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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    pelham, nh
    Posts
    13

    Default New, can't find queen

    Hi, I received my Nuc only a month ego so a late start. First inspection looked fine, I had a marked queen, 3 weeks latter (yesterday), I could not find a queen so I took pictures after initial panic. My observations today
    1. I think I do have a queen just not sure its the same one.
    2. The hive was calm until I dropped a frame, they calmed down when I put all frames back.
    3. The bees did not fill out all the frames.
    4. I have no idea what I'm doing
    5. I gave the syrup to see if it will help.

    Love some advise

    I'm located in NH so our summers are short
    hope this upload works.
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...3&l=36a0105a05

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Laramie, Wyoming
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: New, can't find queen

    It's time for some heavy reading... Don't panic. You'll be fine. Pick up a good beginning beekeeping book or spend a good amount of time looking here http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm and you will find the information you need to know what you're looking for, how to better handle frames, and other very good, general and specific beekeeping information. Michael covers it ALL. Having some good knowledge under your belt will help you with stress and worry. Leave the rest to the bees. They KNOW what to do, with or without you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    pelham, nh
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: New, can't find queen

    I read and read but I'm not sure if I'm correct what I am looking at. I also spent a few weeks reading posts and looking at picture. I will also read the link you sent. I could not find a queen but I did find broad at all stages. I'm not sure I can recognize a un marked queen.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    oconto county, WI
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: New, can't find queen

    If you have brood in all stages, you had a queen 3 days ago. You probably still do. Queens are hard to see.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Conestoga, Lancaster County, PA, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: New, can't find queen

    MeBee, I am a relatively new beekeeper (this is my second summer), and I, too, have trouble finding the queen. There are just too many bees in the hive! My mentor told me to look for signs that she's present: eggs and larvae. If I see those in a good pattern, then I'm satisfied. I have gotten much more confident this second summer than I was last summer, and I'm sure you'll figure out what you're doing, too. Please try to join a bee club. They are very helpful!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,429

    Default Re: New, can't find queen

    Don't worry that you can't find the queen. It is obvious from the pictures that you at least had one three days ago and that she is probably still there. That said, the number of bees in the hive is not especially robust for this time of year and so it seems likely (to me) that your marked queen was superceded and replaced. The fact that there are not tons of bees in the colony is a reasonable explanation for the limited amount of brood you have now.

    By my way of doing things you should have been feeding syrup right along - when a nuc first starts out it doesn't have a fully functional field force (yet) and you make life much easier for them by providing syrup. That you didn't is now water over the dam and your concern now needs to turn to getting the hive ready for winter.

    To winter successfully they will need to have all the comb in their box drawn out and it would be better if they had a 2nd deep with all the frames drawn out in that too. The 2nd deep should be largely filled with honey so that as the bees work their way topwards over the winter they have enough food.

    I put my hives on a scale and weigh them in early October and give supplemental feed to hives that weigh less than I want them to going into winter. You need to get the bees to draw out comb ASAP so that they'll have room for all the stores they will need.

    Can you do it? Yes, but as with many agricultural endeavors there are no guarantees. Give them 2:1 (two parts water:1 part sugar) now and switch to 1:1 in early October. Consider feeding pollen if the hive does not have much in the way of stored pollen. Pollen = food for baby bees. You need to boost the hives' overall population of bees and get them the food they need to winter on.

    Heck, you are in New Hampshire - you have months to go before winter. Consider (if you can) attending EAS in Burlington later this month. In addition to their main conference they have intensive bee schools! See www.easternapiculture.org for more info.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Laramie, Wyoming
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: New, can't find queen

    MeBee,

    I hadn't seen your link to pictures. Missed those until just now. With that black foundation it should be pretty easy to see eggs in the cells if they are present. As long as you have eggs then enjoy the hive and look for the queen as an aside. When you relax a bit, you just might find her. It's really not important at all though unless you are just interested in practicing spotting her. Michael Bush has some excellent advice on spotting queens. First...relax and believe she's there to be found. Then look on the frame with the most brood. Look from the middle of the brood pattern out. Look for the bee that moves differently than all the others. I thought it would be tougher than it is to find an unmarked queen. I had marked queens delivered and one of them failed. Then I did a split from another hive as well so now I have one marked and two unmarked. I can usually find all three but maybe it's because I am just not looking that hard. Just enjoy the miracle that is the hive and you'll find her. She moves steadily across the frame with purpose. The other bees move out of her way. My queens are a little different color than my bees and drones. They are a deep golden color. My queens have hardly any hair. That makes them stand out as well. Breath a sigh, check for eggs and don't worry...beeee happy.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,070

    Default Re: New, can't find queen

    Looks okay but not real strong. Perhaps it is my eyes but I see no stores of nectar or pollen in any of your photos. I would feed 2:1 syrup as much as they will take for the rest of the season. In your climate (same as mine almost) you want them in two deeps and the top deep being full of honey.

    Good luck!
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    pelham, nh
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: New, can't find queen

    Thank you everybody!
    Already put a medium on top, should I change it tomorrow? I did see bees bring in pollen, will try to collect some for them. I will try to go to the short course at EAS conference.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,034

    Default Re: New, can't find queen

    Quote Originally Posted by vstoltzfus View Post
    Please try to join a bee club. They are very helpful!
    Yes! Clubs are great places to find mentors and get connected to nearby beekeepers:
    http://www.nhbeekeepers.org/LocalClubs.htm

    http://www.massbee.org/links

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,861

    Default Re: New, can't find queen

    It looks like they are being robbed to me. Even a weak colony should have stores in a year like this. And like Keth pointed out that hive is barren.

    Reduce the entrance and get syrup on them... They might have a chance, but it will be a long shot.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    pelham, nh
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: New, can't find queen

    bluegrass - I only had the nuc for a month. Their are no other bee hives anywhere near them. Also we had a drought and very high temperatures. NH has a very different climate than Danbury, CT. When driving south their is a point in CT were suddenly the air becomes much more humid.

    I do wounder some of precautions I will need to take for the winter. Will moving the hive down hill in the winter against the barn door have any effect on the bees. I'm also thinking of building a roof from the snow. I will not move the bees near the tree line because of all the micro burst we are having

    Clubs are not active until Sept.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,070

    Default Re: New, can't find queen

    I would leave the bees where they are and feed them starting today. Don't worry about microbursts, just put a couple of rocks on top of it and they will be fine.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,429

    Default Re: New, can't find queen

    It is easy to over think beekeeping. Don't. Get feed on now. Do not use an entrance type feeder but instead either a division board feeder or one that goes on top of the hive. You should be prepared to feed this hive gallons (over time, not all at once) of syrup. Keth is closer to your location than I am and knows of what he speaks.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    pelham, nh
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: New, can't find queen

    I started feeding them Sunday. I will try to gather pollen from the few blooming flowers. The feeder I have is inserted between frames.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,070

    Default Re: New, can't find queen

    Let the bees gather the pollen. Goldenrod is blooming right now and a good source. Keep the feeder full of syrup and hope they build enough to get a good sized cluster for winter.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,861

    Default Re: New, can't find queen

    MeBee:

    My bees are all in Central VT. I started keeping bees in VT 20 something years ago and still keep them there now even though I have relocated south.
    If you were up in Coos county or something I would agree that you have no other bees around...But I have customers in your area of the country and I know there are bees near by. Lots of them... Just this year alone I sold nearly 100 packages to beekeepers in that area.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    pelham, nh
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: New, can't find queen

    Bluegrass - do you really think that in one month a very small nuc could have build up reserves and were robed? I do have considerably more bees now than a few weeks ego. I will reduce the entrance but weather this year was very unusual we went from 50 and all rain to 90 and drought, unlike other years I have nothing blooming were the bees are located.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,861

    Default Re: New, can't find queen

    This has been a pretty good honey season in many areas in New England. I think that even a weak hive should have some stores in it, I don't even see a trace of nectar anywhere in those pics.

    Even if they are not being robbed, it will not hurt to reduce the entrance and try and prevent any robbing.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    pelham, nh
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: New, can't find queen

    I wounder how much honey production did I lose because the guy who sold them to me refused to give them to me for 2 and half months.

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