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Hello,
I'm from Hampden, Maine, and I'm new to beekeeping. I received my first batch of bees in mid-May. The more I read about bees, the more amazed I am at how complicated taking care of them can actually be, and the more I wonder what the heck I'm doing!
About 3-4 days after receiving a nuc filled with 5 frames of bees, I successfully transferred them into a box filled with 5 other undrawn-out frames. After only a couple weeks, 8 of the frames were drawn out so I added another box on top with an additional 10 more frames. As of last week (second week of June) the bees had started drawing out 4 of the frames in the top box.
About three weeks ago I was concerned that my population had dwindled, but last week they seemed to be going strong. From what I read this seems to be common in the spring.
I feed my bees sugar water approximately every 2-4 days. I pull out some frames each week to look and learn. I have not seen the queen since I transferred the 5 frames from the nuc, but I assume she's there.
According to what I read, it seems that I should be working 7 times harder than I am, the bees need to be medicated, I should be building spare frames, I should be watching carefully for signs of trouble within the hive, looking out for robber bees, etc. etc.
My questions are: I am doing things right? And, what next?
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and thank you for any advice, feedback, and/or knowledge you can provide.
Jesse
 

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According to what I read, it seems that I should be working 7 times harder than I am, the bees need to be medicated, I should be building spare frames, I should be watching carefully for signs of trouble within the hive, looking out for robber bees, etc. etc.
My questions are: I am doing things right? And, what next?
Sounds like you are doing fine so far when you go into the hive you dont realy need to see the queen but you do need to see that she is doing her job (eggs & brood) eggs are hard to see when you first start but it will come easier as you do more inspections.

Whe you do an inspection look at each frame as you would a page in a book (read the frame) and try to remember what you see and compaire to what you see next time. Keep reading the forum and asking questions and all the folks on beesource will give you more answers than you want sometimes :lpf:

And yes keep building frames because you can never have enough :eek:
 

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My advice would be to pickup a couple of bee books. Two that come to mind are the ABC-XYZs of beekeeping and The how to do it book of beekeeping. The second title is older but still full of fundamental and practical beeking knowledge.:D
 

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Hi Jesse and welcome to beekeeping. You missed an opportunity for an open hive last Saturday in Bucksport with the Tri-County Beekeepers. The next open hive will be on Sunday, July 11th in Southwest Harbor (at my house.) If I can drive to Hampden to watch my niece graduate from HA (which I did earlier this month), then it should be possible for you to take a Sunday drive down to the coast. And I promise we won't bite! And you'll have tons of opportunity to ask all your questions and get your hands messy in my bees.

Come September the Tri-County club will be back to having meetings in Prospect on the (I think) 3rd Wednesday of each month.

But back to your post - it sounds like you have things well in hand at this point. I wouldn't spend any significant time looking for the queen. Rather look for signs that she's around - brood. larva, eggs.

Feel free to PM me if you'd like.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Andrew, Looking back to my earlier post I see you are the same person who sent me the information about a recent hive viewing. I would still love to get out there another time. I will be doing several weeks worth of traveling this summer, so timing will be tricky for me. As for the meetings in Prospect in September, those may be a possibility. I hope you don't think I am making excuses, but I will be taking a graduate class, coaching cross-country, and of course working full-time (as a teacher) in fall, so I might need to wait until winter or whenever meetings resume. Thanks again for taking the time to read and respond. It's much appreciated. Especially to hear from someone so close by.
 
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