I am a newbie at all of this. Some of the forum topics on this website has SAVED me a few times. This is my first post, since I couldn’t find anything new on the topic.
I have three active hives. #1 hive was a nuc that is flourishing! They are bringing in pollen and seems healthy, in fact they filled up 85% of my ten frame hive within a short period of time.
#2 Hive I saved from an old shed. The colony was new and the comb was paper white and just beginning. I took all the new comb and placed it in my frames with the queen and the bees and they are still coming and going two weeks later. But NO POLLEN is being brought in
#3 Hive was a swarm I caught three days ago. I located the queen and all the bees followed suit in the box and it was moved to my pasture. I do not want to disturb them for another week, but they too are not bringing in pollen while observing them.
So long story short, hives #2 and #3 still have bees, but I’m nervous they aren’t planning on staying. Any words of advice for this amateur? *Also, for the swarm I did put a frame feeder in there. I did not have a brood frame to rob.
A good way to keep a swarm from absconding is to give it a full frame of mostly open brood, which you could take from hive #1.
If hive #1 is bringing back pollen, that shows that pollen is available to be collected. The reason why hive 2 & 3 are not bringing back pollen is because they don’t need it during the initial building stage. Once the colonies have brood to feed, & importantly somewhere to store it, they’ll start bringing it in.
I’m pretty sure that if you give those colonies a frame of mostly open brood, they’ll start bringing back pollen.
Welcome Morgan! So you’ve got a nuc started, done a cutout, and caught a swarm - not bad for a newbeek
@JeffH has got you covered. I just wondered if there’s a risk of your swarm & cutout colonies being Africanized, given your area. You didn’t mention anything about defensiveness so I’m hoping not! Up here in PA I don’t worry about it, but @Dawn_SD has dealt with this a bit.
Thank you Jeff! This helps a lot. I do Have an update for hive #3… about a dozen dead bees in front of the hive box. I’ve googled it and People seem to have different opinions on whether or not swarms have a lot of old foragers or young. What’s your take on it? Still don’t want to check them out until a few more days!
This was definitely a “dive right into the deep end” kind of thing. Once my family got wind of my first hive they called me about the cutout and swarm and I just Had to give it a Try! I spent hours on this forum before heading out to get the bees. YouTube helped a lot too. Now I am HOOKED! Just still have a lot of questions about analyzing the health of the colony and always wondering if I could of done better!
Never really looked into the Africanized bees. I’ve never heard of them around here but that obviously doesn’t mean that there aren’t. Nobody was more aggressive than I anticipated! I’ll do some more research on that! Thank you for the suggestion!
Hi & you’re welcome Morgan. I think a swarm consists of a cross-section of young & older bees, mainly young, because they have to start a hive from scratch. A swarm would need to consist of bees that can live long enough to get a nest up & running, so that it can support itself after the swarm bees pass away.
I think it’s very difficult to catch a swarm without injuring or killing the odd bee, so therefore it wouldn’t be unusual to find a few dead bees outside the entrance.
In relation to the pollen: I observed this once, after bees moved into a wall cavity a couple of days earlier. The bees were flat-out working the gap in the bricks, however not bringing in pollen. I concluded that they must have been concentrating on nectar, to be turned into wax for comb building, to give the queen somewhere to lay eggs, which don’t hatch for another 3 days, then 3 more days of royal jelly. So therefore pollen wont be needed until 6 days after the first egg is laid. Plus, by then they’ll have somewhere to store it.