Hi all - I'm very (very!) new to beekeeping. I ordered a nuc back after Christmas and almost forgot about it. When I got the call that it was ready in the first week of May I scrambled to find a box and gear. A little snafu and my bees sat in the nuc box for a week. Eventually I got them transferred and that hive is as busy as it can be.
An old fellow who is nearby is selling off his old equipment and hives. He had some splits he made into plywood nuc boxes and I decided to purchase a pair.
I picked them up last Saturday (6 days ago) and got them home in the early evening. I opened the screens to the nucs and let the bees out - one nuc was much more active than the other and had significantly more bee activity.
On Sunday I noticed that the one nuc was like a ghost town, very few bees going in and out. I made the move and took the frames out and put them into the new deep box and much to my surprise I found a nice beetle infestation in the nuc box bottom.
I took care of the nuc box.
Of the 5 frames in the nuc, the middle 3 had brood and only a handful of bees on each frame. When I opened the nuc there were almost no bees on the tops of the frames, just those between the frames.
On Monday there were very few bees coming and going from this hive. Compared to the box next to it (from the other nuc from the same gentleman) the ratio of bee traffic was about 20:1.
By Tuesday the traffic from the box appeared to be more brisk and by Wednesday there was a steady amount of traffic coming from the hive. Compared to the other hive the bee ratio was now about 4:1 or 5:1. I was really impressed that so many bees could be born to grow the numbers. I went into the box again and found about 30 more larva that I removed and killed - I didn't see any beetles.
I speculated that new bees were born and replaced nurse bees who were then promoted to workers.
On Thursday, 5 days after the transfer I went into the box again and found 1 beetle and only about 8 or 10 larva.
I did a proper photo inventory of the hive photographing each frame front and back. Being so new to all of this its enough to keep from dropping the frames and getting them put back in the right order. This evening, in the comfort of my living room I've been able to compare photos from day 1 to day 5 and see the bees progress. Inside the frames I see a lot of lightly colored and a bit smaller bees whom I assume to be the newly hatched and promoted nurse bees. I see (in the photos) a lot of eggs, bee larva, and lots of changes in capped and uncapped brood cells.
And I found the queen - in the photos, didn't notice her when I had the box open.
I've since ordered some beetle traps (top frame and bottom box) and will continue to monitor. I was really worried that the bees had absconded and that the nuc would fail but it seems to be pulling out OK.
My question to the community: I know it is better to leave the bees alone as much as possible but in this case, would it be more advantageous for me to get in every few days and do some beetle culling? That I only found a few today is heartening and the bees didn't seem to be bothered too much by my visit. I've read many of the other posts here about beetles and it seems that an infestation can get going as quickly as a week - I'd like to keep these numbers down, at least until the traps arrive.
Thanks in advance for any advice or knowledge shared.