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Author Topic: New Hive  (Read 933 times)

Offline DeeBee711

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New Hive
« on: August 22, 2011, 10:45:21 AM »
I am new to beekeeping but I transferred a swarm into a box in May. The swarm was previously in a piece of farm machinery so I had to disect it and placed some honeycomb with brood etc into the bee box along side of the frames. I used a ten frame box and had eight frames in the box beside the honeycomb. The transfer of bees was a success and I have fed them sugar water on several occasions to aid in the building of comb and to help sustain them through the winter. They soon began building combs on two of the frames but progress seems quite slow. The bees have been quite active for the last couple of weeks with the onset of spring weather and a proliferation of flowers. Despite this, I checked the bees last weekend and they still have only managed to build comb on two of the 8 frames in the box. They have been in this box for about 4 months. Should they have progressed more than this by now? Do I just need to be patient or is there anything else that I need to do?

Offline mikecva

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Re: New Hive
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2011, 11:03:27 AM »
Welcome to the forum.   :cheer:

Despite what some beekeepers think, the bees are smarter at what they do then we are. Look for new eggs and larva in the comb, if it is there then the queen is working.

I will spray 1:1 sugar water on my foundations to encourage the bees to build on the new foundation. My uncle uses foundationless frames with about 2" of 'starter' comb mounted to the top. He also sprays his starter strips. Both methods have worked well for us. My uncle sells comb honey and I sell pure honey (no comb).  -Mike
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Listen to others but make your own decisions. That way you own the results.
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Offline Grieth

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Re: New Hive
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2011, 05:14:29 AM »
Where are you in Aust?
"The time has come," the walrus said, "to talk of many things:
Of shoes and ships - and sealing wax - of cabbages and kingsā€
Lewis Carroll

Offline Mardak

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Re: New Hive
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2011, 06:12:40 AM »
Best thing about bee keeping is always learning something new or different from you have been doing. Bees are very smart and adaptive. great for you trying lots of different things. I am always fascinated at the influence the queen has over her hive. Change the queen and you have a whole new personality towork with. Them feral queens are probably the easiest as they have such amazing and changeable temperments. Years of learning and you learn new techniques and managements that work or do not work.

Offline OzBuzz

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Re: New Hive
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2011, 06:19:09 AM »
Patience is the key - if the queen is laying and you see new eggs, brood etc then all is well and they will build out as they need the space

Offline DeeBee711

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Re: New Hive
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2011, 09:38:22 AM »
Thanks for the replies. I'm in SA. I'm hoping that the main reason for the slow start was just bad timing, as the weather had started cooling off by the time we moved the bees. With a little luck they will get a move on with the onset of warmer weather. I will try spraying the sugar water, but have had a problem with mould and am a little worried about it. Is there any way to stop that? A mouse got in and chewed a hole in the bag of sugar water which then leaked and went mouldy  :?

Offline OzBuzz

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Re: New Hive
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2011, 08:00:13 PM »
Thanks for the replies. I'm in SA. I'm hoping that the main reason for the slow start was just bad timing, as the weather had started cooling off by the time we moved the bees. With a little luck they will get a move on with the onset of warmer weather. I will try spraying the sugar water, but have had a problem with mould and am a little worried about it. Is there any way to stop that? A mouse got in and chewed a hole in the bag of sugar water which then leaked and went mouldy  :?

Weather, and the availability of a nectar flow in the area, plays a large part in hive build up... i've heard numerous stories about ones getting a 10L drum, filling it with sugar syrup, and positioning it away from the hive to simulate a flow - i neither recommend or discourage this method - although it's not an encouraged method of feeding it is, i believe, effective... someone with more experience may be able to comment.

We're taught that mould is nasty - and it is - but bees have ways of coping with it... i wouldn't be too worried if you get a little. Mix your syrup up in a 1:1 ratio and spray it directly on the frames - it will dry quite quickly. Alternatively i on occassion pour the syrup over the frames so that the cells fill up as if they've filled them with nectar.

I hate mice! just thought i'd share that! i had one get in some of my hives and they make a mess! they killed off one of my weaker hives and when i opened it up i uncovered their nest! i didn't have the heart to kill them though as there was a powerful owl watching over my bee yard and i figured that he could deal with them more effectively than i could... it's an amazing sight rocking up to your bee yard at 6am and seeing this huge owl sitting on a fence watching your hives...

In any case, any unused syrup should always be stored in the fridge. I'm assuming you were using the bag under the hive lid technique when the mouse got in and made a mess? personally i'm not a huge fan of that technique - not because it doesnt work but because if something can go wrong, where i'm concerned anyway, it will go wrong!

Offline DeeBee711

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Re: New Hive
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2011, 08:27:56 AM »
I checked this hive today and was very pleased with the progress. The bees are very active, bringing in a lot of yellow and orange pollen. They have now built comb over most of four frames and are busy putting honey in there. I'm glad they're finally getting there. Thanks for all the advice!