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Author Topic: Something Seems A Little Off  (Read 694 times)

Online The15thMember

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Something Seems A Little Off
« on: April 19, 2021, 08:32:46 pm »
I have this one hive that seems a little off.  There's just a bunch of minor weird things going on, which each on it's own wouldn't bother me much, but all together it has me a little concerned.  I was planning on requeening this hive this spring because they became a little too hot for me during the fall dearth last year.  But this spring the queen's brood pattern was so good, I decided to give them another chance.  They were building up fast until 2 weeks ago when I inspected and there were no eggs or open brood in the bottom box, just capped brood and empty comb, but the next 2 brood boxes looked normal.  I noticed some greasy/hairless bees in the hive, and they suddenly weren't drawing fast and their population was either the same or lower than the previous week.  I inspected them again today and it was much the same.  The bottom box is now almost all drawn blanks with a little pollen and capped brood scattered about.  The 2nd box was wall to wall capped brood, not a cell missed, gorgeous pattern.  In box 3 there was more nice capped brood, some eggs and just hatched larvae, but very little older larvae, although the ones that were there looked fine to my eye.  The population is either the same or lower than last week, and they are still drawing their super, but very slowly.  The other thing I noticed today was that the hive smelled a little weird, kind of like off, old, dark comb.  Their spring varroa check wasn't bad, but it wasn't great, so I'm going to treat them tomorrow with FormicPro, which will hopefully rule out mites and knock down any sick bees.  It's not like the hive looks horrible, but something in there just isn't quite right.  Any ideas what could be going on?   
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Online iddee

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2021, 08:38:43 pm »
Sounds like a normal hive 3 to 4 weeks after a swarm.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Online The15thMember

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2021, 09:59:14 pm »
Sounds like a normal hive 3 to 4 weeks after a swarm.
I kind of doubt it.  I inspect all my hives weekly, and while I haven't seen this queen in a while (she's historically a tough one to spot) I've seen eggs every week since I opened the hives this spring.       
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline FatherMichael

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2021, 10:08:44 pm »
Everything in the world seems off to me.

We have boys thinking they are girls.

What's next?

But don't mind me.
41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?

42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.

43 And he took it, and did eat before them.

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2021, 10:44:33 pm »
I noticed some greasy/hairless bees in the hive,,,

We?re the greasy bees all black?

I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Online iddee

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2021, 10:45:55 pm »
With 3 brood boxes, that's not surprising. Too much space for one queen's pheromone.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2021, 10:47:42 pm »
Everything in the world seems off to me.

We have boys thinking they are girls.

What's next?

But don't mind me.

Things are better: at least we are not being feed to the lions as Roman entertainment, pre Constantine.  Hope this helps, I try to encourage but not so good at it.  Cheers
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Online The15thMember

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2021, 11:52:35 pm »
I noticed some greasy/hairless bees in the hive,,,

We?re the greasy bees all black?
Yes, some were.  Some had their hair rubbed off their thoraxes only, but I imagine they were on their way to being totally hairless.

With 3 brood boxes, that's not surprising. Too much space for one queen's pheromone.
I'm in all 8 frame mediums, so I normally have 3 brood boxes. 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2021, 02:45:34 am »
Member I remember a conversation between Van and The Honey Pump a couple years ago where the hairless black bee was discussed. If I remember correctly, the shiny black bee is ok. If the hairless black bee is dull in appearance then there could be a need for concern. Is this right Mr HoneyPunp?
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Online .30WCF

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Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2021, 05:52:04 am »
What happens if you rotate the empty brood box to the top brood spot and put the top brood box on the bottom?


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Online iddee

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2021, 06:41:18 am »
OK. Didn't know that. I still think it was a swarm, tho.
The black hairless bees are normally just old bees nearing the end. Nothing to worry about.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Offline Beelab

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2021, 09:56:29 am »
With 3 brood boxes, that's not surprising. Too much space for one queen's pheromone.
I?ve been thinking that too. I manage my queens brood in an 8 frame brood box. It?s fine most of the year, with a couple of splits throughout the season.
I just put up The queen excluder a box up in early spring on a big flow if they start putting too much pollen into the honey frames.
But generally I can keep my queens happy in an 8 frame brood box. Just needs management.

Online The15thMember

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2021, 11:02:18 am »
With 3 brood boxes, that's not surprising. Too much space for one queen's pheromone.
I?ve been thinking that too. I manage my queens brood in an 8 frame brood box. It?s fine most of the year, with a couple of splits throughout the season.
I just put up The queen excluder a box up in early spring on a big flow if they start putting too much pollen into the honey frames.
But generally I can keep my queens happy in an 8 frame brood box. Just needs management.
That's interesting.  I don't use queen excluders, so my queens just lay where they want.  Is that an 8 frame deep?
 
What happens if you rotate the empty brood box to the top brood spot and put the top brood box on the bottom?


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I'll try this if it persists after the treatment is over.  I shouldn't manipulate the hive before FormicPro, and I'd like to see if the treatment does anything to change the situation on its own.  It'll be interesting to see what happens. 

OK. Didn't know that. I still think it was a swarm, tho.
The black hairless bees are normally just old bees nearing the end. Nothing to worry about.
 
Wally, how could they have swarmed if I haven't seen a brood break? 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Online iddee

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2021, 01:43:12 pm »
The saying is, as many as 17% of hives have 2 queens at any given time. We just don't notice them since we quit looking when we find the first one. With 3 brood boxes, that was likely the case.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*

Online The15thMember

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2021, 02:58:48 pm »
The saying is, as many as 17% of hives have 2 queens at any given time. We just don't notice them since we quit looking when we find the first one. With 3 brood boxes, that was likely the case.
So you think they raised a new queen, she mated, and then the old queen swarmed? 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Online iddee

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2021, 05:29:04 pm »
I think the bees in the top box raised their own queen, since they were so far away from the bottom box. Then with the extra brood, the hive swarmed. Which queen left, I don't know. In fact, you may still have 2 queens. Watch for fresh eggs in 2 separate boxes.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*

Online The15thMember

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2021, 07:30:17 pm »
I think the bees in the top box raised their own queen, since they were so far away from the bottom box. Then with the extra brood, the hive swarmed. Which queen left, I don't know. In fact, you may still have 2 queens. Watch for fresh eggs in 2 separate boxes.
Okay, I understand now.  That sounds like a possibility.  I waited much longer to split this year, since the last two years I split too early and my colonies built back up fast enough to swarm anyway, but perhaps I have now waited a little too long with this colony.  I have been keeping an eye out for queen cells recently, but I could have missed one or two small supersedure cells.  I'll hold off on the mite treatment for now and we'll see what things look like next inspection.  Thanks, Wally.   
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2021, 10:39:46 pm »
I think the bees in the top box raised their own queen, since they were so far away from the bottom box. Then with the extra brood, the hive swarmed. Which queen left, I don't know. In fact, you may still have 2 queens. Watch for fresh eggs in 2 separate boxes.

Bees in top box raised their own queen, so far away???

ID:  I wished it was as simple as bees in a top box rearing a queen due to distance. I have to go to extremes to make sure there is no queen, no queen cells anywhere, no excluded queen either in the entire hive up to 3 ten frame deeps, or my bees will not take my grafts.  Once cells are made, then and only then can I exclude the queen to bottom box while the bees in top deep take care of my queen cells.  Any queen pheromones and my bees will not take my grafts.  Reason for the cloak board method of raising queens:  all queen pheromones must be eliminated.  Yes, I can clip a queen antenna or even a foot pad and force supersedure, this is very different.

I agree with the swarm possibilities and two queens in a hive which I see every year.  Two queens on the same frame for up to 4 weeks.  Most likely, mother and daughter.

Cheers
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2021, 11:21:58 pm »
The saying is, as many as 17% of hives have 2 queens at any given time. We just don't notice them since we quit looking when we find the first one. With 3 brood boxes, that was likely the case.

I think the bees in the top box raised their own queen, since they were so far away from the bottom box. Then with the extra brood, the hive swarmed. Which queen left, I don't know. In fact, you may still have 2 queens. Watch for fresh eggs in 2 separate boxes.

What I am gathering from iddees information is hives can create multiple queens naturally in the same hive as he described. Bob Binnie is teaching a method of using the original hive as both a cell starter and a cell finisher, with the original queen still allowed in the hive, separated artificially with a double screen board in between the bottom and top box. If I am understanding iddee correctly he is showing bees can and do, do it naturally, more often than we may realize.

Mr Binnies method works. I just tried the Bob Binnie method myself with satisfactory results for a rookie. In fact I am sitting on G waiting on O for the next go round!


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« Last Edit: April 21, 2021, 09:57:05 am by Ben Framed »
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Something Seems A Little Off
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2021, 11:39:06 pm »
If I remember correctly, Richard Noel of Brittany France, also teaches something similar. A cell starter doubling as a cell finisher. I can't however, remember is he keeps the original queen intact. Richard uses the Nicot system in his operation. Or did last time I was keeping up with his teaching.



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« Last Edit: April 21, 2021, 09:29:39 am by Ben Framed »
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.