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Discussion Starter #1
I installed two packages Tuesday May 4. Checked on Friday May 7 and both queens had been released so I removed the cage's, cut out some comb they had drawn around the cages, shoved the frames together tight and closed everything back up. (Half gallon jars of syrup on top). I installed these in 1 medium box each. I have read that they can fill a medium pretty fast and they are working like crazy! They are bringing in load after load of yellow colored pollen. I have also read that checking on them too much can cause absconding. When should I check on them again to see how many frames are drawn? I don't want them to abscond but then again, I don't want them to get too full and decide to swarm. What to do, what to do.
Thanks
 

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You'll get varying answers. If these are your first hives, once a week would be okay. If you feel like you need to check more often, then do so. You'll learn something everytime you open the hives.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. I'm torn between checking again and the possibility of running them off from checking too much. I just don't want the frames to get full and having them swarm already. They are "working" like mad! I mean boat loads of stuff coming in. Which raises another question! :scratch:
Some come back apparently "empty". Does this mean, because there's not pollen on their legs that they may be bringing back nectar? Can you see nectar?
But please help on the "checking" question.
Again,
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if you are just checking feeder levels, and GENTLY tipping up the hive to see how many frames are covered with bees and to look for swarm cells, you can get by with no smoke and check every day. good luck,mike
 

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Discussion Starter #5
No, I'm not checking feeder levels. My concern is whether they have reached the 7 or 8 frames drawn yet. Like I said, I've read they can fill a medium rather quickly. I've also read that checking too often can cause them to abscond. I last check on Friday, May 7 to see if the queens had been released. Is today, Monday, May 10, too early to check again.?????
That is my main question!!
 

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There have been a number of threads recently of new packages absconding along with some other issues & some have suggested that artificially-introduced Queens, Queens with attendants & messing too soon with a newly-packaged hive could be a problem.

If you're trying to draw foundation, that is going to take a little while, and also when you do go back in, your primarly goal should probably be finding the queen, brood & eggs, so again taking a little time.

I packaged 2 weeks ago on last years drawn foundation with only 2 undrawn frames (a deep, however) & checked yesterday. 2 frames of capped brood, 4 frames of empty or near-empty comb, 2 untouched foundations, 2 capped honey I put in for feed.

Other than quietly feeding them, I don't think 2 weeks would be too long for your first exam.
 

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Of you are going in quickly with no smoke, then it doesn't bother them at all, if you smog them out and pull each frame you slow down their work. Is your queen laying now that she is free?
BTW, they don't swarm just because the foundation is drawn out, it would need to be full of something (pollen, honey, or brood).
 

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go ahead and look in on them. Everyone here differs. I have been checking my nucs every 2 days. Instead of just throwing them on 5 frames of empty foundation, I have a board in that allows me to add one frame at a time and keep them a little crowded. Down here is SHB country...crowded is a good thing.I check my hives once a week, albeit not a full on inspection...but i do look in on them. If i see something that may concern me...i go deeper. The bees will let you know if you are bothering them too much. BTW, this is one of the best ways to learn...IMHO. They don't read the books we do! Just my thoughts on the situation.
 

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tip them forward on the bottom board-leave the bottom board flat, and tip the hive body from the back towards the front,pivoting on the front edge. this lets you see between the frames from the bottom to the top and you can easily see if foundation has been drawn or swarm cells started and how many bees are there. done gently,slowly it wont bother them. good luck,mike
 

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Discussion Starter #10
OK, I couldn't stand it. They were acting all agitated and hundreds of bees were all over the entrance and flying around like crazy. I went in with a little smoke and in the first hive I found 4 frames drawn out and even saw the queen. I saw a lot of cells packed with pollen and a lot of cells with clear liquid. I didn't see any eggs but my eyes ain't so great. I need to get a magnifying glass! The second hive has about six frames almost all drawn out. I didn't see the queen in this one but again saw pollen and clear liquid in the cells. This hive has way more bees than the other. They are still very gentle and didn't seem upset that I was there. Maybe in about 3 more days I will need to add another box to the one. They are building up so fast!! Thanks for all the info. I work second shift and cannot go to beekeeping meetings and don't know any others that can help so this forum is invaluable to me.
 

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In my area a full sized hive can draw and fill a medium in a week, but not a little package of bees. I haven't bought a package in years and I always put them in deeps, but I wouldn't worry about a package running out of room for three weeks in a medium of foundation.

Just taking the top off without smoke and not pulling frames won't disturb them too much. You will still be able to see how many frames of bees you have. They won't draw comb that they can't cover with bees or fill with honey and your package will be shrinking for the first three weeks until the new queens brood starts to hatch.
 
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