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Offline Butteredloins

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Bee Questions
« on: January 14, 2019, 05:02:22 am »
Hi Guys
So this is a long story but bare with me. I have two hives (2 box 10F Deeps). Now both are new and started early October. One was a Nuc colony and queen with 5 frames drawn out (for ease lets call this White Hive). The second was a package bee and queen with zero frames drawn ( Lets call this one Blue Hive).

Now all things were going ok and both were drawing out some frames and both received light sugar water to start them off. Now Blue hive even with no frames drawn to start with, seem to be the strongest and drew out frames fairly quickly. Soon with 7-8 frames drawn in both white and blue hives i decided to add the second box on top of both and move 2-3 frames from the bottom up and replace with empty frames no wax.

Now since then they started drawing comb out from the top box center, outwards in both hives. Then came the weird part, where blue hive for some reason lost there queen for unknown reasons, they started storing honey and pollen but little brood. White however still had a queen but were extremely slow in building comb.
I then saw blue hive with a queen cell and some eggs. I waited 18 days after new queen hatched. I inspected now recently and although i cant spot the queen there are fresh eggs and brood in different stages and no drone comb/brood. This hive has tons of bees in it and heaps of pollen and honey nectar (Not capped) in the frames and some brood. Now my question with this hive is
A. Why is there basically no brood in the bottom box but heaps of pollen and some honey and the top box has heaps of honey and brood. How can i eventually harvest this? Must i put a queen excluder on now and move the queen down stairs (if i can find her). Or will this make her want to swarm because there will be little brood laying space due to pollen.
B. The new frames i put in the bottom box still seem untouched, will they eventually draw these out or should i move them in closer to center to encourage the bees more?

Now with the White hive they had a queen but now i cant find her and the bee numbers are low. I presume she is gone because i see no/little fresh eggs laid. They also have started creating queen cells. My question with this hive is
A. Should i buy a new queen quick or just let them replace her naturally. B. These bees seem to look much blacker than my other Italian Blue Hive bees and i was thinking maybe they are a different breed that arnt as quick or strong as Italians that's why they are so slow and weak, or maybe the queen was just old?
B. Besides some pollen and abit of honey sugar water in the hive, they haven't drawn hardly any frames in the top box is this because the bee numbers are slightly lower.

Also i generally inspect my hives weekly or fortnightly is this to often? I usually inspect them pretty quick with little disturbance.( Well as little as i think, the bees probably think else wise).

Thanks always for your help guys.
Cheers
Luke


Offline eltalia

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Re: Bee Questions
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2019, 06:22:45 am »
"both received light sugar water to start them off."

Right there is the root of all your woes, and you are in the company
of many thousands these days. The yarns of grief flow into clubs and
forums daily.

Start again - with some luck Summer will allow a build into the prewinter
forage, a high yeild time in many parts of Aussie.
Knock both boxes back to six frames and use space blockers.
Requeen with supplied queens.
Allow them to grow the broodnest out at their pace.
With luck you'll have a fully packed broodchamber to winter with.

In future only ever buy in fully developed nuclei from reputable apiarys
and never feed them until reason demands, as in severe dearth, and then
only clumped sugar laid on newspaper over frames.

Cheers.

Bill

Offline Butteredloins

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Re: Bee Questions
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2019, 02:42:02 am »
Any other thoughts guys??

Offline SiWolKe

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Re: Bee Questions
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2019, 03:37:48 am »
So this is a long story but bare with me. I have two hives (2 box 10F Deeps). Now both are new and started early October. One was a Nuc colony and queen with 5 frames drawn out (for ease lets call this White Hive). The second was a package bee and queen with zero frames drawn ( Lets call this one Blue Hive).

>>>Now all things were going ok and both were drawing out some frames and both received light sugar water to start them off. Now Blue hive even with no frames drawn to start with, seem to be the strongest and drew out frames fairly quickly. Soon with 7-8 frames drawn in both white and blue hives i decided to add the second box on top of both and move 2-3 frames from the bottom up and replace with empty frames no wax.

Now since then they started drawing comb out from the top box center, outwards in both hives. Then came the weird part, where blue hive for some reason lost there queen for unknown reasons, they started storing honey and pollen but little brood. <<<

They started a supercedure in my eyes which was initiated by too much space IMHO or because this is done often with a package, because the queen is foreign to the bees or not good mated.
You never know.

>>>White however still had a queen but were extremely slow in building comb.<<<

They did not have the need like the package, they were more content with what they had. Slow expansion.

>>>I then saw blue hive with a queen cell and some eggs. I waited 18 days after new queen hatched. I inspected now recently and although i cant spot the queen there are fresh eggs and brood in different stages and no drone comb/brood. This hive has tons of bees in it and heaps of pollen and honey nectar (Not capped) in the frames and some brood. Now my question with this hive is<<<

>>>A. Why is there basically no brood in the bottom box but heaps of pollen and some honey and the top box has heaps of honey and brood. How can i eventually harvest this? Must i put a queen excluder on now and move the queen down stairs (if i can find her). Or will this make her want to swarm because there will be little brood laying space due to pollen.<<<

If they have the space bees broodnests go up in season and go down again before winter to store honey above. If you want to harvest, take the outer frames when the honey is capped but don?t take too much in the first year, it?s not established colonies yet, don?t let them starve. Bees need stores when they buid comb. You can extract them and put them back, so the queen has space to lay and the bees still have the drawn comb to store. Making comb is a tough job!
Without breeding drones and a colony at its start I don?t think they will swarm. IMO. Look for queen cells, swarm cells.

>>>B. The new frames i put in the bottom box still seem untouched, will they eventually draw these out or should i move them in closer to center to encourage the bees more?<<<

I would wait until late season and restrict the hive to the winter space, that means a compact broodnest with stores around and pollen at the bottom. It?s not a problem to have empty frames at the bottom in winter but it?s a problem to have them at the top. So rearrange before winter. No empty frames and foundations on top in winter.
If you want more frames drawn, don?t give them too many at a time.

>>>Now with the White hive they had a queen but now i cant find her and the bee numbers are low. I presume she is gone because i see no/little fresh eggs laid. They also have started creating queen cells. My question with this hive is
A. Should i buy a new queen quick or just let them replace her naturally. B. These bees seem to look much blacker than my other Italian Blue Hive bees and i was thinking maybe they are a different breed that arnt as quick or strong as Italians that's why they are so slow and weak, or maybe the queen was just old?
B. Besides some pollen and abit of honey sugar water in the hive, they haven't drawn hardly any frames in the top box is this because the bee numbers are slightly lower.<<<

I would leave them and if you want to shift to an italian queen in next spring. You never know which genetics are the best for overwintering. First test this. You might be surprised.
They might come stronger out of winter and bring more honey later on. Queens can be changed anytime.

Give both hives some time to adapt to the local circumstances.

>>>Also i generally inspect my hives weekly or fortnightly is this to often? I usually inspect them pretty quick with little disturbance.( Well as little as i think, the bees probably think else wise).<<<

Once a week is ok if you want to learn, but don?t distub when a new queen is produced and mated. Like you did. Perhaps you squished the "white" queen? Be careful while checking.

Offline SiWolKe

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Re: Bee Questions
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2019, 04:41:52 am »
Some good informations you find here:

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

Or find a mentor who helps you with your colonies.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Bee Questions
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2019, 09:43:08 am »
Also i generally inspect my hives weekly or fortnightly is this to often? I usually inspect them pretty quick with little disturbance.
Yes Luke, it is the downfall of most newbies.
Have you ever built anything?  A sweat fly that keeps buzzing around your head annoy's the heck out of you and you can't get anything done.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline Butteredloins

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Re: Bee Questions
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2019, 05:44:38 pm »
Thanks guys. I just feel that I got to keep on them, to check for disease and make sure they are not swarming and it just seems a lot can happen in 2 weeks. Once this white hive requeens and am happy with egg production and the bees I'll leave them be for a few weeks

Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: Bee Questions
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2019, 02:49:53 am »
frequency of inspection all is decided by the type of colony and the time of year.
In swarming season, I inspect every 6 days and hives don`?t chrash because of that. After swarming season I don`t touch  the brood-nest any more. And before: Only for feed-check and queen-rightness in early spring. Just a few freames.
NOT pulling frames can be learned when bees have been learned.
So best would be to have a few hives and you can "inspect one to death" to learn from it. It`s not gonna die on you because of that, but suffer some. Bees do prosper most when left alone - if possible.
NOT looking at the crucial moments is worse.