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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I did my first hive inspection yesterday and as a first year beekeeper I am overwhelmed on what I am seeing.

I did not see any larve or eggs but did see capped brood. ( I believe )

I noticed on the burr comb possible swarm cells.

The hive is a bit crowded, as I am adding a 2nd deep box after writing this.

I have a feeling, which is most likely wrong, that queen in not there queen there? Many questions.

First time EVER opening a hive and looking around.

I did not see what I am expecting to see and am getting spooked.

Attached are some pics.

Any suggestions would help me sleep better.
 

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It looks like nice worker brood with queen cups on the bottom of the frames. I seldom look for the queen when I open a hive.....only brood...open & capped. My vision just doesn't focus well through the mesh of my jacket, but if you have capped brood and open larva, you recently had a queen. :applause: ...and she has a good laying pattern from what I can see.
 

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Is this colony started from a nuc and when? The brood maybe from before you installed it. What you are showing is mature-ish capped brood (it will not be capped brood a week from now - it will have hatched, by then.)

Late-stage open brood looks pearly white glistening grubs curled up in the cells. It is easy to see. worker brood is capped about the ninth day from an egg being laid.

Eggs= three days, or less old (meaning from when queen was last alive and on the job). Seeing eggs takes experience, so don't worry if you don't see them right away.

Open larvae = four days through the ninth day from egg laying. Larvae 4-6 days from an egg are very hard to see. From 7-9 they are easy to spot. Newly hatched larvae (day 4-6) are swimming in a tiny pool of irridescent royal jelly at far end of the cell. Stored nectar, while also liquid and shiny, looks more like a drop of water.

Capped worker brood = from 9th through 21st day from egg. At first the cappings are smooth and rounded and lighter in color. Towards hatching they become a little rougher in texture, and finally on day 20, or so, they may show signs of effacement, meaning they are thinned and eventually you may see the dark head of the nearly-cooked bee.

Newly hatched bees have a slightly paler, furrier look about them.

If you have one full side of one frame (more or less) of capped brood (what your picture shows), you should expect to see about half that much area in open brood (of all stages). With perhaps (in area) about two thirds of the open brood in clearly visible late-stages (i.e. easily visible white grubs). And about 1/4 of the total area of capped brood being still in the egg stage.

This is because bees are eggs for 3 days, larvae for 6 days and pupae for 12 more days. So there are usually four times as many capped pupal cells as cells with eggs in them. Does that make sense?

Concentrate, initially, on finding late stage brood (fat white grubs curled snugly around inside their cells.). Since you have a full frame of capped brood, look on the other (inward) side of that frame. Or if this was the inward-facing surface of frame, the on the surface of the next frames inboard from it. But expect in a crowded hive, perhaps without a full complement of drawn frames, this orderly progression may not occur. Generally the seams of the brood nest with the most bees are where there is brood that must be kept warm, fed, and hatched cells being re-laid after cleaning.

Don't get frustrated, just keep looking, and one day, soon, you'll just see it and make sudden progress. Then try seeing ever-smaller creatures. Eggs look to me like tiny white rods at the back of the cells.

If you think you see eggs, mark the sides and tops of the frames to indicate the area. Look again at the marked area a week later. There should be visible larvae in those cells.

Using the timetable I wrote above, and working from the date you installed the colony, what stage brood would you expect to see that had been laid as eggs after the installation date? That will confirm that the queen was alive and well after installation. A question I often asked my students in our weekly classes: "OK, so you can see eggs - what does that tell you?" Answer: "We didn't kill the queen last week!"


ETA: the messy areas hanging below the frame are burr comb, ignore them or slice it off. The thing circled in green is likely a queen cup. Flip the frame up and use a flash light to look down into it. If it is dry (as I expect it will be) just ignore it. (Or cut it off if you want keep track of the number of them. The bees can rebuild one in hours, if they're in the mood.) The bees put it there just to scare you! Swarm queen cells are very numerous, not singletons like that. Single queen cells that happen in a supercedure are usually up higher of the face of the frame. And emergency queen cells look like grafted-on peanuts in areas of capped brood. I see none of those on this frame. Chances are all is well. Is your queen marked? She will have green dot if she was born this year (2019) or a red one if she was born last summer (2108). (Or no mark, or any other color, at all. But those colors are the "official" ones for those two years. I mark my queens to match the color of their hive boxes, so I have various pinks, baby blue and turquoise, gray, pale yellow and orange, etc.)

Nancy
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the speedy reply.

I know rookie excitement is clouding my brain sometimes.

I am not sure the nuc date; I received it the last week of April.

After starting this threading went to install a second deep box.

I moved my internal feeder into the second box and moved a brood frame up as well.

On that brood frame, I DID see some grubs. ��

My queen is NOT marked, so it would have been nice if she was.

Question: In the 3rd picture I circled in green some open cells.

Are they open brood before capping?
 

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Question: In the 3rd picture I circled in green some open cells.

Are they open brood before capping?
Those cells look like they are filled with honey (wet looking) or with pollen (dry looking). It is normal to have some randomly placed pollen and honey cells in the brood chamber, so I would not worry about it.
 

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See, now you can recognize mid-late stage larvae. Look for them every time you inspect; keeping trying to see ever-smaller larvae.

If you got the nuc in late April - arbitrarily, I'll say Saturday, April 27th - then you have had it installed for 11 days. That means if you saw uncapped larvae your queen laid those eggs, at the very earliest, two days after the nuc came into your care. See. "you didn't kill her after all."

Nancy
 

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Just my opinion, but the last picture shows that the workers are backfilling the brood area which is the first step in swarm prep. Keep an eye on it but if you see backfilling on several frames, get ready!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So that jam in the hole is honey storage within the brood area?

What can be done at this stage?
 

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So that jam in the hole is honey storage within the brood area?

What can be done at this stage?
Yes, the "jam" is honey.
Is this a new hive or an overwintered hive?
Check other frames to see if they are backfilling within the brood area. If they are doing this on multiple frames, the bees are beginning to think about swarming. You may be able to change their minds if you give them more room and checkerboarding frames. If you can't change their minds, make sure you have the extra woodenware for a new hive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I just added a second deep box on top of the main hive body.

With a new foundation frame in the middle of the lower brood nest.

I moved a brood frame with the most capped brood to the new 2nd box.

Would that additional space with the single frame in the first box and all new frames in the second box be enough to control the swarm?
 

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If they were in the nuc box too long, they may have thought that they need to swarm even though you installed them in a larger box.
The second box should make them abandon swarm prep but keep an eye on backfilling and make sure the queen cups do not have white "goop" at the bottom. If there is royal jelly at the bottom, they have already made up their mind that they are going to swarm and there is not much you can do to change their minds.
You could also try to open the brood nest by putting empty frames on each side of the brood nest. Don't split the brood nest by putting an empty frame in the middle. Put the empty frames on the outside of the brood nest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you for the advice.

I did split the brood nest in half, but it has been lousy around here weather wise to reopen the box.

I’ll move it to the outside (of the brood nest) next time I go in.

Very helpful 😀
 

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It is looking good, as far as what you posted. I agree with your decision to add a 2nd box.
 

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Very good timing on adding another box. I think that very soon you will have a large number of bees emerging from those capped cells and your bee population is going to grow very quickly. You are probably getting close to the end of the spring reproductive swarm season. With all those newly vacated cells for the queen to lay eggs in, along with the new foundation you introduced, you should be alright.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the feedback Mike, one of my biggest fears is swarming in my yard.

I’m only on a 1/3 acre plot in a residential neighborhood and boy will they scare the neighbors if they see a swarm of bees on their tree or bush.

I know it may be inevitable so I’m doing everything I can to learn fast my first year keeping bees.
 

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Retirez un cadre de couvain et placez un cadre de larves et oeufs d'une autre ruche,puis faites une visite ,après 4 jours,pour voir si les abeilles ont


élevé des reines.
 
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