Question about or help with bees

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by Ken Houser, Jul 5, 2017.

  1. Ken Houser

    Ken Houser Member

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    Hello everyone,
    So far I've learned quite a bit from you folks about my new bees. Here we go: we bought a 5 frame nuc in late April early may. Placed them in an 8 frame deep, added 3 foundationless frames. Ordered a medium super with waxed foundation frames to add to brood box. The weather wasn't being cooperative and I didn't get the super on in time.
    The hive split and half or better swarmed to a small apple tree. So I suited up and tried to find the queen and get her back in the hive, to no avail.
    I stewed on this for a couple days, as it seemed they where content hanging out in the tree. I had a bright idea on how to get them back in, ha, ha ( sinister laugh). I have a large mesh cotton bag that a dirt bike helmet came in. I gently slipped the bag over my bee beard, clinched it and applied a little smoke to get them to let go and fall in. It worked like a charm, now with my bag o' bees I take them to the hive about 10 feet away with new brood super on top and dump the in gently. It worked like a charm, they all went to the bottom brood box and business as usual.

    Before I did this I inspected the brood box and didn't see any abnormalities, other than it being full of uncapped nectar.
    This takes us to today, about 2 weeks has past since my bee repatriation and it's time for an inspection. The girls sure look busy, but it looks as if nothing has changed. They have some capped honey at the top of the bottom brood box. They haven't touched the medium brood box yet. Also when I pulled they frames, I found 3 queen cells in different locations. The frames are still full of nectar. And I don't see any new capped brood cells.

    Am I being impatient, or do I have an issue? I apologize for being so long winded, but I wanted to give you all the info I know. This is my first encounter with bees in about 20+ years, and I'm sure I've forgotten tons. When I was a kid, I grew up next to an orchard and I would help Mr. McCoy every chance I could.

    I am concerned about my new friends, help or at least reassure me if I am being impatient, please!
     
  2. ed/La

    ed/La Well-Known Member

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    They will probably swarm again if you do not do something. I would do a split putting the queen in box with 1 or 2 frames of brood (no queen cells), some honey or nectar and what ever bees are on the frames. Place hive several feet away from orginal hive. Nurse bees will stay and field bees will go back to original hive. Queen will have no bees to swarm with. Queen cell will hatch in other box and you have 2 hives. Monitor to make sure both continue making brood.
     

  3. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    Yup make artificial swarm so you get to keep the bees and have two hives.

    :D Al
     
  4. Ken Houser

    Ken Houser Member

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    With it being summer already, if I split them should I start feeding them? We have plenty of wild flower as well as red and white clover in my pasture which is only a few hundred yards from the hive. I'm just worried about having 2 weak hives as opposed to 1 strong.
    When I split should I put them with entrance facing opposite ways, or same way? I just want my girls to do well with cold only a few months away.
     
  5. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member

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    I would feed the get them off to a good start: that way they focus on making wax and building the hive.
     
  6. Ken Houser

    Ken Houser Member

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    Ok, I just ordered some stuff from Mann Lake, hopefully they will bee have while everything ships.
    When feeding should I give protein pads only, or should I give a nectar supplement also?
    So far I am having a lot of fun with my new hobby, and hopefully they will thrive and give me some of that delicious honey! I love watching them buzz around my property and they are definitely the most busy on my farm. Boy though, this sure can turn into an expensive activity quick that's for sure.
     
  7. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    Yes Keeping bees can get pricy, you make up some when you have some honey to sell, don't give it to every tom dick and harry or sally sue that asks.
    Also the wax is sale able I maked more money on the wax than the honey. May change with honey prices going up in the area.

    Start feeding the colony's a syurp in a 1:1 ratio till mid Sept, then switch to a 2:1 mix.

    They may not take it if there is enough out there for them so start with just quarts. If they start taking a lot quick switch to gallon feeders.

    Same with pollen patties don't give them a full paddy if they are not wanting it so start with a small bit.



    :D Al
     
  8. Ken Houser

    Ken Houser Member

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    Well I'm not to worried about the costs, more of an observation. There are plenty of other things that I could just waste money on, I feel this is a worthy cause.
    On to the syrup feed: is just pure white sugar good, or should I be using a specialized powder that I mix? I will also be giving the Mann Lake pro protein pads to help boost numbers.
     
  9. ed/La

    ed/La Well-Known Member

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    Is there plenty of pollen in the hive now? If they are bringing pollen in on their back legs they will not need the patties. Hopefully queen cells do not hatch before split. Multiple queens usually fight to the death. If that happens you will have to make new queen from start. That will set you back close to 3 weeks. Do you have any boxes to put fames with queen cells in. You could have a mated queen by the time you'r new boxes arrive.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
  10. Ken Houser

    Ken Houser Member

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    They are still bringing some pollen in as the clover is basically ever bearing this time of year. I will have to whip a box up if it is that critical to get them out, shouldn't be to big a deal. I've got some 3/4 plywood scraps that would make good temporary box, lid, bottom board. I'm sure the bees don't care if it's fancy.
    So if they fight to the death, does that mean I should only keep 1 queen cell, and squish the other 2? Or will the bees sort that out as long as I separate old queen from new cells?
     
  11. ed/La

    ed/La Well-Known Member

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    For your purpose put all queen cells in one box. The first queen out usually goes from queen cell to queen cell killing the others. If you had plenty of bees you could put 1 queen cell in different boxes and make an extra queen. A queen bank for emergency replacement. All new queens have to go mate and make it back. I think it is like 80% success rate. Any box that will hold frames will work, the bees do not care. . If there is hole or gap plug with rag, paper or tape it. The box with the queen is the box I would move. Leave queen cells in original box/location. You want that box to be strong because no new brood for week or two. Only brood you started with. A week for queen to mate and another 3 weeks for brood to hatch. Have fun and good luck.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2017
  12. Ken Houser

    Ken Houser Member

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    Built a nursery hive today and did my split. Not sure if I got the queen out or not. I couldn't find her, but I did move 3 frames. 2 with larva and house bees. 1 with nectar, capped honey. I will monitor over the next few days to make sure I have bees in both hives.

    They had quite a bit of burr comb in the original hive. I cleaned it up and gave it to the new hive to recycle.

    My new equipment all shows up on Tuesday, I only had enough frames to give the old hive 3 new and the new hive 2 new. These are 8 frame hives.

    Also, since they are now behind, I knocked them back down to 1 brood super. The had just started building in the second medium brood super foundations that I had given them. I stored this in the basement so their hard work doesn't all melt. It isn't fully built comb yet, but it's a start.

    Hopefully this will not set them back to far, and I will have 2 strong hives before winter.
     
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  13. ed/La

    ed/La Well-Known Member

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    Ken were the queen cells still there? If you could not find the queen I would put 1 queen cell in each box. In your climate they should have time to build up by winter. If worst comes to worst you could reunite later.
     
  14. Ken Houser

    Ken Houser Member

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    Still queen cells in old box. I think perhaps I just missed her, not sure though. I'm still getting reacquainted with this. I've got the drones, house bees, field bees, figured out, just couldn't find her.
    I will be spending a lot of time with them over the next few days, just to make sure everything is good. Either I will find her or I will combine, or get a new queen and add some new genetics. There are a few local guys that have queens that will be ready in a week or 2. I think diligence will be my key to success over the course of the next few days.
    At least they are getting more used to me, I have forgone the entire suit and just donned gloves and hood. I've only been stung once through my jeans since I lightened up my gear. They are definitely very docile.
     
  15. ed/La

    ed/La Well-Known Member

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    It is easy to miss the queen. As long as their is new larva she is there. Eggs are not that hard to see on older dark comb. Like a miniature grain of white rice. Hard to see small white egg on white wax. Soon you will know what box queen is in by larva age.
     
  16. Ken Houser

    Ken Houser Member

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    Just had a quick peek, it's raining pretty good. The nurse box still has bees in not, not tons but they are actively recycling the burr comb was I have them. The other hive looks business as usual, lots of bees.

    I will further investigate when it's not raining. I don't want to completely remove the lids in this weather.
     
  17. Ken Houser

    Ken Houser Member

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    Unfortunately something has happened with the 2nd hive. No bees inside other than robbers from the 1st hive, they had the frame that was full of honey pretty much wiped out.

    Oh well, it still had some brood and larvae in it, no fresh eggs. I just combined the deep supers back to one hive. On a good note, hive 1 looks fantastic it was about ready for a second box anyway. They had 2 of the 3 open bare frames that I had given them already full of fresh comb, and are filling them with the honey that I stole from them for the other box.

    One thing about it, these girls are keeping me guessing!
     
  18. ed/La

    ed/La Well-Known Member

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    No harm. Sounds like a good hive. Check in a week and see if new larva.