New beekeeper, it’s day three of being in the hive, I approach the hive and it’s quiet not a noise at all, it was early in the morning, is this normal? Also, I couldn’t spot the Queen today, her cage was open and I removed it from the brood. After I opened the brood they were quite angry at me, they were so bunched up I couldn’t find the Queen at all, hopefully she was just hiding from me. Is this a good amount of comb for three days? There is a few more frames with comb I just didn’t take pictures
Looks pretty good to me. I wouldn’t keep going into the hive while they are just starting. The only reason to look for a week or two now, is to make sure they have enough food. Yes, you needed to make sure the queen was out, but now you have an empty cage, I would let them get on with building. Every time you open the hive, you slow their progress down by a day or two.
They are “festooning” nicely - part of comb building. Looks like you had a good package.
Thank you for the advice!
I would encourage anyone starting out to use properly fitted wax foundation. You would find it much easier to spot the queen because the bees would be more spread out over the frames. You would find it easier to handle the frames because you don’t run the risk of the comb breaking away if you forget to always hold the frame vertical while inspecting.
Also I can see by your photo the challenge of replacing the frame with all of the bees clustered over the rebate that the frame sits on.
I’m not sure what others think about this, but I have had the bees make most of their own wax honeycomb on ideal sized frames occasionally without a full sheet of foundation, however have,
(a) always run the wires through the frames to start with to keep the finished product strong enough to extract from and handle confidently,
(b) almost always have a strip of foundation (around 1/3 of a sheet) at the top to get them going straight and
(c ) place that frame in the hive between two sheets of drawn comb or flat foundation sheeted frames to help ensure it doesn’t get built out of alignment
One sheet of wax can cover three frames using my method.
Good idea to wire if you are going to spin the frames. However, if you are making cut comb, you want minimal foundation and no wires. If you are crushing and straining, foundation is fine, but the wires are a nuisance.
Yes true. If I need to cut the old comb out I am always trying to cut the wire accidentally
Hi Dan, are you getting 3 frames out of one sheet of foundation for economical reasons? or other reasons?
If it’s economical reasons, my theory is that anyone that can afford to buy a flow hive can afford to buy 8-10 sheets of foundation.
I think I’m a frugal beekeeper, however I use full sheets of foundation per frame. I think it’s more economical to do so.
I guess one issue with your theory is that not everyone who owns a Flow hive purchased it themselves. Some are gifts
Also, if you spend money on one thing, you might need to be frugal on another. I was in LA , and we were marvelling at the nice cars driving around the streets. The hotelier commented that some of the owners could barely afford to put the fuel in them. I took it to mean that they spent so much money on the cars to show off (he called them show ponies) that they had little money for anything else.
So yes, economical reasons on one hand I guess. You could look at it like this. If you look after the pennies, the pounds look after themselves.
Also, I do it to gaze in wonder at the bees marvellous creation without the aid of the man made foundation. Sort of experimental in that way I guess.
Hi Dan, that’s a great analogy. As long as they use the correct fuel in those cars. It’d be pointless me putting unleaded fuel in my performance car when I should be using premium unleaded.
Looking after the pennies only works in certain situations.
I can’t really see what @Queenofthecrop has by way of foundation or starter strips. From what I can see from the photos there is perhaps just a wood strip at the top of the frames. That is one end of the foundation approach, and full sheets are perhaps at the other end. I hope my suggestion is a balance sorts between the two.
Now that you know 5he queen is out and you have removed the cage only open the hive to fill up the feeder for the next couple of weeks. I am between Dan and Jeff on the foundation issue. I would give them a few frames with foundation just to give them a headstart but ensure you feed them constantly.
Yes, full sheets or fully drawn comb is part of my approach as in
so in other words, the frames on either side of the 1/3 strip are either full foundation (from the shop) or frames that the bees have drawn already or previously.
They are the wood starter strips supplied by flow. Your suggestion is far better. It will prevent any cross combing & should disperse the bees like I was talking about earlier.
If a picture paints a thousand words, those photos clearly illustrate how difficult it would be to find the queen as well as that you can see how difficult it would be to replace that frame without squashing bees.
If you followed @VinoFarm’s beekeeping journey, you’d find that he now says that the flow hive is not for him. I wonder if things would be different if he followed my advice & went with full foundation frames. He was getting bombarded with suggestions from all directions, so I don’t blame him for ignoring mine.
Sorry if you thought I was ‘ignoring’ your suggestions! You’re right that I was getting bombarded with advice from the entire spectrum of the beekeeping world and that first summer was very difficult for decision making. However, I did move to foundation inserts for my second season. I just had too much trouble with the foundationless comb on deep frames. I don’t know if my first summer would have been any better with foundation, but I have found it is far less hassle now inspecting multiple hives.
Regarding Flow Hive: I have not completely written it off! My latest Flow Hive video was to explain WHY I haven’t used it, but I am very clear that I would LIKE to use it. I just have a very different situation than you do down in Australia. There are many factors to consider before purchasing a Flow Hive and I just didn’t have any idea what I was doing before I bought mine. Looking back now, I probably would have started off differently, but I don’t regret the purchase. I do hope to try it eventually.
@VinoFarm From the looks of your recent videos you have some hives that are ready to use the flow frames. Our climates and lengths of nectar flow are pretty similar. You won’t know for sure how they will work until you try them. If you have some burr comb that you can melt and then spread on the frames that will help entice them to use them. My guess is that if the conditions are right they will use them without issue. Just my two cents.
My reasons for not using foundation have nothing to do with cost.
G’day Jim, beekeeping is one continual learning curve. There is nothing like learning from past misfortunes. It’s great to see that you have stuck at it, while at the same time many fall by the wayside (not just flow hivers).
Take care, cheers
Too right, there @JeffH. There is a saying in trading that more than 70% of people give up trading the stock market (not just day trading) within 3 years, either voluntarily, or because they blew up their account. If you survive 3 years, you will likely make it for the long run. I have been trading full time for over 10 years now.
First of all I’m sorry for my english
I installed the nuc in the hive last Saturday.
Today I have made a quick inspection and this is what I found:
- the first two frames (let’s say on the left) are untouched;
- 4/5 frames in the middle there is nectar;
- the last frame on the right (something also on the second from the right) has very little eggs, 1 or 2 days.
- the bees are building comb on the inner side of the hive, just a little.
What should I do?