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Discussion Starter #1
Finally got my first hive started. Small swarm-about 1.5 lbs to 2lbs of bees swarmed in an apple tree. When should I open the hive to check the bees for comb and brood? ;)
 

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You can check the entrance daily for bee activity to see that they stayed in the hive but I would wait a week before opening the hive. Then just look between the top bars and you should see the foundation being drawn. After 2 weeks I would open the hive and pull some frames to check for brood to see if they are queen right. If there is no nectar flow now you should feed them syrup also.

What size brood box do you have and how many boxes does the hive consist of now? Are you using foundation or foundationless frames?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
We have a moderate amount of blooming mustard. And I'm boxed in a deep super with 10 frames. I did place a queen excluder on the bottom to prevent the queen from leaving. I'll start feeding them within a day. I'm in the desert area near Mojave so it's pretty dry. I saw small blck ants crawling over the hive soo I placed the stand in water pales to prevent further ant intrusion. They are slow in and out of the hive since it was a small swarm. Thanks for the information. I did start with waxed foundation base from Dadant.
 

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Swarms usually draw foundation fast so in 3-4 weeks they may need another box. In your 2 week inspection you will be able to see if they need another box then.

With a swarm that small it may be a secondary swarm that has a virgin. Your queen excluder will prevent the queen from going on her mating flight.
 

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Very good advice from beeslave.

First thing I thought after reading small swarm and queen excluder was oh, oh, you may have a virgin queen that needs to mate. You can simply prop open inner cover with a stick or something making sure there is enough room for the queen to get out. Im not positive but I dont think they will leave now because they should already be drawing comb and have stores. If they do leave I would think its because they are unhappy the queen was not able to get out and mate. Either way you need to either inspect for eggs or give queen a way out to mate encase she is a virgin before she is unable to.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'll pull that queen excluder immediately. Thanx for the advise. I did happen to notice with the lid on that a section of the excluder was pushed below the opening by the frames since I last posted here. The bees have been slow to come and go but there is activity. Thanx everyone for the help.
Jbees :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The bees are very active and coming and going. Finally have a hive that has stayed in the box. I feel great. I will do my first inspection tomorrow evening to see if they are drawing comb. I'll take pics. They were a calm bunch when I hived them. Will they remain that way or were they full of honey and calm when I first Hived?
 

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It's a coin toss on the calmness. Strain, weather, flow etc. are a few of the variables on how gentle they will be or not.
 
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