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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Montgomery Twp, PA
    Posts
    159

    Default Hive Management/New (Supercede) Queen/ Bearding

    Help!! I have been reading and studying in preparation for this spring and thought I was completely prepared. Actually having bees is completely different than reading about them! Anyway, let me recap. We installed our bees on April 20th. Top bar hive, 3 top 3/4" entrance holes, closed bottom board. A few weeks ago I went into the hive and saw 8 capped queen cells. I let them continue on and checked on them again Monday. I saw a new queen who appeared to be mated (possibly??). Most of the queen cells were hatched, but there were 3 still capped. I left them alone. The new queen was not yet laying (I think - no uncapped larva/eggs), and most of the brood from the old queen had hatched. There are about 8-9 combs drawn, some capped honey, and some capped brood (no drone brood). This morning at 5:45 am, right before I was leaving for work, I saw some bees bearding. I also saw a few bees flying out of the hive. NOOOO!!! I went out to the hive and got a closer look. It was a small clump about 4-5 inches in diameter. The bees have 4 empty bars behind the drawn comb and then there is a follower board. The bearding bees were sort of patting the hive with their feet. I have read that beees do this when they are ready to swarm - they are cleaning? The temperature was in the mid 80s yesterday. Today is going to be high temps again, with high humidity. Overnight was cooler - mid 60s. Do I need to put in a few empty bars mixed in with the drawn comb? Most of the comb is empty since most of the brood has hatched. Could a new package already want to swarm?? As it gets warmer do bees start to forage super early in the morning?? Were the bees flying out possibly scout bees?

    I will get home at about 3 pm today. Hopefully, they're all still there.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default Re: Hive Management/New (Supercede) Queen/ Bearding

    > A few weeks ago I went into the hive and saw 8 capped queen cells. I let them continue on and checked on them again Monday.

    Unless you are feeding constantly, or you let them run out of room (follower board?) I can't imagine that they are swarming already.

    > I saw a new queen who appeared to be mated (possibly??).

    If you saw her, that's a good sign. Virgins are hard to see.

    > Most of the queen cells were hatched, but there were 3 still capped. I left them alone. The new queen was not yet laying (I think - no uncapped larva/eggs), and most of the brood from the old queen had hatched.

    Sounds like the old queen failed or died.

    >There are about 8-9 combs drawn, some capped honey, and some capped brood (no drone brood).

    Not enough that they should be thinking of swarming.

    > This morning at 5:45 am, right before I was leaving for work, I saw some bees bearding.

    That means nothing other than they are doing fine.
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#bearding

    > I also saw a few bees flying out of the hive. NOOOO!!!

    That is a good thing... it means they are still alive.

    > I went out to the hive and got a closer look. It was a small clump about 4-5 inches in diameter.

    Bearding.

    > The bees have 4 empty bars behind the drawn comb and then there is a follower board. The bearding bees were sort of patting the hive with their feet. I have read that beees do this when they are ready to swarm - they are cleaning?

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#washboarding

    > The temperature was in the mid 80s yesterday. Today is going to be high temps again, with high humidity. Overnight was cooler - mid 60s. Do I need to put in a few empty bars mixed in with the drawn comb? Most of the comb is empty since most of the brood has hatched.

    Sounds like they have room.

    > Could a new package already want to swarm??

    If you crowd them or feed them incessantly, yes. Otherwise, it's doubtful.

    > As it gets warmer do bees start to forage super early in the morning??

    As soon as there is light and the temperature is above 50 F they are out.

    >Were the bees flying out possibly scout bees?

    Foragers.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Montgomery Twp, PA
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: Hive Management/New (Supercede) Queen/ Bearding

    Thank you for easing my fears! All of your information was very helpful. I check your website all the time, but the combination of all those things had me concerned. Now I can get back to work and quit agonizing about my bees leaving.

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