UPDATE 6/26/2016: I had to inspect on a Sunday vs. Saturday, but that was OK as it was nice and warm around 85F today. I found my frames to be able 90% drawn if brood found on frames 2-7 and then honey/pollen mixed in on a lot of the frames, and some of the center frames are starting to look like more honey than brood. My Queen was hanging out on Frame 1 today. Also on the corfulte I counted maybe 5 or 6 very small SHB (guessing they are young).
I added my 1st Medium Brood Box today (I have 1 more to add once this one is 80-90% drawn)
PHOTOS COMING SOON!
UPDATE 6/18/2016: My inspection was a short one because I had to get back to a family event. I focused on the foundationless frames, and even though I didn’t take a photo I spot checked Frame #5. Looks like my Queen has moved to laying some brood in the middle of Frame #2 (I got some shots of 4, I am guessing, day old larvae).
PHOTOS COMING SOON!
UPDATE 06/11/2016: Looks like my girls are still going great without any feeding. This time I only got to inspect 5 of my 8 frames, before my hands started to go numb (nerve and tendon issues in my hands/wrists), but what I saw was great. Again I used very little smoke (list my first inspection) and saw my Queen. She was on Frame 4 - AGAIN! - but I still found good brood signs elsewhere on the other frames, so me gets around. Anyways check below for my photos. I did add a photo showing my corflute on the SBB.
UPDATE 06/04/2016: I did an inspection today. There is a lot of build out on my foundationless frames. I found TONS of uncapped honey/pollen along with a lot of capped worker cells and a nice amount of uncapped larvae as well. I didn’t find my queen this time, so I didn’t shake off my frames but did use my fingers to get the bees to move and look behind them. To me things look great. I took a LOT of time (of course the pictures will never be able to show it all!) to really look into each opening. I cleared my coreflute and found nothing but debris, but I still replace the cloth to catch and SHB that might still be around. Speaking of SHB I never saw any signs of them nor any damage to capped brood…maybe the bees won and they died off? Lastly I missed getting a photo (phone was at the house and I had to get going to town) of the bees bearding (I think it was).
UPDATE (2 days later; 5/30/2016): As noticed by @Dawn_SD there wasn’t enough room on the outside of my frames and that was because I didn’t take into account I was getting a NUC which I couldn’t shave down the frames to fit 9 wide (like @Michael_Bush takes about) so I went in and pulled the 9th frame, then shifted the 8 (still tight together) to the center of the hive and I will just deal with whatever I get on the outside edged. I guess just another reason to go Package over NUC next time…
See on the Frame 8 photos (below) an updated picture of what they have drawn in comb in 2 days - WOW.
I also added a photo of the Hive in my garden from 5/28 and then a close up, just after the NUC was installed 5/21 to the top part of the photos I took.
Well I got out to do my inspection around noon whn it was 65-70F, almost no wind but a gentle breeze at times. I used a little smoke, but not too much as I read on @Michael_Bush site that too much smoke might cause the queen to run and I was hoping to find her today (I did!). I installed a 5-frame NUC into the Deep that came with my Flow Hive Complete on 5/21 and these frames have a green base plastic w/o wax (that I can tell) that the bees have been building over. If you want to see me install the NUC and a bit of video of the frames at that time check it out via Installing my first NUC (Carniolan) hosted on YouTube.
Below I will detail what I think I’ve found, but all and all I feel really good! I also feel there will be endless years of learning. Now I will try to show what I think things are in the photos and if anyone can correct/confirm please do!
THANKS IN ADVANCE!
FYI I watch them take in a lot of bright yellow and dark orange pollen. Probably more dark orange than anything though.
The hive in the northern section of our garden.
Close up (taken right after the NUC was installed 5/21/2016). I cut a custom board and seal the factory bottom entrance and cut a 2in opening into the bottom side of my Inner to give them a top entrance and then I have the roof backwards so it give them a clear opening.
Inner Cover (6/4): I put screen over the hole with staples for now, but I did it after the NUC was in so I did it in a hurry so it wasn’t off the hive for too long, which is why the staple spots kind of look silly. So far no sign of them sealing over it, so they might be enjoying the air and humidity flow.
Overview (Updated 6/4/2016): Here is what I had once taking off the roof and the Inner. I (now) have 8 frames in this box and plan to have 9 frames in my other (Medium) brood boxes. The new foundationless frames are 2 to the left and 1 to the right.
6/4: From nothing at all the last time my hive was cracked open on 5/30 to this. Not much, but still working along.
6/11: Well they are building out a lot and the golden color in the middle is uncapped honey (both sides).
**5/28:**A nice bit of comb is being drawn out.
6/4: This has been drawn down a whole lot. This is the left side, but the right side looks pretty much the same.
6/4: The left and right sides are getting honey stored on them (right side shown).
6/11: Almost done with this frame. Still a LOT of uncapped honey along the top and on both sides.
**5/28:**The left side looks pretty empty aside from a little bit of capped brood along the bottom and some uncapped larvae (upper left) (high lighted)
6/4: Again uncapped honey in the honey in the upper left and right (red) and capped worker brood in the middle/bottom (blue) area (hard to see, but none of the full frame shots showed it well).
6/11: Uncapped honey across the top section, and then a lot of capped and uncapped workers brood in the main part of the frame.
Close-up showing all the uncapped larvae at different sizes, plus a lot of capped worker brood.
**5/28:**The right side looks to have some capped brood center bottom and some honey in the upper right and then (maybe) uncapped larvae on the left side/center.
6/4: Lots of uncapped honey in he upper left and right sections and then a bunch of capped brood (and some uncapped larvae) in the middle of the frame. It’s obvious a lot hatched from the week before, but then I can see where some is now larvae so the queen has been there.
6/11: A lot of uncapped honey in the upper left and right side of the frame again. Then some capped worker brood along with a LOT of uncapped worker larvae in the main body.
Close-up of just one section showing how much uncapped larvae there is.
5/28: The left side looks to be lots of capped brood all over the place, capped drones (red) and uncapped larvae (blue), honey in the upper left of the frame, and then the green cells are I have no clue???
There is my queen! I found her pretty quickly while looking at the left side of frame 4. I watched her for a few minutes then took a lot of photos and carefully put the frame back.
6/4: A fair bit more capped drone on this side (once again looks to be about the same amount as the previous week) scatted all over the middle to bottom left to right. Then a LOT of capped worker and a lot of uncapped larvae.
6/11: Uncapped honey in the upper left and right sections of the frame, then a fair bit of uncapped and capped worker, then still some capped drone cells at the bottom and from the looks of it a few new drone cells along with a few larvae that look to get capped drone…I guess whatever the bees think they need.
Close up showing the capped and uncapped workers:
**5/28:**The first side looks to have some capped brood along the bottom, some drone cells in the upper middle (red circle) and then honey upper right along with maybe some pollen (purple)?
6/4: Some capped drone along the bottom (maybe a dozen or less) that look to be in the same place, so it’s old and waiting to emerge. Lots of capped worker in the middle (left to right) with some uncapped larvae spread around in the mix.
6/11: The right side is now just covered in capped worker cells with quite a bit of uncapped larvae in there too. Not much, but still uncapped honey in the upper left and right.
Close-up of uncapped and capped worker cells.
This time my queen (green circle) was on the right side of frame 4. She started to run on me, so I watcher her until she was back in the middle of the frame and I put it down. The hive still sounds “happy” (as best as I can guess LOL! - how about normal) so I’m sure she is OK.
**5/28:**Brood all over the place along with some cells that were brood that has emerged, but still looks “rough” around the edges.
6/4: A fair bit of capped worker in the upper middle, then a LOT of uncapped larvae (at all stages - guessing days 4 or 5 - all the way to 8) all over the entire center of it (you can see the larger ones clearly). Then to the left and right edges are bands of color that I’m wondering if it’s packed pollen or a honey? See a closer photo before.
Honey, Pollen, or ???
5/28: Brood and then in the upper left is some honey.
A bee emerging. I saw the start of this when I was installing my NUC. How I wish I had a camera to film.
6/4: Most of the honey has been cleared out from the upper corners, but it is now covered in capped worker brood and some uncapped larvae as well.
5/28: Lots and Lots of brood, then some honey in the upper right (yellow) and then it looks like some uncapped honey or pollen along the top/left (blue).
6/4: Lots of capped (a lot less than last time, and maybe some newly) worker cells all over the frame with honey along the top and the upper left/right. I think I saw a few uncapped larvae, but not many on this side. The odd cell that is being build off the bottom of the frame (on the wood) is an uncapped and unfilled cell with it’s side facing outwards (red).
I did see 2 bees emerging (blue) in the upper-left area though! I watched them for a few minutes and I just wish I had a camera to record them the entire time!!!
5/28: Quite a bit of brood and then some honey in the upper left.
6/4: Lots of capped worker still (some have emerged and then I think there are some newly capped, but not sure) and what looks like honey starting to go in?
Uncapped honey shimmering around the bottom/middle?
5/28: A lot of honey or pollen cells that aren’t yet capped? Or is that just new comb that they haven;t done anything with? But I’m sure I can see honey/pollen in some of the cells.
6/4: Cover in a lot of uncapped honey from center to right top to bottom, but the far left is just empty cells. This would be the outside (or right) side of the frame.
5/28: Honey on the top/left and some over on the mid/right. Then the rest looks almost like uncapped honey/pollen?
6/4: Tons and tons of uncapped honey and then under the circle (blue) are capped worker cells and some uncapped larvae. This was be the left or inside of the frame.
5/28: They are just starting to draw comb on this one as well.
5/30 - 2 days later: Wow they have drawn out a LOT more on this frame. I just saw it as I was pulling frame 9, so had to take a photo.
6/4: It’s being drawn out more and more. It’s hard to see, but there is comb behind all those bees on it.
6/11: Clearly they are working the hardest on Frame 2, but Frame 8 (like 1) is getting some good TLC. The dark copper-ish color is uncapped pollen. So they are using Frame 8 for pollen, where Frame 1 and 2 are honey so far.
SBB PLASTIC TRAY:
Mostly I found a lot of debris and pollen on it, but I think I found a single SHB? He was dead and I know the photo is bad, but in real life it looked like a SHB.
…and then some SHB larvae (about 6-8) that I’ll show and highlight below. I killed them all.
5/30, 6/4: I pulled the tray (now with the cloth - sorry no photo yet) and just debris. No signs of SHB or SHB larvae.
6/11: Here is a photo of how my corflute looks. Lots of debris. Looks like I had a bee get stuck in between the corflute and the screen last time. While the dark dots look like dead SHB with this photo, they aren’t - instead hey are parts of dead bees that I guess just fell through?
CONCERNS: SHB and the SHB larvae worry me. Clearly they were in with the NUC (or they moved in quickly from somewhere nearby?), and maybe that’s a reason I should have got package (next time I will get a package actually, mostly so I can learn both methods of getting a hive going). I never saw signs of damage to the capped brood that I could see through the bees. Now that I have adjusted the bottom board (see MODIFICATIONS below) I guess I’ll pull it more often to see how much other junk and SHB I find in a few days or should I wait again until next weekend? I’ve also looked at the Freeman beetle trap and I think using some silicon dried around the edge of of the insert that comes with my hive and then fill it with oil. Thoughts and advise please?
UPDATED 5/30: I have decided top keep trying the corflute with the cloth and then check it every day/other day. Today I found nothing except debris on it and then I found and kill 1 SHB in the hive when I was pulling frame 9.
UPDATED 6/4: No signs that I could find of SHB. Nothing in the corflute and nothing on any of the frames, but only time will tell.
UPDATED 6/11: Still no more signs of SHB or their larvae.
Also I had noticed a queen cell when I installed the NUC (sorry no pictures) and a lot of drone brood, but this time around I could not find the queen cell and there was less drone brood, but still some capped. Also there seemed to be less capped brood than before and a bit less honey? I am wondering if they had planned to swarm because they were out of space (a bit of one side of a frame was only half build when I got the NUC) and then decided not to once I got them in their new home?
MODIFICATION: I did move the corflute (plastic tray) of the SBB to the lower slot after using the bottom side of picnic table cloth. I then taped the back of the hive so as to avoid any extra air getting in from the moved down insert. Cedar described it in the How to make an easy small hive beetle trap video on YouTube. This time I didn’t have double sided tape (stopping at the store soon!) so I had to use staples.
I feel like I do not want to open the hive for a few weeks as I saw how much they got done in just 1 week and figure if I leave them alone they could get so much more done! When does everyone think I might want to do the next inspection?
As is I watch them on and off when I am home during the day (weekends) or at least check on them while I do chores in the morning and when I get home from work. I got a bench about 8 feet to the side of the hive.
NOTE: I’ll be pulling the plastic under the bottom board mid-week or by next weekend to check for more SHB/SHB larvae.
If anyone would like me to send them the original images to look at closer and provide any advise that would be awesome, but I don’t expect it.
In the end no stings and I just have my Ultra Breeze jacket, goat skin gloves, Carhart tan jean tucked into my socks. Boots of course since that is about all I own. Ohhh and I NEED A BETTER CAMERA or a zoom lens for my phone. Maybe a GoPro to mount on me so I can go back and look again.
I am also thinking about getting the following:
Frame Grip - So I can hold it better for photos. If I’m not taking photos I just told the ends and all is well.
One Handed Queen Catcher - So when I find her, but I want to look more into things I can grab her and keep her safe without the worry of her falling off. LINK
Toolbox - It was just such a pain taking all the different things down there with me today. My hivetool goes into my pant leg pocket fine, but the smoker, smoker fuel, lighter and then the extra things like tape, felt and stapler for messing with the plastic SBB insert. What does everyone suggest for a toolbox/tray?
Bee brush - I so far just use my hands by putting my finger over a clump of bees to make them move, but if I needed them to move more I should get a brush since my geese won’t loose any big feather.
AGAIN, THANKS IN ADVANCE!