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My first hive, 2-week inspection

2432 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  toms1arrow
Today marks 15 days after installing the bee package. The weather here in PA has been spotty over past 2 weeks, a few nice days but also some cooler and rainy weather too.

I will preface by saying I really don't know what to expect since this is my first hive and I have only the benefit of the reading and the podcast-listening I've been doing. I have been keeping the feeder stocked with 1:1 syrup, and they have been sucking it down. On the nicer days, there's a good amount of activity. Today I watched the entrance for a while and could see the girls returning with pollen.

I was a little surprised that the bees weren't further along, as I didn't see any of the brown comb for brood. Is it too early for that yet? Of the 10 frames, I'd say 3 have lots of activity and comb building, another 4 have just light activity, and 3 have nothing at all. Perhaps more knowledgeable folks can comment if this looks normal.

My bees were installed in a medium hive body, on black foundation.
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Looks pretty good to me. Biggest thing we anxious new beeks forget is that the queen will NOT lay more eggs than there are bees to cover.

I've had my package in a full month now, and I'm finally up to 5 frames of brood (I am using 10-frame deeps). I just had a few frames of capped brood at the 2 week mark, but once they emerged, the number of filled frames has doubled. I even had enough to rob one for a swarm I just got.

Give them a couple more weeks and then make a comparison. Very good idea to take the pix.
Even though it has been 15 days since installation, it may be only 10 to 12 days since the first eggs were laid by the queen.

"I was a little surprised that the bees weren't further along, as I didn't see any of the brown comb for brood."

What do you mean by "brown comb"? You do have some capped brood. Those beige/yellow capped cells on the right in first photo and in the middle in the second. The brown capped brood is on older comb, [one year] not fresh new comb like yours. Did you see larvae in those cells around the capped brood? New bees should be emerging in about 8-10 days. When the population begins to grow, they will work more on those frames that don't have much activity right now.

For 12 to 14 days actually, it looks like your hive is coming along fine. We had some poor weather here also about a week ago, that lasted 8-9 days.
Looks good to me, I hived 3 packages on foundationless frames on may first, and today have about 7 frames of brood in 2 of the hives (8 frame mediums) so at 15 days yours look about the same as mine did! Great pics!
Looks great to me!

A note: it's a bit hard to tell from the photos, but are you removing an end frame and putting it to the side and moving the frames over to give more space in the middle before pulling out a middle brood frame? If you are not doing this and are just simply lifting a middle brood frame up without first creating more space around it, you run the risk of damaging your queen who will likely be on one of the middle brood frames. Bees get 'rolled' and injured in the crowded middle that way, and queens are pretty easily damaged. Best to start by taking out an end frame first that has fewer bees on it, and leave it off to the side until you are done, then replacing it again last before closing the hive.

If you are already doing this then sorry, forget what i said! :rolleyes:
Fngrpepr, Thanks for the pics as I am new this year and was wondering what I was seeing in my new pkg. Started on undrawn foundation. I looked but could not tell the difference between a brood cell and a honey cell. It is nice to have experts answer questions.

Oldbee pointed out your brood on your pics and then I said to myself. Self I said, you do have brood you just don't know what your seeing fool! I'm a little happier now. No maybe a lot happier now.

I also read today on a beesource thread that the queen will only lay enough eggs that the bees can cover. Maybe thats why my pkg has slowed down. Built comb on 6 of 9 frames in 15 days. But since then not so much last 7 days not building comb even with 1:1.

Thanks for the pics and advice all.
PS is there a spell check somewhere?
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