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Discussion Starter #1
I can't find the phone number to my local experienced beekeeper and I need to make sure I'm doing this right.
Thursday 21 July I got my first ever hive from a bee call. Left them alone until Saturday 30 July when I discovered queen cells (3 small capped and 1 larger uncapped). At that time I put in a top feeder instead of the open one I had. Tuesday 2 August peeked into top feeder and saw bees and a whole mess of ants. Killed off ants. 4 August the top feeder was empty and there were some ant carcasses (top is vented and an open sbb) but they seem to be getting them cleaned out and went back to open feeding. They started working something and also dived into a pollen substitute sample I set down before them. Yesterday it rained WOO HOO! After church today there are still some ant carcasses and no stench or stink.
I had planned on going in and clean up, refill and seal in the top feeder today to keep out any more ants. But with the time frame, with a three day window, I was thinking about staying with open feeding until this Saturday and see if I have any eggs or open larvae and reduce chances of running off the hive. What do you think? If I wait and there are no eggs or brood I will have to requeen (see if Michael Bush has any left) fast. Thanks for your time folks! David
 

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I think they will only "run off" if you let them swarm. Don't you need to split the hive to try and prevent the swarm from the queen cells? Pull the queen with bees and some frames to a new location and leave the queen cells and bees there. I could be wrong so someone correct me if need be. Make sure there is a queen in there before you split.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm sorry. I meant to add that they were queenless when I found the queen cells. I'm worried that they will abscond. They aren't a numerous bunch right now. Thanks. David
 

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Do Not Split. With the dates you quote, you should have a queen hatching about now. She will kill all other queen cells and go out and mate. If all goes well. you should have eggs within ten days. Check next saturday or Sunday, looking carefully for a small patch of eggs on one or two frames. It would be nice if at that time you could take a frame containing eggs from another hive and add it to them. If you do have a young queen, this will give them some young hatching to care for her eggs. If you don't, then they will build more cells. Either way, it will tell you what you have.
 

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The hive swarmed and left you a queen somewhere. The large cell opened at the bottom could be a Queen hatched. Give her time to mate. I made 3 hives off 3 Queen cells. (doing fantastic) Check back in a week.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well I went in today. Not for this reason, but to make sure that no outsider bees had entered. I found new comb being built on the center frame (I thought it had drawn comb) starter strips. That's where I found what I believe are eggs. Very small but visible. Some were on the bottom center and a couple were on the sides. No multiples and didn't see a queen but the girls are working like mad with nectar and pollen. I used no smoke and they seem to like me alot better today than on days I smoked them. Since she seems to be learning I am going to wait and see. The center frame is about an eighth drawn out and that is the only place I found eggs.
Since their numbers are so low and they are working like there is no tomorrow I added a Bee Pro pollen substitute patty which they pounced on immediately. They are bringing in pollen (yellow added today) and nectar with one frame full of trumpet vine honey and nectar. I plan on adding candy or the top feeder to help them also with another patty if needed. Am I doing too much? David
 

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Bees are not pets. Let them fend for themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Got it! Thanks a million! David

Michael,

How does that make short-lived bees? I'm confused. I thought bees during the summer lived shorter due to their work load only. Any way the sub patty is gone.
 

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Pollen substitute is nutritionally inferior to real pollen. Old pollen is nutritionally inferior to fresh pollen. Bees raised on pollen substitute as opposed to real pollen do not live nearly as long as bees raised on real, fresh pollen.

I would not use pollen patties this time of year.

IMO early spring is the time for pollen patties.
 
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