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Bee bread on coreflute panel

Hi to all,

My son and I caught a swarm, about the size of a soccer ball a week ago and transferred them to my new Flow Hive that has 8 empty frames in it. I have it on a stand about 300mm off the ground and when I remove the coreflute, I can look up into the hive from underneath and the bees are in a tight ball (hopefully around the queen) on one side of the hive. I am feeding them sugar syrup, which they have taken to quite readily and already in their coming and goings I notice many have pollen on their legs. They seem to be a very docile strain.
I also have an old plastic tablecloth - one side fluffy material, which is what Cedar advises for beetle control.
My question is when inspecting the tablecloth/coreflute, I notice there is considerable sugar crystals and bee bread on the corner under the bees and I am unsure if they need it all or is it just what they have dropped? The bees can’t reach it through the screen so I don’t know what to do with it - save it or discard it?
I am assuming the queen is present in the ball and I am hoping they are building comb for the queen to lay in but it’s probably too early to tell.
My thanks to all and Flow forum for providing a place to go for advice.

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Hi John, there will most likely bee a queen in the bee cluster. You’d be strongly advised to use at least one frame with wax foundation in the center of the hive with the rest of the frames tight against it. Mainly to avoid any cross combing of the frames. Ideally, use all wax foundation, that’s what I’d do.

Are you sure you need to feed the bees sugar crystals. I don’t feed my bees as a rule, however from what I’ve read, I gather that people make a sugar/water syrup to feed the bees.

Hi Jeff,

Thank you for your input – glad you think as I do that the queen is present. From what I read and understand, the bees would have ‘filled the tank’ before swarming and they were in the large shrub for a few days prior to our getting them and I don’t know how long that would sustain them before their hunger becomes critical, hence feeding them with sugar syrup but as they establish comb and the queen begins laying, I will diminish that.
However, are you able to answer my question about bee bread (pollen and sugar crystals) on the tablecloth/coreflute under the screen?
I hear what you say about foundation and I am considering that too.

Best regards Jeff,

Hi John, I just assumed that you were feeding the bees on sugar crystals because you found them on the core flute. If your bees are working flat out bringing stores in, I’d discontinue feeding them. You may not even need the frame of foundation. It all depends on where the bees are building their comb. They get off to a rapid start, so you’ll need to be quick if you find they are not building neatly under the top bars of the frames.

I live in Aus. I’m not a fan of the bottom board of the flow hive in our country at the present time. I like a solid floor where the bees can disperse any debris out the entrance.

It’s hard to answer your question. The bees probably dropped it accidentally. They need every bit of food they gather. Should you save it or discard it? That’s entirely up to you. If you live in Aus, I’d be changing the bottom board to a solid floor then you wont have any food dropping down onto the core flute.

I live in the SHB capital of Australia. I don’t need any traps or upside down table cloth to catch them for me.

Hi again Jeff,
My bees are certainly working flat out at present hopefully building comb (from what I read and what you say, that may slow down) and I’ll probably know soon enough.

I live in Aus. too, Nelson Bay NSW and this is my first attempt at bee keeping and loving it more by the day, the swarm was our first capture as well - surprisingly easy, they’re probably in survival mode and not attack mode as they aren’t defending honey. It was only last Saturday we caught the swarm and they appear happy enough, I was worried about them taking off if they didn’t like their new home and I’m possibly bribing them with the sugar water.

I was worried that if the bees were accidentally dropping the pollen and depriving them of a certain amount of their natural food simply because it was falling through the mesh where they couldn’t retrieve it. Of course, as the bees go into the hive after the entrance, it drops down about 10mm to the mesh where there are a lot of bees congregating in that corner, so I suppose it’s only natural that the mesh may contribute to them dropping the pollen here. I’m also assuming that the sugar crystals deposited here as well is from the bees bringing the sugar syrup in and transferring it to those bees.
I’m wondering if I were to turn the coreflute over so that it would be easier to collect the pollen and crystals and perhaps put it on the landing board? What do you think?

You mention living in the SHB capital - where is that and what do you do about them?

Again Jeff thank you and my best regards,

Hi John, no worries mate. I live in Buderim on the Sunshine Coast. They are pretty bad here, however it may not be the capital of SHB. I keep my hives strong with worker population & don’t have anything in the hive that’s not protected by lots of worker bees. That’s basically it in a nutshell. Remember the 3 things they like to lay eggs in. #1Brood, #2Dead bees & #3Pollen.

If you don’t leave any of those 3 things unprotected by lots of workers, you’ll be right.

As far as dead bees are concerned, be careful not to leave any dead bees wedged between frames or between frames & the side of the box. Don’t leave any dead bees in the hive that can’t be readily removed by the workers.

I think from my observations if you place the core flute in the top slot, the bees will be able to easily access the food they drop.

Good luck with everything John, bye for now.

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