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Author Topic: Recent inspection  (Read 356 times)
crane
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« on: January 20, 2014, 12:14:20 AM »

This year will be my third year as a beekeeper. I lost one hive last summer leaving me one hive. Went into the winter and the hive was strong. It is one deep and one medium for a brood area. I have two med supers on top of those. The supers were about half to 3/4 full and I left them on the hive to feed overwinter.
 
 Today was calm and temp was 75* so I did a check. Looks like I have about two frames in the lower med. that is all drone brood. NO capped worker brood at all. The drone cells look kinda old like they may be last years, I am not sure. There were a few Larvae in some of the cells that were not capped yet. I suspect that it may still be a bit early for capped brood but I didn't see any eggs either. I also never saw the queen. This would be her third year and I planned on replacing her with a new queen as soon as she comes in from Bee Weaver.
 
 The bees never touched the honey I left in the top super so I think I will take that off in a few days if the weather holds. Numbers are good in the hive, but I may have to get a pair of Schawee's magic glasses to help me find the queen. javascript:void(0);

BTW ALL empty comb in the bottom deep. Do you folks reckon the new queen will move down into the lower deep and fill it with brood? I am really confused if my queen is still alive (and she seems to be because of the uncapped larvae) why she wouldn't move into the lower deep?

Also another reason I couldn't find the queen it that while I was looking for her I seemed to be getting into a robbing situation from a nearby hive. Lots of bees fighting and wrestling. They showed up QUICK so the hive must be nearby. I had to hurry and close up so I wasn't able to check about 3 of the frames.

Any Ideas?
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Steel Tiger
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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2014, 03:42:56 AM »


BTW ALL empty comb in the bottom deep. Do you folks reckon the new queen will move down into the lower deep and fill it with brood? I am really confused if my queen is still alive (and she seems to be because of the uncapped larvae) why she wouldn't move into the lower deep?

 Bees build up. Swap the bottom deep with the medium.
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T Beek
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2014, 06:18:23 AM »

Bees build comb TOP to BOTTOM, they feed BOTTOM to TOP. 

As a standard practice in Spring (bottom hive bodies are 'usually' void of bees as they move up to feed) I remove those empty hive bodies upon the first inspection.  Depending on the strength and size of the colony AND the amount of remaining stores, I'll either leave it off until bees build up or will place it 'above' the broodnest, if queen is actively laying.  This should never be done 'if' there is more winter ahead as it can effectively separate bees from any feed (sugar or honey) that is above.

Your description of mostly 'drone brood' indicates queen failure and/or possible laying worker IMO…..
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2014, 11:13:37 AM »

Bees build comb TOP to BOTTOM, they feed BOTTOM to TOP. 

As a standard practice in Spring (bottom hive bodies are 'usually' void of bees as they move up to feed) I remove those empty hive bodies upon the first inspection.  Depending on the strength and size of the colony AND the amount of remaining stores, I'll either leave it off until bees build up or will place it 'above' the broodnest, if queen is actively laying.  This should never be done 'if' there is more winter ahead as it can effectively separate bees from any feed (sugar or honey) that is above.

Your description of mostly 'drone brood' indicates queen failure and/or possible laying worker IMO…..

Especially this early. I would not expect Drones in a hive with no workers unless you lost the queen or the queen is new and never mated due to winter.
Were the Drones in worker cells?
Jim
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crane
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« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2014, 01:23:18 PM »

Jim
I really can't say much about the size of the capped cells. That was about the time that I noticed all the fighting and wrestling. I surmised they were drone cells due to the bullet shape of the cappings. Now that you mention it though they might have been a little small.
 
 I have on order from Weaver a package to replace the hive I lost last summer and an extra queen to replace the one that is currently in the live hive. I had planned on doing that anyway. They are supposed to arrive middle March or early April. I hope my girls make it that long or I just missed the queen and she will start the spring build-up. As I said earlier, the numbers are really good in this hive. No sign of beetles or mites that I could see.

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GSF
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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2014, 06:01:31 AM »

I went in my hive a couple of days ago to double check the stores more thoroughly. I found several drone cells. However there were brood as well. My hive is two 8f deeps and one medium. It was wall to wall bees. I wonder if they expect an early spring.
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T Beek
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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2014, 06:10:52 AM »

It appears your season has begun!  The first appearance of drones or their cells is a good indicator that your bees are getting ready for Spring and Summer.  Hopefully there is also worker cells being filled.  If its 'all' drones get yourself a new queen asap.  Don't wait.
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