Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Did the 2nd hive inspection of my life today. It went much better than last time, mainly because I wasn't such a neurotic mess.

I'm confused about the brood. We were instructed (in beekeeping class) to keep all brood frames together. For some reason I assumed they were to be kept together in the center of the hive :s Now I think I may have imagined that.

I want to pull undrawn frames in from the edges but I have 5 frames of capped brood in the center. Can I push all the frames with brood off to one side and then bring in the undrawn frames? Since least inspection the outer frames still have not been drawn out but there is lots more capped brood. Unfortunately, I didn't see the queen and didn't see a single frame with eggs or larvae. I think my queen may be dead.

There was a layer of water and it looked like poop to me settled at the bottom of the hive. I checked the feeder and it isn't leaking. Could it be dripping? I used this mason jar to feed them the first week in the hive and it worked just fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Forgot to add. In that watery mess were a bunch of dead bees. I fear my queen may be there :s I'm just at a loss as to why the watery mess and gunk. I saw no eggs or larvae so do I assume she is dead and order a newbie? Do I wait a certain amount of time?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,488 Posts
Change in temp can or barometric pressure can cause the feeder to drip. Nothing really to worry about unless the whole things is leaking out onto your bees. If you have lots of bees you can put the undrawn frames between the brood frames but only if you have enough bees to cover the now wider space. They will quickly draw out your undrawn frames.

Why do you think your queen is in the mess? Get your scraper and get the water off the bottom board. You can also slightly boost the back of the hive so there is a slight slant so any water getting into the hive runs out the front and doesn't sit in the bottom.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think the queen is in the messy water because I can't imagine what else could have happened to her. I know I didn't kill her when I did the first inspection because there is twice as much capped brood this time so she was busy between last inspection and this one. I think she's dead because I looked hard and didn't see eggs or larvae. All the capped brood looked aged, darkened, about to emerge possibly (?)

We are going out now to raise the back end of the hive a bit as you suggested to get the water to hopefully drain out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,691 Posts
I've had bees off and on for 20 years, I still sometimes can't find a queen when I need to. I'd say relax and check back in a week, I bet she's in there laying just fine. Eggs are hard to see, especially on virgin wax. I need reading glasses to see them myself anymore, even in old dark comb. :cry:
Check back in a week, if they are truly queenless then there'll be large queen cells by then.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,016 Posts
You mean I can't see eggs and larva - or - I know there are none because I saw them before but now there is none?

If you have trouble use a flashlight or tilt so sunlight lights it up. Larva are very white in liquid, eggs are white, very small, and stand on end in the cell.

You have capped brood so that is good.
If you really have no eggs then you probably need to buy a queen. You could tare down a few cells if you need to for a better look.

Just my opinion (base on only 1 year) :)
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you! I was worried, I thought I needed to do something right away, didn't realize I could wait a week. If in a week I see queen cells or cell should I scrape it and order another queen or do I leave the queen cell and let them bring about the new one on their own?

I also wondered, would a queen stop laying because of temperature? It had been really cold, 30's in the evenings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,016 Posts
Sorry - I kept trying to edit but stuff was meessing up...

You have capped brood so she was laying. If you do not have a queen cell then she is probably alive since they will take even older larva if they have to to make a queen cell.

My opinion would be to buy one if it came to it. Since it is a package newly established they probably won'y be able to produce a good queen since there will be so few bees to care for it. But on the other hand I wouldn't destroy it until I had an order coming since if you can't get a queen you would be blowing the hives only real chance to keep up until you can get one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I went out just now and took the hive body off the bottom board and scraped the water and dead bees off. Gee, was that a production. The bees were NOT happy. Didn't help that we killed a bee. To make matters worse she had legs full of pollen. How sad and pathetic is that :(

I never moved the hive body before, hubby stood there holding it the entire time I scraped. I can't imagine doing that in the fall :scratch: I hope that was an ok thing to do, standing water made me nervous, especially since it was pooled near the tiny entrance to the hive. We didn't open the inner cover.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,309 Posts
Ok, first things first.... I'd suggest raising the rear of the hive no more than 1/4 to 1/2 inch, that's all you need for drainage.

Second, you're in MN, so I imagine it's still rather cool up there. Esp. at night. Do not separate your brood frames. If you must, center the frames with brood, and bring the foundation frames up to them... the bees probably form a loose cluster at night especially, to keep the brood from chilling. It is normal for a package to draw comb quickly, then hit a plateau where it seems like not much is getting done. They have bees dying, and none emerging yet. As the brood starts emerging, your hive will grow, and more comb will be built.

IF they are queenless, as mentioned, they'll raise one. But you should check again in a week... if you see a queen cell and don't see eggs or queen, try to order one. My guess is, she's there. May have run out of room that the cluster could cover during the cold nights. Just a guess though.

We tend to make more mistakes by our impatience. Get a couple of good books about bees to read when you get concerned or nervous. And of course the forum is always here.
Good luck!
Steven
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
What you say makes sense. It seems like all the bees available were covering the frames with brood and there weren't many more bees to spare. I'm hoping that is the case. Will check next week and cross fingers for good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,368 Posts
I went through a strong overwintered hive of mine today, no eggs either. I found the queen, I think the weather has been rotten enough to shut some of them down temporarily.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,668 Posts
It seems like all the bees available were covering the frames with brood and there weren't many more bees to spare. I'm hoping that is the case.

This is often the limiting factor with package bees starting out. Once they have been in the hive 3 weeks, you start to get baby bees hatching out and the population will start getting larger.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top