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Author Topic: New to beekeeping  (Read 1007 times)
maecooper
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« on: May 21, 2007, 07:08:03 PM »

I'm new to beekeeping in San Francisco.  I have also posted about this on the beekeeping yahoo group.

I installed a new package of bees on May 11.  All went well and I put a jar of sugar water inverted with holes in the lid above the inner cover in an empty hive body and put the cover on.

Four days later I opened the hive and the queen had been released.  I found her with no difficulty.  The workers were building comb and had filled some of it with the sugar water.

This past Saturday (just over a week since they were installed) I opened the hive again.  About four frames had been 80% drawn with comb.  I found only one egg by itself, mounted to the side of a cell toward the bottom of a frame.  The queen somehow came dislodged from the frame she was on and landed in the grass.  I coaxed her onto a leaf and dropped her back into the hive.

So here are my two questions:

first, should I be concerned that I have only found one egg so far or do I just need to be patient?

second, is there any reason the queen would not be ok after her excursion outside the hive?

Thanks for any information or advice you might have.

Michael
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Robo
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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2007, 08:36:33 PM »

So here are my two questions:

first, should I be concerned that I have only found one egg so far or do I just need to be patient?

second, is there any reason the queen would not be ok after her excursion outside the hive?

Thanks for any information or advice you might have.

Michael

1)  Eggs can be hard to see on newly drawn foundation.  Are you certain the one you did see was an egg?  One just seems odd,  and the fact that it was on the side of the cell and not the bottom usually indicates a laying worker,  but I wouldn't jump to that conclusion with just one egg.   I would give her some more time and see if  you see more eggs or larvae.  You could have been shipped a virgin queen and she may have taken a few days to mate also. 

2)  She should be fine.  I've had them fly away and have them come back.  I have also found one on the ground the day after an inspection and still be fine when put back in the hive.
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maecooper
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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2007, 11:56:25 AM »

Thank you for the information.  I'm going to check again tomorrow afternoon.

Michael
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Shizzell
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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2007, 12:52:58 PM »

Welcome to the wonderful world of solving beekeeping problems -may I make the proclamation that solving problems is half the fun?

maecooper, there are numerous things that could have happened. I think your hive is fine. Take a deep breath and let the hive do its thing, and then keep a good watch on it. If you have multiple eggs starting to pop up in one cell, you have laying workers. I doubt you do though, with the hive just being, well, hived.

Jake

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Robo
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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2007, 01:04:50 PM »

Multiple eggs in a cell is not a true indication of a laying worker in itself.  It is quite common for a virgin queen or a queen that has not laid in a while to start off with multiple eggs per cell.  Most of the time they will settle down if given some time.   A better indication of a laying worker is eggs stuck to the sides of cells vs. the bottom of the cell like a queen.
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Shizzell
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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2007, 01:10:13 PM »

However, virgin queens also lay on the side of the cell. Even experienced queens do that one time or another. Probably a good way to see if you have laying workers is if you have a full frame of drones. Ouch.

Jake
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2007, 02:28:43 PM »

Multiple eggs in a cell is not a true indication of a laying worker in itself.  It is quite common for a virgin queen or a queen that has not laid in a while to start off with multiple eggs per cell.  Most of the time they will settle down if given some time.   A better indication of a laying worker is eggs stuck to the sides of cells vs. the bottom of the cell like a queen.


I just saw this w/ a virgin queen. Posted about it some weeks back. The multiple eggs were placed at the very bottom of the cell and they were "organized" by the way they were attached to each other and the cell bottom. Very neat to see.
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maecooper
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« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2007, 03:38:23 PM »

Thanks Robo and Jake.

I'm going to give her a few more days and then check again to see if she has had a chance to settle in and start laying.  I won't start worrying unless the queen disappears completely.

Michael
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DavePaulson
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« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2007, 06:38:35 PM »

In new plastic foundation they are hard to see. I didn't see any on my two week inspection, I kinda freaked (the light and my eyes were bad). On the three week I found lots of capped brood. It'll happen give it a week.

Dave


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