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Hello! Noob here with a couple of questions. I ended up buying an established hive earlier in the week from a bee farm. As soon as I set it up I noticed a couple of small holes the bees were coming out besides the front. The first question is should
I switch boxes to eliminate the holes? I have a few spares and figured I should ask as I do not want to mess up the flow. Next question is today was my first examination and I was shocked how established it was. There were bees hatching etc but I could not find the queen but I did not search as hard as I was nervous. As every frame was pretty packed I added a super to the top and switched the boxes as suggested by the farm I bought it from. I did get my first sting also right in the chin as the suit i have the screen hits my chin and I will have to fix that. I removed a bunch of burrcomb but truly did not get a full examination as smoker died 1/3 of the way through and then right after I got stung. I just wanted to get out of there at that point. So I learned a few things, make sure your smoker has a ton of fuel, bring a brush maybe as there was a ton of bees that I could not get off the lid easy and stay calm. I guess the only question is how much would it screw up the hive to transfer the two main brood box frames into two new boxes? Thanks for your help!!
 

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Sounds like you are doing well! I don’t worry about the holes because if the bees will quickly propolis them up if they don’t like them. Never know, it might actually be helping them.

Did you see eggs? If you see eggs or young larvae, you know she’s in there and doing well.

Ryan
 

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You may want to swap to new boxes for asthetic reasons, the bees don't care as long as the box is dry. If you do, be sure to put the frames in the new box in the same order and orientation as you took them out of the old box. Plenty of time to monkey around with the frames later, after you know what you are trying to accomplish.
 

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The one thing I did not get to is there a plastic insert which looks like a place to feed or something which I seen in videos I would like to get rid of as it is full of comb and a mess. I think they have laid all through it and I would like to take it out and put a new frame in.
 

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Probably a frame feeder. Take it out and replace with a frame of whatever you use. Scrape the comb out of it onto a shallow pan for the bees to rob back out. Set the pan away from your hives, the bees will find it. Save the feeder, you will need it later, and save the wax as that is a precious resource for a new beek.

PS, fill in your location data to get location specific advice for what are sure to be other questions.
 

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before you go destroying all the comb in the feeder, it could have brood inside, more valuable than wax...something to think about.
You could put in the top box above a queen excluder for a few week just to be sure, then clean it out.
 

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Good idea if you are uncertain whether it contains brood comb or honey. Make sure the queen is under the excluder and the feeder is on top. That means you will have to find the queen. It's pretty exciting the first time you spot her.
 

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If your smoker went out a third of the way thru your inspection, you were in the hive tooo long. I know you paid for the privilege but long inspections are useful class time but not all that good for the bees and the more time you spend in the hive, the more chance the queen will be killed, damaged or lost. Cleaning burr comb just removes the bees roads and bridges which they put in to work more efficiently in the hive. They will just rebuild them. Have a good time with your bees!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Probably a frame feeder. Take it out and replace with a frame of whatever you use. Scrape the comb out of it onto a shallow pan for the bees to rob back out. Set the pan away from your hives, the bees will find it. Save the feeder, you will need it later, and save the wax as that is a precious resource for a new beek.

PS, fill in your location data to get location specific advice for what are sure to be other questions.
What do you use the wax for?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If your smoker went out a third of the way thru your inspection, you were in the hive tooo long. I know you paid for the privilege but long inspections are useful class time but not all that good for the bees and the more time you spend in the hive, the more chance the queen will be killed, damaged or lost. Cleaning burr comb just removes the bees roads and bridges which they put in to work more efficiently in the hive. They will just rebuild them. Have a good time with your bees!
Really I was only in the hive about 10 mins before my smoker died. I should have anticipated it taking a while but still getting used to the equipment. I would have guessed it would have taken 45 mins to inspect it all the way I was moving.
 

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What do you use the wax for?
Aside from the obvious uses for candles, lip balm, hand cream, and soaps, extra wax is used to increase the amount of wax on plastic foundation, waxing the starter strips on foundationless frames, giving swarm traps a lived in smell, sealing small holes, and other creative uses around the hives.

You will get faster with your hive inspectuon as your confidence increases. Unless you are doing some serious manipulatuons, 10 min is plently to see what needs to be seen. What were you using for smoker fuel? Pine straw and old pine cones work well for me. Grass burns too fast. Some use wood chips which I understand to last quite awhile.
 

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Sounds like you did fine. Always bring more fuel to the apiary and a means to relight it. I am going into my fourth year and still have trouble getting the smoker burning right. I am about to buy a new one but honestly, that probably isn't the problem. Keep a plastic coffee can by your hives and put your extra wax that you may need to scrape off in there for later use. Good luck, stay calm, and have fun. J
 

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It sounds like your new hive is at max and it might swarm. Do you have a older beekkeeper to talk to and let him or her look at your hive? You need to have a mentor to help you get established. Is both brood chambers deep or mediums and are the 10 or 8 frame? Get help quickly.
 
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