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unfotunate mistake by a newbee

2213 Views 13 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Colleen O.
I got a call today for a Queen from a 17 yr old girl, first bees. She got 2 packages in beginning of April, one absconded, the other has no brood.My Qns are not laying yet,she has no mentor so I took a capped graft and went there. I was amazed at what I saw. She had built 2 Warre hives foundation less 1/2 size frames and all. 3 boxes high. About 4 frames were drawn. Found no Qn, multiple eggs in some cells but most 1 in the bottom. I was unsure about putting the cell in. I told her to wait 5 days and see what the cappings look like. Broke my heart to see her so enthuzed and not being able to help her. I have med frames,cant give her one, wont fit. She must have spent a long time making these hives, What to do ?.Pete
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I assume she does not have a queen-right hive. If that is the case beats me what to do. If she does have or can get a queen-right hive, I vote to shake out the laying worker hives.

No Phil, I couldn`t find a Qn. Tough turning those frames around for fear of comb falling out some bars had double comb on them. I saw the eggs and said you have a Qn, then I saw the 3, 4, and more eggs in each cell ,Pete
If she has frames you can tie some comb into them (even 3 sides or just bars). I have a new KTBH nuc with Lang supers I just did this on. The bar size is different than what I had and so I cut the comb off and used gardening tape to tie it onto the new bars. The bees attached it. I just used two ties but probably should have used three because the one end moved and they cross combed it. There are lots of methods but this is one and it worked out pretty well. They did move the comb out from under the tape at the bottom but it did the job so no big deal. Anyway, if you have foundationless or wired wax foundation based combs you could help her by donating one with eggs and young larvae. Older brood comb works better because it holds it's shape better. Take some nippers to cut the wire and a really sharp knife. A board to cut the comb on helps too. Careful when you tie it on to not pull too much and crush the comb. You just want it to hang close to the bar and in the center so that they can attach it.
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Hope you can help her, sounds like she is putting in the effort and just needs a a boost out of this potential laying worker jam.
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Another way you may be able to help is by taking one of her frames, screwing an extender bar on it that will fit your hive, and let your bees fill it then return it to her. The bar on the right, next to the bar that has the comb tied on in the picture in my last post, is done this way. That comb I just cut short to fit the medium and left on the old bar. I needed it to get the bees up in the super and plan to remove it once it is filled and capped and they have built comb on at least one if the frames.
I wish her the very best of luck. Have to hand it to her....not too many 17yr old girls are gonna wanna mess around with honey bees so my hat is off to her!
yes Santa, she is gung ho. The mistake was to start out with something other than Langs. And I think I have to tell her to shake them out. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Colleen, Tying brood frames and all that is too much for me to deal with now (Queen season ) I think the Warre hive is for experienced beeks to try when the have way too much time on their hands. Not putting them down but Langs are just too easy, Look at the problem she has now,Pete
I feel for this young lady!

I kept bees in high school. No mentor. No internet to ask questions on. I built all my own eqiupment. Got my bees by catching feral swarms. I just fumbled along until everything washed away in a flood in the orange grove the hives were in. Too dejected to rebuild, I moved on to other pursuits.

Heck, I'd give this admirable young person a hive if I lived close enough. Those are the kind of people that deserve the support of us more established beekeepers.
Laying worker might accept a capped cell but best to see what the brood looks like first so you don't kill a queen if she has one.
Yes JR, I thought the same, hate to waste a cell too. I just hate to have to tell her she has to buy a Lang hive, after she put all that time into the Warre. That thing is going to cause her problem after problem,even if I tie brood in some frames.A lot of calls over the weekend for Queens, people bought packages, delivered early April, Queens are MIA,,,,,,,,,Pete
So ya could not put a queen on a frame with a cage around her and let the hive get use to her ?
I have never had to do some thing like that. bet it may work . Just saying.
Hi Glock No I think she has laying workers ,loads of eggs in each cell. I see that frome a new mated Queen, but she gets with the program soon, I couldnt find the Qn. There is wonky comb on the frames. No foundation,two frames have double combs. If she had foundation in the frames I think your idea of a push in cage so she could lay in it would be worth a try and probly would work ,,,,,,,,Pete
Colleen O. - Where'd you get the cloth for the covering on your hive top?
Colleen O. - Where'd you get the cloth for the covering on your hive top?
It is just burlap from a big box store. They sell rolls of it in the garden center for plant protection in the fall and I have some leftover. I soaked it in a thin flour/water mix (per the instructions in Warre's book) which gives it a bit more structure. (Sorry for the off topic!)
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