Author Topic: Hive inspection  (Read 106 times)

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Offline lethargicdoc

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Hive inspection
« on: May 17, 2019, 12:00:40 pm »
Today I inspected my hive for the 2nd time.  I bought a nuc 3.5 weeks ago.  The brood that was in there to start has obviously hatched because there were a lot more bees.  This is only my second attempt at keeping bees (last time I failed) but I can not see the eggs, nor can I find the queen.  I do see some capped brood although not as much as last time and not all in the center like last time- more random.  I do see tiny larva to large larva so I know the queen has been in there laying in the last 4-5 days.  But this time the bees were so thick it was hard to see the frames.  After inspecting each of the 6 frames with wax, the bees got really aggravated and climbed out of the hive and were sitting on the side.  I carefully closed the hive so they could calm down.  It was about 9:30 when I opened the hive.  Should more bees have been out foraging?  And what did I do wrong to make them so angry and sit in the side like that.  I think I'm just really nervous that my hive will fail again and I've spent so much money on bees and equipment.  Any thoughts would be good.  Also there was some burr comb on the 6th frame which they just started using.  Is that a problem?  Last time there were a small percentage of drone cells present but I did not see any this time and a lot of the cells were filled with nectar/honey.  Is that just because the queen is new and getting established or is that something concerning.  Thank you.   

Offline iddee

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Re: Hive inspection
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2019, 12:54:30 pm »
Summery:  Perfect hive. Relax.

Details:

3 1/2 weeks ago your new queen started laying in a circle from the center out. Last week they started emerging from the center out and she started laying in the center again.

Now, move two empty frames, one on each side, in past the outer occupied frame. do that again in 1 to 2 weeks.
When they get fidgety, smoke lightly again and they will calm down.

PS. WELCOME
“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
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Hive inspection
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2019, 04:27:53 pm »
Welcome to the forum, lethargicdoc.  Glad to see you posting, not just watching from the sidelines.
Is this nuc still in a 5 frame nuc box?  If so, it sounds like there are ready to be moved up to a 8 or 10 frame box.  If there are in a 10 frame box, perhaps it's time to put a second brood box on top?  If they have drawn wax out on 7 of the 10 frames, put another box on.
The general rule of hive inspections is to do them between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.  That is when most foragers will be out.  There are other factors, such as the temperature, what time the sun hits the hive in the morning, etc. 
Some beekeepers scrap off burr comb because it makes a hiding place for small hive beetle.  Burr comb usually contains drone brood so if you want to scrape it off, it's probably ok to do so.  If you do scrape it off, take the opportunity to exam any capped brood for varroa mites.  They will be reddish dots, sometimes moving around, in with the capped larvae.  If you see some, consider doing a mite count. 
Don't worry about not being able to see eggs or spot the queen.  You have to train your eyes to see both.  You saw uncapped larvae and you said it yourself, "I know the queen has been in there laying in the last 4-5 days."
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Offline lethargicdoc

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Re: Hive inspection
« Reply #3 on: Yesterday at 07:12:19 pm »
OK.  So my bees look good- there are a lot of them.  Lots of brood of all ages and moving onto the 9th frame so I added a box and some frames.  But I found queen cells near the center of the hive and near the center of the frame although not right in the center.  I attached a picture.  So are they trying to swarm because they are so crowded or are they superceding the queen or did the queen die (I was unable to find her again) in the last 4 days and they are replacing her?  Do I let them proceed or do I remove the queen cells.  I did not see any larva or eggs in the cells (although I still can't see eggs).  Please help me.

Sincerely,

Beth Phelps







Offline iddee

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Re: Hive inspection
« Reply #4 on: Yesterday at 07:49:15 pm »
Those are not queen cells. One "may be" a queen cup. The others are drone cells. A queen cell looks like an unshelled peanut. Your hive is doing well.

 Quit worrying, new mama. All is well in the baby nursery.   :laugh:
“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
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Offline neillsayers

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Re: Hive inspection
« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 11:09:45 pm »
Welcome lethargicdoc!  :)
Neill Sayers
Herbhome Bees
USDA Zone 7a
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Hive inspection
« Reply #6 on: Today at 08:16:34 am »
Beth, I try to add a second brood box when they reach 7 frames.  Sometimes it's hard to time that well.  That way they don't get over crowded.  I think I see nectar in those cells.  They probably plugged those cells up so the queen has no place to lay.
I think you have to train your eyes to see cells.  Same with spotting the queen. 
Are you still feeding them 1:1 sugar syrup?  They have a lot of frames to draw comb on.  It takes approximately 8# of nectar to draw out 4-5 frames of comb. That's a lot of work they have to do.   Feeding them will speed up that process and then the queen will have something to lay eggs in.
Hang in there.  There is a lot of learn.
Picture of queen cell and queen cup.


Here is a labeled brood frame from Randy Oliver's web site.


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Offline lethargicdoc

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Re: Hive inspection
« Reply #7 on: Today at 08:49:52 am »
Thank you everybody.  I am a nervous bee keeper I guess since I failed last time I tried.  Please be patient with me.  I greatly appreciate all your advice.
Sincerely,
Lethargic doc