for adding to my already taxing situation! The bees may or may not be building emergency queen cells, but my experienced fried says the brood babies were probably already dead, having been out of the hive for a day.
    The bees were definitely not regressed-they are HUGE compared to my 4.9s. Not sure just how long regression takes, but I'm trying to woman up/ suit up tomorrow and get the skinny on the whole situation. Sure wish I had a bee friend right now...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Santa Clara County, California, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: New beekerer. Need bee/queen advice fast!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bubbles View Post
    Also, check this link out.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beespanacea.htm
    That would be great to try if I had access to brood comb, but I only have my one little hive. I'm calling to check on queen availability from my 4.9 breeder tomorrow. Stay tuned...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,556

    Default Re: New beekerer. Need bee/queen advice fast!

    The bees bring in pollen when there is brood to feed, not just if there is a queen. So, it is quite possible to have a queenless hive that still has open larva to feed, they'll be bringing in pollen. They will also bring in pollen as a virgin is mated in preparations for brood.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: New beekerer. Need bee/queen advice fast!

    Wait a week to 10 days to see if the cutout produces eggs and larva. If not requeen.

    It is a bit confusing from your post but your small cell bees are gone right? If you are worried about using the small cell comb for the cutout hive I wouldn't worry about it. The bees will figure it out.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Santa Clara County, California, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: New beekerer. Need bee/queen advice fast!

    Quote Originally Posted by Keth Comollo View Post
    Wait a week to 10 days to see if the cutout produces eggs and larva. If not requeen.

    It is a bit confusing from your post but your small cell bees are gone right? If you are worried about using the small cell comb for the cutout hive I wouldn't worry about it. The bees will figure it out.
    Dear Keth, I think yu're right-the bees will figure out the cell sizes. Yes, sadly my small cells absconded-the ants drove them away. Got that problem mostly fixed and have ordered a new mated small cell queen, but now I have the added joy of trying to locate the queen that was 9or wasn't!) in the cutout. The gentleman that dropped the bees off said he hadn't seen one, and they've been pretty cranky. I'm actually hoping there isn't one 'cause I feel guilty about killing her, but I'm also discouraged because I hear the queens are often hard to find. I'd like to stress at this point that I am brand spankin' new at this. Plus the frosting on the bee cake is that I have to flop all my boxes around due to adding comb and bees. Last, my bee friends are warning me that the bees might chew my new queen's feet off in the cage! How do I stop this from happening? Help!

  9. #9

    Default Re: New beekerer. Need bee/queen advice fast!

    Dont worry about them chewing her feet off. She will probally come with some attendants in her cage. They will get use to her pheromone's, and will chew the candy out of the cage to release her. I retrieved a colony from a tore down tree, which the contractor tried to destroy. There was no comb to salvage and only about 3 thousand bees. I collected them all and installed them in a Warre I had with some empty comb. I left it at the site so they could bolster there numbers with any stragglers. I found a queen out of state and got her in 3 days. I direct released her into the hive box from the top. Those bees were quiet, hardly moving around, the moment the queen walk in they started humming. Like a normal colony again, they have done very well since. Hope it all works out for you and your bees. God Bless!
    Ralph Waldo Emerson "To map out a course of action and follow it to the end requires courage". John 3;17

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads