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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Fayetteville, NC
    Posts
    20

    Default new hive questions

    I'm a new beek that installed my first package in a TBH last Monday. At first there was plenty of action around the hive with bees coming and going. This morning, I noticed very little activity around the hive. I looked in on them through the screened bottom and noticed many dead bees on the screen bottom. They have started building one comb, which is about 4 inches long. Should I be concerned with this hive. For some reason I think there should be more comb drawn and more activity outside the comb. Feeding a 1:1 solution with an essential oils blend added. Current weather conditions in Fayetteville, NC 74 degrees, Sunny, wind: calm
    Lance Andrus
    Fayetteville, NC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Hot Springs, Arkansas
    Posts
    306

    Default Re: new hive questions

    I think a screened bottom board on a TBH is a horrible idea. They got plenty of ventilation through the roof. I give mine a crack on one side between the box and the first frame about a bee width. Look up SBB for TBH by searching and you will see lots of bad things about the combination

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Dickson TN
    Posts
    452

    Default Re: new hive questions

    With a new package what you are describing is normal.If your screen is open close it up.Over ventilating won't allow queen pheromones to permeate the hive which can slow things down or may cause them to abscond.Dead bees are normal.Caution EOs can attract wasp,hornets,hive beetles,and other insects some good some bad.Don,t get me wrong I,d rather see EOs in the hive than chemicals.If you,re not using a division board get one.It will help them control their environment better and speed things up.Relax be patient and enjoy your bees.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,431

    Default Re: new hive questions

    I don't see why a sbb "is a horrible idea" in a tbh. It can be open or closed. When closed it is essentially a solis bottom board. In the summer it allows for great ventilation AND one can count varroa drop.
    Why do you figure it is such a terrible idea?
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Dickson TN
    Posts
    452

    Default Re: new hive questions

    In my opinion I wouldn't say good or bad.In the southern states hive beetles are problematic.It's easy access for beetles to get in a hive.If you have lost a hive to shb than you would not like screened bottom any kind of hive.Hive beetles really make a big mess of things.I run both screened and solid bottom boards.The plus side of a screened bottom is easier to do powder sugar dusting,easier to keep debri cleaned out of the bottom of your hives,easier to do mite checks,and another option for ventilation.Down side in the south or anywhere there are hive bettles it gives them easy access to your hive.If you forget to put the debri tray back in the smoker is almost inaffective.If you don't put the tray back in when installing new bees,they most likely will abscond.What ever keeps your bees healthy doesn't matter screened or solid.For me I do like having many options for managing my hives.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Fayetteville, NC
    Posts
    20

    Sad Re: new hive questions

    Took another quick look into the hive after some severe weather the past couple of days. Still only the one piece of comb....sugar water and some pollen stores but no eggs or larva that I can see. The bees are clustered around the comb, but I'm concerned that after a week and a half there is only the one piece of small comb. Would it be safe to assume that I am now queenless?
    Lance Andrus
    Fayetteville, NC

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Dickson TN
    Posts
    452

    Default Re: new hive questions

    Are you using a follower board?If not and they have too much space it will demoralize them.Makes them reluctant to build can cause them to find somewhere they can more easily control their environment in.At 2 weeks and there is no eggs or larvae I would start to be concerned.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Fayetteville, NC
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: new hive questions

    I do have a follower board....in fact, this past Sunday I slid the board forward to cut their space from 10 bars to 5. Also closed up my bottom screen underneath the girls. There are bees and they are consuming their feed, just no comb.
    Lance Andrus
    Fayetteville, NC

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Dickson TN
    Posts
    452

    Default Re: new hive questions

    That's perfect!Now switch you feed to 2 parts water and 1 part sugar.Make sure it feels hot to the touch not scalding.What type of feeder are you using would be my next question?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Fayetteville, NC
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: new hive questions

    feeder.jpg I have two of these behind my follower board....each bottle is 1/2 gallon currently filled with a 1:1 solution
    Lance Andrus
    Fayetteville, NC

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Dickson TN
    Posts
    452

    Default Re: new hive questions

    Those should work.Weather in your area looks good temperature wise any how.The close you can get the fed to the cluster the better.You might try putting a space or pulling out one top-bar setting your feeders above the bees.Stand there and watch them to see if they start to feed.Shouldn't have to change the ratio of the sugar syrup or warm it up.Once they start feeding for aabout half an hour put the feeders where you want them,keeping bees on the feeder.The bees on the feeder will then go back and tell where the feed is.If that doesn't work mix some syrup up without the EOs in it.Sometime they don't care for the EOs and sometimes EOs will interfere with their sense of smell.When using EOs you have to make sure your measured doses or recipe is precise.Some bees don't care some do.To heavy a dose of EOs can cause problems.When using EOs it's best to mix it with about a 1/4 cup of water put it in a blender at low for 2 to 3 minutes and than add it to the syrup.Shake it up real good than give it to them.Are they able to easily get to the other side of the follower board?Let us know how things work out for you.I'll be watching for your next post to be sure everything works for you.I do like your feeders the feeders aren't the problem may just be the location.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Belews Creek, NC, USA
    Posts
    338

    Default Re: new hive questions

    Why are you guessing on the presence of a queen? Go in and look for her. If she is not there, go buy one...now is the time. I would not be too concerned if your girls are not taking syrup. They will go after nectar when available and ignore syrup. Your area should be at the beginning of the main flow...lots of nectar out there. I'm all for screened bottom boards...all of my Lang hives have one and my Top Bar does as well. But you should close it off until your population grows. The notion of it allowing SHB easy access is somewhat absurd IMO. I've stood in front of my Lang hives and watched them fly straight in the entrance unhindered. You will have SHB...just make sure your hive is in full sun and keep a strong population of bees and they won't pose a problem.
    So relax...beekeeping really is fun, you will just worry a lot the first year or so!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Dickson TN
    Posts
    452

    Default Re: new hive questions

    Hive beetles don't only enter from the entrance, obviously you're not paying close enough attention.Leave the debri tray out and watch underneath the bottom board,than watch around your top cover than watch any cracks that may be in the hive.I've observed and studied hive beetles for the better part of two decades.To think the entrance is the only door for hive beetles to get in is absurd not my opinion.I operate hundreds of langs with screened bottom boards I also run hundreds with solid bottom boards.Why are the hive beetle population higher in the screened than in the solids?I also close off the hole in the top covers.Results a heck of a lot less hive beetles next to none.I don't use chemicals,beetle traps so on and so on.Simply just run a tight hive and healthy populated hives.We all do things different but I'd wager you'll lose a hive to hive beetles before my old self does.I'm not being malicious or confrontational you'd know otherwise if you knew me.I'm being as informative as I can for yours and everybody elses benefit.Spend as much time as I do and have observing what hive beetles do you'll draw the same conclusions.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Fayetteville, NC
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: new hive questions

    I'm guessing I have no queen because I have only a single piece of comb after 9 days. They are taking syrup just fine, in fact they have stored some in the small piece of comb. I was able to locate a new queen and introduced her into my hive. My package supplier agrees that either my queen is dead, gone, or is just weak and he suggested that I requeen.
    Lance Andrus
    Fayetteville, NC

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Dickson TN
    Posts
    452

    Default Re: new hive questions

    That's where the 2 weeks comes into play.Sometimes it can take a queen a couple weeks to show she's there.At 2 weeks it's still pretty safe to requeen and still get acceptance.Do slow release on her and you're back in business.Good luck and let us know how things progress!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Belews Creek, NC, USA
    Posts
    338

    Default Re: new hive questions

    Guessing you have no queen and introducing a new queen is a good way to lose $25. Been there...done that. You need to confirm you have no queen.
    Also...I'm not trying to start a new debate on a worn out subject concerning Screened Bottom boards. Fayetteville is a hot, humid area. Good ventilation will be important. And, Slow Drone, I am not questioning your knowledge on SHB and I was not implying the main entrance is the only entrance as you stated...I'm just saying an open door is an open door.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,763

    Default Re: new hive questions

    >I'm a new beek that installed my first package in a TBH last Monday.

    I have seen package queens that took two weeks to start laying. But I would look for the queen and at two weeks I would complain to the supplier if she's not laying. If you had another colony (and everyone should) you could give them a comb of eggs and open brood as insurance from your other colony...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Fayetteville, NC
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: new hive questions

    well, after looking at Killerbee's pictures of his hive I am more convinced now that I am queenless. I'm sure that I made a good choice to requeen yesterday. Will post pictures when I open up the hive this weekend to ensure that she has been released.
    Lance Andrus
    Fayetteville, NC

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    763

    Default Re: new hive questions

    Quote Originally Posted by LAndrus View Post
    well, after looking at Killerbee's pictures of his hive I am more convinced now that I am queenless. I'm sure that I made a good choice to requeen yesterday. Will post pictures when I open up the hive this weekend to ensure that she has been released.
    Technically you didn't "requeen" if you didn't have one.

    How did they react when you introduced the caged queen to them?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Fayetteville, NC
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: new hive questions

    Quote Originally Posted by jwcarlson View Post
    Technically you didn't "requeen" if you didn't have one.

    How did they react when you introduced the caged queen to them?
    I put her in last night. I didn't stick around to see how they reacted. She is being slow released
    Lance Andrus
    Fayetteville, NC

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