Today I watched a Housekeeping Bee discard what looked like a baby bee without wings from the hive. I looked it up in my DPI reference book and it could be a sign of overheating. I have closed the vent at the back of the Flow Hive and put a cork tile in the roof to insulate for the winter but I am thinking I need to open the vent at the rear of their hive. It could be a one off that I just happened to witness. Am I overreacting. Thoughts??
Hey Shayne, I would be looking for another reason for the one wingless bee as it is the first month of winter, so it would be bridge too far for an over heating hive to be the cause. Maybe it is a mutant or has damaged it’s wings or you simply missed seeing them.
Take my word for it, if your winter climate was the cause then how are my sub-tropical hives in Queensland surviving in the summer up here!!! Adjust your hive ventilation to as it was, stop over reacting, stop confusing your bees, sit back, relax and and enjoy watching the bees do what bees want to do.
Hi Peter, I know I am probably overreacting but every bee matters to me. Check out the photos I took. Do you think I should let some air in through the rear vent on the hive stand or just leave it shut for winter? I’m sure it’s just a one off?
The bee seems to have lost some of its sex legs too. So I’m wondering if it is a ‘victim’ of a recent inspection?
Your climate on the NSW South coast in the overall climate conditions that bees do well in are ‘average’ so what I would do is return the ventilation to where it was and leave well enough alone. The colony will adjust to the changes over the season.
No inspections, it looks like a new bee very light in colour and furry. I’ll keep checking the bodies in case there are more. It hasn’t been too cold here yet, it’s been down to 6 degrees at night at up to 14-21 during the day. Thanks for your advice much appreciated.
So with your temperature range there, even with the odd 6c that won’t be the problem.
I’m getting 17 to 23/26 at the moment and lots of pollen and nectar coming in with the hives all busy.
Lucky you, you must get honey all year round. Regards Shayne
Last winter I was taking 6 frames from 8 frame boxes every few weeks over winter, leaving 2 frames in the super as a reserve for the bees if they needed it. I am doing the same this winter. Last Nov thru to mid March I didn’t get any rain and with the heat there was a lot of flowering in the bush there was no nectar.
The spring wattle is in full bloom now, very strange…
I’m so envious of your honey producing bees. I’m splitting my hive in Spring so I’ll have twelve Flow frames and a bit more honey. I’m going to give my split a new Queen and I’m thinking of re-queening my original hive. I just love the bees buzzing around, they are my pets and that’s the main reason I got them. I’ve loved them since I was a kid.
If you are doing a Spring split why don’t you let the colonies select and produce a new queen? To do that you would need to be sure there are other hives in your area. The minus to that idea is the lost time taken to produce a laying queen. The plus is that if your queen has a calm nature and other benefits then a new queen of her progeny will have those traits as well – in theory!!!
Oh wow, Peter that’s a fly/bee in the ointment! Actually there is a hive on a balcony around the corner at the end of my street. I’ve been up there and inspected it with the owner. If I were to do what you suggest, would I take my split up to his balcony and leave it next to his hive for 3-4 weeks and then bring them back? S
No mate, doing that would be a disaster, all the bees that you take to the balcony would fly straight back to your hive site. Bees are like a homing pigeons, remember. So when you do your split I would keep one hive in the original position and the second one nearby as possible. after a few days switch the two hive about and doing this will help ‘balance out’ the number of bees in both hives.
If you re-queen from your own brood when she does her mating flight there will be drones picking up her scent, she won’t mate close by with ‘local guys’, she will be going a few klm’s away so she mates and gets new genes.
When you do a split and kill the queen you have to have be sure that both of the splits have eggs or up to 2 day old larvae in both hives.
Maybe for your first split it might be easier to keep the queen if she is laying well in one hive so that if the queen-less hive has problems producing a queen then you have the queen right hive to supply frames of new eggs.
Is there a bee group in your area? They are great for hands on advice.