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First inspection


#1

We did our first hive inspection today. Bees have been in their new home for 11 days. I didn’t want to interrupt them too soon, but I wanted to make sure they had enough room and weren’t thinking of swarming. We found the queen on the second frame we pulled. She is laying great.
Our nuc came with 4 frames. We installed them into a 10 frame langstroth. So far the bees have drawn comb on the frames directly beside the 4 nuc frames (on either end) they are a mixure of brood, pollen, and honey and almost full. The next frames over in either side the bees are just starting to draw out. Very early stages and the last two furthest frames have bees on them but nothing even starting comb wise.
Unfortunately they had a lot of Burr comb between the inner cover and the frames. A lot had larva in them and some honey. We scraped that all off. I felt horrible. The poor unborn babies. We also found a couple Queen cells hanging off the bottom of a couple frames. That was also scraped off and they seemed to be empty.
We made sure all the frames are pushed tight together and we took the top feeder off as we noticed most of the Burr comb was directly below the feeder.
Our beginners course is tomorrow. Just wanted to make sure we are doing things right today. I don’t think it’s full enough yet to put on a second box. Definitely not 80% full yet. We scraped all the comb close to the hive hoping they will take some back and not waste it, but we are worried about predators so we will clean it up before dark. Anything we missed?


#2

Please don’t feel horrible. Those bridge comb sections are usually drone larvae, and a new colony can do without the extra mouths (non-foraging) to feed. :blush:

I suggest you don’t waste the wax. I take a kitchen dough bucket (6 quart/6 liter capacity) to the hive and drop the comb into it. If the comb just has honey, I will strain it. If larvae, I freeze it in Ziplock bags until I have enough to make it worth rendering a batch. The comb has high quality wax in it, so I never throw it out. :wink:

Just FYI, those are called “play cups”. Nurse bees practice making those when they have nothing else to do. If they don’t have royal jelly or larvae in them, there is no need to worry. You don’t even need to scrape them off, they will just make more if they feel like it! They are a bit like toddlers - hard to control. :smile:

I think you have done great. Going to the class with a bit of experience means that you will get a lot more out of asking questions. Thank you for the update, and all the best for the future. Please keep posting, your experience is valuable to many people and fascinating to read. :heart_eyes:


#3

Went back in today to check on the girls. Much less burr comb thank goodness and a lot of progress in only a week. We swapped out the two outer frames with those right beside them as per our mentors advice and added our 2nd box. Lots of stuff just starting to bloom in our neck of the woods, the girls are coming home covered in pollen! Can’t wait to inspect the 2nd box in a couple weeks.


#4

Inspection of the 2nd brood box today. Put it on June 9th. They’ve been busy in 2 weeks! Lots of larva and capped brood. I thought the second box they usually filled with honey but it’s their box so they can do whatever they like lol. No queen sighting, but good laying pattern and some capped honey at the top of every frame. Outside frames were just starting to get comb built out. We put the super and queen excluder on as we are leaving for our honeymoon on Tuesday. Hoping that keeps them occupied until we’re back


#5

Lovely photos, thank you. Congratulations on finding the “honey” of your dreams - enjoy your honeymoon! :blush:

Your bees are lucky to have you. You have made great decisions for their hive. Wishing you all the best.

:sunglasses:


#6

We just got back from our honeymoon. First thing we did was check the bees. They swarmed at some point over the last week and a half :frowning: lots of Queen cells. A few opened but no sight of laid eggs yet. What should we do. Wait and let them requeen themselves?
We left them in two deep brood boxes with a few frames in the upper box still untouched and put a super on just in case they needed more room. Super is completely untouched and they still swarmed :frowning:


#7

I would suggest reading this article. In particular sections 2.3 and 2.4 might be useful:
http://www.wbka.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Swarm-Control-Wally-Shaw.pdf

:blush:


#8

I talked to some local beeks today. All of them.have had hives swarm in the past two weeks. They said they’ve never seen anything like it in all their years keeping bees.


#9

I came out of the house this morning to a loud buzzing. Walked into the back 40 and found this :frowning: swarm like 40+ feet in the air. On a rickety tree. No way to get to them. No time to check our hive as I was heading into work and hunny already gone but do you think they swarmed again? A week after the initial. Why would they do that? The swarm was about 50 feet from the hive. :frowning: feeling so dejected.


#10

It is very common for a hive to swarm several times in a row. It is all described in that article I linked:


#11

waited 2 weeks since the last (second) swarm left the hive. Could not find a queen anywhere and zero eggs :frowning: There is zero brood for them to make their own queen and zero queen cells in the hive, so we bought a new local marked queen on friday and installed her in the bottom brood box in her cage. Hopefully they are releasing her as I type. We were told to wait 5 days and then make sure she’s out. Hoping she gets laying fast. They are starting to fill the bottom brood with honey since theres no brood there!
Out local mentor said we should put our super back on without the queen excluder so they at least draw it out for next year since its new plastic foundation now. Then we will put the bee escape on and store it over winter.


#12

According to this thread and your last post they swarmed 11 days ago: They could be between queens: I wish I had a picture and next time I see it I’ll snap one but have you looked to see if they are polishing cells in the brood nest for a queen to lay?

I still think you did the right thing though. Worse case scenario is they kill the new queen in favor of the one they raised if they did in fact raise one.


#13

Lovely photos of the bees.