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Author Topic: Did I super too soon?  (Read 735 times)
The Green Man
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Location: Yarra Valley


« on: January 04, 2014, 03:51:38 AM »

Hi folks,

newbee beek here looking for some advice.

I got my first hive in Feb last year, expanded it with one super before winter, all was well.  I added a super (full depth) in October to my single, crowded hive...the one super over the brood box was chockers and I was concerned about swarming.  They went on to draw it out nicely and proceed to fill with honey, but then we had a cold snap, and the next time I had the opportunity to have a look I found brood in the the top(new) box.  I left it there in the hope the warming weather would see the queen move lower in the hive. 
A few weeks later (weather warming to the 20-30's) there was still brood up top so I did a little shuffle with the second box to try to keep the brood down lower.  I also noticed during this inspection that the hive seemed to have stalled a little...no new honey stores, erratic brood pattern, little evidence of new brood. 
Latest inspection reveals much the same thing, this time though I went all the way to the bottom box and found it mostly empty apart from a bunch of pollen stores.
I have only ever seen the queen once, mid spring.  I wonder if I dropped her in the grass?  No evidence of swarming (eg swarm cells), there still seem to be stacks of bees in there, on the brood frames at least.  Laying worker?  Plenty of drone brood but what looks like worker brood too...will check next inspection that it has live brood in it.
So what do you guys think?
Should I condense the hive back down?
Goes without saying a thorough search for the queen is in order otherwise...requeen?
Feed them?  Honey stores seem low in the hive with only about two fully filled frames and very little on the brood frames.  Has been a wet spring here.
Anyone around the Yarra Valley area care to drop in and take a peek?  Tell me what I may have done/doing wrong?

Anyway...thanks in advance for any advice...would hate my intro into this great hobby to end in a disaster!

Brodie.
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yantabulla
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Location: Coffs Harbour Australia


« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2014, 07:19:39 PM »

Brodie,

Very hard to say from your description.

Can you identify the different types of brood disease?

You need to find a person to mentor you, join a beekeeping club or do a course.

Good luck with your bees,

Yantabulla.

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All setbacks are temporary
The Green Man
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Location: Yarra Valley


« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2014, 06:23:17 AM »

cheers for that...will sus that out.  Smiley
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Spyk
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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2014, 07:58:12 AM »

Brodie,

I'd be interested in what eventuates with this. If you reach any conclusions - please update the thread.

All the best in the meantime,

cheers
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Oak
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Location: Bayswater, Victoria, Australia


« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2014, 04:34:24 PM »

Hi Brodie,

I was in a similar situation with a hive that swarmed. It was taking too long for a new queen to lay so it wasn't clear if a queen was present.

I added a frame with eggs on it from my strong hive into the middle of the broodnest:

http://www.bushfarms.com/beespanacea.htm

Worth try if you have a second hive.

Regards
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The Green Man
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« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2014, 05:47:25 PM »

Nah, dont have a second hive...although I thought of that too...hoping they might make a new queen if mine was lost.

They may have swarmed and I missed it I suppose, just didn't see any cells to indicate they did...do they recycle the wax?  Honey stores are low but I thought that was from drawing out the top super.  Seems the weather has been working against me and between work, rain and wind I have barely been in the hive this season.  There is about 30 acres of clover flowering here on the farm but I think I'll throw some syrup at them anyway...see how hungry they are.  Cant hurt...try and get them back to full strength.  All the literature tells me the wont eat it if they dont need it.

Will let you know how it goes next chance I get to inspect.

cheers.

Smiley
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Oak
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« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2014, 07:22:12 PM »

Hi Brodie,

I am a complete novice so I hope an experienced beekeeper can confirm if this is the right approach. If I were you I would be installing a new bought queen after killing or confirming the original queen is absent. If there are no queen cells I would not expect the colony to requeen itself without intervention.

Everyone seems to recommend keeping two hives which is something to consider.

Oak

« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 07:50:20 PM by Oak » Logged
rawfind
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« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2014, 11:06:11 PM »

Hi folks,

newbee beek here looking for some advice.

I got my first hive in Feb last year, I found brood in the the top(new) box. 
A few weeks later (weather warming to the 20-30's) there was still brood up top so I did a little shuffle with the second box to try to keep the brood down lower. 

I personally wouldnt worry if they make some brood up top, some people like to use an excluder to keep the queen in the bottom box, there is plenty of discussion on this either way.

 I also noticed during this inspection that the hive seemed to have stalled a little...no new honey stores, erratic brood pattern, little evidence of new brood. 
Latest inspection reveals much the same thing,

If the pattern is really erratic and its not going from strength to strength then i would really consider a new queen, make sure there is no queen in there first!  The other no fuss option is to (making sure no queen) untite them with another hive and make a bigger more productive one.


 
Feed them?  Honey stores seem low in the hive with only about two fully filled frames and very little on the brood frames. 
 
2 frames filled is not bad  the season is not over yet, there may just be a short pause in things there before another flow is coming, you said they had plenty of clover? if so dont worry they love that stuff, im not a complete expert but have been going several years now, these are my opinions and there may be others that disagree, good luck re Neil


 
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bunyip
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Location: Woori Yallock


« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2014, 02:46:54 AM »

Hi Brodie 
I had the same trouble  and found out my hive had schwarmed, it was allmost four weeks later untill i had the new brood in the hive.
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The Green Man
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Location: Yarra Valley


« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2014, 06:40:38 AM »

Thanks everyone.  Some good thoughts there.  Looking forward to clear weather so I can get in there again and take a peek.
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