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Author Topic: .... so I decided to check a friend's hive today  (Read 722 times)
psbeekeeper
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« on: October 23, 2011, 07:16:37 PM »

A friend of mine was asking me to check their daughter's hive sometime whenever I had a chance.  I don't think this hive was checked until early this spring,  and today I had a little time and decided to get a peek at it.  I puffed a little smoke, opened the top and found out that these buggers were a bit more defensive that I am used to.  Next thing you know a cloud of bees surrounds me, dive bombing me left and right trying to cover me.  I decided to walk a away for a second and go back.  This time I took off the top box (which had no frames built out), and check the next one.  The frames had so much propolis on them that when I tried to use my frame lifter on them, it was actually breaking the ears of the frames off, and again the bees were in a swarm around me, meaner than heck.  All I could see was honey and burr comb everywhere not an egg or larvae in side.  I had to get out of there because they were a little more PO.'d than before.  I tried to walk away from the hive and 10 of them were still all over me and following me no matter where I went.  They finally went away until about 20 minutes later.  The real question is, what do I do with this hive? 
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2011, 07:34:37 PM »

from the behavior and what you found, my first guess is that they are queenless.  probably not for to long or the numbers would be way down and they would probably have developed laying workers.  you might also have a queen that for whatever reason is not doing her thing.

they might also have become honey bound in the bottom box and because the queen would not move up over the honey, she had no place to lay. 

do you know when the top box was added? 

that's the order of things that come to the top of my mind.

if they are queenless and you can't get your hands on a queen right quick and rearrange that hive so that she has a chance to lay at least a little before the weather gets really bad, i fear that hive is done unless you can combine it with one of yours...or another of hers?  if they are not queenless they make it through in a smaller space (good call removing the box), then they have a chance to rebuild in the spri
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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
Grandpa Jim
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« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2011, 08:01:29 PM »

How many boxes were there to start?  Deeps or mediums? 

Weather has been wet and cool so not really the best time to look in the hive, but I know I have to look at mine when time suits (I looked in on 2 of mine tonight just before dark, but they were not too bad).   Many of my hives have shut down brood production in the last few weeks, so most brood has hatched and you would not see much if any brood.  It is a little late to find a queen and get her introduced.  If they seem to have enough honey, I would button them up for winter and check them in early spring.
Jim
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psbeekeeper
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« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2011, 08:14:32 PM »

from the behavior and what you found, my first guess is that they are queenless.  probably not for to long or the numbers would be way down and they would probably have developed laying workers.  you might also have a queen that for whatever reason is not doing her thing.

they might also have become honey bound in the bottom box and because the queen would not move up over the honey, she had no place to lay. 

do you know when the top box was added? 

that's the order of things that come to the top of my mind.

if they are queenless and you can't get your hands on a queen right quick and rearrange that hive so that she has a chance to lay at least a little before the weather gets really bad, i fear that hive is done unless you can combine it with one of yours...or another of hers?  if they are not queenless they make it through in a smaller space (good call removing the box), then they have a chance to rebuild in the spri

I think the box was added 2 months ago.  I think queens are still available somewhere if I look hard enough.  She does not have another hive around.  If I did do a combine, what would be odds of them possibly calming down??
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psbeekeeper
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« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2011, 08:20:25 PM »

How many boxes were there to start?  Deeps or mediums? 

Weather has been wet and cool so not really the best time to look in the hive, but I know I have to look at mine when time suits (I looked in on 2 of mine tonight just before dark, but they were not too bad).   Many of my hives have shut down brood production in the last few weeks, so most brood has hatched and you would not see much if any brood.  It is a little late to find a queen and get her introduced.  If they seem to have enough honey, I would button them up for winter and check them in early spring.
Jim
I believe it's a deep then a medium and then another deep, so a total of 3.  I agree with the "whole best time to check hives."  It was sunny and not freezing out (plus they were flying as well).  I agree with buttoning them up and wait till spring.  We've actually been feeding syrup and pollen patties right now (actually since the beginning of September). 
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BlueBee
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« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2011, 09:33:40 PM »

This hive sounds like a nightmare.  No wonder they wanted YOU to check it out!

I don’t think I would risk $20 ($30 with shipping) on a new queen at this late hour.  Winter is coming your way SOON.  If the hive doesn’t have enough winter bees already, you’re too late. 

You might have a queen in hive that has stopped laying.  If so you wasted $30 sticking a new queen in.

If you have laying workers, you’ve wasted $30 if you buy a new queen. 

If the hive is honey bound, there is no place for a queen to lay.

If the hive is only 1 deep of bees, what are the odds of a 1 deep surviving a PA winter?

If the hives succumbs to the cold, you’re out $30 now and $80 more in the spring for a new package.

I would save my money and hope for the best.  You may have a queen in there.

I wonder if there are any derivatives (options) offered on bees
grin 
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rdy-b
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« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2011, 12:16:25 AM »

  sounds like the hive is out of your comfort zone as far as skill level goes
 sounds like the hive was getting torn up by your inspection-breaking ears off of
 frames is not a good sign ether-it has lots of honey my bet is it will be fine
if left alone intill someone that can work the hive can assist-by the way was
 this just a routine inspection for this hive- or did the owner feel that something
was wrong Huh
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kathyp
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« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2011, 12:26:50 AM »

Quote
wonder if there are any derivatives (options) offered on bees


probably not, but we could do a vegas thing....
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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
kathyp
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Location: boring, oregon


« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2011, 12:28:03 AM »

one other thing.  don't feed pollen patties at this time of the year.  they are only for brood rearing and there should have been plenty of natural pollen for that.  waste of money now and an invitation to critters.
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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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