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Author Topic: Is this normal/typical????  (Read 807 times)
New Bee
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Posts: 6

Location: Italy

« on: May 16, 2005, 10:29:01 AM »

I am an american living in italy.. I recently started beekeeping to fulfill a lifelong pipedream of raising bees. I captured a swarm from a local beekeeper friend about April 15th. The swarm was very small, but I was satisfied just to have my first bees.
They were started in a nuc box then and last week I finally transfered them to a regular hive to free up the nuc box for another swarm that is coming to me soon.
They have progressively drawn comb, capped honey, pollen, capped the brood etc. on 4 frames. The fifth frame I noticed today was all nectar. There was nothing else on the entire frame. Since they still have another 5 frames to fill with brood, pollen, honey etc. is this normal that they select an entire deep frame for honey storage in the midst of growing thier colony?
Today the colony looked a little thin spread... but I have located the queen and brood pattern is tight.  Could this be from the fact that not many new bees have emerged yet and the workers are dying out before the colony increases? I am also sure that a good portion were out gathering as well, contributing to the reduction in numbers inside the hive.

At any rate, my main question is the 5th frame filled with nectar only.. no space for brood. Is this an indicator that I should be putting up the supers already before the brood frames are finished?
Thanks for your input. I appreciate it.


Steve G.
Super Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 2791

Location: Finland

« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2005, 10:52:30 AM »

You colony is too small to live normaly and get honey. Swarms has been about 1 kg. If swarm is 4 kg, it works normally honey.

You are right that part of old bees have died. When you take a little swarm, usually queen is not mated and it take 10 days before it begans to lay eggs. Then it takes 3 weeks before first bees emerge from combs.

During that 4-weeks  half of bees have died for working. So it takes 5-6 weeks before  colony grow bigger.

Next stage is that colony occupy  a whole box. Queen fills it with eggs.  If there is a lot of honey, it makes tight in one box. You can give another box under the brood. Bees enlarge their living downwards if they are able. So hey do in nature. Do not give empty box over the broodbox. They gather honey and colony lives better when they get new workers.

If you want honey, you should get 1-2 kg swarm and combine them.

When you have swarm queen, such a colony inherits  terder to swarm, and it swarms  next summer. It is better to get commercial queen, which is so eager to swarm.

Now your colony is at same stage as many hives here in Finland. It takes 1,5 months and your hive is able to get honey normaly. Then it will be 3-4 boxes or more.

You you could have even 1 kg swarm, it would be able enlarge and gather honey at once. 2 kg more to recent would be very good. It depens also how vegetation developes.
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