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Author Topic: Brand new, (very green), NY beekeeper!  (Read 1167 times)
rubeehaven2
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« on: May 29, 2012, 08:22:38 PM »

Hi everyone!

I just received 2 packages of bees and had a blast setting them up.  The first was a learning experience, (but I guess that's always true the first time with anything!) and the second went much more smoothly.  I was only stung once, and this was by the very first bee to come out of the package.  Is this usually how a new package of bees introduces themselves? 

Well I installed them on 5/24, and everything seems to be going smoothly, but I do have a question.  The 1st of 2, has very active bees.  They are in an 8 frame deep and are building comb like crazy.  I took the little queen cage out yesterday, (5/28) and saw a good amount of comb even on the outside frames!  They have been working diligently!  I see the little girls carrying pollen in by the truckload.

The second package, however is not progressing near as much.  This one is in a 10 frame deep, but there is much less activity than the 1st.  I may see 10 bees loaded with pollen in the 1st and only 1 or 2 go into the second in the same time frame.  When getting the packaged queen cage out of this one they had some comb built up on it, connected to the center frame.  So, I ended up putting a small hole, maybe 2 or so inches wide in the middle of the frame.  I assume they will easily repair the damage.  But, they had considerably less comb built as compared to the 1st.

Today, (5/30) while feeding the little tikes, I noticed (once again) much activity at the entrance to #1, with a small cluster constantly by the entrance, and very little happening with #2. (also, no cluster at entrance)
I'm using mason jars with small holes in the tops as feeders, on top of the ventilated inner cover. (Enclosed in an empty super and of course covered)  Anyhow, there seemed to be a very large number of bees in the feeding area.  Not feeding, just hanging out on the inner cover.  (nearly covering it)

Well, as you may have noticed, I'm quite the novice, albeit a happy one!  But, having the two packages to compare to one another raises questions I may otherwise not have thought to ask.  I'm beginning to wonder if the lessened activity could be a sign that some problem exists with the queen.  One day this coming weekend I may try to locate the queens, but I also don't want to disturb them any more than necessary, being in a new home and all!

Any advice is more than welcome!

Rich (r-u-beehaven-2)
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specialkayme
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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2012, 09:15:39 PM »

Welcome to the site!
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Danpunch
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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2012, 09:24:21 PM »

Welcome!
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Joe D
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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2012, 11:40:33 PM »


Welcome to the forum.  As for your question, I'm not quite sure, but I have caught some swarms this year, some are really go getters and a few aren't.  Maybe someone else can answer it better.  And maybe your 2nd hive will get it together better in a few days.  Good luck with your bees.

Joe
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AllenF
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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2012, 07:19:44 PM »

Welcome to the forum.
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tefer2
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2012, 10:32:26 PM »

Welcome to the forum Rich.
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annette
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« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2012, 05:28:57 PM »

The hives may progress differently and this is ok as long as both hives show signs of having a laying queen.

You should check both hives in about a week to look for signs the queen is laying. You do not have to find the queens. Just look for eggs (sometimes hard for newbees to find) and larva. She should be laying a good pattern filling the cells close together.  As long as the queen is laying and they are feeding, that should be ok for now.

Hope this helps

Annette

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rubeehaven2
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« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2012, 07:57:35 PM »

Thanks for the info!  They are certainly eating a lot.  I've gone through a 10 lb. bag of sugar this first week!  Mixing 1 part sugar to 2 parts water.  I believe the bees were in the upper chamber the other day due to extreme heat.  Another record high!  Both hives seem to be working hard.  I'll check for eggs this weekend (or next).  If I wait till the weekend of 6/9 it will give them a full 2 weeks with no pestering.  I guess it's easy to get over anxious!

Thanks, Rich
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Robo
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« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2012, 08:35:03 AM »

Hey Rich,

Talked to Sue on Sunday and she said your having a blast with your new bees.  As Annette stated,  as long as they both have a laying queen, I wouldn't be worried at this point.   No two hives act the same.   Some are fast build up and some are slow and steady.

Rob...

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"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


SerenaSYH
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« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2012, 12:18:36 AM »

Welcome to the forum! and ohhhh, I'm so very jealous! I get to hear about everyone's brand new first time! Congratulations!
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kaz052
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« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2012, 01:11:33 PM »

Welcome to the forum Rich!

I'm just south of Buffalo, NY and started last year with 3 hives. Installed the packages on 4/21/11. One queen was DOA but I received a replacement in a few days. I noticed queen cells in the other two on 6/12/11. When I first saw the queen cells, I was shocked and concerned but decided there really was nothing I could do and it was best to just let them requeen and see what happens. The outcome was great. We got 50lbs of honey last year, all three survived the winter, have bee split, and are doing great now.

This year I installed 5 new packages. Three on 4/10/12 and two on 4/22/12. They are all working at their own pace just like the three I installed last year. They hardly take any of the sugar water now just like the others did last year, so I'm going to just stop giving it to them. No signs of queen cells "yet".

Everything you've decribed is normal from what I've seen. Just watch them, take good notes, & have fun!  Smiley

Walt
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rubeehaven2
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« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2012, 01:48:12 PM »

Thanks for everyones imput.

Did my first inspection on Saturday!  The smoker was working very lightly.  But, I noticed an hour after I finished the inspections it was smoking profusely!  Guess I should get it going earlier next time!

But, everything is looking good!  Didn’t find the queen in the 8-frame, but there was a lot of brood comb, and lots of larvae.  I didn’t see the eggs, but I suppose, if there is larvae, there must be eggs!  Two of the frames didn’t have much built on them, but the other 6 were fairly full.  So, I added another deep super on top of it.

The other looked great too. (the 10-frame)  Saw lots of larvae again, and found the queen in this one!  Was very exciting to find!  This one had 4 or 5 mostly empty frames, so I just rearranged a bit and didn’t bother adding a second level yet. 

I noticed the bees will build on the frames nearest the opening first.  At least that is the way it appeared to me!  These girls have been working hard! 

Rich afro
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Robo
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« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2012, 09:57:01 AM »

Rich,

Glad to hear things are progressing along well.  Especially the fact that both queens are present and busy.   It is not uncommon to have difficulty seeing eggs in new light colored comb.   At this point, as long as you see brood, all is good.

rob....
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"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


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