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One hive, planning to split
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

Can you let me know what you think of this behavior of our bees? They're on the outside of the hive, milling about, not really doing anything (these ones). We'd added a medium super to the top of the two deeps, thinking it was a space issue but they're still hanging out on the front of the box, even now in rainy weather. Not as many as in the picture, mind, but all the same. Kind of unsure what the cause could be.

First year, first hive. Any thoughts are much appreciated!

Thank you,

Chris
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Hi GVilleBees, welcome to the forum. What you are seeing here is called bearding and is very normal.

Please add your location to your profile, it will help to know what your weather conditions, environment, etc is so those more local to you may be able to offer better help.

Happy bee keeping!
 

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Possum Valley, TN Bee Wrangler
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Welcome to the forum.

If they are just milling around on the front of the hive, kind of just going back and forth it is called wash boarding. Nothing to worry about in either case.
Bearding looks more like this, if its too hot in the house go sit on the porch.

Resized952021052595172446951990.jpg
 

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Could also be a group of nurse bees transitioning into foragers-just coming outside for look see prior to orientation flights. If there's room, a productive queen will lay 1200-2000 eggs a day and with so many with the same birthday and more hatching in the hive, they do come out in large groups if there is a following class in the hive. Pop the lid and check the population-it may be time to super.
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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what does the inside of the hive look like?
room or crowed
honey bound or lots of cells open
little or lots of brood

outside diag is a guess at best. IF you have concerns have a look inside, much more data can be gleaned IMO

could be crowded, May be making swarm prep. could be a smell issue fresh paint , or something.

I would likely have a look inside, if this were mine.

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all for the replies! I appreciate everyone's insight and help!
Inside looked to be pretty crowded. When I checked on Saturday I hadn't pulled any of the frames out of the two deep boxes but from the top it looked like it was full of capped honey on the outsides. The insides had bees all over the top and I couldn't well see inside around them. They've got a medium super on the top now, with a queen excluder separating from the bottom deeps. There were some bees up there working on drawing out the comb.
I'll do an inspection this weekend and have a look at the frames in the bottom two deep supers and see what it's looking like down there.

Is there anything that I should be on the lookout for when inspecting to gauge the 'mood' of the colony? Queen cells would mean possibly a swarm right?
Also, what do you think about splitting the hive? We got the bees in March and things are looking great right now. If we could take a frame with a queen cup (if I find any) and split the hive, is it too late in the season or would it be okay?

Thank you all for any response you may care to give.
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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if you find started cells you could split, or remove them.
be nice to find the queen, else you will need cells started placed in each 1/2 or 1/3
also need the parts on hand.
I would give the stores frames more liberally to the non old stand splits as the old stand will get all the field bees back .
also it will need to be "near" its size now.

good luck

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hello everyone,

I got in and inspected the 1st deep super (not bottom deep brood box) and I found one small queen cup near the middle of the box (see photo below). Everything looked like it was going well for them. I think they had a recent hatch as one of the frames had most of the brood area (lower center of frame) empty (except for a drone cell). The "Deep Super, Frame 4" had uncapped larva in the cells. I didn't see the queen or any eggs, but I imagine she was in the deep brood box laying down there.

They've got good looking honey stores, and the girls have started drawing comb in the medium super on top. I've uploaded an album below. There is a picture of a beetle looking insect I'd found outside of the hive. Any concern with him around? Also is there anything else, that y'all notice in these photos, that concerns you that I might not be picking up on?

Edit - I didn't realize it would embed photos without the descriptions. In my profile and albums you can see some more info about each picture. I also didn't realize the album would show backwards from how I'd intended when I uploaded the pictures...Start from the end and work forward

Thank you for your time!


Chris
 
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