Should I be concerned?
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  1. #1
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    Mar 2017
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    Default Should I be concerned?

    I just did my first inspection on a swarm that I Hives a week ago tomorrow. Lots of nectar and pollen, almost 5 full frames in fact. Lots of bees going and coming as well, so that is awesome! However, I couldn't locate the queen and there were also no eggs. Should I be concerned? Thanks in advance!

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  3. #2
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    Apr 2017
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    San Antonio, Texas
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    Default Re: Should I be concerned?

    Yes. Check and double check. If not get a queen

  4. #3
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    Apr 2013
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    Default Re: Should I be concerned?

    No. Stay out of them another week. If your swarm had a virgin queen with it, it's normal in my experience for her to take 7-10 days to start laying.

    Here's a clue to look for. Look for one or two frames with nectar being stored around the outside edges of the frame, where the others will have nectar being stored all across the frame. If they have one or two frames that have open, clean cells in the center of the frame, they're getting them ready for the queen to lay in when she gets finished mating.

    I have seen this multiple times. This week in fact. Twelve days after I hived a swarm, I found eggs. On my first inspection at 7 days, I saw no eggs, nectar everywhere and the bees were pissy. All indications of being queenless, but it was windy the day I checked them so I did nothing. I decided to give them another week, instead of adding a frame of brood and when I checked them yesterday, they had cleared a brood area on 2 frames and one of them contained a solid pattern of freshly laid eggs. I also found the queen doing what queens do.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Should I be concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Bee View Post
    No. Stay out of them another week. If your swarm had a virgin queen with it, it's normal in my experience for her to take 7-10 days to start laying.

    Here's a clue to look for. Look for one or two frames with nectar being stored around the outside edges of the frame, where the others will have nectar being stored all across the frame. If they have one or two frames that have open, clean cells in the center of the frame, they're getting them ready for the queen to lay in when she gets finished mating.

    I have seen this multiple times. This week in fact. Twelve days after I hived a swarm, I found eggs. On my first inspection at 7 days, I saw no eggs, nectar everywhere and the bees were pissy. All indications of being queenless, but it was windy the day I checked them so I did nothing. I decided to give them another week, instead of adding a frame of brood and when I checked them yesterday, they had cleared a brood area on 2 frames and one of them contained a solid pattern of freshly laid eggs. I also found the queen doing what queens do.
    You described it perfectly. About 3 frames full of nectar and pollen, 2 frames of nectar on edges (these wee towards the center of hive), and about 2 empty frames on each edge of hive. The empties were just starting to get drawn out. Bees were pissy. As soon as I opened the the top cover they boiled out of the inner cover. What would be the drawbacks of waiting a week to inspect if they are queenless? Why would I not be able to find her if there was a queen present, I checked each frame twice.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Should I be concerned?

    Yup, I'd wait at least a week or so.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Should I be concerned?

    Brad bee is right and it's not time for you to be concerned that you're queenless. It may cause you to do something you shouldn't do, like looking at them all the time. Proceed as though you have a queen till there's real evidence that you don't. Some queens are sneaky.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Should I be concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by DanielD View Post
    Brad bee is right and it's not time for you to be concerned that you're queenless. It may cause you to do something you shouldn't do, like looking at them all the time. Proceed as though you have a queen till there's real evidence that you don't. Some queens are sneaky.
    Sounds like the verdict is to wait a week. So that is what I'll do. I'll keep you posted. Thanks so much for the help! This is my first hive and I get the sense that it can be easy to overthink things and most times the bees will know best!

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Should I be concerned?

    Well went and inspected today. Eggs are being laid! Not a very uniform pattern still lots of nectar where brood should be, but there are only eggs and 75% of them are standing on their ends so I'm guessing she just starting laying. Hopefully they will move some of the nectar/pollen to allow for brood. I added a second deep as they have about 7 frames full! I am really enjoying watching them progress!

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Should I be concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by thewrighthives View Post
    Well went and inspected today. Eggs are being laid! Not a very uniform pattern still lots of nectar where brood should be, but there are only eggs and 75% of them are standing on their ends so I'm guessing she just starting laying. Hopefully they will move some of the nectar/pollen to allow for brood. I added a second deep as they have about 7 frames full! I am really enjoying watching them progress!
    Now, stay out of the hive for 14 days. Let her do her thing, in the dark, without your interference.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  11. #10

    Default Re: Should I be concerned?

    QUOTE=thewrighthives;1545019]Sounds like the verdict is to wait a week. So that is what I'll do. I'll keep you posted. Thanks so much for the help! This is my first hive and I get the sense that it can be easy to overthink things and most times the bees will know best![/QUOTE]

    Indeed, I have learned to try and not do it, but....

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    Cheers Bill
    zone 9b

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Should I be concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Bee View Post
    Now, stay out of the hive for 14 days. Let her do her thing, in the dark, without your interference.
    Thanks Brad! I appreciate your advice! You were correct the first time so 2 weeks it is! Although, I feel the urge to get in then everyday! 😬

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Should I be concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by thewrighthives View Post
    Thanks Brad! I appreciate your advice! You were correct the first time so 2 weeks it is! Although, I feel the urge to get in then everyday! ��
    I doubt there's a person on this website who didn't "over" monitor their hives when we first started. It's harder to not check them, than it is to check them, but the bees do better when we don't pester them and with a newly mated queen, you don't want her to fly off when you pull out the frame she's on, and they can and have before. That's the reason I put the 2 week disclaimer in there, to keep her from flying away.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Should I be concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Bee View Post
    I doubt there's a person on this website who didn't "over" monitor their hives when we first started.
    Oh no, not I. I am pretty sure I kept my first inspections to no more than 3 times a week.

    And twh, congrats on the success. It's always sweet.

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