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Author Topic: I have a big problem (I think)  (Read 1458 times)
Pwrbait
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« on: June 27, 2009, 12:15:19 PM »

Two weeks ago, my hive of packaged bees (installed April 10th) was going like gang busters I had two full sized boxes with lots of new and capped brood, and really good amount of stores, and some drone brood.  So I put on a medium super , all the frames were just foundation, no drawn comb, and after asking a few questions of some very experienced beeks I added a queen excluder to build up the stores with the thought of always being able to add boxes below the excluder so the hive could increase in size.  I had no intention of robbing this year, so next year I would have a strong established colony.  There was still room in the lower two boxes for expansion, so I had no real worries.  Today I did my first inspection since putting on the medium super and the queen excluder.  They did not draw any new comb in the super and Both lower boxes have ZERO brood, capped or otherwise.  I didn't see the queen, though that doesn't mean much, and I'm pretty sure I didn't have a swarm since I still have a fairly large population.  There are some queen cups, but they are empty, and I did notice a couple of capped drone cells.  There are cells that appear to have a brown substance, and I wondered if this was capped brood that has been laid by workers. 

So what to do?  Do I acquire a new queen and put her in?  Do I let things be??  No clue here and now am a bit worried.
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Pwrbait
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2009, 12:22:59 PM »

I also removed the excluder and the med. super today since they wern't doing anything usefull.
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kathyp
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2009, 12:31:19 PM »

what is your flow like?  what are their stores like?  what is your space like (without added super)? 
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2009, 12:40:12 PM »

I believe I would have a LOCAL beekeeper take a look and give you some advice !

HOWEVER I would get some one different Then the " very experienced beeks " that told you to use a excluder on a 2 month old hive !!

Bee-Bop
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Pwrbait
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2009, 12:57:17 PM »

We have been having very good flow here, and my stores were also very good, which prompted the question of the excluder in the first place.  It appeared I was going to run out of space because the flow has been so good, the stores were building up faster than space would allow, so the intent was for the med. super to be exclusively for stores and I could expand the rest of the hive as needed for brood.  There was still decent space for brood prior to adding the super(a couple of frames with drawn comb, but with maybe 25% one side used, 75% on the other), but I was looking ahead, plus thinking the colony would keep busy drawing comb on the new frames.
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kathyp
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« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2009, 01:11:30 PM »

getting someone local to take a look is not a bad idea. 

the brown stuff is probably pollen.  it comes in all colors. 

i'd guess, just from what you told us, the  hive did swarm.  if it was a small swarm, you would not notice.

do you have another hive?  if so, take a frame of eggs from that hive and put it in the problem hive.  if they make queen cells, it is probably queenless.  if they do not, you probably have a queen in there.  maybe a virgin that has not started laying, or your queen has taken a break for some reason.

in the future make sure they are working the super before adding an excluder.

with a young hive, numbers buildup is more important than extra stores.  a better solution might have been to pull some stores and replace with empty frames around the brood.  you may still want to consider that.  if you are queenless, or your queen is not laying for some reason, the hive will fill with stores and leave no room for future laying.

any chance you can take some pictures and post them, or have the moderator post them for you if you can't yet?  close up pictures of the brood frames would be good.  make sure to angle them so that we can see all the way to the bottom of the cells.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
Pwrbait
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« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2009, 01:24:03 PM »

I will put up some pictures later this afternoon, since I was already in the hive today and I'd like to wait till later to open it back up.  There isn't any eggs to move, thats what bothers me so much.  No eggs, no larve, no capped brood.
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hankdog1
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« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2009, 03:06:16 PM »

I don't think you understand what kathyp was getting at.  If your bees have swarmed or something has happened to the queen you can take a frame of brood and eggs from another hive.   If they are queenless then what will happen is with the new eggs they will begin to make an emergancy cell to raise a new queen.  Just a precautionary measure if your not sure don't know if you have another hive around.  I will admit it's nice to start with 2 or 3 hives though cause it gives the option to do that.  See if you can't find you a local beek to take a look like everyone else has said.  Most beeks are very good and helpfull people and would be happy to share thier knowledge.
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Pwrbait
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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2009, 05:10:18 PM »

Ahhh..the fog lifted, thanks Hank.  It is my only hive this year, but I do have a couple friends that would give me a frame of eggs no problem.  I will get the pics up and keep you all updated.
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kathyp
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« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2009, 05:20:15 PM »

get that frame of eggs in there ASAP.  it will answer questions and  help avoid problems.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2009, 10:28:03 AM »

Alot of my girls are re-queening themselves right now...nearly half of my hives (15) are void of brood and have queen cells..1 or 2.

We had a big flow and it's nearly over here on the Eastern Shore. Clover is still out but all other blooms are slowing. Our vine crops are about 2 weeks out for the commerials grows. My garden was planted early so my watermellon and squash are blooming.

I'm not a big fan of excluders...need some...only kidding..

I agree with others..find some new eggs somewhere and see what happens.
Mark
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bee-nuts
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« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2009, 01:11:47 AM »

I would check out these posts;  "Swarm disaster" in equipment usage and "is spliting now a bad idea" in rapid beeyard growth.  I belive you may have made the same mistake I did.  Symtems sound identical.  I still had lots of bees.  probably from all the brood hatching after the swarm and the bees that had not had flights yet.  watch my videos on you tube.  search "moeshoneybeevideos".  Dont be too woried.  I now finally have new brood in my hives after a couple weeks of absolutly none.  I thought I had enough room too.  However I learned the hard way that more then enough room is better than not enough room and never put on a queen excluder untill foundation is drawn and stores are being put up.

Good luck

beenuts.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2009, 01:49:17 PM »

My guess is they swarmed and the new virgin queen isn't laying yet.  She may take three weeks or more after they swarmed to be laying.  Meanwhile, as already mentioned, a frame of eggs and brood is good insurance in case they are queenless.
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Pwrbait
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« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2009, 06:44:55 PM »

Ok...I put three frames of eggs and larvae in on Sunday, one in the upper box and two in the lower.  How long will it be before I see queen cells if indeed the hive is queenless?  I can't look today due to thunderstorms blowing in and out.  Here is a link to some pictures of frames that used to have brood on them,
http://img6.imageshack.us/gal.php?g=p1030828z.jpg
« Last Edit: June 30, 2009, 06:50:31 PM by Robo » Logged
Bennettoid
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« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2009, 08:21:31 PM »

Alot of my girls are re-queening themselves right now...nearly half of my hives (15) are void of brood and have queen cells..1 or 2.

We had a big flow and it's nearly over here on the Eastern Shore. Clover is still out but all other blooms are slowing. Our vine crops are about 2 weeks out for the commerials grows. My garden was planted early so my watermellon and squash are blooming.

I'm not a big fan of excluders...need some...only kidding..

I agree with others..find some new eggs somewhere and see what happens.
Mark

Ditto on that. There is almost no flow at all here between July 15th and August 15th. Its a good time to do powdered sugar treatments.

She may be just cutting back on the population a bit before building for the fall flow.

I really don't like excluders, for any reason.
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MustbeeNuts
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« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2009, 08:06:58 PM »

Ditto, no excluders for me either, I also have some in the corner, never used em.
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