Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I bought 3 nucs last spring. Because (I figure) of robbing and a harsh winter, I was sure all 3 nucs died, even though my original hive is doing real well. In the spring there was no activity at all - although I didn't open the hive because I was waiting for my nucs.

When the nuc came in I cleaned out 2 of the dead hives and verified they were empty and placed new nucs there (I only ordered 2 this time). When I went to the third 'dead' colony,I noticed a pile of cappings in the entrance and a fair bit of activity. I figured the healthy hive was robbing the 'dead' one, and left it alone.

Yesterday I went out to inspect my hives and the 'robbing' was still going on. This time, I noted a few bees coming in with pollen. An experienced beekeeper told me bees will only bring pollen into a live hive (i.e. with a laying queen).

Now this is confusing. I opened up the hive to have a look. I saw a lot of bees, just like a living hive. Most of the inner frames have capped pollen and honey. A couple frames appear freshly capped (i.e. the caps are 'white' rather than brown). Some of the outer frames are either dry or have clusters of dried dead bees of them (I scrapped them off).

I figured I'd leave well enough alone - no sense disrupting the colony - and stopped at the top level.

What is going on here? Is it possible the colony made it through? I would have figured they'd bring out the dead before producing new honey (then again I'm not a bee) so some part of me wonders if it is just robbing (but what about the polled and white capping?)

With the exception of the dead bees, this one looks just like my healthy colony. It it possible it is alive, or maybe re-colonized?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,965 Posts
sounds like if the capping are white you have young bees producing new wax. dead bees clustered in corners sounds like the preexisting hive died of starvation. I would vote for re-colonization.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,461 Posts
Bees bringing in pollen is a good sign.

You say you saw capped cells that were lighter in color which implies that you also saw capped cells that were darker in color. The darker ones could be capped brood. Look for uncapped brood -- and if you have good eyes, look for eggs. If you have uncapped brood and eggs you almost certainly have a functioning hive.

Maye you can even find a queen if you look well enough.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
318 Posts
Sounds like you might have captured a swarm. Good job!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the encouragement!

Sometimes, I rely so much more on luck than my own skill - its safer this way.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top