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Discussion Starter #1
Somethings Up...
Built and loaded my Observation Hive about 2 weeks ago...I've been enjoying it and things appeared to be rolling right alone, I'm even getting half decent about being able to find the queen.

Bees active, bringing in pollen and nectar, queen laying, etc. etc. All appeared to be good!

Anyway, the first brood started to get capped last Wednesday, all on frame #2, they capped a large majority of the frame and it was a good looking laying pattern...figured I was on scheduled to have my first bees emerge by April 1st. In the last couple days I started noticing some bees uncapping some of the cells and carrying out Pupa. I really didn't give it a second thought, I just figured it was good hygienic behavior. That's until today when I noticed that they've almost uncapped the entire frame...I'd estimate a good 80% of the capped brood, if not more has been uncapped.

Thoughts? What could be causing this? Might it self correcting and clear up? Or, are they destined to fail?

Frame 3, which is the next frame she laid on is now probably about 60% capped, I'm curious to see what happens with it.
 

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what is the mite infestation level of the colony?
jonathan,
Not really sure...This was a swarm from my bee yard that I simply shook and loaded straight into my OH. Other than this capped brood issue, I haven't observed anything that appears outside the norm.
 

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Is the observation hive warm enough? Does the glass feel cold? I made the sad mistake of not keeping the bees warm enough and that happened to me. Now, I keep a cover over my OB hive to keep warmth in except when I an watching the bees. Also, when it is too cold for them to fly, I cover the outside entrance to keep cold air from coming in. I do have adequate ventilation for them indoors.
 

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I am thinking chilled brood....Is the OB hive just one frame thick like mine? I have not put my OB colony back in the OB hive yet.....it's still dropping into the low 30's here at night so I plan to wait until April 1 to put them back in the glass.
 

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Thanks for all the replies, to try and answer some of the questions...

Is the observation hive warm enough? Does the glass feel cold? I made the sad mistake of not keeping the bees warm enough and that happened to me. Now, I keep a cover over my OB hive to keep warmth in except when I an watching the bees. Also, when it is too cold for them to fly, I cover the outside entrance to keep cold air from coming in. I do have adequate ventilation for them indoors.
spieker, I would think it's warm enough, but really have no experience with OH's, the glass does not feel cold to the touch that I've noticed. I have covers and have kept them on for the most part when not viewing the OH, the exception has probably been a day or two when I've left them off for an extended period of time. However, my house temperature probably hasn't been below the upper 60's since they've been in there and the weather has been in the 60's and 70's pretty consistently as of late. My entry is well protected on the south side of my house and we've probably only dipped into the high 30's on one occasion.

Do they have food?
Michael, I gave them a jar of 1:1 when I loaded them, they probably ignored it for the first 3 or 4 days then took about 1/2 of it over the next few days...I pulled it because the weather has been nice and they appear to be bringing in nectar without it.

I am thinking chilled brood....Is the OB hive just one frame thick like mine? I have not put my OB colony back in the OB hive yet.....it's still dropping into the low 30's here at night so I plan to wait until April 1 to put them back in the glass.
NewJoe,
Yes, 8 medium frames, one frame thick. But as I mentioned, our weather has been pretty nice.
 

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Brood has got to be near 90 degrees to survive and grow. In the second position it may not be warm enough depending on how many bees are in there.
 

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Try useing half inch styrofoam covers that go right against the glass, mine is in an unheated garage, she started laying jan 19. My guess is they were warm enough at the time she layed and they capped, but at some point they chilled. If I take the styro off and put my hand on the glass it is hot at the spot where the brood is and cold everywhere else.It wouldn`t take too long for them to chill if I take off the styro, there is only 1/8 in glass between the brood and 35 degree air. Pete Bell N3SKI
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Try useing half inch styrofoam covers that go right against the glass, mine is in an unheated garage, she started laying jan 19. My guess is they were warm enough at the time she layed and they capped, but at some point they chilled. If I take the styro off and put my hand on the glass it is hot at the spot where the brood is and cold everywhere else.It wouldn`t take too long for them to chill if I take off the styro, there is only 1/8 in glass between the brood and 35 degree air. Pete Bell N3SKI

Pete,
I also have 1/8" glass with 1/2" foam covers...but my house is about 68°, quite a bit warmer than your garage, and the glass is warm to the touch. As I mentioned, I left the covers of for an extended period of time on a day or two. Maybe I need to be more diligent about keeping them on.
 

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Try useing half inch styrofoam covers that go right against the glass, mine is in an unheated garage, she started laying jan 19. My guess is they were warm enough at the time she layed and they capped, but at some point they chilled. If I take the styro off and put my hand on the glass it is hot at the spot where the brood is and cold everywhere else.It wouldn`t take too long for them to chill if I take off the styro, there is only 1/8 in glass between the brood and 35 degree air. Pete Bell N3SKI
Is your observation hive out doors? Most people keep theirs indoors.
 

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Pete,
I also have 1/8" glass with 1/2" foam covers...but my house is about 68°, quite a bit warmer than your garage, and the glass is warm to the touch. As I mentioned, I left the covers of for an extended period of time on a day or two. Maybe I need to be more diligent about keeping them on.
Whatever is going on in your observation hive it will clear up after a time. Are there enough bees to cover the brood?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Whatever is going on in your observation hive it will clear up after a time. Are there enough bees to cover the brood?
sqkcrk,
Hope you're right, I've kind of settled in on a wait and see approach, not really sure what else I can do. I did put on a jar of 1:1 yesterday about noon, just in case they wanted it, however, they haven't shown it a ton of interest...they've dropped the level about 1/2" on the jar.

As for the # of bees, I think I'm OK for now...it's an 8 frame medium single stack, I'd say the top four frames are completely covered with bees on both sides...the bottom four frames probably have the equivalent of a frame and a half of bees spread among them on each side.
 

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Mine is out of honey, have to replace that today, top frame .I made two doors split at frame 4. It is a 8 framer also. There is about 1 1/2 = 2 bee space to the glass not much room to heat up and keep hot. 3 seasons overwintered so far. Last year took out 27 frames of brood to keep it weak. hopefully your 2nd frame will be fine . let us know Pete N3SKI
 

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Mine is out of honey, have to replace that today, top frame .I made two doors split at frame 4. It is a 8 framer also. There is about 1 1/2 = 2 bee space to the glass not much room to heat up and keep hot. 3 seasons overwintered so far. Last year took out 27 frames of brood to keep it weak. hopefully your 2nd frame will be fine . let us know Pete N3SKI
With an observation hive how do you know when to pull brood frames. Sounds like a good way to get both brood and drawn frames:)
 
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