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Discussion Starter #1
I wanted to get started this spring (March/April) with a couple of colonies but contacted my bee supplier too late. I told him to put me on his list for the next delivery.
Well...They arived one week ago (Little late)Not exactly ready but got em started anyway.

Now for some help!
I believe I started them correctly. I suspended the queen between two frames, then dumped the bees on top of the hive. The first colony was hot, got stung about 6 times. It was getting too dark so I had to wait till the next evening to dump the other colony. The next night I was much more carefull and more comfortable with the bees.
It went very well no stings.
Left the feeder in front of the hives and left the hives for two days.
On the third day, I opened the lids to check on the queen. They got out of the cages so I put the lid on both hives.

The forth day. At 10am it was about 85 and humid. The second hive had the whole colony on the outside of it. I called Dadant (my bee suplier) Asked them why. They said it was hot and the bees were cooling the hive down. The first hive looked normal,bees were starting to fly in and out with guard bees at the entrance.

Fifth day, First hive looking good, lots of action bees legs full of pollen.
Second hive nothing really going on, bees just kind of flying around.

sixth day, Same

Today, I looked inside of the hives to check if the bees were drawing or if the queen is laying eggs. First hive, Lots of comb on four frames. Didn't know if I should disturb too much so I put the frames back in and put the top on.
Second Hive, lots of bees in the hive but very little comb. I tried to look for the queen but being new to this I couldn't see the queen in either hive (But didn't quite know where to look)

Soooo....If you managed to get thru this message, What do the experts think or at least someone that has seen this before.
Should I bee worried? Did the queen leave the second hive
? What is next?

Rob
 

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Im about as new as you are but heres what happen to me. I was told to wait 7 days after starting a hive before checking. I was also given some drawn comb to place in the middle with my new foundation on the ends.(it gave me a jump start) I waited the 7 days and found the empty queen cage, checked the frames and saw no eggs(which got me worried).Lots of pollen and what looked like uncapped honey.
The following week (7 days) I opened the hive and could not believe my eyes, capped brood, eggs and larvae in all stages of devolopment. The eggs were probaly there the first week, but I didnt know any better or could not see them. If your starting with brand new foundation, I would think, they need a bit of time to draw some comb. Just a thought from a newbee......

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"To bee or not to bee, that is the question"
 

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It's only been a week. I wouldn't panic, but even if they are queenless, what are you going to do at this point? A combine would be the best IF they are queenless. I'm guessing they are not and things will work out.

But it would be nice to FIND the queen. All the bees on the outside make me nervous in a new install. Do there seem to be an adequate amount of bees in both hives? A fresh install sometimes absconds and a few bees forget to go along, but the queen and the rest leave.

For tips on spotting a queen try this discussion:
http://www.beesource.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000455.html

She is probably on the frame with the most bees.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was going to give it until after this weekend and see if they made any progress.
If the hive is queenless, I'm not sure what to do. How do you combine? The colony started out small 2 pounds, with quite a bit of die off. But the first hive of the same size is really off to a good start.

Rob
 

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>I was going to give it until after this weekend and see if they made any progress.

If the other hive is doing well and you can get a frame with some eggs (doesn't have to be a lot of eggs) and give it to the suspected queenless hive, then they can start a queen if they need one. If they don't, they already have one, unless you see a lot of multiple eggs on the SIDES of the cells, in which case you have a laying worker.

>If the hive is queenless, I'm not sure what to do.

If you give them some eggs (or if you can't see the eggs some very young brood) they will resolve the problem.

>How do you combine?

Put a sheet of newspaper on top of the strong colony and set the weak one on top of that. By the time they chew through the paper they will be friends. You can cut a small slit in the paper to speed this a bit, but the idea is to do a gradual introduction.
 

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i'm a fairly new beekeeper as well...this is the first year i've purchased packaged bees and introduced them to a hive. the hives were brand new and hence no comb just bare foundation. it took a long time before the comb was deep enough were the queen would lay eggs...and this was mid-April when it was cooler.

the other thing i'm curious about is their water source? it's critical that they have a good water source nearby. i actually keep a supply of water right in the beeyard and use slices of "pool noodles" as floats so the girls don't drown trying to sip some water.

Ken

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Bought me a couple of queens awhile back . One I tried as a kind of bait trying to get some out of a house . That didn't pan out well . They did get her out of the cage fine but I never found her in the hive body dead or alive .

The other I did a split as I wasn't real sure if my queen from a nuc had gotten killed when the wind blew my hives over .She has been released and am going to check the frames more carefully tomorrow . 2 days after the split she was released and I found a worker building a queen cell in the middle of the frame but never spotted her. I think they like to worry me knowing that I am new to this .

Drifter
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I just checked both hives.
Again the strong hive has 6 frames drawn with lots of brood. Very productive.

In the second hive I do believe it is queenless. Their are two frames being worked on. The comb is about as big as a persons hand. No brood. Either empty or honey. I looked for a long time for a queen and could not find her anywhere.

My big question! Do I purchase a new queen? Would that be the best? I am afraid if I put a frame of brood from the strong hive the bees won't last that much longer with their short life span.

Someones opinion would be nice.

Rob
 

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Well,
When someone is very new to beekeeping, I think we really need to make the point that when we say put in a frame of brood.....
we mean a frame that has brand new EGGS on it. This is the only thing the bees can use to make a queen. A frame of "brood" won't do it. Gotta have dem ova !!!

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It's Not The Destination, It's The Journey. We Cannot Change The Wind, But We CAN Trim The Sails.
 

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Well,
Chances are very good that any frame of brood has eggs or larvae at the right stage of development to be raised as queens. The more larvae of the right age that are available, the more queens cells that might be produced.
 

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True, it would be ideal to make sure there are eggs. But odds are there are eggs if there's open brood. I've noticed some people simply cannot see eggs. If you can't see eggs, you CERTAINLY can't see just hatched larvae and that's what the bees will use. When I say open brood, I would check for eggs because I CAN see eggs.
 
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