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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Troutville, VA, USA
    Posts
    71

    Default First full inspection- Questions

    It hit 58 deg F today here in SW Virginia, so I popped open my two ktbh to see what is going on. These hives were started from packages last March, and seem to have survived their first winter. There were lots of bees flying at the entrances. I found plenty of honey remaining inside, and apparently lots of bees. Many were bringing in a reddish brown pollen. I didn't see the queen in either hive, but I'm not very adept at finding her. My questions are these:

    1) There were a LOT of dead bees on the bottom, at least 1 bee thick over most of the bottom board. Is this a normal finding at the end of winter? Do I need to clean this out somehow, or will the bees take care of it, eventually?

    2) I didn't notice any capped brood, but there were a lot of wet cells which look like cells when they start bringing in nectar. However, I don't believe that there is any nectar source yet. These cells were all on the first 5 or 6 combs from the entrance. Could these be cells with larvae and the wet is just the food for the larvae? I just couldn't tell from looking if I could see any eggs or larvae. Need to take a magnifying glass next time.

    3) Small hive beetles were running around. I smashed over a dozen, but many more escaped. What do you use in TBH to control these? I tried some of the traps that you fill with oil and place between frames, by placing them on the floor of the hives, but they only caught a couple of beetles last year.

    4) While they seem to be bringing in some pollen, should I be feeding some substitute to get the brood rearing started?

    I hope you guys can shed a little light on my findings, and I thank you in advance for your replies. I'm looking forward to two more packages at the end of the month, and if things go well, making some splits from these hives.
    -Rod

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    collbran, co
    Posts
    563

    Default Re: First full inspection- Questions

    the bees will clean the dead out and that's normal,since there is pollen coming in there's also nectar as far as hive beetles there's none here where i live so i don't know the answer to that question.no you don't need to feed ant substitute she should start laying as well since pollen is coming in.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Troutville, VA, USA
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: First full inspection- Questions

    I was wondering what the odds are that the queen is in the pile of dead bees on the bottom. Does she have the same chance of dying in the winter as the rest, or is she more hardy, protected better by her attendants, etc.
    If she is in the pile of bees, how long will it be before a worker begins laying? Is it different when the queen dies during the winter than if she died in the prime brood rearing season?

    Should I be concerned at this point about the SHB still in the comb, or already in the comb, after winter?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,550

    Default Re: First full inspection- Questions

    Friday should be plenty warm for an inspection. Check on Friday to see if you have brood, capped or uncapped. It will be basically a week later so if there was any eggs last week you would see them this week.

    Yes, in the winter the queen is protected by the cluster. In a deadout you will often see a handful of bees surrounding the dead queen, so they were the last to go. You could clean out the dead bees and check them for the queen, but if you have lots of bees I would think that she is still in there.

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