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This is my 'Charity Case'

I was given this almost dead out.

I checked these girls and they were queenless. Had about a half cup of bees... just meager little bees. Nice sunny days and there were 2-3 bees on the board taking off/landing... just sad. Fast forward 3 or so weeks and I was installing a hived swarm in this same yard. There was their box. I figured that I might as well shake them out so they can join the other hive. Before I shook I did one last inspection. I found multiple eggs in about 20 cells.... then singles. Dead center right in the bottom. Hmmm..... sure enough there was the queen.

I picked these girls up and took them to my home yard. Pulled them from that big old deep to a nice cozy nuc. I had a frame of capped brood that I dropped into the center of their meager 4" circle of brood. Little did I know that better than half of the supporting bees that I put in with them would go home. So now there is half a frame of bees trying to support a full frame of capped brood. Oh well I say. It'll be interesting to watch.

I left them in the nuc for 10 days. Then the spot on the hive stand that they were on needed to be used for a deep with a captured swarm. SO... I installed them in my OB hive.

Side 1

Side 2

The Queen

Now they aren't without their faults. I have seen a couple varroa mites... and they have a touch of what I believe is chalk brood (see below picture)

I am not sure if this is chalk brood or not... but they seem to be peeling it out and throwing it away.... so I will wait and see what comes of it.

So what is the opinions? Is there enough bees there to make a go of it? The original bees were the dark ones. The frame was out of an Italian colony... so the little yeller buggers are new bees.

Couple other ponderances... The feed jar is off to the side. They have a little stored on the frame, but not much. I haven't seen bees go to the jar. I smeared some honey from the main cavity to the feed jar this morning. They came and cleaned up the honey, but not into the tunnel to the jar. Will they find it?

Second one is their entrance is dead center on the bottom. This allows this hive to rotate. When the sun is out, they are wanting to run to the top corner of the hive closest to the window. A few (20-30) seem to find their way in/out, but there are 100 that dont. They just bunch up and run up and down the side closest to the window. Is building a privacy curtain necessary to cure this? How can I get them to more readily use the entrance?

So there she is. My 'Charity Case'

Beeing a new beek... I hope to learn a BUNCH from watching a weak colony advance and grow numbers to hopefully a strong colony that can over winter.


Premium Member
2,519 Posts
I will be installing a 5 frame nuc in my OB hive this weekend (pictures to follow). Take this feedback with a grain of salt as I have not run an OB hive yet but I do have 5 years of experience beekeeping. After looking at the pictures I'd say they are under stress and trying to create some warmth. They definately need some stores, I would pour some honey in feeder location. The smell should draw them in and they'll find the feeder with the syrup.

From what I've read the privacy curtain relieves them of some stress of an OB hive by giving them the dark they normally have in the cavity of a hive, it also helps to keep in some of the warmth. The glass can wick it away, especially if a A/C vent is anywhere near. Personally, I put up thin wood panelling held with quick release rotating screen holders to allow maximum privacy and warmth retention but easy removal. It's in my business office where I see clients, and the occasional banker, so I need it to look as professional as possible if displayed or as unobtrusive as possible when not diplayed.

As for Chalkbrood, I'm not sure. It doesn't really look like it me but, I'm not always right. Ask my wife ;). Great photos!
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