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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Missoula, Montana
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Inadvertent Package Install Experiment

    great thread!

    some very good stuff in here for newbies in general.

    also,

    like the look of your hives

    thanks for the pics and sharing Roto

    best of luck and please keep us posted on your bees...i'm interested to see how things go for you.
    Zone4A
    “We can love completely what we cannot completely understand.” -Maclean

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Georgetown, KY, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Inadvertent Package Install Experiment

    I think I answered a few of my own (beginner) questions (likely too soon to be capped brood and the bee humming at me was definitely a drone... a few did it again today).

    I made a closer inspection of a few bars of Hive 2 (good hive) and did see eggs in the cells. So with that confirmed, I moved one bar over to Hive 1 that looked to have a good mix of brood and stores, along with the attendants. I spent about five minutes studying the bar to confirm the queen was not on it... hopefully I did not miss her!

    With any luck, Hive 1 may recover from the fiasco. I plan on staying out of the hives completely for the next week or two and let them settle in proper. With the flow on now there doesn't look to be any need to feed either.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Inadvertent Package Install Experiment

    Good job. Took me a while to see the eggs my first time too and I am an entomologist who has reared ants since he was 10 (I had the weirdest hobby in the area).

    I wouldn't worry too much about accidentally transferring the queen. The most important thing is you have eggs. Chances are there is another frame w/ brood of the appropriate age to rear a queen if she was accidentally moved though it is safer to avoid this.

    Cold was my second guess for the look of hive one but usually they keep themselves warm. If it was cold then it is possible the sugar was too far away from them to get to when it got cold. W/out comb they don't have a store to eat during the night to make heat (they do this by contracting wing muscles to make metabolic heat--and this takes a lot of sugar, hence honey for food). It looked warm in your video so I couldn't tell. What I can say is that, if it was cold, it's a good thing the days were warm or they would probably be gone now. If it is cold and they have no food then the sugar should be right on top of them. This will insulate them some, keep the sugar warm for eating, and avoid the necessity of bees having to venture into a cold area to feed--where they will get too cold to return.

    Anyway, I've learned a lot here by using the search bar on the left of the homepage for this site so, if you haven't already, take advantage of that. You just might get hooked!

    For your bees, you are probably good now but keep an eye on them if there is a cold snap.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Georgetown, KY, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Inadvertent Package Install Experiment

    Thank you - you've been a fantastic help!

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,336

    Default Re: Inadvertent Package Install Experiment

    >Dead queens in.their cage in the package often indicate the presence of another queen...virgin or mated.

    That, in my experience, is the most likely cause of a dead queen in a package. There was almost certainly one loose in the package. Odds are, no matter where you put her, the replacement queen would end up dead.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Inadvertent Package Install Experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >Dead queens in.their cage in the package often indicate the presence of another queen...virgin or mated.

    That, in my experience, is the most likely cause of a dead queen in a package. There was almost certainly one loose in the package. Odds are, no matter where you put her, the replacement queen would end up dead.
    That's a good point.

    Roto, out of curiosity, was the hive w/ eggs the one that originally had the dead queen?

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    fauquier, va, usa
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Inadvertent Package Install Experiment

    ref: the way you were handling the bars/comb in the video (hive 1): you dont want to tilt it like that, always keep the hanging comb plumb, else-wise, it can tear or break. especially once you have a full comb hanging on a bar

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Georgetown, KY, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Inadvertent Package Install Experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by JClark View Post
    That's a good point.

    Roto, out of curiosity, was the hive w/ eggs the one that originally had the dead queen?
    Yep!

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Georgetown, KY, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Inadvertent Package Install Experiment

    ... and this is the bar as it looked when I moved it over.

    I'll get a pic later of what Hive 1 has done with it.



    I plan to take a quick look later to see if they are taking feed.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Georgetown, KY, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Inadvertent Package Install Experiment

    80 degrees here but gusty so I didn't linger too long in either hive.

    The donor bar now in Hive 1 looked great (to me). Heavy with attendants and brood in all stages. I didn't see any queen cells, but I didn't inspect long due to the gusty conditions... also I don't know how soon I should expect to see one.

    They have drawn more comb on 4 other bars already, which is 3x more comb in 3+ days than they did in the week prior to get the donor bar. I was also impressed with how many of the dead bees they have removed from the hive floor. I take that to mean they have a good # of workers left and they put them to use during a rainy day we had earlier in the week.

    Hive 2 looked great again - they have some comb across 7 bars now and 3 or 4 as big or bigger than the donor bar. I didn't see their queen yet, but I was only in their hive for a quick check.

    Progress pics of the donor bar in Hive 1:



    Close up of brood:



    And I seem to have some variety in the drones - some have very black bottoms (fellow circled in yellow):



    They did drain the baggie feeder dry - plan to replace it unless someone thinks that unwise.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Inadvertent Package Install Experiment

    Looks good. I wouldn't even worry about trying to find the queen in hive 2. Just let them go for a while. If there is no queen in hive 1 then they should have made a supercedure cell or two w/ those eggs. If they didn't I'd first look for eggs in the other frames before giving them another frame to try again. If you have eggs on another frame then there is obviously a queen there (unless you have laying workers--usually multiple eggs on the sides of cells). The cell could be hard to see as the bees will be attracted to it so it might just look like a clump of bees. If you find more eggs in hive1 and they are in the bottoms of the cells like what you saw before then make sure you check hive 2 for eggs to ensure that you didn't move that queen inadvertently.

    I'd feed until the flow really kicks in. They sill stop taking it when there is sufficient forage to meet their sugar needs.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Georgetown, KY, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Inadvertent Package Install Experiment

    Thanks for the encouragement!

    More good news today...

    Hive 1 has at least two queen cells and great looking brood on the transplanted bar... hard to see under the cluster of bees on the left edge:



    Hive 2s queen showed herself today and looks to be building a strong hive. Sorry for the blurry pic.


  13. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,401

    Default Re: Inadvertent Package Install Experiment

    Looks like you did a fine job of sorting out that situation.

    While hive #1 is working at becoming queenright, you may also consider, transplanting a bar/comb of emerging worker brood from hive #2 (without adhering bees - you could use a feather to brush them off), when one is available, to help bolster their population as their queen hopefully begins to perform her duties.

    When establishing with package bees, perfectly good queens may sometimes be superseded because the worker populations are unbalanced in age (having most of the workers nearing the end of their lives, then suddenly having most of the workers of nurse bee age). Somehow this has the bees behave as if their queen is failing, when it is simply that they were established using package bees.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    madison, indiana
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Inadvertent Package Install Experiment

    Crazy things can definitely happen with packages installed in close proximity to one another. For instance.....this spring I installed two packages correctly in single deeps about 10 ft apart. Queen "a" died in cage. Queen "b" made it out ok. So queenless hive "a" combined itself with queenright hive "b" and balled it's queen in the process. Ended up with a single deep busting with bees on five frames of drawn comb. Because of a lack of replacement queens I combined all of the above with an overwintered nuc with newspaper in between hive bodies. Needless to say that hive will be making some honey fo' sho'. Moral of the story for my situation? Wait another month after packages start to ship and spend $40 for 2 nucs. The point is that we are all making mistakes every year that we know we won't ever repeat. The cost can be high at times but it all seems to work itself out. Roto my friend, those TBH's look pretty cool. I hope your queen situation gets ironed out. I really need to get me one of those.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Inadvertent Package Install Experiment

    Yeah, looks real good. Have been meaning to post and say you might want to add another frame of eggs just for insurance. It's hard to see the cells in the pick and you don't want to accidentally think that a few weird shaped drone cells are queen cells. The first queen cell I saw I thought might be a drone cell at the beginning (probably because I didn't want to admit they were going to swarm). Once it is complete, though, it is pretty easy to tell--looks like a peanut shell and is the length of a peanut shell (more or less).

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Georgetown, KY, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Inadvertent Package Install Experiment

    So I opened up the problem hive today to check on progress and I *think* things are still on track.

    The two cells that I believe they formed as emergency queen cells were both empty - which initially had me concerned until I checked the calendar and realized today would be somewhere between day 16 and 18 - right on time for her to have hatched.

    I didn't spot her, but I didn't pull out all the bars looking either. If she just hatched she's not hanging around with attendants laying eggs yet anyway.

    To hedge my bets I did move over another good size bar from hive 2.

    Pic of one of the suspected queen cells:



    Inside pic of the problem hive:



    The noob beek:


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