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Author Topic: Am I in trouble?  (Read 933 times)
evolved
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« on: May 29, 2013, 11:24:27 PM »

Brand new beekeeper here.  Will try to get to the point quickly.

Picked up my bees may 12th.  Queen was in separate cage outside the package bees.  Got home, released bees into top bar hive, and hung the queen between 2 of the top bars.  Checked 3 days later, and the queen was almost out.  I guess I read somewhere to help her if she wasn't out on day 3.  So I did.  She flew out of the cage and out into the yard.  I came inside for a few minutes and when I went back out, she was in the hive surrounded by bees.  I'd say 6-8.  I couldn't tell if it was aggressive behavior or not.  I had to go at that point so I closed it back up and went to town.  When I came back(six hours later), I checked again and saw her again surrounded by about 6 or so bees.  I have checked several times since then but have been unable to see the queen.  The population seems down, but happily working.  I am feeding sugar water and they are going through it quickly.  New comb is built every time I look.

I do see some cells with eggs in the them, but a lot of cells have more than one egg.  Also, there appears to be 2 queen cells being built.  I have looked and looked for a visual of the queen, but I just have been able to

Please ask any questions that may help in your diagnosis.  I won't be able to answer them until I get home after work, but I will be checking this thread as soon as I can.

Thanks in advance!
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JWChesnut
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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2013, 11:48:52 PM »

I don't know if you are in trouble or not.  However, I know for certain, You disturbed the hive too frequently in the critical early days.  The queen was in the hive surround by attendants.  The very next event you need to be concerned with (in my opinion) is: Do I need to add room (in a TBH moving the follower).  That is weeks in the future.  All Newbies:  PLEASE stop disturbing the hives.  You are not adding any service to the bee society by nosing about in their colony.
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evolved
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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2013, 07:57:41 AM »

I felt like I was in it too much as well.  I looked around online before I opened it again and ran into some mixed opinions on that.  Some say a week at first, others said as much as you need to.  I was hoping to just open it once, see what I thought I was supposed to see, and come back in a couple of weeks. 
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2013, 08:04:59 AM »

It is unusual that you could spot the queen after she came back.  Usually she is in the middle of the cluster of bees and can't easily be found...
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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HomeSteadDreamer
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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2013, 08:06:11 AM »

Queen cells if laid in and if the bees want a new queen are capped around day 8 and don't hatch out for another 8 days.  So stay out of there for another week.  Then go in a see if the queen cell is actually capped.  Check for your queen. check for open larva, check for eggs.  At that point you'll have the choice of cutting out the queen cell or letting them supercede.  However, you may find that have not capped that cell.  Just because a queen cell is built doesn't mean it is laid in or capped.


Hopefully the wiser people will jump in and help you as I'm still new but I think your best bet is to let them settle in a little.

  * I too am also guilty of looking too often.  That is why I have a hive with windows*
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kathyp
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2013, 09:07:40 AM »

evolved, can you pop into your profile and put your location? 

one of the reasons you might have seen multiple eggs in cells is that your queen is very newly mated.  they kind of misfire sometimes.  it's to early to worry about laying workers, so if that's what you were thinking, i'd not worry about it.

i know it's hard to stay out of the hive and you keep thinking of things you should have done, might have done, etc.  smiley  give them a little time before you go back.

when you do, see if you can take picture of your frames.  you especially want pictures down into the cells.  you'll be able to see all that you missed and stuff you didn't even know you looked at, and you won't have to go back into the hive for a "fix".

i am not quite in JW's camp about staying out of the hive.  you need to learn and getting in there is how you do it..  you just can't do it so often.  you will sacrifice some productivity by messing with them but....
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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.....

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Arkwood
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« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2013, 09:51:05 AM »

I think every new B Keeper has that itch when they first get their B's. If new keepers didn't want to go look all the time I'd wonder why not. (I know why not, I'm just saying that we want too, we want to learn and see what is going on).

If you have several hives you can rotate them so you enter them on different weeks. This way one week you're in hive A and next week you're in Hive B and the 3rd week you're in Hive C... Back to Hive A depending...


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Stevezone5
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« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2013, 05:02:23 PM »

I think every new B Keeper has that itch when they first get their B's. If new keepers didn't want to go look all the time I'd wonder why not. (I know why not, I'm just saying that we want too, we want to learn and see what is going on).

If you have several hives you can rotate them so you enter them on different weeks. This way one week you're in hive A and next week you're in Hive B and the 3rd week you're in Hive C... Back to Hive A depending...

This is what I'm trying to do...... It's not easy to leave the lids on. We have 5 hives but one needs more attn than the rest. Of course I watch all of them at the entrance each time I visit the yards.

Steve



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evolved
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« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2013, 08:16:18 PM »

Updated location.

Yes, I was concerned about laying workers.  If I shouldn't be worrying about that, then I guess the queen has been laying those eggs!  I sure hope so. 

Sure seems like the population has dwindled.  Which is expected, but I didn't think it would get that thin that quickly.  Not seeing any dead bees in or around the hive either.  I think the ants have been carrying out the trash once they hit the ground but I also can't help but think some of them may have left either.
 
Sure hope I'm worrying for nothing.
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evolved
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« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2013, 11:17:07 PM »

Ok, so I have reduced how much I've been checking on them. 

I went out today to take a look, and to me, I feel like things aren't going well.  However, I wouldn't know really, hence why I'm bugging you guys.  tongue  I checked a couple of weeks ago and saw a queen cell.  It was capped.  Today, the cell was gone.  I did not stay in the hive long enough to verify a new queen was present.

I did see more eggs(still more than 1 per cell), larvae, and some bees emerging from their cells.

It seemed like I saw a lot more drones than ever before. 

Population seems to be around the same.  Maybe less, but not more.

Very little progress on comb building.

Thanks for the help in advance.
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blanc
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« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2013, 08:46:38 AM »

I think that you believe the numbers are down and is only that the foragers are out the hive getting grub. Smiley It was a package and it is not like you had a great number to start off so bee patient. My top bar hives took off after about three weeks and have never stopped and I probably started with a swarm maybe pound and a half bees. I let them alone for most part as long as they had activity in and out the hive. Happy bee keeping  Wink
Blanc
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sc-bee
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« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2013, 09:21:32 AM »

If they indeed replaced the queen and you saw a queen cell on May 29..... well 15-16 days to emerge from start, two weeks to mate and lay, around what seven weeks from start to finish to have bees in hive from emerged queen. May 29th cell already started- 6-21 today- 23 days since spoting the cell. About right on time for a new queen.

If you are still seeing multiple eggs it could be from the new (supercedure) queen the hive raised. As Kathy said new queens sometimes misfire and need a learning period. Do you have any capped brood, Is it worker or drone brood. That should help answer your question. But sounds like a new queen. Ain't it fun  grin Hang in there!
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John 3:16
evolved
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« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2013, 09:49:25 PM »

If they indeed replaced the queen and you saw a queen cell on May 29..... well 15-16 days to emerge from start, two weeks to mate and lay, around what seven weeks from start to finish to have bees in hive from emerged queen. May 29th cell already started- 6-21 today- 23 days since spoting the cell. About right on time for a new queen.

If you are still seeing multiple eggs it could be from the new (supercedure) queen the hive raised. As Kathy said new queens sometimes misfire and need a learning period. Do you have any capped brood, Is it worker or drone brood. That should help answer your question. But sounds like a new queen. Ain't it fun  grin Hang in there!


There are capped brood it seems but very random and spotty.  I didn't know you could tell the difference between worker and drone brood, but I'll do some research on that.

Are the bees smart enough to know that IF there were only laying workers, there is no point to build a queen cell?  I had assumed that they built the cell, and if there was an egg in there they would attempt to make it a queen regardless if it could ever become a queen. 

I would say it has been fun, but I worry too much.  Undecided
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sc-bee
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« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2013, 12:18:28 AM »

 Drone brood vs worker: Check out the image on this blog. You can compare the two side by side. When giving talks to kids I often refer to drone brood as resembling kix ceral  grin

http://eatonlandshythe.blogspot.com/2011/04/first-drone-brood.html

And another:
http://beeinformed.org/2011/05/laying-worker-2/drone-brood-from-laying-worker-2/
« Last Edit: June 22, 2013, 12:55:38 AM by sc-bee » Logged

John 3:16
evolved
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« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2013, 10:25:09 PM »

Drone brood vs worker: Check out the image on this blog. You can compare the two side by side. When giving talks to kids I often refer to drone brood as resembling kix ceral  grin



And another:
[url=betterlucknextime.chom/



They all look like drone brood. Sad

I talked to a lady today who took her bees and dumped them all the ground.  She said the laying workers would be unable to fly back to the hive.  She then installed another queen.  It worked for hers but I wonder what the success rate is.

It might be the only option for me since I don't know anyone willing to give me frames of brood til this issues resolves itself.
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