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Author Topic: Another peek inside  (Read 1356 times)
Kris^
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Location: Williamstown, NJ


« on: July 15, 2004, 10:49:00 PM »

It's been a week since I removed the queen excluder in an effort to get the bees to start drawing comb and storing honey in the super.  I took a look this afternoon to see if there'd been any change.  They'd draw some more comb in the super, but not nearly as much as I'd expected.  So I went further into the top hive body, and maybe discovered what they are doing.  But I don't know why.

When I looked into the upper hive body last week, there was one frame of capped honey, and the rest of the frames with mixed honey and brood.  Today, there were two frames of honey, and a third frame of uncapped nectar.  The rest of the frames were mixed honey and capped brood and/or empty cells.  Some of the dark comb was filling with nectar.  There was no uncapped brood there and no eggs evident.  I checked all the frames but didn't find the queen.  Just like last time, I didn't get into the lower hive body; the wind picked up and the bees started getting really testy after a half hour of me poking around in there.

The frames seem a mess to me.  The frames full of honey are slightly overdrawn, and the frames with honey and brood are overdrawn where there is honey.  I think this is a result of my earlier attempt at "checkerboarding" drawn comb with foundation.  The overdrawn comb leaves little room for movement between the tops of many of the frames.

I don't know for a fact that the queen is still there, but I have no reason to believe she isn't.  The colony is still strong and the workers all seem to be working with purpose.  I did find what looked like a queen cell hanging from the bottom of one frame in the upper brood box, but it was small and empty.  There's no evidence that the colony swarmed, at least not that I can tell.  Both boxes seem quite full of bees -- and the honey super seems well populated, too.  

I think I'm going to have to get into the lower hive body this weekend to find the queen.  Sometimes I really wished I had someone here who could point stuff out to me as I'm pulling stuff apart.

Is it possible that the hive is honeybound, particularly upstairs, trapping the queen in the bottom box?  Should I remove the capped honey comb from the upper body, even the mixed frames (after the brood emerges) and cut the overdrawn comb back?  I think I'd have almost a complete super of drawn comb they could work on during the fall.  They certainly have taken to propolizing the hive extensively!  I can hardly wait to go into the lower box and pull it apart . . . .      

-- Kris
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Finman
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2004, 11:27:24 PM »

Quote from: Kris^
It's been a week since I removed the queen excluder .......  I checked all the frames but didn't find the queen.  Just like last time, I didn't get into the lower hive body


It is also possible that they carry so much honey that queen is laying eggs in the lowest super and she has too little space... but I do not believe this, but it is possible.  If so, keep hurry and give a new super.


Quote
The frames seem a mess to me.  The frames full of honey are slightly overdrawn, and the frames with honey and brood are overdrawn where there is honey.  I think this is a result of my earlier attempt at "checkerboarding" drawn comb with foundation.  The overdrawn comb leaves little room for movement between the tops of many of the frames.


Bees have many habits. Do not worry about mess.

When/If hive has no egg laying queen, it is unnecessary arrange frames. Let them carry honey and fill combs.  They make their routes between frames. Do not worry about this. When you took honey you cut capping and you can straighten the  frames  

Quote
I did find what looked like a queen cell hanging from the bottom of one frame in the upper brood box, but it was small and empty.  There's no evidence that the colony swarmed,



 It takes one week that open brood will be capped . You said that you handled a week ago hive.  Two possibilities:

1) In handling queen violated. --> there must be "emergengy queen cells".
2) They have changed the queen silently: a new queen had emerged and it has killed the old one. ---> A new starts egg laying after 10 days. Soon you should have egg there.



Quote
at least not that I can tell.  Both boxes seem quite full of bees -- and the honey super seems well populated, too.  


When you search the lowest super, give them one super more and put it lowest.


Quote
 Is it possible that the hive is honeybound, particularly upstairs, trapping the queen in the bottom box?


 What means honeybound? ....It is used here many times...Trapping : bees do not do that , why?    

Finally:

1)  Should I remove the capped honey frames to the top so I can harvest honey soon.
2) Then I return the super for new honey.
3) If they are working good, do not disturb them; only the minimun
4) when you find that they have queen, let them work and give more space for honey and eggs.

It seems that they do their work very well. Those queen cases happens often.
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