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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Maryville,tn., usa
    Posts
    26

    Default Need advice from experienced beeks

    Have a hive that has 2 deedps and a shallow super. bottom has 7 drawn frames mostly pollen and brood small amounts of honey. Top has 8 almost 9 drawn one is so heavy I thought it was stuck when lifting it out of box full of honey several with mixed honey and brood + pollen. They are just now starting on drawing super. They are building empty queen cells in the top deep but not in the bottom I destroyed all the empty queen cells. The queen looks grat laying happy and strong. I added the super 1 week ago.
    I have taken 2 frames of caped brood from this hive in the last 4 weeks to give to a week hive I started from a frame of uncapped eggs and brood and nurse bees. That are doing ok different subject. With no more honey than they have I don't know what I should do next. Please help me. This is my second year started with 2 hives last may from a not so good source lost both hives. Started to give up but ordered 3 packages from Kellly bees this year and what a difference. These girils are unreal compared to last years. Out of the three I killed a queen my like of experience so I split the hive pulled some honey pollen and small amount of brood. Ordered a queen and added to that hive I moved to my house. Let the remaining hive re queen it's self and they took care of business. The other 2 hives have grown to 2 deeps and going. But back to the hive I need help with any advice what do I need to do to help them at this time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,285

    Default Re: Need advice from experienced beeks

    sounds like your hive is doing pretty good hillbillydog. i am in northeast alabama, and we are not having much of a flow right now. i haven't seen much new comb drawn in about a month now. i think i would just let them be for now and see if they will draw out the new super by fall.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,067

    Default Re: Need advice from experienced beeks

    Hill,
    They may be making themselve honey bound and are starting to swarm because of no place for the queen to lay. Consider opening up the brood area with a couple of frames of drawn comb or frames with foundation just out side the middle of the brood nest. Think in 3rds. Look at the size of the brood nest in the bottom and next up(2nd) box.
    Visually divid it into 3rds. Move the frames on the outer edges of the brood nest to the out side so that you make space for one new frame (drawn if you have it foundation if you don't) on each side. That way you leave the middle of the brood nest alone but add space to the edges of the nest.

    The main issue as I see it is that you need more space for the queen to lay. The 2nd box should be brood not honey.
    Give her more space to lay by opening the brood nest. Then as the population of bees increases give them more supers for honey space.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Knoxville Tn
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Need advice from experienced beeks

    Murvull has a very active club.
    Blount County Beekeepers Assn.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,381

    Default Re: Need advice from experienced beeks

    It sounds like you have a few deep frames that they have not drawn out yet. My guess is that they are probably on the outside of the boxes. Remove them, slide the other drawn frames to the outside and place the undrawn frames between frames of brood in the center part of the box. This will encourage them to drawn out the comb on the remaining frames.

    If you do not see a lot of backfilling of nectar in the brood nest area and the brood distribution in the colony looks normal - eggs, larvae in all stages, and capped brood - then my guess would be that the queen cells you see them building are probably supercedure cells rather than swarm cells. It seems to be more common these days for package bees to replace their queen the first season. If they are not preparing to swarm then they are sensing something in the current queen that they don't like and want her replaced. I would let them go and see what they do. Sometimes they will start to build queen cells but decide later not to follow through.

    Now if thinks look different in the colony - very few eggs and larvae with mostly capped brood, and nectar backfilling of the empty brood cells - then it could be swarm preparation. We would need a little more information on what the brood looks like in the colony.
    To everything there is a season....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,808

    Default Re: Need advice from experienced beeks

    Workers generate queen cells when there is a reduction in queen pheromone, as Mike mentioned, either supercedure or swarming. The bees will continue to build queen cells. It is a survival instinct. You can fight them on it until they leave or die.
    It would be more clear if you saw frames as full of brood or food, not just drawn comb. A hive can have 30 empty drawn combs and die or swarm.
    The two things we look for in queen health are pattern and number of eggs per day. The brood should be in a solid oval in the center of the frame. If you multiply the measured length times width of pupa (capped brood) and total all frames of pupa, multiply by 25 cells per inch and divide by 12, you will know if she is still strong. If she cannot lay 1200 a day, she is not good.
    Twelve comes from the number of days they are capped. There is a reason you need to learn the rule of threes.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Maryville,tn., usa
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Need advice from experienced beeks

    Thanks for all the help and advice from all
    I look through the hive yesterday
    There starting to draw one side of a super frame in he super
    The top deep has 4 frames of brood that what I see based on u tube videos looks like perfect caped brood with the caping of honey around the top and sides of the frame 1 frame has 20% capped and most of the remainder uncapped brood w a mix of uncapped honey small amount of pollen one full frame of honey on the outside left on the out side right one frame of foundation and one frame there drawing complet on one side and starting on the other that frame I but in three week ago after donating a frame of brood to a weaker hive.

    The bottom box is where my concern is lots of pollen some caped scattered brood some empty cells but not much honey. The like of nectar in the bottom box.

    I have been destroying the queen cells. I always find the queen in this hive and she looks like she is on the job.

    Do I need to let them keep the queen cells let them take care of business.

    A non beekeeper that thinks they know about beek thinks I should split and take the queen to another location and let the hive re queen itself I think it's to late for that but not sure.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,381

    Default Re: Need advice from experienced beeks

    From your description of the brood in the colony I doubt very much that they are preparing to swarm. It sure sounds like supercedure to me. The bees are sensing that the queen needs to be replaced for some reason unknown to us. I would let them raise a new queen. Mid summer is a good time for a short brood break and queen replacement. You will go into fall and winter with a new young queen and increase your odds of overwintering success.

    I would not worry about doing a split. You would weaken the colony by taking away bees and stores that are needed to effectively raise a healthy queen, and you'll still have the original queen in your other split that probably has some problems and may not survive the winter anyway. Let them do what they feel compelled to do. It will be a good experience for you to watch what happens with the colony.
    To everything there is a season....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Pell City,Alabama,USA
    Posts
    287

    Default Re: Need advice from experienced beeks

    Are they building Queen cells or Queen cups? It is normal for a hive to have Queen cups, leave them alone; they will just build them right back. If they are trying to supersede you need to let them do it.
    It is also normal for them to store a lot of pollen in the bottom box. Try to work with your bees, not against them.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,285

    Default Re: Need advice from experienced beeks

    i agree that it is very unlikely that your bees are preparing to swarm. in our part of the country we are in a serious dry spell, with not lots of nectar available. if a hive did swarm, they could never get started without a good nectar flow.

    swarm season in our climate happens earlier in the spring. it happened here when the tulip poplars were in bloom. you will also see less laying of eggs and the brood cells get filled with nectar.

    i do see a lot of little queen cups in my hives too. i am told that the bees just make them to have on hand, but don't build them out and start a new queen unless they need a new queen. i don't think there is any need to remove them.

    if you see royal jelly in those queen cells, they are definitly trying to make a new queen. and i agree that if that is happening in your hive, it would most likely be supercedure at this time of year.

    if you decide to split, and don't want to have to feed a lot of syrup, it's better to do it just before that main flow in the spring, just before swarm season.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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