Just added my first hive in the mountains of WV. I was fortunate to have a local bee store offer a free 4 week bee keeping class back in January and February. I'm not clueless, but definitely inexperienced. And how much can you really retain in the middle of winter over several hours in a weekly course. I've tried to supplement some of my learning by going through Beekeeping for Dummies. I haven't finished it yet, but only have the last chapter or so left.
I took the chance and ordered a nuc of Buckfast. I know they have a mixed history coming from the south. Mine are from Florida. Since I have no experience I can only come at things from my expectations. I was a little concerned during the unboxing, but can chalk all that up to my inexperience.
I received some Langstroth hives from a friend who was getting out of beekeeping. Some had a great deal of moth damage, but some also had some fully drawn comb. I placed the nuc, 3 drawn frames of drawn comb into the new hive and added 2 frames with just wax foundation. The other drawn frames I used to build a swarm tr
My unboxing wasn't perfect. I failed to properly light and keep my smoker lit. By the time I got the the last 2 frames they were angry and bumping my jacket. My wife about 20 feet away wound up with one in her hair and got stung. In my excitement (and their anger) I failed to spot the queen or eggs. In the end, I put half a pollen patty on and filled a top feeder with 13 qts of 1:1 syrup to get them up and running. For sure a few were smashed as I tried to get them closed into the hive.
I cracked open the hive at the 7 day mark and had a better experience although they were still getting agitated by the time I finished looking at the 10 frames and was trying to close them back up. The smoker was working (although too warm?) and each time I puffed it at them they all started buzzing in unison. They didn't all slide back into the hive like I expected, but kind of hung out on the top of the frames until I tried to lift the frame they were on. I have since learned I should have shaken them off the frames since I still didn't see the queen or eggs. Not sure how much more (or less) agitated they would be if I booted them off those frames. Guess I'll find out in a few days.
What I did see was frame 1 and 10 were still not drawn out. Frames 2, 3 and 9 were open drawn comb, but nearly full of liquid. Frame 3 was extremely heavy with bees and liquid. The remaining frames were mixed capped brood, pollen and honey. To me they looked more "full" then when they came out of the nuc the week before. There were also numerous cells with larvae in them that looked healthy when compared to pictures on the web.
The quantity of liquid will lead to a my second post on the site over in the 101 forum to ask about eating syrup.
Ultimately, I'm excited to finally start a hive and hope to learn from the group on this site.
Welcome to Beesource, atimberwolf. Based on your post it sounds like things are going well for you thus far, and don't fret about making mistakes- I am in my third year back to beekeeping as an adult and make mistakes in my bee yard almost every time I go into the hives for a look around- thankfully bees seem to be generally very resilient at making up for our shortcomings in most cases.