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Here we go on a new adventure!


Depends on the nectar flow and how good your queen is. It will also depend on how much brood was in your nucleus. A standard deep Langstroth frame has around 3,500 cells per side. If the queen lays in the center portion of that, that might be 2,000 bees per side. A queen can easily lay 2,000 eggs per day, if the colony has enough nurse bee, plus honey and pollen to feed the brood. So your colony can do remarkable things in just a couple of weeks.

When I install a new nucleus, I usually leave them for 2 weeks before the first inspection, to give them a chance to settle in without interference. If the nectar flow is poor, I would feed them for the first few weeks, and I might check the feeder, but I don’t usually inspect the whole box. I try not to leave them longer than that, because if they are building crazy comb, I want to intervene before it gets too destructive to correct it.


Nectar flow isn’t ideal as we start getting into the hotter temps here in the Houston, tx area. (I started a little bit late) To that end there is a pail feeder with 1:1 syrup in it which has been 50% depleted since Saturday.

There was a lot of die-off in the nuc when I opened it, but I did not locate a queen amongst the bodies. However, I also didn’t locate her on the frames, but that doesn’t mean much. There were two well-populated (with workers) frames and two that were fairly light… there has been respectful activity at the entrance, with a veritable traffic jam around 5:00 PM…



Tonite’s inspection of the externa of the hive yielded a disappointing result: I have SHB. I checked on their syrup supply (they’ll need more tomorrow night) and pulled the white insert from the bottom board and there they were – two of the nasty little things.


Obviously they came in with the nuc.

I guess I need to get some traps or something. :frowning:

It was kinda cool, though – about every 3 seconds a forager would land on the stop, rear legs packed with pollen, and in it would go on its way to the catacombs… They’re working happily away! I just hope the queen made it! Won’t know until a fuller inspection this weekend. If I see emergency cells, I suspect I’m in for a bit of trouble.


Tonite was pretty simple – I had to take the roof off, remove the bucket feeder and re-fill it. Those little girls have been sucking down the syrup like crazy! The’ve gone through a little less than a gallon since Saturday!

While I had the bucket off I covered over the hole with a little hunk of wood – I ended up pinching a girl a bit – I’m hoping she makes it! Nobody tried to sting me, though, so I guess I did OK.

The mosquitoes were NUTS though! OMG, I think I lost a pint of blood in about 10 minutes.

I’m still pi**ed about having SHB… I know how to put in a couple of effective preventative measures, but I don’t know what the current “great” way to remove existing beetles is… Anyone?

Nothing else really happening until this weekend when I open up the hive to inspect. I’ve ordered some nematodes and intend on spraying the yard – hopefully that will cut down on the amount of parasitic activity in a natural way that won’t affect the girls…



Hi Michael, a couple of SHB is nothing to worry about, as long as you have a strong number of bees covering your brood frames then they will keep the beetles away. Squash them as soon as you see them. Beetles can travel up to 15km to find a hive and will fly with swarms of bees. I use a sprinkling of diathomaceous earth (DE) under the bottom board screen and replace the earth regularly, also beetle blaster traps in between frames of the brood box with either oil or DE and again on top of the super as beetles will often hide up under the lid away from the bees. In Australia an effective method is a folded up Chux Wipe on top of the super, not sure what they are called in the U.S. If you are in a SHB zone then you will not escape from them, just another pest to manage. Good Luck with it.


Very rainy days this past weekend!

On Saturday, before the rain started, we opened up the hive to look around. No real changes, no real building of comb in the empty frames (all to be expected)… No queen sighting. Bees still active in about the same number as when installed. I saw ONE empty queen cell, which I suspect was just a practice… It could have been there when I installed it, I suppose. I probably would have seen multiples if the queen were dead, no?

Monday morning there were two dead, soaked girlies on the stoop of the hive – not much other activity to be seem other than a guard poking her head out as I came close to examine her dead brethren (sisteren?)

Today (Thursday) I took this video to show the evening homecoming – larger than usual tonite! https://youtu.be/p-FFm3M20y8


Next time you inspect look closely at the frames- if you see larvae and eggs you know the queen has been active very recently.


So we opened up the hive again today, partially because we’re just curious, partially because we had company that was interested in seeing the bees.

When I originally put the nuc in two weeks ago, there had been a significant die-off in the box. I would say that they covered two frames, and not very well at that. There was no sign of the queen at that time, nor did I see her or much capped brood at the time of the first inspection after the first week.

Today, two weeks in, there are 4 frames quite full of workers with a significant amount of capped brood (compared to a week ago when there was very little capped brood). There has been NO foundation building on the empty frames so far, but that’s not surprising considering the population. Probably we’ll see that in a week or two. To add to that, her majesty deigned to show herself on the last frame we pulled!


So here we are – week 3 of this grand adventure!

This morning I opened the hive to see if the girls had started building comb on the empty frames. I had decided beforehand to leave the 4 active frames alone – this was just to see if comb was being built.

There are now 4 fully-involved frames with LOTS of bees on them – capped brood, pollen, nectar – you name it. These 4 are the ones that came in my nuc. They had started to put a little bit of new white comb on the upper side of the frame, not bridging between frames but making the upper 10% of the frame a little more “muscular”. This comb was filled with nectar.

However, the 4 outside frames have no comb whatsoever. I had melted some beeswax and rubbed it on the top of the empty frames to encourage some activity. While the wax had been cleaned up somewhat, there was little activity other than some propolization and congregation of a few bees around the frame.

I guess I should be happy that they’re sniffing around?