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Author Topic: Hi all...I'm a newbee!  (Read 3410 times)
mizkidmas
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« on: April 30, 2006, 05:54:10 PM »

Hi everyone! I'm a second year, one hive beekeeper.I haven't much experience so I'll need lots of advice and hope to learn lots from reading the posts here.
thanks for having me!
Carolyn from Woodstock CT Cheesy
oops....got so into the introduction I forgot to ask my question.....
Last season I had chaulk brood in the colony. I added a slatted rack and got the bees through the season mainly by feeding them toward late summer as their stores were not that great.I had added a super and decided to leave it on for the winter.I opened the hive on Friday and found about 10 queen swarm cells on bottom of super and in between first and second hive body. I scraped them off. I also saw a supersedure cell in the middle of one of the frames in second body that was already open (looked fairly old to me, ...but not sure). I have eggs,larvae in different stages of growth, pollen and honey in usual pattern, but the egg laying is sporadic....some of the cells still have old chaulk brood. The workers are busy cleaning out cells and throwing the chaulk brood out. I took the super off (it has old medicated honey from last autumn's feeding) and left it outside hive hoping the bees would rob and clean out, then I could put excluder on and super back. I don't have another super yet, I just ordered one today. What should I do????help!
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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2006, 08:56:20 PM »

>Last season I had chaulk brood in the colony. I added a slatted rack and got the bees through the season mainly by feeding them toward late summer as their stores were not that great.I had added a super and decided to leave it on for the winter.I opened the hive on Friday and found about 10 queen swarm cells on bottom of super and in between first and second hive body. I scraped them off.

I never destroy swarm cells. It will not stop them from swarming.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesswarmcontrol.htm
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfallacies.htm

Were they capped?  Uncapped?  If they were capped it's likely they already swarmed and are now hopelessly queenless.

> I also saw a supersedure cell in the middle of one of the frames in second body that was already open (looked fairly old to me, ...but not sure).

If you had swarm cells on the bottom I'd call them all swarm cells if they ahve larvae in them.  I'd call it a queen cup if it doesn't.

> I have eggs,larvae in different stages of growth, pollen and honey in usual pattern, but the egg laying is sporadic....some of the cells still have old chaulk brood. The workers are busy cleaning out cells and throwing the chaulk brood out. I took the super off (it has old medicated honey from last autumn's feeding) and left it outside hive hoping the bees would rob and clean out, then I could put excluder on and super back. I don't have another super yet, I just ordered one today. What should I do????help!

For the chaulkbrood I'd try to move the hive to place with full sun all day.  Is there a SBB on it?  Do you have any ventilation at the top?  A notched inner cover? If the inner cover is notched I'd slide the top cover forward. If there is a SBB I'd open the tray half way.  If it's in the shade I'd put it in the sun.  I would requeen any hive that had more than just a little chalkbrood for just a short period unless I though ti was just that I needed to put them in the sun and give them ventilation. If that didn't clear it right up I would requeen.
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mizkidmas
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2006, 10:16:05 PM »

Thanks for your reply!
The swarm cells were accidently destroyed as they were stuck between hive bodies and when I removed them the cells opened up leaving halved cells with bodies laying on their sides. I have both capped and uncapped brood. Eggs (one in each cell) and plenty of honey and pollen.
SBB? Slatted bottom board? Is this what you mean? I have one on, also I have a pretty old inner cover that I have a replacement for. I will put that one on. The hive is in dappled sunlight...most of the sun is in the afternoon.
What should I do about the super I have on the outside of the hive? Let the bees rob it and put it back empty with a excluder? It has medicated honey in it from winter....unless you think the bees have used it all up already and I can safely put it back to use for honey collection.
thanks for your help
Carolyn Woodstock CT
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2006, 10:42:44 PM »

I've had that argument about queen cells many time Michael and I could not AGREE with you more. I find it interesting that we include swarm control in hive management - I think they are both exclusive and at some point we need to either use EARLY PREVENTION or LET THE BEES DO THEIR JOB in swarm management.

I guess better put, don't try to juggle too many balls at once, pay special attention for population problems NOT just when inspecting, but every time you pass the hive - visual checks are usually all you need in hotter weather and even a good sign early into Spring if warm days came early. Inspection into the hive is great, but it sure is a lot easier to observe outside entrance behaviours, etc..

I've watched many times swarm cells being built and deconstructed over the years and if I hadn't done some controllilng measure by then, it was generally too late. I think it almost always gets back to good ventilation and upward growth at the magical 75% to 80% population mark. After that, I think the bees are going to do what they choose.
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mizkidmas
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2006, 01:19:19 AM »

I guess I need more experience in observing. Thanks for your help.
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2006, 06:33:45 AM »

mizkidmas:

I hope you didn't take anything wrong about my reply - it was NOT AIMED at you or anyone. It was sort of a question to Michael, I'm not bee-expert, but I surely admire his knowledge. Sorry if any of that seemed aimed - We can go over SIGNS of SWARMING and there are lots of pops in the SEARCH feature about swarms too.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2006, 07:58:27 AM »

>The swarm cells were accidently destroyed as they were stuck between hive bodies and when I removed them the cells opened up leaving halved cells with bodies laying on their sides.

If the bodies are laying on their sides, they are drones, not queens.   Queens are NOT on their sides.

> I have both capped and uncapped brood. Eggs (one in each cell) and plenty of honey and pollen.

But were the QUEEN cells capped.  Sounds to me like the ones on the bottom were drones.  The one up in the middle might be a queen cell.  Does it hang down like and look a bit like a peanut?

>SBB? Slatted bottom board?

Screened Bottom Board.  A Slatted Rack is the one with the slats.

> Is this what you mean? I have one on, also I have a pretty old inner cover that I have a replacement for. I will put that one on. The hive is in dappled sunlight...most of the sun is in the afternoon.

I'd go for full sun because of the chalkbrood.

>What should I do about the super I have on the outside of the hive? Let the bees rob it and put it back empty with a excluder? It has medicated honey in it from winter....unless you think the bees have used it all up already and I can safely put it back to use for honey collection.

If you have a super you want cleaned up, I'd uncap it and put it above the inner cover.  (another use for an inner cover).

Michael
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mizkidmas
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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2006, 09:27:11 AM »

To Beemaster..No offense taken, truly I appreciate any and all info that I can get.
The cells I was looking at must have been drones like you said. The one queen cell I saw was peanut shaped and was hanging down from the middle of the frame (on the side where the bees chew the wax out of the foundation) and it had been opened (hatched).
What can I use to uncap or scratch the caps or with if I don't have an actual uncapper?
Thanks for being patient with me...I'm trying!
Carolyn
Woodstock CT
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2006, 01:28:03 PM »

Hey that's a good look for you.

You could just use a regular old fork to scratch a few frames with.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2006, 01:35:46 PM »

Or just scrape it lightly with a hive tool.  You don't have to remove every cap or all of every cap.  Just open it up somewhat.
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Michael Bush
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mizkidmas
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2006, 06:53:50 PM »

Cheesy great idea! I'll give it a whirl and let you know how I made out.
thanks a bunch.
to jerrymack: thanks! I figured what the heck! she's cute.The fork is a good idea too!
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Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know it so it goes on flying anyway.
mizkidmas
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« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2006, 09:44:52 AM »

I went to go scratch up some comb this morning and the weather is not cooperating. Cold and rainy (approx 42 deg.F) . The bees are still in the super I have leaning next to the hive, they are ok and clustering.Can they survive there ok without any contact with the queen?I probably won't be able to get to them for 2 days according to weather report.Should I be worried about them or will they be ok?
 cry
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2006, 01:32:59 PM »

>The bees are still in the super I have leaning next to the hive, they are ok and clustering.

How many?

>Can they survive there ok without any contact with the queen?

The queen is irelevant.  They will survive if they can stay warm.  They will die if they cannot.

>I probably won't be able to get to them for 2 days according to weather report.

Why?  It's nice to avoid messing with the bees when it's raining if you don't need to.  If you need to, then do it.

>Should I be worried about them or will they be ok?

If there are only a few you could just see what happens.  If there's a lot of them, maybe you should shake them into the hive.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
mizkidmas
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« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2006, 01:44:00 PM »

about 3 frames worth.  a more experienced bee friend of mine came over to take a look.  He took a few frames out and we saw larvae and eggs,so instead of just leaving it there we put it back on top of the hive. Talk about live and learn. I won't do that again until I check out things better. Anyway... When its nicer out, do you think I should switch the super to the bottom or second to the bottom?I need the super out of there somehow (obviously after the larvae are grown).
any ideas?
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Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know it so it goes on flying anyway.
Michael Bush
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« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2006, 03:46:38 PM »

>He took a few frames out and we saw larvae and eggs,so instead of just leaving it there we put it back on top of the hive.

They won't leave brood easily.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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