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Edit. All solved! Collecting Pollen but nothing stored, queen not laying

Hi everyone
I just did my 2nd week checkup and might be over concerns but I have a few issues I need help with. The hive does not seem to be growing

  1. it looks like (from a distance) that many of the bees have some sort of white growth on there upper bodies. When I get close it seems like my bees are just extra hairy compared to photos and videos I have watched. Is this something obvious I don’t know about? Or just lack of experience and normal?

  2. I do not see any new eggs. (Wondering if the queen was mated correctly)

  3. the bees are not drawing new comb wondering if there are not enough young bees to produce it)

  4. pollen is being collected but I can not see it being stored anywhere.

The bees have had sugar water, protein mix and a banana or two as a support food source for the two weeks since they were introduced to the hive.

Any suggestions, recommendations or just being told to wait longer appreciated.


I think those are young workers, probably only a day or two old. The fluff wears off over time. :blush:

Eggs can be very hard to see. Do you see any uncapped brood? If so, you have had a mated queen in the hive within the last week.

If they don’t need the space yet, or there isn’t a good nectar flow, they won’t be focused on drawing comb.

Well, they won’t be doing it for fun, so they are hiding it somewhere! :wink: :smile: If you can photograph more of your frames, perhaps we can help you more with these concerns.

Banana? Wow, interesting choice. Bee alarm pheromone is very similar to the smell of banana. I am surprised that they will use it for food. They usually get very defensive and aggressive when banana scent is on the air. I would stop the banana as a first step, if only to make your inspections easier. :blush:

In summary, I don’t think we have enough info to answer all of your questions. If you have more photos of the other frames, that would help a lot. Otherwise, I would just wait a week and take another look. In the meantime, I love your little fuzzball juvenile nurse bees. :heart_eyes:

Actually you did
I did a second check. Brushed the bees off and saw eggs. And you answered everything else. New bees and not enough of them yet.

The Banana thing I don’t understand either. I read about them not liking the smell but the Thais use them all the time. I suspect it is the skin they don’t like but the fruit is ok. Put one in a hive. They are all over it within minutes

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Don’t feed them bananas, the smell will make them angry. If you want to feed them protein you can feed them unbleached white flour and if they need it they will take it readily.
If the bees are taking in pollen it is either being stored or being used to feed the brood, there is no other reason for them to collect it. If there is no comb built it makes me wonder where they are putting it.
Take a deep breath and relax, wait a couple of weeks then have a look in the hive for new comb and brood. If there is no brood by then you should regard the hive as queenless. If it has only drone cells capped then you have a laying worker.
Your “Edit. All solved!” is not correct, you at the moment don’t have a thriving colony with comb being built and honey and pollen being stored. More pics would help

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Funnily enough, an overripe banana squashed on top of the frames is used locally here as a chalk brood cure.

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I haven’t heard of that cure, have you more information and maybe a link about it. A quick Google didn’t find anything about it.

There are several species of banana. It is the little ones we were told to use. Very difficult to find the large ones sold around the rest of the world here. But I took them out just to be safe.

I see eggs (not as many as I would like) but what turns out to be half the hive is new bees. When I checked at 3pm

I don’t want to disturb them again, but the sun is going down and there is a bit of activity around the entrance now at 5.30

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Feed the colony unbleached white flour and make the sugar/water mix of equal parts by volume.
You need to relax, the queen will lay eggs when there is cells available, being a new set up nothing will happen as fast as you want it to, the size of the colony needs to build up.
Each time you open the hive even for just a quick look will set the colony back just from the lifting of the lid. Limit your inspections to weekly, leave them to do bee work.

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Hope this link works. Best article about feeding bananas.

Edit, this link does not work, but check below, @Semaphore got it working.

It finally made me feed banana to 2 of my hives. Happy to report, one of them managed to clear the 10 months worth of chalk brood in 2 weeks. Very few mummies now, when before it consistently had layers of mummies on the coreflute and the screen.
That’s half a banana cut lengthwise to expose both the flesh and the skin.

The link does not work. I was curious about the banana effect.

I don’t know how to make it work.
The article is by Katharina Davitt, entitled ‘Bee Health and Bananas’. If anybody manages to find the article, please post it here.
It was published just 2 weeks ago.
It appears I can access the article only via Facebook.
Its such an excellent article, well worth the search.

I agree with Martha, a blank screen,Cheers

Apparently bananas put a colony into a defensive made as well as a cleaning mode. So that’s why it helps with chalk brood.

In reality, all bees should be in an ongoing cleaning mode. Apparently some colonies are more hygienic than others. That’s why they say to change the queen as a remedy for chalk brood. I found out that that was the only cure on a couple of recent occasions.

I did find this- which was interesting:

I tried putting sliced banana on a coreflute with a hive that had chalkbrood- but in the middle of the night I heard some anguished screams coming form the hive!? It turns out a possum had found the banana and was pulling it out when it got stung!

and here is the Banana article:



Banana not good for bees a Myth!!
Thanks for all the replies. It seems there is not much information about the Banana and the bee, and the only really adverse comment was that banana’s contain IPA, the principal component in the Alarm warning BUT BY ITSELF does not cause it, because it is just one of 20 other components. Rather stimulates activity and increases brood numbers (as well as being a good food source).

I guess this is a case of someones opinion being copied and pasted until it hit the main stream as gospel and not many of us checked the science behind the myth. Fantastic for me, as we have banana’s growing in every back yard in Thailand and along the streets in the rural areas.


Dogma abounds in beekeeping you’ll find :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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If you go for bananas it is recommended on the internet that it should be blended with 250 ml of water, then filtered and the liquid then fed to the bees. Plain unbleached white flour is a much faster option to give the colony protein and a boost., just open the bag and put some on a saucer in the top of the hive. they will eat it if the colony is low on protein.

Your posts don’t follow the recommendation found on the internet “that a banana is put in a blender with 250ml of water and blended, then filtered and the liquid is then fed to the bees.” There is also claims that you just put a banana in the hive, but those claims have no scientific evidence to back up the claim.
Surely a better option is to put some unbleached white flour on a saucer and put that on top of the frames, it contains NO Ipa; if the bees are in need of protein they will gorge it down.

My post about bananas have been relevant to chalkbrood, not feeding.
As has been said, some people think it encourages hygienic behaviour, others,the more scientific people, bacteria put off by the banana rotting kills the fungal spores that cause chalkbrood.
The links that have been provided in this thread will give you the scientific explanations.
I’ve personally never had a chalkbrood problem, but I’ve heard firsthand from people who’ve used this method successfully.

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I am going to stick with what the locals do, as I mentioned it is a different type of banana, and available in the same yard which is much more handy than travelling 40km to get a bag of flour :slight_smile:
Local knowledge from 60 years of beekeeping is more than likely going to Trump opinions of internet from other areas. (Can’t believe I am saying this as I am trying to use modern not local beekeeping practice)

The cited article presented a great deal of nutrional information about the benefit of the banana. It has the same consistently of packaged bee food when mixed with water and is 74% water. So I am not sure why something that is this water logged needs to be mixed into a non solid to be useful as a food source.