Hi, wanted to get some opinions on how well my brood is doing. Brood box has been settled for about a month and a half and this is the result. Are my bees doing ok?? Thanks Jonny
I’m not seeing a lot of bees but they will be down on the sides of the frames and closer to the inner frames. Doing regular inspection in the warmer part of the day and you should see an increase in bee numbers. But it is already getting to cool go hunting for the queen or expose the brood to the cold air temps… You should only have a brood box with no super so the hive can build up quicker and keep warmer till after winter. Hope you enjoy the forum, welcome. Cheers
Welcome to the Flow forum.
Very difficult to say unless you lift out some of the frames and photograph the honey comb. For example:
- I can’t tell how many bees you have in that box
- I can’t tell how much comb they have drawn on each frame
- I can’t tell how much honey they have
- I can’t tell how much pollen they have
- I can’t tell how much brood they are making, and whether you have a laying queen.
If you can take a few more photos of the actual frame faces, we can do a much better job of helping you. When you do an inspection, it is good to have a list of questions that you want to answer. You could start with those 5 above, and then add a reminder to check for pests (wax moths and small hive beetles) and signs of disease such as chalkbrood, AFB etc.
Hmm !! I’m not familiar with your region at all ( I’m in the Northern Hemisphere near Seattle) but except when I had snow on the hives I use to take quick peeks. I always saw a cluster of bees (usually center frames) even on top .
Is your temp on a warm day near 10 dgs where you could get a deeper look ?! (Did you smoke the hive before these pix’s !! If so the cluster could be below on your frames. If no smoke I’d say you really have a tiny cluster … and possible loss of colony possible. How about honey supply ?! Looking carefully downward with a strong flashlight how many frames do you see Bees on ?? One, two, three, less !!!
Curious! Is this a single box high or double. If double … maybe the cluster is below … if only one box your autumn bee population is rather low judging from what I find in mine about same time of year…
Wishing you luck … that looks rather lean (low) Beewise !
I’d be very nosy n check unless you see a good cluster between frames. Check on a warm day !
Cheers n good luck ,
Didn’t see Dawn’s post … We must have posted overlapping. She has some good thots. Full pix’s of frame will be much more helpful please !
Thanks all-really appreciate it! I’ll take some more pics of frames for a better perspective.
For some further context, I got the bees in the first week of March (1st week of Autumn here in oz) and left them to settle for a while. I was told that I should be looking to add the flow hive I bought in around August (spring) once the bees have got through winter.
It’s doesnt get lower than 12 here through winter and I’m on the coast.
Will get some pics this weekend-thanks again for all of your answers!
In your profile under “location” put the town or city you are in and we can provide more detailed info/feedback for you.
agree with everything everyone else has said- it looks to me like there are only bees in the middle frames- and not very many at all. It doesn’t look very encouraging from those photos.
can I ask: why is there a queen excluder in place? If there is no box on top you can remove that. You only need to have that when you have a super on top. You would be better off cutting out a rectangle of vinyl- to cover the tops of those frames- we call it a ‘hive mat’. It should cover the tops of the frames but have a gap around 25mm (1 inch) all the way around the edges. It helps the bees stay cozy and dry over winter. You can remove it when you add a super- and then place it on top pf the super frames.
For future reference: when you add a super- you want to see just about every frame covered in bees- lots of brood and honey- and a good laying queen (you don’t need to see her- just see evidence of her work in the form of capped brood, larvae and eggs).
Given how few bees I can see- I would be concerned that the hive is dwindling and possibly queenless. I would want to check to make sure there is brood in development and proof I have a laying queen. You’ll have to pull out the central frames and have a look to see eggs and/or young larvae.
If you have lost your queen it is important to take action to try and save the colony (unless the bees are already making a new queen themselves).
It’s Gerald again up State-side … of course it’s is Full Spring fling up here near Seattle… we’ve got four or five months max to get honey up here n it comes in about two surges unless there are large croplands nearby.
Here’s a couple pix’s of my bees today … I opened up the hive… this is a Nuc I put in this Flow-hive 3 weeks ago almost. They are really going for it. Jack was mentioning bee coverage before adding additional super. This is about 80% coverage. If I waited more I could force the colony to swarm… that would be a bummer.
Thanks, that’s really helpful and gives me a good perspective of where I should be at even taking into consideration it’s Autumn here-they are a way behind
If you got them in March I would be feeding the bejeezus out of them to let them build. They should be in a nuc and pampered.
Was struggling to use my own phone so these are a little long distance. No sign of queen, middle 3 frames had the majority of bees but didn’t feel like there were and awful lot.
Feed, feed, feed, and then feed some more!
As Rob (@Rmcpb) said, they may be better off in a 5 frame nucleus box. Otherwise they are at the mercy of the wax moths and small hive beetles…
If there is no capped brood in there (I can’t see any), this nucleus will not survive. Sorry.
Hi Johnny, I agree with Dawn. However I think that colony is needing some assistance by way of a frame of sealed & emerging worker brood if you can purchase one, say every 10 days. That frame you’re showing looks to be mostly drone comb. What are the rest like? You need the combs to be predominantly worker comb.
The reason for adding just one frame of brood initially is to avoid SHB laying eggs in brood that the colony can’t defend.
Gee, if that is your lot of bees I would be very worried. Is there any sealed worker brood? Are there any unsealed larvae? From those photos its looking pretty rough.
Thanks all for taking a look. Looks like I’ll have to start again come spring!
No, all is not lost. I had a colony just like that. I moved it into a 4 frame nuc box, added 1 frame of brood and now, 5 weeks later is bursting, looking for more room. I probably need to take a frame of brood out now to slow it down till spring!
I really like my nucs, great learning tools.
If you have evidence of a laying queen try putting them into a small nuc and feeding them. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Rough start for a beginner. But if you can get a brood frame or two from somewhere, just put it in and see, and feed. Put all into a smaller nuc box.
Else, I think whoever sold you a nuc or queenless frames in autumn without advice, should be told off.
Seeing the queen excluder, did you even have an empty super above that? If so, bound to fail.
It’s well & good for a bee supplier to give free advice, however the purchaser should do his/her own research. “should be told off”?