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Thread: Hive check

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,070

    Default Hive check

    Hi, all! I did a hive check on a warm sunny day, today. Many new fuzzy bees are hatching just within the
    hour or so. Some are cordovan color while others are caniolan colors. Rarely do I see them mixed in colors. This hive
    started with one frame of bees and a new laying queen about one month ago.
    There are 3 frames in the middle of the hive all got sealed brood right now. So the 7 frames on either side have no eggs or
    bees on them yet. The hive is still small but growing steadily everyday now.
    My question is should I move the empty frame inbetween the sealed brood so the queen can lay some more eggs?
    Right now there is not one single egg and the queen bee is fat and plump. Only not laying now. You think she is waiting for a place to lay
    after the sealed brood hatch within a week or 2? So should I move the frames or just leave it as it for now?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Corvallis, OR
    Posts
    223

    Default Re: Hive check

    Don't move any frames at this point.

    In spring and summer the queen functions more or less like an egg-laying automaton. She wanders around the broodnest laying eggs in available empty cells. If there are no empty cells in the broodnest for her to lay in, there are two likely explanations:

    1. There are not enough bees to cover additional brood. Any eggs laid that cannot be kept warm will die. This is typically true of starting hives; the queen will lay as many eggs as the bees can tend, then take a break from egg-laying until the new brood hatches, expanding the population. The worst thing you can do in this case is move an empty frame into the broodnest, as a small population will be unable to keep the divided nest warm and brood will die.

    2. There is a shortage of drawn cells. This can happen starting on foundation if there is not enough nectar/syrup coming in for the bees to draw wax. Best remedied by feeding 1:1 syrup.

    So, in brief, feed syrup and avoid the temptation to move frames, and the bees should be fine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,070

    Default Re: Hive check

    Thanks, Luterra. I am printing your advice to keep in my bee folder just for the record. In this case you are absolutely correct. You hit it right on #1 above. I thought to ask first before I made more mistakes. I did this on last Fall then wonder why not many bees going into Winter time. Now I know why.
    All the sealed brood are covered with bees now both old and newly hatched ones. But the other frames have no bees yet. All 10 frames are fully drawn old combs and I have 6 more extra to do expansion later on. They have plenty to eat with syrup outside, canola and daisy flowers all over the backyard now. In 2 more weeks the almond will be blooming follow by the yellow and red plums. Within 3 more weeks all the bees will hatch out. You think the queen will be laying again afterward as more bees will be available to cover the brood area?
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Corvallis, OR
    Posts
    223

    Default Re: Hive check

    With all the bees hatching today, there should be new eggs in those cells in a couple of days. Not that I would open them up again that soon to check. If it is too cold or rainy to fly for a prolonged period the queen might stop laying for a bit. Spring is a dangerous time to have zero stores (as is true for a hive starting from one frame), so I might recommend putting a frame feeder with syrup in the hive along with a pollen patty. Doesn't help if the world is full of flowers, if the bees can't reach them.

    It takes a long time for a hive to build up from one frame of bees/brood. Three frames after a month sounds about right.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,070

    Default Re: Hive check

    You are right. I will put a new pollen patty in tomorrow. And a feeder syrup in there for them as well. Right now we have sunny warm 50-60s day time temp. The foragers are coming out for the syrup and local pollens. They don't have to fly far away for foods because all in my backyard already. There has not been much rain because we are so far south. All the rains are in the northern area. They are very active now. I agree that there are not many bees in there right now. At least they are building steadily and growing everyday now.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Monroe County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Hive check

    Luterra has given you some great advice. The most important thing for you to do right now is FEED...FEED...FEED. If you are able to, add a tablespoon of Honey-B-Healthy per gallon of syrup.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Monroe County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Hive check

    When your 5 frames get about 85% populated, add another frame to each side.

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