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Should I be worried or just wait?

1021 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Tenbears
I'm a new beekeeper. I have 3 Langs that are doing great. My issue is with my Top Bar Hive. On May 31 about 50-70% of the hive swarmed out with the queen. I did a post swarm inspection and saw about 12 swarm cells. Roughly 3 weeks later I could see through my observation window that they had torn down the swarm cells so I assumed that a queen hatched. I did a full inspection yesterday (29 days after the swarm) and did not spot the queen and the entire hive was pollen/nectar/honey bound. All of the old brood comb had the normal capped honey along the top. But below that where there is usually eggs and larva was completely packed with moist pollen (bee bread?) so even if I had a newly mated queen, she would have nowhere to lay. So I put a blank top bar between every comb (maybe 13?) hoping that they will draw new comb for the queen to lay (if I even have a queen).

If I have a newly mated queen, wouldn't the bees get the pheromone message that she needs open cells to lay in? Also, and I don't know if this will help, but the girls are kicking out the drones today. Literally dragging them out. Why? They have food galore! Also during the inspection yesterday, I thought they would be pissy since they may not be queen-right but instead they were the most gentle I've seen to date.
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it is possible you may have a newly mated queen. if the entire hive is backfilled she will need a place to lay. the bees will draw comb, but I would try to give her some drawn comb right away. since this is your only top bar you probably do not have any available. I would find a frame in the hive that is mostly honey uncap it and ley id drain in a warm place. if need be you can wash it in running water to remove any excess. Let it dry, and place it in the center of the hive. for now you can watch the hive and see how fast they draw comb, and if se is laying in it.
You should be seeing eggs by now that's almost a month ago the hive swarmed. You need to get them a queen or atleast get them some brood and a frame of young larva so they can make a queen. Moving brood maybe a problem since its a top bar hive.
My Lang frames are foundation-less so I could just cut some comb out with fresh laid eggs and either rubber band or use womens hair clips to "attach" to the top bar. I'll probably go with rubber bands because the bulky hair clips seems like they would not let the top bars flush against each other. Question: Do I shake the bees off the comb first so they stay in their own hive? Or will they make themselves at home in a new hive with new scents and surroundings?
You do not have to shake the bees off the comb, they will be accepted with the comb, Just be sure you do not move the queen or your other hive will be queenless.
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