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Author Topic: Problems or Paranoid Newbie???  (Read 1136 times)
Moots
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« on: February 19, 2013, 11:49:25 AM »

Recap...I'm a little more than 5 weeks in with my first two Nucs, I moved them from their Nuc boxes to their hive boxes with internal feeders about a week and a half ago and removed the open feeder.  Since that time, I've been a little concerned about my second hive, Bravo.  While Alpha hive is taking the Sugar Syrup extremely well, probably 4 or 5 quarts since the move to the internal feeder, Bravo hive has basically not touched theirs.  Maybe an inch or two accumulated drop in a quart jar total.  I've swapped jars, checked for clogged holes, etc. etc. etc. It's the bees, not the feeder, they're just not drinking it.

Other than that, I would say all things have appeared to be normal bee activity for the most part, with a couple of exceptions.  Bravo used to be noticeably stronger than Alpha, more bees and more bee traffic outside the hive, but now it seems to have swapped.

Other recent observations:  Sunday, Alpha was extremely busy with bees coming in, loaded with pollen.  While Bravo was active, but to a lesser degree, I didn't notice any pollen actually coming in. 
Yesterday, around Bravo, I found a crawling bee, which seemed unable to fly.  I've read about crawlers and Varroa and deformed wings.  However, this bee looked perfectly normal as best I could tell.  Is this a sign of a problem, or normal? I want to say I've seen maybe a hand full of these over the last several days.  While near the ground behind Bravo looking at this bee, I noticed maybe 8 to 10 dead bees in the dirt.  Again, Normal? or a problem?
I also watched a wasp enter the hive unopposed....although it was run out about 30 seconds to a minute later. Normal or not?

Being torn between curiosity that something might be going on and unfavorable weather conditions for opening a hive (Mid 60's, cloudy and threatening rain)...I decided to take a quick peek yesterday.  I didn't want to pull any frames or keep it open any longer than time for a quick look, there seemed to be plenty of bees in between the frames with nothing jumping out as a glaring problem.

If y'all will remember correctly, a couple weeks ago I was all worried about Alpha because of some pupae outside the hive.  Looks like that was all normal and they are booming now...

This bee thing is almost like parenting, I spend so much time worrying about the girls!  Smiley

Thoughts on my current situation with Bravo?
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2013, 12:09:46 PM »

Moots,
Sounds like you are in good shape. When bees don't take the sugar water, it is either gone bad or they have found good pastures.
One good thing is that you are spending enough time to learn what the live looks like when it is normal. Alpha hive may have gotten a bit lazy and used to the freebees.
Not abnormal to find dead bees around hive especially with the cold snaps we have been having. Try to stay out of the hives when the sun isn't shining. If you can see some blue sky and it isn't threatening to rain, it is OK but not the last half hour of the day especially with the cool temps we are having. That is experience speaking, the hard type.
One or 2 bees unable to fly, I would not worry about. My second hive had about 30 on the ground for about a week and recovered. Probably a mid gut virus.
Have fun.
Jim
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Vance G
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2013, 12:20:40 PM »

You might go into the colony not collecting a lot ofpollen and verify that the queen is laying eggs.  You don't need to actually find her to know she is there.
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iddee
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2013, 07:57:54 PM »

What Vance said, ASAP.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Moots
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« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2013, 08:21:56 PM »

Thanks everyone for the input....Needless to say, I hope sawdstmakr is right, but fear that Vance or iddee may be!  Smiley

Here's my problem...My 10 day forecast is looking like we won't see the sun for another week. On the days with decent temps, it's almost sure to be raining.

Saturday may be a decent opportunity, 71° with only a 30% chance of rain...do I wait till then?  Or, do I squeeze it in before then?
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
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bailey
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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2013, 08:43:38 PM »

I checked the new nucs about an hour before dark today.  If your going to not stay in and look at every frame too long go in the next time you see them flying and coming back with pollen. 
If either hive is flying go in and peek.  You will feel better then.
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most often i find my greatest source of stress to be OPS  ( other peoples stupidity )

It is better to keep ones mouth shut and be thought of as a fool than to open ones mouth and in so doing remove all doubt.
iddee
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2013, 08:54:58 PM »

Do it asap, but unless you can find a replacement queen, there's not much you can do if you find them queenless, so Sat. may be fine.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*
Georgia Boy
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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2013, 09:07:20 PM »

Just wanted to say hope everything is all right.  Haven't gotten my bees yet so I am ridding your coat tails and learning with you.

Thanks
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Moots
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« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2013, 09:16:35 PM »

OK...
Thinking out loud here....

Problem #1 - Regardless of when I go in...understand I may not know what I'm looking at....Or at least, won't be confident that I know what I'm looking at, even though I may have an idea.

Thinking optimistically, let's say I see covered brood and maybe some larva...I'm terrible at spotting eggs so I don't want to put too much stock in not seeing them....I'm thinking I would assume I have a queen and get the heck out.

On the other hand, if I see little or no larva, I guess I assume I'm queen-less.  So, what's my options?  What about stealing a frame of brood from Alpha hive?..."Hopefully" with some new eggs!  If that's a bad idea, I guess my other option may be to merge the two hives??? Don't think I'll be able to locate a queen....so any other options?

The biggest problem is if I go in look around and I'm really not sure which of the two scenario's I'm dealing with....then what? do nothing? do something? Thoughts?

One other option, depending when the opportunity presents itself, I may be able to recruit a local beek to take a look and see what they think...I'm just thinking that will be tough to line up with my work and the questionable weather, but it may be my best option if I can pull it off.
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
                                                                                                                   - Ronald Reagan
bailey
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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2013, 09:24:05 PM »

If you look and find cells with only a white shiny liquid or ones with liquid and larvae then your good. 
Unless you rolled the queen your over worrying.   One of those nucs had a lot of honey in it.  They won't need to be as active. 
The fresh drawn frames will be easiest to find what your looking for
Bailey
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most often i find my greatest source of stress to be OPS  ( other peoples stupidity )

It is better to keep ones mouth shut and be thought of as a fool than to open ones mouth and in so doing remove all doubt.
Moots
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« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2013, 09:33:01 PM »

If you look and find cells with only a white shiny liquid or ones with liquid and larvae then your good. 
Unless you rolled the queen your over worrying.   One of those nucs had a lot of honey in it.  They won't need to be as active. 
The fresh drawn frames will be easiest to find what your looking for
Bailey

Bailey,
I'm thinking you're right...I cycle between thinking everything is fine and thinking I have a problem about every 15 minutes. LOL! 
This hive is the one that was the stronger of the two....the one we transferred over first at your house when I picked them up.  So what you are saying would make sense.

That's why I'm thinking unless a decent opportunity presents itself to take a better look, I may just wait.  I don't mind my worrying bothering me and a few folks on the forum, I just don't want to turn it into stressing my bees unnecessarily. 

I can deal with not looking....Unless I really should be looking....If that makes sense!  huh
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
                                                                                                                   - Ronald Reagan
schawee
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« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2013, 09:46:35 PM »

moots, I will be in Sorrento tomorrow for most of the day.if you like I can swing by and we can take a look.
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10framer
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« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2013, 09:48:39 PM »

i took a quick run through my hives yesterday and half of them have a good bit of fresh nectar and the other half didn't have any.  my strongest hive is my least active hive and it has the most stores from last season.    
i'm with bailey, i think you're getting worked up over what will most likely turn out to be nothing more than the difference between the two hives.  each colony has a "personality" of it's own.  
if you take a frame of eggs from the other hive they will be able to raise a queen.  that only helps if you have mature drones and from some of the previous posts from your area i'm pretty certain you do.  
relax, and take a look saturday.  remember to start with outside frames that way you are less likely to roll the queen.
  
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Moots
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« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2013, 09:58:12 PM »

moots, I will be in Sorrento tomorrow for most of the day.if you like I can swing by and we can take a look.

Schawee,
That would be awesome!  I'll shoot you a PM!

Thanks,
 Smiley
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
                                                                                                                   - Ronald Reagan
Moots
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« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2013, 10:03:23 PM »

i took a quick run through my hives yesterday and half of them have a good bit of fresh nectar and the other half didn't have any.  my strongest hive is my least active hive and it has the most stores from last season.    
i'm with bailey, i think you're getting worked up over what will most likely turn out to be nothing more than the difference between the two hives.  each colony has a "personality" of it's own.  
if you take a frame of eggs from the other hive they will be able to raise a queen.  that only helps if you have mature drones and from some of the previous posts from your area i'm pretty certain you do.  
relax, and take a look saturday.  remember to start with outside frames that way you are less likely to roll the queen.
  

10framer,
Thanks for the input...I'm thinking y'all are right.  I'm confident about little in beekeeping this early in.  However, I'm Pretty Darn confident that I did not roll the queen...if nothing else, I'm careful!  I've done very little evasive work in that hive and when I moved them from the Nucs I was super cautious. 

Even before this, I'd already learned what you are saying about each hive having a personality.  That's one of the first things I learned from observing, they are very different in their behavior.
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
                                                                                                                   - Ronald Reagan
gov1623
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« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2013, 08:48:01 AM »

With this crazy weather we are having lately my bees are acting different from day to day. One day they bringing in tons of pollen and the next day nothing. As long as your hive has some honey, pollen and eggs it should be good to go. As soon as we get a good stretch of weather they should start taking off. I work in Reserve so if you ever need some help give me a shout.   
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Moots
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« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2013, 09:01:48 AM »

With this crazy weather we are having lately my bees are acting different from day to day. One day they bringing in tons of pollen and the next day nothing. As long as your hive has some honey, pollen and eggs it should be good to go. As soon as we get a good stretch of weather they should start taking off. I work in Reserve so if you ever need some help give me a shout.   

Thanks gov...appreciate the input and the offer, I'll certainly keep it in mind.  Smiley
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
                                                                                                                   - Ronald Reagan
bailey
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« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2013, 10:40:37 AM »

Moot.   Breathe.   
If you didn't roll the queen they are fine.   
You saw her going into your nuc.   
She will do fine. 
Let Shawnee take a look today he will show ya what your looking for. 
I'm going to ask Shawee to bring you a drawn comb.   That nuc might be a bit full of honey.   
A drawn comb will start em up!
Bailey. 
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most often i find my greatest source of stress to be OPS  ( other peoples stupidity )

It is better to keep ones mouth shut and be thought of as a fool than to open ones mouth and in so doing remove all doubt.
Moots
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« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2013, 11:03:23 AM »

Moot.   Breathe.   
If you didn't roll the queen they are fine.   
You saw her going into your nuc.   
She will do fine. 
Let Shawnee take a look today he will show ya what your looking for. 
I'm going to ask Shawee to bring you a drawn comb.   That nuc might be a bit full of honey.   
A drawn comb will start em up!
Bailey. 

Bailey, Thanks...Much appreciated!
Really, I'm fine...just wanting to understand the gals! LOL!  Smiley

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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
                                                                                                                   - Ronald Reagan
Georgia Boy
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« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2013, 12:23:23 PM »

Moots,
You're a guy, they are women. Need I say more?
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"Give it All You've Got"
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