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Author Topic: Obs Hive Populated! Some Questions  (Read 3160 times)
johnauck
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« on: January 13, 2013, 03:48:11 AM »

I am really happy today, finally completed and installed bees in my observations hive. I've been working on it on and off since around May 2012, and waiting for late Spring/Summer to get some bees into it. Today, I screwed on the feeder and did the plumbing. The pipe is a 32mm clear poly pipe about 1metre long. The couplings are 25mm. Is 25mm going to be ok?


I transferred 1 frame of brood with mainly larvae and eggs and a frame of pollen and honey. The top frame is foundation. I made sure the queen was not transferred so we can watch the bees raise a new queen. Is one frame of young brood enough?

Should I feed pollen also? I was thinking of getting some bee food supplement from Bobs, would this be good for them?

A handful of bees got squashed against the glass in a section of honey comb that had bulged out too far. Will be bees be able to clean up or should I intervene?

A lone European wasp got closed in also, we watched as the bees chased it down. I take it, the bees should be able to sort the wasp out?

I will connect the pipe up after dark. I think there would have been field bees on the honey frame? They should reorient in the morning, I think.





cheers

john

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squidink
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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2013, 06:38:30 AM »

That's fantastic John!
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AllenF
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« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2013, 01:46:10 PM »

Feed them if they have to make a queen.  They will figure everything else out. 
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2013, 08:06:10 AM »

If there is nectar and pollen available, I wouldn't feed them anything.  If there is not, and I had real pollen, I might feed them real pollen and would definitely feed them something if there is nothing coming in.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2013, 08:47:38 AM »

Looks nice John.  How do you keep the temperature stable in a permanent type obs hive?

I'd like one but they'd turn into little fried honey bees here.  (that's a thought..I wonder what they taste like..)

Lone
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rawfind
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« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2013, 01:10:19 PM »

Looks nice John.  How do you keep the temperature stable in a permanent type obs hive?

I'd like one but they'd turn into little fried honey bees here.  (that's a thought..I wonder what they taste like..)

Lone

looks to me like it lives indoors? well done looks impressive   Smiley
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johnauck
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2013, 05:00:04 PM »

Looks nice John.  How do you keep the temperature stable in a permanent type obs hive?

Yes they are inside, the window to the left is east facing so it should not get too warm with afternoon west sun.


Bit of an update. May not be working out so far.

The first 24 hours looked good, lots of activity and bees helping themselves to the syrup. I opened the pipe late at night. It wasn't until about 4pm the next day that we noticed bees moving up and down the pipe. Does it take them a little while to figure out the entrance? Anyway, not long after the bees were flying and the pipe was crowed with them coming and going. The bees were not taking syrup anymore. Perhaps all the flying was due to robber bees? I only noticed three dead  bees at the bottom of the hive, and none outside. Still plenty of honey in the frames. So I'm not sure what is going on.

After sunset I noticed the hive was missing about 1/2 of the bees. About 1/3 of the larvae now not covered in nurse bees. No bees in the pipe, no bees at the syrup.
Could bees have drifted back to the parent hive? Have not seen any queen cells being made yet.

This morning, about 8 o'clock, some bees venturing out, none interested in the syrup.

I am thinking I should put the brood frame back in the parent hive and replace it with another one covered in nurse bees. What do you think?

I would love to hear any ideas.




cheers

john
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prestonpaul
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2013, 09:26:47 PM »

Are you covering up the obs hive at all? Don't forget that bees prefer a dark nest. Perhaps cover the glass with a towel for a while to see if they accept it better.
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johnauck
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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2013, 11:46:37 PM »

Yes, I draped two dark green towels over each side.


john
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rawfind
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« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2013, 12:45:27 AM »

Looks nice John.  How do you keep the temperature stable in a permanent type obs hive?


Could bees have drifted back to the parent hive? Have not seen any queen cells being made yet.



I would love to hear any ideas.




cheers

john

im guessing that your parent hive is not a kilometer away from this one?   in my opinion its quite possible they have gone back if its closeby, you could try setting up a nuc at a different site then once  they have a new queen bring them to the obs hive and load them in.
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johnauck
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« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2013, 07:29:19 PM »

im guessing that your parent hive is not a kilometer away from this one?   in my opinion its quite possible they have gone back if its closeby, you could try setting up a nuc at a different site then once  they have a new queen bring them to the obs hive and load them in.

No, they are about 10m apart, I thought they might reorient themselves since I kept them sealed up for 24 hours, and the new location has a few obstructions. Oh well, I guess they are smarter than I am smiley

All is not lost, the remaining, nurse bees, have made 4 emergency queen cells. They are not starving, plenty of honey, and they have syrup too (although my syrup jar is not dripping out very well). I estimate that there would be about 1 thousand bees in there. Is that enough for critical mass? Or should I consider adding another frame of bees?

The cells are capped now, so any day now I hope to see an emerging queen. I have noticed that the bees seem to be always all over these queen cells, so that they are difficult to see. I tried to get a photo, but I gave up waiting for an opening smiley


cheers

john
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rawfind
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« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2013, 11:12:06 PM »

im guessing that your parent hive is not a kilometer away from this one?   in my opinion its quite possible they have gone back if its closeby, you could try setting up a nuc at a different site then once  they have a new queen bring them to the obs hive and load them in.

No, they are about 10m apart, I thought they might reorient themselves since I kept them sealed up for 24 hours, and the new location has a few obstructions. Oh well, I guess they are smarter than I am smiley



All is not lost, the remaining, nurse bees, have made 4 emergency queen cells. They are not starving, plenty of honey, and they have syrup too (although my syrup jar is not dripping out very well). I estimate that there would be about 1 thousand bees in there. Is that enough for critical mass? Or should I consider adding another frame of bees?

The cells are capped now, so any day now I hope to see an emerging queen. I have noticed that the bees seem to be always all over these queen cells, so that they are difficult to see. I tried to get a photo, but I gave up waiting for an opening smiley


cheers

john

I personally find that once they get down in numbers that there is a point where its all downhill, i guess so many percent are needed inside for the workings of the hive so less are able to go out and  forage, i rekon if there aint enough feild bees then its bad news.
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johnauck
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« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2013, 05:30:49 PM »


The observation hive is doing ok. A queen has hatched, and is now laying, this picture shows that the number of bees is still marginal. But I have observed quite a few field bees returning loaded with pollen. In the last day or two they have been busy capping larvae.



They have plenty of honey stores and I have been feeding them some pollen, but I don't think they need it now.

I think the colony will reach critical mass, albeit slowly.



cheers

john
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« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2013, 10:29:25 PM »

John,
Thanks for the update!  An observation hive is on my list of things I want to build and try.  Following your experiences will be quit helpful for when that time comes. 

Is your queen visible in the photo?  I took a quick look and didn't see her....then again, I  haven't acquired the nack of queen spotting as of yet.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2013, 09:28:16 AM »

>A handful of bees got squashed against the glass in a section of honey comb that had bulged out too far. Will be bees be able to clean up or should I intervene?

How is this part doing?  If the bees can't get to it to guard it it might get wax moths in it.

If you want to take it outside and work it you could put another frame of brood in with adhering bees.  If you don't want to take it outside, then shake a couple of frames of bees off of some brood and put them in a nuc box with a round hole for the exit and put that up against the tube that is the exit.  If you shake out the bees near dark, and then put them against the hose at dark and there are no combs in the box, they will smell the cluster and move into the hive.  Since they are from brood they will be young bees.

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Michael Bush
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johnauck
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« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2013, 07:27:48 PM »

John,
Thanks for the update!  An observation hive is on my list of things I want to build and try.  Following your experiences will be quit helpful for when that time comes. 

Is your queen visible in the photo?  I took a quick look and didn't see her....then again, I  haven't acquired the nack of queen spotting as of yet.

I don't think she was visible on the picture. She has been working the other side more lately. It is a little difficult to get a good photo, with reflections from the glass, and focusing. At first, when she was young, she was hard to spot as she was not very large.

Now she is easy to spot as long as she is not laying an egg. With her abdomen in the cell, and bees all around she looks just like the others.

As far as getting the nack for spotting queens, I did not see any queens in the first few years of beekeeping. Only when I started making up splits/nucs/swarms  was I able to spot a queen. These days I tend to spot her (sometimes) out of the corner of my eye when not really looking. I think watching how the queen moves and her behaviour helps train your mind so it sort of becomes subconcious, I guess smiley





cheers

john
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johnauck
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« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2013, 07:42:57 PM »

>A handful of bees got squashed against the glass in a section of honey comb that had bulged out too far. Will be bees be able to clean up or should I intervene?

How is this part doing?  If the bees can't get to it to guard it it might get wax moths in it.

If you want to take it outside and work it you could put another frame of brood in with adhering bees.  If you don't want to take it outside, then shake a couple of frames of bees off of some brood and put them in a nuc box with a round hole for the exit and put that up against the tube that is the exit.  If you shake out the bees near dark, and then put them against the hose at dark and there are no combs in the box, they will smell the cluster and move into the hive.  Since they are from brood they will be young bees.




The bees cleaned up the trapped bees in the first week. They must have trimmed the comb that was close to the glass also, there are a couple of tight spots now, but bees are moving freely.

I was going to do as you suggest and add another frame of brood and bees. I sealed them up one evening, and later that night the bees were _very_ agitated. And since there were queen cells almost ready to hatch, I thought I'd leave them alone a bit longer. it doesn't look like the colony is in decline, just not rapidly building up.

I like your suggestion to use a NUC box with a round entrance.  Luckily, the NUCS I've been making recently up should be well suited to this. I reckon I might be able to use some 19mm pipe that will fit inside the 25mm pipe at the window. I will check it out.




I expect the first round of bees to be hatching in about 7 days.




thanx


john
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ziffabeek
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« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2013, 11:58:12 AM »

Please keep us posted John!  Someday I really want to do this and I'm really enjoying your posts! 

Love,
ziffa
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Geoff
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« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2013, 03:45:57 PM »

   Welcome to the world Downunder Ziffa. How are the Mississippi bees doing ?
    Regards,
                  Geoff.
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« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2013, 09:45:58 PM »


Please keep us posted John!  Someday I really want to do this and I'm really enjoying your posts! 

Love,
ziffa


No worries Ziffa, one thing I forgot when I got the obs hive going was a notebook and pencil sitting beside it. So posting pictures and highlights is the next best thing.
If I was starting over, I would sketch the brood pattern each day, and make more notes. I think it would be instructive to 'see' how the brood pattern changes over a few generations.


I have pretty much left the bees in the observation hive to get on with it. And they are doing nicely. I have been sprinkling a little bit of pollen into the feeder which they take eventually. They have been bringing it lots of pollen anyway.

A few days ago, brood started hatching in the centre of frame one. The queen has already started back filling the vacant cells. She looks like she has run out of cells, she has been checking cells a lot before laying the odd egg on the edges.

Yesterday I noticed the Queen has started working frame two. In the photo she is on frame 2 with her entourage. I am pretty happy to see her moving up.






The population is increasing now. Not quite the same as before the field bees drifted back to the parent hive. But good to see.



I reckon there would have been less than 1000 bees when they were raising a new queen.





cheers

john
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