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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

I'm a bit distressed. I just went into the hive. The first time in a few months due to the cold weather and rain in my region.

As this is my first year, I'm not quite sure what the hive is supposed to look like in terms of health.

I didn't see a whole lot of bees, and I observed no larvae. I did see capped cells, but I don't know whether there is anything alive underneath the cap. There are frames with pollen, and frames with honey. Some cells are uncapped with nectar/honey. I did not see a queen.

I'm a bit at a loss as to what to do now.

Help.

Thanks.

DG
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hello Hawk,

I don't. My plan WAS to add one and split this current one as the Spring came, but now it looks as though I'm in for 3 packages and starting over. If that is the case, any suggestions on what to do with my two deeps that are partially filled with honey and pollen?

Thanks.

DG
 

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Capped cells with browish caps, or caps that
were more whitish?

Browinsh capped cells tend to be brood.
Whitish are honey.

Don't be too worried just yet, it is still
early for your area, and finding the queen
is not as easy as you might think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Jim,

Caps are dark, but they're really spread out. No definable pattern. If a colony could make it back from the number of bees I see, I'll be stunned.

Anyone have advice on introducing new package to existing hive structure, should that be required?

In other words, I have frames full of honey, pollen, etc. Any thoughts on adding a new package to such a situation?

Thanks.

DG
 

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If you have scattered dark cells I'd do a stick test or rope test. In other words, push a stick (a matchstick works well or a stick of similar diameter) into the cell and stir. Pull it out. If it "ropes" for very far then I'd look more closely in the other cells for scale and other signs of AFB (American Foulbrood). I'm not saying you have it, but it's worth testing under the circumstances.
 

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Are you seeing the queen??

Seeing eggs??

Are there drones yet?

Are they on feed?

Don't panic yet..........
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sundance,

I went back in today to getter a better look. There are some bees in a small cluster. I didn't see the queen. I didn't see any drones. I didn't see any eggs. I did provide feed yesterday. In fact that was the purpose of my original openening of the hive. I went ahead and left the feed, at the off chance they can get back.

In today's work, I reduced the number of frames int he hive to just 5. I'm hoping this will concentrate their work and effort.

I must admit, a total bummer coming out of the first winter with a weak hive. Doesn't produce a great deal of confidence.

DG
 

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If you should decide that you need to combine a package with the current colony, I would think the newspaper method would work well. Place a single layer of newspaper between the existing chamber and a new brood chamber into which you would place the new package as you would any other hive. Cut some slits into the newspaper to allow airflow between the two and allow their scents to mix slowly. They will chew away the newspaper and should start to live together peacefully.
 
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